Monday, April 14, 2014



Okay, now that the good news is out of the way, let's move on because there are still 2 days to go in the campaign - AND, I'm told I'm not out of the woods quite yet.  Apparently people will sometimes cancel or decrees their pledge at the last minute, which would be disastrous. 


STRETCH GOAL #1: If we get to 18K everyone with a physical pledge (not digital) will get a free limits edition print of artist Tony Wolf's ADVENTURE COMICS / THE LEAGUE OF EX-GIRLFRIENDS SCHMUCK PARODY COVER, printed on heavy stock watercolor paper. 

STRETCH GOAL #2: If we get to 20k everyone will get a free copy of the limited edition SCHMUCK DIARIES (downloads for people who ordered digital). It will be a small lit mag type book, featuring essays by me that act as companions to the comics in the book. It will be designed by Eric Skillman (who's designing the graphic novel) and feature original illustrations by Pierce Hargan (who's drawn one of the comics). 

STRETCH GOAL #3: If we get to 22.5k I will add pages to the book and include a new story, (maybe more than one!) contents and artist TBA. 

I sit here quarantined in my bedroom, where I've been since Thursday. I have a combination of flu and bronchitis and it's the worst I've ever felt. My doctor ordered lots of meds and REST.  No work, he said. With 103.4 fever and what felt like a Mini Cooper parked on my chest, I was in no position to argue. My first thought was my kickstarter would probably fail without me behind the steering wheel. I spent most of Friday in fever induced sleep and when I came out of it on that night I reached for my iPad, and I was humbled and outright touched by all the social media posts about SCHMUCK by friends, family and complete strangers. I was out of commission, but you all kept it going. And, the backers came rolling in. That's support. That's community. That's crowdfunding. 

I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for supporting and believing in my schmucky project and in me.  This SCHMUCK feel very fortunate. 

Support the kickstarter here:

Above art by James Smith from SCHMUCK

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Check out this great piece of art by Tony Wolf, which is an homage to Adventure Comics #247.  Tony generously donated his talent to the book.

There's been a bunch more press this week, including:

CBS MAN CAVE ran an exert from the book:

COMICS BULLETIN did a nice interview along with this great intro:
"The world (I include comics) needs truth-tellers like Seth Kushner, artists who are willing to be their own WikiLeaks and admit their faults, foibles and fuck-ups. Somebody's got to do it, glad it ain't me.
Kushner (apparently) has no shame. He seems like a bit of a (over) sharer and let's not forget, honest. So he's ready to admit to the world: he's a SCHMUCK or was, he got better. SCHMUCK is a 168-page trade paperback of one schmuck's awkward, embarrassing and far too relatable quest to find love and evolve as an artist and as a man. As part of (I'm sure) some multi-step process Kushner has written everything down and found twenty-two cartoonists to share in this best-drowned-with-whiskey part of his life; if it were so easy.
To get his SCHMUCK on wheels -- that's a Goodfellas reference, every intro needs at least one -- Kushner needs schmucks (reformed, at-large and women) to help him out and back his Kickstarter. Kushner is more than a schmuck, far from it. He's a guy who wants to make a comic and realize a dream of telling his story, our story and to make the world (again, comics!) safe for (former) schmucks"
WE THE NERDY - interview

COMICBOOK.COM - interview

BOING BOING - Kickstarter review

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Dean Haspiel's cover art for the Kickstarter exclusive edition of SCHMUCK
The first 24 hours of the campaign for SCHMUCK were amazing with $3,965 raised, which is 27% of the total amount for which I'm asking! I'd say that qualifies as a successful launch. But, very reliable sources told me the first days are the strongest and I should expect it to trail off once it's no longer "new", which is what has happened.  As of today, with 19 more days to go, SCHMUCK has raised $7,066 from 127 backers.  That's no small amount of money, but it’s still quite a ways from my goal of $15,000.

There are two ways one can help. The first is to back the project, which many wonderfully generous folks have already done. The second way is to share the project on social media or forward to a friend you think might be interested. Or, even retweeting or sharing my  facebook updates would be great.  So, if you can find a moment to do any of that, I’d greatly appreciate it.

See the Kickstarter campaign here:

Several different articles have gone up online about the project:

Bleeding Cool posted a review, along with exerts from my book intro and preview art by all 22 artists:

13th Dimension posted my words about the making of Dean Haspiel's art for the exclusive Kickstarter edition of the book:

Mental Floss listed SCHMUCK among their Most Interesting Comics of the Week:

I wrote for 13th Dimension about my reasoning for publishing SCHMUCK independently. I think anyone who's had a book published will completely relate. "My situation is not unfamiliar to any of my friends who have published books with traditional publishers. In fact, I work at a studio in a warehouse building filled with cartoonists and comic-book makers where we often share publishing war stories. Without naming names, I’ve heard about major publishers who pay late, who don’t promote the books or the artist, who take covers away from the artist, who move up deadlines and hold off publication of completed works for years. The list goes on and on."

An interview with me went up at Robot 6 by Tim O'Shea, which focuses specifically about the autobio nature of SCHMUCK:

CBS Man Cave Daily previewed the book with a posting of my comic collaboration with Nick Bertozzi, "SCHMUCK: Raising The Bar:

Broken Frontier interviewed me on the making of SCHMUCK:

It feels great to have so many in corner who want to see my project succeed. I thank you all greatly for your support!!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

My Kickstarter campaign for SCHMUCK, the graphic novel

I've just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the printing of my SCHMUCK graphic novel.  This has been a several year long labor-of-love project and your support of this campaign will not only help me make the book, but also allow me to distribute to retail stores, Amazon, etc., while keeping the whole thing independent.

Please see attached cover for the mass market version, illustrated by Joseph Remnant (Harvey Pekar's Cleveland) and designed by Eisner Award winning designer, Eric Skillman (Tales of Sand).  Details about the 168-page book, including a list of all 22 amazing contributing artists can be found on the Kickstarter page, along with a listing of all the reward incentives.

One final thing: I would greatly appreciate if you would share with anyone you think might be interested.

Your support means a lot.  Thanks!

Monday, February 24, 2014


I'm very excited to announce the upcoming release of my next book, NEW YORK COMICS, which is also my second collaboration with Christopher Irving and the follow-up to our 2012 book, LEAPING TALL BUILDINGS: THE ORIGINS OF AMERICAN COMICS.  This new book is being published by Muttpop, the same French publisher who last year put out DES COMICS ET DES ARTISTES, the French language edition of LTB.  The book is scheduled to be released this coming fall in France.  It's being printed in both French and English, with the plan to find a US publisher to release it here in the States as well.  

How is this book different from our previous one? It's actually very different.  This book will focus on iconic locations in NYC that have been prominently used in comic books, superhero movies and in comics history.  The location photos will all be shot by me and the essays will be written by Chis.  Plus, there will be comic art throughout and my photos of comics creators with their quotes about NYC.

The schedule is tight for a fall release, so we'll be working had to meet our June deadline.  I've already started my part and I'm enjoying the hell out of traversing the city with my camera, Peter Parker-like.  I'll post some photos along the way.  In the meantime, see the press release Muttpop put together using my photographic impression of Hell's Kitchen, which has been utilized so vividly by such artists as Frank Miller in Marvel Comic' Daredevil.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Last year I was commissioned by Jon Cooke to photograph renowned cartoonist Michael Kaluta for Comic Book Creator Magazine.  Since the feature has been put on hold, I thought I woild share these photos.

I went into this shoot without a plan, but knowing I would do something on the artist at his home.  I had been informed Kaluta's Upper West Side apartment was "filled with cool stuff", but I was not prepared by what I would find; antique toy ray guns, aviator goggles, old airplane instrument panels, art supplies (of course!) and the man himself.  Kaluta was gregarious and inviting as I walked him through my various photo ideas, which was basically having him pose in different fascinating spots in his apartment.

The photos, inspired as always by Arnold Newman's (my one time employer - long story!) environmental portraits would certainly fit right at home with my long series of comic book creator photos in my book, Leaping Tall Buildings: The Origins of American Comics.  Perhaps one day, Chris Irving and I will do a new edition of the book and include folks I've covered after the publication, like Kaluta, Bryan Lee O'Malley, Robert Kirkman and more.  For now, thanks to John Cooke for allowing me to continue my series in the pages of his magazine.  Also, thanks to Gregory Benton for tagging along the day of the shoot and lending a helping hand.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


It was a beautiful autumn day when my assistant Kathleen Ching and I drove down to West Chester, Pennsylvania to photograph 10-year old runner, Nikolas Toocheck for SI For Kids. Photo editor Annamrie Avilla's directions were to make it "colorful and fun" and shoot him somewhere "beautiful."  I spoke with Nickolas' mom weeks in advance and asked her where her son usually runs and she described a park by a lake.  Perfect.  

While I tried all kinds of posed shots, I knew THE SHOT had to be one of him running.  But, it had to be a portrait not an action or a sports shot and it couldn't be taken from across the lake with a super-long lens.  So, my concept was to have him run towards the camera, so I'd catch him close and he'd be relating with the camera.  Kathleen and I marked a spot on the ground and set up portable strobes on either side of the spot.  I pre-focused on the spot so Nikolas would be in focus and "frozen" when he hit his mark.  I also had an on-camera flash to add some front fill on my subject.  I had Nikolas run back and fourth about 20 times, which he was more than happy to do, and happily, most of the frames were pretty good.  The above selected image which ran in the magazine provides, for me, (and I assume the photo editors of SI) the perfect balance between portrait and action shot.

Thanks to the Toocheck family for taking great behind-the-scenes photos!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Caits Meissner's Saga of Daisy Skin

Poet/performer/writer/designer and all-around renaissance woman Caits Meissner designed a nice piece based around my portrait of her for her new project 'The Saga of Daisy Skin: Jan '14.' Check it out here:

Also, the photo originally comes form my photocomix profile on Caits, which illustrated a lovely poem she wrote called, "Dear Roger", which can be viewed here:

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's Day thoughts

I have high hopes for 2014. 2013 offered many challenges both personally and professionally.  There were hard times for my family, which we will continue to struggle with in this new year, but I'm confident we will persevere. I struggled with my career as a freelance photographer in a still down economy and dwindling publishing industry. Not to say it was all bad. I got some plum assignments and my work made the cover of a national magazine. Turning 40 helped me remember how lucky I am to have so many supportive friends and family members.  2013 was also the year where I made major leaps as a creator of content. Over the past few months I began developing five exciting new comics projects, (with some excellent collaborators) some or all of which I hope to see come to fruition during this new year. A big book collection of my Schmuck webcomic is in the works for this year.  It's also looking like I'll have a new book (which I can't yet discuss, but can say it will feature my photos) out in time for next holiday season. Things are looking up. 

Today, I spent New Years Day ice skating with my family. It was a great way to start the new year.  

A happy, healthy and prosperous 2014 to all!