Illustrator Arlen Schumer inspires Staples community

Evi Tarshis ’20

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From Batman to Superman to Catwoman or Harley Quinn, every child dreams of one day becoming their favorite superhero. Though as they grow older, most kids lose sight of this and move onto bigger dreams of working on Wall Street or becoming America’s next top billionaire. However, this is not the case for award winning comic-book style illustrator, Arlen Schumer, who fascinated the Staples community on Feb. 8 as he spoke about his passion for comic book art in the Staples library media center.
Like most kids, Schumer’s love for superheros originated when he was just a child. Never losing sight of this dream drove him into pursuing his passion as an illustrator. “I’ve been drawing since I was three years old,” Schumer said. “Right off the T.V.”
Schumer credits his success to Neal Adams, the original creator of Batman, who has been a huge inspiration on his art since he was just a child. “When I was ten years old, he was one of the gods of comic book art,” Schumer said. Schumer recalls sitting in front of the T.V. for hours reminiscing over the incredible work Admas had created.
After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design, Schumer landed a job opportunity he would’ve never imagined, working for Neal Adams himself. This is where Schumer got into writing, turning his drawings into words.
“Imagine working for your idol,” Schumer said. “It was incredible.”Since then, he has published a number of books such as, “The Silver Age of Comic Book Art,” which won him the Independent Book Publishers Award for Best Popular Culture Book, and “The Twilight Zone,” which is a revised version of the original copy he published in 1990. Schumer transformed the legendary T.V. series into the first coffee table book about “The Twilight Zone,” treating the images like black and white art photography and the dialogue and narration like poetry.
Schumer really left his mark on the Staples community, showing students how he found success while also following his dream. “It was really inspiring to see that success doesn’t always mean being trapped in an office all day,” Luke Roehm ’20 said.
Staples student Nina Udell ’20 was also greatly inspired by Schumer’s comics. “How passionate he is about his work really shows in how amazing his art is,” Udell said.
Schumer is a keen example of someone who found great success while also following his dream. To learn more about Schumer’s work, you can visit his website, or check out his book, “The Silver Age of Comic Book Art” from the Staple’s library.