The Hero’s Journey of Arlen Schumer

What is the best thing that I love about my work?  That it’s unique—no one has merged good graphic design and comic book-style illustration, in non-comic book usages, (like advertising and editorial) quite as I have—and that I’m really the only true comic book art historian, treating the art form with the same depth of analysis and breadth of criticism as more traditional art history.
What is my idea of perfect happiness? Living life to the fullest each and every day, along the complete spectrum of heart, mind, body and soul.
What is my greatest fear? I don’t think thinking about, and then writing down, one’s “greatest fear” is in my best interest, because that only gives it more power.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? My fellow graphic designer/comic book enthusiasts, like Chip Kidd, Mark Chiarello, Dean Motter, Rian Hughes, Dave McKean.
What is my greatest extravagance? My monthly rent!
On what occasion would I lie? I’m like Superman; I never lie! (Well, “white lies” aren’t really lies, are they? 🙂
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? When I was living in a loft in New York City years ago.
If I could, what would I change about myself? I’d make myself way more computer-graphic savvy!
What is my greatest achievement in work? I think my comic book art history book, The Silver Age of Comic Book Art, because it is the first and only book of its kind, that treats the art form I love as it’s never been treated before, in coffee table book form.
What do the words ‘The Financial Freedom to Create’ mean to me? Earning enough to live comfortably, while doing what one loves every day to earn that money.
Where would I most like to live? In New York City or Los Angeles.
What is my most treasured possession? It used to be my custom-designed Superman cape—until it got stolen last year at a comicon!
What is my most marked characteristic? My ability to articulate well, both verbally and visually.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? The East Village in NYC, its greatest neighborhood!
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? Cafe Mogador, on St. Mark’s Place; great hummus and falafel!
What books influenced my life and how? Both Ayn Rand’s and Tom Wolfe’s complete works; the former for her stance on individualism and productivity—the latter for his incisive analysis of American Pop Culture.
Who are my favorite writers? Bruce Springsteen and Rod Serling.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? If it’s only one song, it’s “Born to Run,” the theme song of rock & roll itself; if it’s only 1 album, Born to Run, again; if it’s a single concert, it would be Bruce on 9/19/78, at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey, his and the E Street Band’s greatest single live performance (full disclosure: I was in the 6th row!).
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? It’s a tie between the Neal Adams-drawn Batman, and the Sean Connery James Bond (of the first four Bond films only), with Curt Swan’s Superman a distant third!
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? Again, it’s Bruce Springsteen first and foremost—to me, he’s been the REAL President of the United States for decades!
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? It’s a tie between Citizen Kane and 2001: A Space Odyssey; those are the 2 greatest films of all time, both redefined the medium, and both are the 2 films I would give to aliens, if they wanted to understand what the human race is all about. They’ll get it from those 2 films alone.
What role plays art in my life and work? If the question is “What role does art play in my life and work,” I’d say it’s been playing the starring role since I was 3 years old, when i first started to draw. “Art” is BOTH my “life” AND my “work.” I am most proud in my life when people ask me what I do, and I get to tell them I’m an artist. It’s really a calling, and I’m both humbled and honored to be able to do it.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My older (by a year and a half) brother Steve has always been the greatest critic of my work, as well as a “fan” of it—and I do have many “fans” of my work across social media, both “real” and “virtual” friends.
Whom would I like to work with in 2019? A large, visible national/international client who allows me to create, write and illustrate a major campaign in my patented comic book style, across all media platforms!
Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2019? I would love to go to Europe and Asia, where they love American comics, to lecture on their art history.
What project, in 2019, am I looking forward to work on? I’m currently in-progress on the first-ever coffee table art book about the famous Fleischer Studios Superman cartoons of the early 1940s, which should be completed in ’19!
Where can you see me or my work? On my website:

— My YouTube channel: 

— My dedicated poster site:
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? They mean I’ll be doing my art until I literally die, at the drawing board or in front of the computer!
Which creative heroes should Peter invite to tell their story? My comic book cartoonist friend Dean Haspiel, the “Mayor” of the Brooklyn, NY indie comix scene!
How can you contact me? —Via e-mail at, and via my social media links:
Readers can get a signed & sketched-in (by me) hardcover directly from me:

One Comment Add yours

  1. arlen schumer says:

    Thank you, Peter de Kuster, for this truly WONDERFUL opportunity to be included in such august heroic company!!


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