PRINT MAGAZINE’s Michael Dooley on “Arlen Schumer’s VisuaLectures: Where Comics Scholarship Meets Design Showmanship”
The Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles presents
The Centennial of The King of Comics, Jack Kirby and Neal Adams: Fifty Years On
Wednesday, July 26 7pm
Eagle Rock Arts Center, Los Angeles
"Though their drawing styles are on opposite ends of the comic book spectrum—Kirby’s hyper-exaggerated anatomy versus Adams’ photo-realistic figures—Adams' visceral impact on the medium can be considered as great as Kirby’s. Come see Mr. Schumer’s distinctively dynamic dual presentations and see why!”
Saturday, July 22 @ 2pm Room #29-AB
"Illustrator and comic book historian Arlen Schumer (The Silver Age of Comic Book Art) marks the centennial of Kirby's birth with a multimedia retrospective about how a first-American generation son of European Jewish immigrants growing up in the Lower East Side of New York City named Ya'akov Kurtzberg became acknowledged by both professionals and fans alike as the single greatest artist and storyteller in the history of comic books, Jack ‘King' Kirby.”
I'll be presenting TWO VisuaLectures at Eternal Con (www.eternalcon.com) on July 1-2, at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, LI; times TBA!
Saturday, May 20th 1:00pm
"Comic book art historian Arlen Schumer’s presentation based on his book, The Silver Age of Comic Book Art (Archway Publishing), explores the origins of the superhero traditions, their personification of American ideals and values, and how those attitudes and portrayals changed during the turbulent 1960s, through the works of the eight artists in the book, Carmine Infantino, Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby, Gil Kane, Joe Kubert, Gene Colan, Jim Steranko and Neal Adams. You'll not only see where Hollywood's love affair with superhero movies comes from—you'll see comics like you've never seen them before!”
The documentary on HULU last night was the GREATEST documentary film since 2013's brilliant Finding Vivian Maier, which, like the Bill Finger story, is also about one of the greatest artists of the 20th Century who died alone, unmourned and unloved IN that century--UNTIL someone unearths their story and steadfastly, single-handedly goes on a quest of Sisyphean, Odyssean proportions for their lost subject's redress, redemption and resurrection--and ACHIEVES it, for a truly tear-jerking, shatteringly sentimental and heartfelt conclusion.
When you see and understand the incredibly moving story of Finger's granddaughter Athena Finger getting BOTH her grandfather AND father back via the quest; her father, whose own story, of a son who fights for his father's name with DC Comics, but to no avail, and then, to add injury to insult, dies of AIDS; and the mini-drama of Athena's lawyers, a couple of female Davids going up against DC's Goliath--AND WINNING--you'll agree with my hyperbolic rave.
Bat-kudos to the doc's star, author Marc Tyler Nobleman, alias Persistence Man, for accomplishing the (near-) impossible: getting Finger's name finally up there on the screen with Bob Kane's (who comes across as a clusterfu*k of similar 20th Century pop-charlatans Walter Keane and Stan Lee); to directors Don Argott & Sheena Joyce for putting it all together so beautifully; and to HULU for producing and airing it (shameless plug: they have a 30-day free trial!).
I am proud and humbled to be a small part of such a great work.
Go to Hulu.com & sign up for their FREE 30-day trial, and you can watch it on your phone, computer, or smart TV!
Brass City Comic Con 7
Sunday, April 30th @ 1:00pm
"2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the debut of animator Bruce Timm’s groundbreaking BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES! Since its debut in ’92, when Timm’s canny combination of multiple versions of the character’s comic incarnations took the animation, comic book and pop culture worlds by storm, the series has only grown in stature, influencing all superhero animation since, and respected as perhaps the greatest translation of not only Batman, but any comic book character, to any medium. Join comic book art historian and illustrator Arlen Schumer (author/designer, The Silver Age of Comic Book Art) for an overview of the 'greatest hits' of the series!"
The Flintstones: Anatomy of a Pop Culture Classic
An Evening with Arlen Schumer at the Norman Rockwell Museum
Saturday, April 22 5:30 p.m.
"Enjoy this multimedia look back at the idiosyncratic history of The Flintstones, television’s first prime-time animated program, and one of Hanna-Barbera’s most popular. Pop culture historian/educator Arlen Schumer will share a plethora of information on Fred, Wilma, Barney and the gang, including early concept sketches, rare visual clips, and an analysis of The Flintstones’ storied place in American television history. Arlen Schumer is the author of The Silver Age of Comic Book Art."
"San Diego Comic Fest ’17: Arlen Schumer Pays Tribute to Jack Kirby and Denounces Stan Lee” by Nicholas Eskey for THE BEAT, The News Blog of Comics Culture, February 19: http://www.comicsbeat.com/san-diego-comic-fest-17-arlen-schumer-pays-tribute-to-jack-kirby-and-denounces-stan-lee/
"Artist, illustrator, writer, and in a way, Jack Kirby historian, are a few of the titles that Arlen Schumer would claim for himself. The man of many talents is hard at work at this year’s San Diego Comic Fest, giving four ‘ VisuaLectures' throughout the convention weekend. Since SDCF is paying special tribute to the 100th birthday of the famous comic artist and writer Jack Kirby this year, it’s only fitting that one of Schumer’s lectures entirely revolves around Mr. Kirby…."
Rob Salkowitz - February 21
"A good critic points you to the subtle details of a work that contribute to its impact and makes you appreciate its greatness on an intellectual level, not just by instinct. I had that experience multiple times this weekend at SD Comic Fest! listening to Arlen Schumer expound on the work of Neal Adams, the masters of Silver Age comic art, and the people who brought Batman: The Animated Series to the screen. Great, learned criticism delivered with verve, passion and visual flair. Bravo Arlen!"
Jim Thompson - February 20
"Yesterday, Christmas arrived early, as I got treated to Arlen Schumer's new Neal Adams presentation/lecture at the San Diego Comic Fest. Anyone who has never personally witnessed Arlen in action needs to watch this group for the next time he's scheduled to give the Adams lecture and then go there. Doesn't matter where - just go. The highest complement I can give is that no matter how much you love Adams' art, no matter how big a fan you are, you will love it more - you will be an even bigger fan - once Arlen is through with you. I sat in the packed room and nodded, or whispered "oh yeah", with each slide. By the end I was ready to declare my commitment to Adams as the greatest comic artist to ever walk the Earth. But be warned, Arlen did the same thing to me the day before with his Jack Kirby lecture."