Art on A Flyer #1
Art on A Flyer #1

I’m proud to announce my first art gallery exhibition, of works that span my entire career, at Art on A Gallery in New York City, May 1-June 5, 2014! Plus lectures & other events (scroll down)! From the press release:

"The Art of Arlen Schumer" contains originals, prints and posters spanning 1978-2014 that cover the career of this artist, author, graphic designer, illustrator and American pop culture/comic book art historian—from images created for one of Bruce Springsteen’s most legendary concerts in 1978 while a student at Rhode Island School of Design, to comic book-style commercial illustrations for magazines, greeting cards and off-Broadway show posters, to comic book art history works and more autobiographical imagery. From Springsteen to Superman, from Christ to Captain Israel, you’ll be surprised at the spectrum Schumer’s artworks span.

In addition to the exhibition, Mr. Schumer will be presenting a series of lectures each Thursday evening of the exhibition’s duration that give background and context to his exhibited works:

  • May 8: "Life, Art and Comic Book Art": a retrospective overview of Schumer’s twin careers as comic book-style illustrator and comic book art historian.
  • May 15: "Batman, Bob Kane and Bill Finger": on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of Batman’s first published appearance in May 1939, Schumer discusses the behind-the-scenes origin of the character, with specific attention paid to the unsung co-creator role of Kane’s writer and partner, Bill Finger.
  • May 29: "Man and Superman": the role Superman has played in Schumer’s life, art and career, from childhood sketches to adult illustrations and comic art history works.
  • June 5: "The Silver Age of Comic Book Art": Based on his comic book art history book, Schumer explores the origins of the superhero traditions and their personification of American ideals and values, and how these attitudes and portrayals changed during the turbulent decade of the 1960s. You'll not only see where Hollywood's love affair with superhero movies comes from—you'll see comics projected like you've never seen them before!

All lectures begin at 6:00pm.

And on May 22, there’ll be a Comic Costume Party in the Gallery, as Geminis Schumer (June 6) and Gallery manager/curator Grace Perez (May 28) celebrate their birthdays together! Come dressed as your favorite comic book character! The party begins at 6:00pm!

Look for the event page on Facebook.


Fathers of the Dark Knight Poster

From the playwright/director of the upcoming off-Broadway play Fathers of the Dark Knight, Roberto Williams:

"Comic Book artist Arlen Schumer has stunned and delighted the entire FATHERS OF THE DARK KNIGHT production team with his final rendering of the play's official one-sheet theatrical poster! This beautiful design far surpasses my expectations, and it is a most welcome example of this production's every effort to seek the highest possible quality at every turn! We are forever indebted to Mr. Schumer for his most brilliant contribution, and we proudly welcome him as an official member of the FOTDK production team!"

Fathers of the Dark Knight Poster Sketch

Re: the bat-head on top of the H; if you look at this rough sketch, it wasn't even in there, because I thought it would hurt the "reading" of the H! I owe it to Robby Reed of the great comics history blogazine DIAL B FOR BLOG for making the suggestion! —Arlen


Twilight Zone Marathon WPIX

I hope you had a great New Year's Eve—and enjoy my essay on the New Year's Eve Twilight Zone Marathon on the pop culture site, Den of Geek; here's an excerpt: "...You gotta love the TZ Marathon no matter how chopped up they are, and no matter where you rank on the Twilight Zone totem pole of trivia and/or knowledge, because these Hall of Fame television episodes—these gems of storytelling substance and economy, saying more philosophically and metaphysically in 23 minutes than other shows muster in an entire season—these works of video art one might give to the aliens as representative of the best television earthmen ever made—are simply, as writer Earl Hamner, Jr. told Marc Zicree, author of the definitive episode guide, The Twilight Zone Companion (full disclosure: I designed the cover), '...great stories well told.'"

P.S. My essay, "The Five Themes of The Twilight Zone" can act as a kind of "viewers' guide" to the Marathon:

"The Silent Night of The Batman" Christmas Essay

The Silent Night of The Batman

My essay on the classic 1969 Neal Adams Batman backup story (written by fan-turned-pro Mike Friedrich) for editor Dan Greenfield and his cool pop culture blog/site, 13th Dimension, that ran on Christmas Eve! "Though slight in quantity of pages, in quality 'Silent Night' ranks with the greatest of Adams' early illustrated works that would go on to inspire the international graphic-design trade magazine Graphis to write in 1972, 'An innovator in several ways, Neal Adams, juggling incessantly with his pictures to striking effect, remains the master of narrative technique.'"

Springsteen art in Top Darkness Collectibles!

Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey

Follow that link and you'll see my Capitol Theater marquee illustration is listed as #13:

Literally "highlighting" Bruce's legendary three-night stand at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey from September 19 to 21, 1978 (the first show of which was broadcast and subsequently bootlegged as "Pièce De Résistance"), the awesome marquee designed by artist/fan Arlen Schumer now is almost as famous as the concerts themselves.

Perfect timing, because, if all goes well, I'll finally be offering that image (and 3 others from the same '78 Darkness era) as signed, limited edition archival poster prints in 2014! (My poster printing partner prints the entire line of Swissted posters:

Capitol Theatre Poster

The 5"x7" program book illustration (page 1, not the cover), bootlegged as a poster for years!

Springsteen t-shirt illustration

T-shirt illo for Bruce's roadies to wear at an August '78 Bruce show in Buffalo, NY!

Springsteen Thunder Road illustration

Inside front cover to issue #2 of the 1st Bruce fanzine, Thunder Road, that I was the Art Director of; this and the three previous images: coming in 2014 as signed, limited edition archival poster prints! Stay tuned for details!


Ya'akov Kurtzberg, King of Comics

Here's my November 5, 2013 VisuaLecture at the Kirby Museum's Prototype: Alpha pop-up storefront museum space on the Lower East Side in NYC, right where Kurtzberg grew up to become Jack Kirby! Shot by Kirby Museum Director Rand Hoppe! The intro alone is worth the price of admission!

Here's what one fan, Ferdinando Fontana, wrote after watching: "What a grand tour de force it was! Eminently informative and delivered with panache and style, it was the best hour and a half I've spent in a long long time!" I plan on doing a revised version of this lecture in early March 2014 at the Art Directors Club in NYC—a big, spacious, modern space with a great big screen—to kick off my monthly web series on the great artists of The Silver Age of Comic Book Art—which will both coincide with the republishing of my book in a revised edition! Details to come!