Tuesday, October 26th, 2010
“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.