Posts from — January 2012
Arthur Suydam the Zombie King will be at the New Orleans Comiccon January 28-29
January 13, 2012 Comments Off
Fanboy video interviews Arthur ‘The Zombie King’ Suydam at the 2011 Wizard World Austin.
January 12, 2012 Comments Off
First and foremost, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Secondly, thank you for allowing me this opportunity – I am a huge fan! I first came across your work with the Marvel Zombies series and your subsequent work. I’ve always loved your application of the undead to artwork. The Wolverine/Hulk cover and the Fantastic Four covers were outstanding. Big fan!
Okay, now that I’m done embarrassing myself, here are our questions.
The Family is a New York family that goes all the way back to the 16 00’s when the Suydams came over and fought in the Indian Wars on the Hudson River to establish a trading post , which eventually became first , New Amsterdam, then later on, New York. I am told the family once owned much of what is Yonkers and Brooklyn and eventually spread out a bit locally. http://www.arthursuydam.com/about/legacy/
What is your artistic background?
Well, I discovered the drawings of Michael Angelo and Leonardo Da Vinci early on, and there was a quality in those works that really impressed and attracted me. I wanted that quality in my work. Following graduation I was offered scholarships anywhere in Jersey. However , I could not find a school that specialized in what I as interested in. So, though I was offered work at Warren Publishing ( Creepy , Eerie, Vampirella), I went right to work for their art director , Joe Orlando, over at DC comics and for Heavy Metal in the seventies and eighties. I struggled for years with my training on my own and am mostly self taught in most areas . Then in nineties I discovered the school I was looking for a few blocks form my apartment in the East Village ( NYC), The New York Academy of Figurative Art . The NYAFA specialized in professing the lessons of the great Renaissance masters in an atelier setting. There I met an instructor named Randy Mellick . I shared with him my artistic goals. He recommended that I follow in the path of Michelangelo and study sculpture rather than drawing or painting , which is what I did. I worked on my drawing and painting from my Uncles old Norman Rockwell workbooks and unofficially from my mentor Frank Frazetta. I still spend a fair deal of time with my continued studies and presently , I am working on my portraiture and beginning landscape studies .
I consider myself a lifelong student.
What got you started in zombies and art?
I guess that would be a love of the Horror subject matter and of anatomy. I spent a fair deal of time working with cadavers at the Hunter medical University with my anatomical studies. I still draw anatomy for further study and for relaxation.
How did Marvel approach you about Marvel Zombies?
In a way the concept kind of came from the fans. I had just done some spooky covers for Marvel and one of the true great talent and managers up there up, Chris Allo worked with editor John Barber , two of the great minds behind Marvel Zombies. They put me together with Kirkman to work on the series.
What was your overall experience zombiefing some of history’s great heroes?
Those were all my favorite Marvel covers. I owned all those books, that is until my girlfriends little brother stole them out of the attic and sold them for drug money. It was a real pleasure to reinvent and straighten out those drawings in a more sophisticated realistic painted style .
Why do you feel that zombies literally refuse to die and are popular in movies, books, etc everyday?
I believe because Zombies have always been with us, in religion and elsewhere, something that in a way makes them kind of safe to dabble with. When you think about it, there are some who would say that Jesus was a zombie. The fact that they move so slow makes them less of a threat and more fun – the fact that they can be reincarnated family or friends can provide irony and familiarity .
What’s your approach when beginning to apply horror to a movie poster or comic cover?
My personal contributions I believe, are introducing painted comic works to the comic field and creating a new form of pop art, recreating iconic visuals in a zombie universe. I just expanded what I was already doing with the Marvel Zombies old covers, applying the same concept to some of my favorite films and historical paintings and other POP CULTURE iconic visuals. No one is safe, ( laughs).
What are your current project?
I am usually working on about 3 or four projects at a time. Right now I am working on Two of my own Zombies series that I am writing and doing the interiors as well painted work, something I started long ago and have been working on for about 10 years . Also I just finished a cover for a film noir book and am working on a large ERB style trilogy project for a company out of Texas and a few other things.
What is your most favorite zombified painting so far?
I don’t know that I have any one favorite. I am very fond of some of the pop icon zombie reinventions I ve done, the Clint, Baby Nirvana, Lady M and Zombie Deep covers. They feel like old friends and special to me.
Are you a horror fan? If so, what’s your favorite zombie movie?
I am a huge old school horror fan. By that I mean horror with monsters, rather than the slice-em -n’ -dice movies which I have no taste for at all. I don’t find human cruelty entertaining. However I do love it when a zombie gets his just deserts, as in The Walking Dead TV series. I rate zombie movies in two categories – comedy, like the Return of the Dead by Dan O’bannon, which is my favorite funny horror movies. And The Walking Dead, which is my favorite serious zombie flick. I regard the series as a movie, because of its sophisticated direction, production, writing and solid casting.
I was planning on putting the TV set out on the curb in the trash and not watching any TV , that is until Walking Dead came along. The only thing I watch on TV now is The Walking Dead and the UFC fights. No time to waste on corporate propaganda and the rest of the fodder n” filler. Too much to work to do. Too much study to get done .
Thank you Arthur!
January 12, 2012 Comments Off