ZOMBIE KING, ARTHUR SUYDAM
Award winning creator and Marvel artist Arthur Suydam’s meteoric rise to superstardom for his work for the smash hit series Marvel Zombies broke graphic novel records, immediately placing the artist in the category of comic legend.
Arthur Suydam was recently honoured with: the Spike TV Scream Award (best writer, best artist, best comic of the year) Suydam’s short story Christmas Carol was chosen for inclusion in The Mammoth Book of Horror and Legends for best comic horror stories of all time and The Art of Painted Comics (2008). Recently honoured with inclusion in Spectrum 14: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, Suydam was also honoured with the prestigious Gold Award in Spectrum 12, in 2006, the San Sebastian Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and numerous fan-site favorite awards across the globe.
Suydam’s popular covers have graced the covers of Deadpool , Marvel Zombies, Dead Days, Marvel Zombies #2, Marvel Zombies#3, , Wolverine, Fantastic Four, The Incredible Herc, X-men, Ghost Rider, Thor, Spider Girl, Black Panther, Oz Chronicles and more. In 2008 Marvel released an exclusive hard cover tribute to the works of this unique artist entitled Marvel Zombies, The Covers dedicated to Suydam’s ground breaking work.
As a world class musician Suydam has composed and performed numerous film soundtracts . A list of Suydam’s band members reads like a whos-who list of Rock’s legends including musicians from Bob Dylan, Paul Mc Cartney’s wings, Steely Dan, Paul Simon group, Aretha Franklin, The Stones, Billy Joel and many more . Suydam’s current group The Gotham Playboys recorded 3 albums and won the Grammy for The Sessions with Bruce Springsteen.
1.You’re a talented musician and writer as well as an artist. Do you find the Arts war inside you? How do you satisfy each of their thirsts?
The wars inside and everywhere else seem to relate to there just not being enough time. For me personally, working to master a skill required to be able to competently express oneself in a given art form is a life long pursuit . One that begins when once committed, and ends with the grave.
The best I can do is to chip away at each of them as best I can. Slowly over the decades, to get in as much wood-shedding and on the job experience and practice possible. When inevitably we come face to face with our own short comings and with the competition; set targets, make plans. Shoot high. Start swimming. Doggie paddle until one learns how to swim.
2. What has been your defining moment as a creative person?
I believe that would have to be the brush with death I experienced when I caught fire as a five year old. The doctor told my parents I was not expected to survive. I spent a year in the hospital and decades working to recover. Being set back physically, having to play catch up with the other kids who were my own age but after I lost that year, were bigger stronger faster and one grade ahead of me in school.
3. It’s said that “your work helped revolutionize the industry and began the comic art renaissance of the 1980’s, opening doors for mainstream writers and artists to create literature for a more mature readership.” What is your reaction to this statement?
I believe what they may be referring to is that some professionals credit me with introducing painted graphic story telling to the comic medium. I believe it was around 1972 when I showed up at DC Comics with oil painted comic story boards for publication. That and the actual short stories I wrote for comics back then were among the first non-underground “graphic novel” style stories, as they are called today, published in mainstream comics. Those stories were written for a sophisticated audience rather than the standard seven-to- ten year olds that the main-stream comic publishers were producing for at the time.
4. Do you envisage “New Media” impacting the way you express yourself?
Too soon to tell. I believe my natural “forte” artistically speaking is writing and visually designing animated movies, like those produced by Pixar Studios.
Musically, I believe my calling is as a song writer and vocalist, two areas that seem to get the least amount of time, unfortunately, due to practical demands (rent).
5. What would you like to be doing in ten years time?
The above two items. That, and having the time to study the vast body of study materials I have been collecting over the years for my own personal development.
**Watch an interview with Arthur Suydam recorded at Long Beach Comic Con.