By Seth Kushner

The latest and sixth installment of SCHMUCK, “The One” is, as always, an awkward and personal story based upon events from my life a decade ago.  This particular episode is the longest of the series and it details the intricacies and minutia of Adam’s infatuation with a new girl and the guess work involved with a new relationship.  He wonders if she’s “the one” for him, and vice-verse.  And, somehow it involves Kung-Fu.

I’ve met each artist on this series in a different and unique way.  My meeting Shamus Beyale was complete happenstance. One afternoon last winter I went to my local wine shop, Lowe’s Liquors, and upon entering I notice a flyer taped to the window for something called “Man Cop.”  It caught my attention so I asked the shop owner Glen (a comics fan) what is was about.  He told me it was an ad for a comic by this kid who frequents the shop. 

A few days later I received an email from Shamus saying he’d heard from Glen I was interested in his work and thought he’d say hello.  We engaged in a back and fourth and I asked him if he’d draw a SCHMUCK story for me and he happily said yes.  The next day, I offhandedly mentioned my new collaborator to my then studio-mate cartoonist Nick Bertozzi, who promptly informed me Shamus was recently in his class at School of Visual Arts and was one of the most talented students he’d ever had.

Within weeks Shamus showed me rough layouts and he nailed it. I knew from his work that he’d get the action elements just right, but he really surprised me with how well he handled the subtle character moments.  He captured nuance and upped the awkward moments and tension, which are so important in this series.

Months went by, and Shamus booked gigs and worked on these in his spare time.  Every once in a while I’d wake up to a new page in my inbox.  With the benefit of time, I got to watch Shamus grow as an artist, which was a nice and interesting thing to witness.

I also really appreciate Shamus’s design for Adam Kessler, the character based upon me.  When I mentioned this to Shamus, he said, “For Adam, I decided to mix Woody Allan with Tintin.”  Perfect!

-Seth Kushner

Look for SCHMUCK Episode 6: The One tomorrow, Tuesday, October 16th at TRIP CITY, but meanwhile catch up with the previous episodes of SCHMUCK.

Shamus Beyale grew up in the Navajo Nation in New Mexico, where he fell in love with reading, movies, video games, comic books, and drawing. After graduating from high school and receiving a Gates Millennium Scholarship, he attended The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, NY to study cartooning and graduated with a BFA. He has helped out on art direction for the DC Universe Online video game, published works from Zenescope Entertainment and self-published MAN COP with Chris Bramante. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his fiance´ and plans to continue making strides in the comic book industry. He’s getting married this weekend!