By Seth Kushner
Christa Cassano is a Brooklyn-based artist and illustrator who recently came into comics by way of a residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Christa is a member of Hang Dai studios in Gowanus, Brooklyn and the comics collective Studio Yolo. Look for her comic “Lonesome Vibrato” in the forthcoming anthology, NOBODIES Vol.3. swinginmeatcomics.blog.com
“SCHMUCK has a heart underneath its gritty crude input from main character Adam Kessler’s friends, a belief that love will find you in the end.”– Hannah Means Shannon, The Beat
“While SCHMUCK is packed with humorous anecdotes I feel that the relate-ability of this book is the most powerful aspect of it.” – Justin Fah, Spandexless
“…Brutal and honest.” – Brett Schenker, Graphic Policy
Whenever Seth Kushner did anything foolish growing up, his mother would call him a “Schmuck,” that beloved Yiddish term of not-so-endearment. So, of course, it’s the title of his new comix semi-autobio on TRIP CITY, an online multimedia arts salon. Renowned for his books The Brooklynites (with Anthony LaSala) and Leaping Tall Buildings: The Origins of American Comics (With Christopher Irving) and the webseries CulturePOP Photocomix, photographer and author Seth Kushner now throws his hat into the comics arena. SCHMUCK chronicles the period after his being dumped by a girlfriend, and the ensuing cascade of blind dates, Internet hook-ups, and comically tragic situations he endured with the hopes of finding “true love.”
SCHMUCK sheds a brutally honest light on 20-something relationships. Adam Kessler, our “hero,” is based on Kushner, ten years ago – a pop-culture-obsessed photographer torn between pleasing Mom by finding a “nice Jewish girl,” and figuring out what he really wants. His internal monologue is filled with the standard inane, perverted and self-deprecating thoughts we all have but are ashamed to admit. Meanwhile, his shit-talking, sex-obsessed Brooklyn boys stand by with their own, often wacky, advice.
Chapter One “Beer, Babes and Bowel Movements,” illustrated by Kevin Colden, (with “Photocomix” by Seth) debuted on Monday, January 9 2012. From there, a new chapters have appeared regularly on TripCity.net, alternating with the release of prose pieces titled, “THE SCHMUCK DIARIES,” which act as supplements to the comics.
SCHMUCK is an anthology series with different artists illustrating short “schmucky stories,” which can be read individually, or together to tell the complete narrative. SCHMUCK artists include; Sean Pryor (Pekar Project), Bobby Timony (Night Owls), Shamus Beyale (The Grimm Fairy Tales), Ryan Alexander-Tanner (To Teach), George Schall, (Dark Horse Presents) Nathan Schreiber (Power-Out), Leland Purvis (Resistance), Stephen DeStefano (‘MAZING MAN) Noah Van Sciver (The Hypo), Dan Goldman (Red Light Properties) Christa Cassano, Jonathan Allen, Omar Angulo and more TBA.
What to expect: heartbreak, diarrhea, painful STD removal, rejection, Kung-Fu, Natalie Portman, vomit, boobs, self-loathing, unkempt genital regions, sex with an ex, drunkenness, sexual dysfunction, depression, misogyny, and somehow, hope.
Influences on SCHMUCK include; Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor, Alex Robinson’s Box Office Poison, Bob Fingerman’s Beg The Question/Minimum Wage, Dean Haspiel’s Street Code, Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint, Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, works by Nick Hornby, Jonathan Ames, Woody Allen, Adrian Tomine, Jeffrey Brown, Chester Brown and Joe Matt.
Read past installments of SCHMUCK