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Comic Legend Arthur Suydam’s Moment

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

By themoment

“I was in the hospital for a year, wrapped up like a mummy from head to toe. They thought I was going to die.”

Arthur Suydam, an iconic comic and sci-fi artist for Marvel Comics, National Lampoon, Heavy Metal and most everywhere else interesting, edgy art is found, writes about the moment he began to draw. His illustration below tells that story as well.

When I was five years old, a group of kids and I were outside playing and got a hold of some fireworks that didn’t go off. We’d seen a lot of cartoons where you tie a string to the dynamite, and the coyote is running with the dynamite in his pocket and it blows up. So we took some string and we tied it to one of the firecrackers that didn’t go off, and then we got some matches, and then we tried to light the firecracker with the matches. A wind came by and blew the string against my clothes. My clothes caught on fire. I was burned on more than 50 percent of my body.

I was in the hospital for a year, wrapped up like a mummy from head to toe. They thought I was going to die. I had to learn to walk again a year later. From that moment on, I have always felt like I lost a year out of my life. I grew up with kids who were one year younger than me. So I tried to make up for that lost year physically and mentally. I developed a competitive nature.

When I was in the hospital that year, my parents brought me comic books. When I was released, I started drawing characters from the comic books. Lo and behold, fifteen years later, I was young adult—and on my way to becoming a professional comic artist.

2 responses

  1. Janet Kay Gallagher says:

    Arthur Suydam
    Glad your competitave nature kicked in. Looks like you are doing fine.
    I didn’t try to pick out symbolysm or anything in your picture above, just like the artwork. The child faces and background are lovely.

  2. Sally Franz says:

    Amazing how life-terrors become life-givers. I was struck down by Transverse Myelitis (like MS) a while back and also had to learn to walk again. I will have pain everyday the rest of my life. So I did what I knew how to do…I wrote a humor book about it (”Scrambled Leggs” Amazon/Kindle).

    Bottomline May I commend these three graces, may they will do you well: Faith (to believe in the impossible), Curisoity (to see what’s next) and Sarcasm (to deal with the weenies).

    I am not sure if true greatness comes without trauma, it seems to go hand in hand, but I am still willing to have more greatness and creative break-throughs as a test WITHOUT the hospital part. How about you?

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