Shulman grew up in Champaign, Illinois, until the age of 15, when he was dropped off in a bleak patch of the Mojave Desert north of Los Angeles. In 1985, he graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in fine art and soon thereafter enrolled in the MFA program at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). After withdrawing from CalArts in 1987, Shulman held a variety of jobs, mostly in art galleries and the entertainment industry. Between 1992 and 1994 he performed standup comedy at clubs, hotels and cafés in Los Angeles and San Francisco. In 1993, Shulman joined L.A. Weekly as a proofreader and was soon writing regular features and editing special issues. He was also lead editorial designer in the Weekly’s art department between 1995 and 2003. Additionally, his writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Jose Metro, Cleveland Free Times, O.C. Weekly, Cincinnati CityBeat, AlterNet and elsewhere.
He continues to produce and exhibit visual art, as well.