Monday, November 16, 2020

Artist: Arthur Suydam

I guess I first spotted Suydam in Heavy Metal. But I can't be sure. It might have been one of his Aliens paintings from the 90s. I was a huge fan of both the movies but had zero interest in the comics so I ignored them.

When I saw Suydam's expressive, Frazetta-esque work I was stunned and fell in love. But like I tend to do with most of my artist crushes, I didn't dive too deep. I don't think I have ever read a comic by Arthur Suydam. I hope to rectify that by picking up the Cholly and Flytrap collection soon.

Speaking of... I did a little reading and found a couple of posts about these comics. This one was really interesting. Seems that Suydam's original run had a gay couple but in later reprints he inserted language to say the boy in the couple was actually a girl... so not gay? I'm not sure what's up with that. This article doesn't have any details about the whys, just the whats. Is Suydam a homophobe? That would be odd since he is the one who did the originals and only changed them much later. Maybe there was some other reason. I dunno.

Also... it seems Suydam later turned to doing basically Photoshop filtered art and ripping people off? And he is apparently an immense asshole to fans. Damn, dude. Check out the stunning portfolio work I'm picturing below. And then this bullshit right here? Never meet your heroes, they say. (Don't worry, I'm a blameless saint)

Anyhow... while digging through my storage building I found a collection of art portfolios that I had all but forgotten. One of them was Mysterious World by Suydam. It's a portfolio of 7 lovely black and white prints and it's gorgeous.

I also have this nice collection of Suydam art.


  1. Hmm...Maybe the character is being revised from effeminate gay boy to trans girl? The idea that you're a girl if you say you are wasn't widespread back then, and the new dialogue shown can easily be read in that context.

    That strikes me as more likely than a creator who took the risk of having a gay character back then suddenly going reactionary in the present day and revising that character to be heterosexual. Trans rights are a cause of the moment. Maybe Suydam looked at his old work and thought the character was really trans the whole time.

  2. Dang. Wish I hadn't clicked that link. :-/

  3. About never meeting your heroes. There are quite a few sci/fi writers who, over the decades as the internet has taken off, have shown themselves to be bloviating political hacks, holier than though dickfaces, etc...You don't even have to meet them face to face, people are blathering their stupidity all over the internet willy nilly.

    I made a conscious choice early on that except when it comes to freedom of expression, and paying the artist, I'll have no comment on whatever cause of the day is lighting up the socials.

    It's nuts how many people I've lost respect for as they delve into the muck of online virtue posturing. Yuck. Then when I read their stuff, it taints my enjoyment.

    I mean, seriously, let's go way back. If you knew all about the personal foibles of an E. Howard or H.P. Lovecraft wouldn't it mess with how you experienced their work?

    I try to tell all my writer friends this, but most of them are so sure they are right and virtuous, they'll spam it all over the socials their opinion of whatever dramarama of the day sparks their fancy. Not even considering that this shit is forever, and they'll be judged years from now on some rant typed out while on the toilet.

    Lol. Not exactly the same topic as a guy passing off other's work as his own, but kinda the same. I don't even research my fav authors or artists anymore. I won't even read the 'about the author' half the time.

    Haha. I'm sure I'll be judged by this post if I ever 'make it'. :-)

    1. I don't shy away from speaking my opinion about things. I'm 50 and not interested in walking on eggshells. I'm an outspoken proponent of free speech, progressive democracy, and the rights of people - especially marginalized people since they are the ones most likely to be oppressed.

      But yeah. I know what you mean. I think we do need to exercise caution in what we say online since it never goes away. I've said a lot of shit I'd probably have been better off not saying. I rarely look back on what I've done in the past and often when I do I cringe.