Arlen Schumer is an award-winning comic book-style illustrator for the advertising and editorial markets; an author/designer of coffeetable art books, including The Silver Age of Comic Book Art (Collectors Press), which won the Independent Book Publishers Award for Best Popular Culture Book of 2003; and a recognized expert on American popular culture—especially the legendary television series The Twilight Zone and the music of Bruce Springsteen—presenting his VisuaLectures on these and other subjects at universities and cultural institutions across the country since 1988. Connect with him on Facebook and Twitter, see his videos on YouTube.
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!"
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
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: http://www.arlenschumer.com/twilight-zone/the-five-themes-of-the-twilight-zone
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.'"
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: http://www.swissted.com)
The 5"x7" program book illustration (page 1, not the cover), bootlegged as a poster for years!
T-shirt illo for Bruce's roadies to wear at an August '78 Bruce show in Buffalo, NY!
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!
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!
I'm delighted to announce that Midnight Media Capture, a web channel producing compelling web events on storytelling and audience development, has signed me on to their events calendar for 2014!
Starting in March, I'll be doing a monthly live interactive web series on the great comic book artists of The Silver Age of Comics, based on my 2003 book, The Silver Age of Comic Book Art -- that I'll be bringing back into print with a revised edition to tie-in with it!
Dates and times to be announced! Watch this space!
http://therumpus.net/2013/11/the-new-york-comics-picture-story-symposium-joe-kubert-a-visualecture-by-arlen-schumer/ "The breadth of Schumer's admiration for Kubert's work was contagious. By the end of the night, his unwavering enthusiasm had spread fluidly to everyone in the room. We could only imagine the time and research that went into amassing such a library of knowledge on not only Kubert's work, but the history of comic art. The presentation was expertly planned, well-paced, and eventful—when Schumer stopped halfway through to give us a little intermission, no one moved, so he continued. We were drawn in again and again with each new slide—much like a Kubert page—with every fact delivered just-so for maximum impact." Hope to see you all at Tuesday night's KIRBY presentation at the Kirby Museum on the Lower East Side! http://kirbymuseum.org/131105-schumer-yaakov/
Saturday, November 9th, 2013 @ 2pm Hilton Los Angeles Universal City, CA http://www.ithaca.edu/rhp/serling/2013/saturday/ The 2013 Rod Serling Conference at Ithaca College presents: "Westport in Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone" by Arlen Schumer It is well-established that growing up in Binghamton, New York, greatly influenced the work of Rod Serling—but little is known of the three years Serling spent in Westport, Connecticut, before he moved to Hollywood in 1957. Yet in that brief time, Serling not only came to overnight success as a television playwright, winning three Emmy Awards in a row, but those Westport years would resonate years later in some of the greatest episodes of his magnum opus, The Twilight Zone. Based on the verbal/visual essay here: http://www.arlenschumer.com/twilight-zone/westport-in-the-twilight-zone
Thursday, November 7th, 2013 @ 7pm South Pasadena Public Library 1115 El Centro St. South Pasadena, CA www.si-la.org The Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles presents: Comic Book Art History: The First 25 Years! An Evening with Arlen Schumer Fall 2013 marks the 25th Anniversary of the special comics issue of the graphic design trade magazine Print, instigated by graphic designer (by education) and comic book-style illustrator (by profession) Arlen Schumer, who also designed its cover and wrote one of its articles—his first published piece. Since then, Schumer's written and designed other comic book history articles and books (The Silver Age of Comic Book Art won the Independent Publishers' Award for Best Pop Culture Book of 2003), while his illustrating career made him a member of The Society of Illustrators. In this VisuaLecture, he presents an overview of his twin careers as both comic book historian and comic book-style illustrator.
Tuesday, November 5th, 2013 @ 7pm The Jack Kirby Museum's Prototype: Alpha 178 Delancey St North, NYC. www.kirbymuseum.org https://www.facebook.com/events/175745385963481/permalink/175888389282514/ YA'AKOV KURTZBERG, KING OF COMICS is the story of a first-generation American son of European immigrants who grows up on New York City's Lower East Side and goes on to co-create Captain America and practically the entire Marvel Comics universe; you might know him better, like many American Jews of his generation, by the name change he chose: JACK KIRBY. What Elvis was to rock & roll—what Babe Ruth was to baseball—what Picasso was to Modern Art—Kirby was to comic book art. He created a nearly endless stream of characters and concepts that now form the foundations of American entertainment empires; developed entire comic book genres, like romance comics; and defined his own graphic vocabulary, much like D.W. Griffith did for film, which has influenced generations of artists, writers and storytellers. But as great as Kirby's successes were, he himself is also one of the greatest victims of the corporate system that denied a creator ownership of his creations. And therein lies the heart of the Kirby story: his comics, his creations, his credit.
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