Remember the good ol' days when all you had to worry about was others stealing your artwork in Artist Alley? #Suydamized
— James Silvani (@SilvaniArt) July 4, 2015
We ran a response by famed-zombie artist Arthur Suydam's manager to controversy surrounding his appearance at the Montreal Comiccon this weekend, last night, it which it's alleged he simply stole other creators booked tables that were next to his because he wanted more space. It's had a little rewording since, so it was probably worth running again.
Hi Folks— In response to the posts about the Montreal Comic Con this weekend and the table placement for artists at the show: As the booking agent for a group of artists at the convention: When we arrived for set up on Thursday, there was a snafu with the table setups for all the artists. In order to correct the problem, everyone had to be moved. The Montreal Comic Con, much to their credit, stepped in and found solutions for all the table placements, so that all artists had their agreed upon table amounts! (The first table relocation though for one of the guys wouldn't work because of the size configuration— which was my fault for thinking it would work— but the show found another solution after that. Even so, that creator had to move twice… As said, a big logistical problem, that took many hours to sort.) No changes were made though without the shows knowledge and no artist made any arbitrary changes on their own. Any artist there for set up was informed of the changes, and I"m sure others, who weren't there for set up, were told as soon as they could be told. In the end, none of us were where we were originally supposed to be on the map. But it appears that all the fans found us anyway and everyone has had a great time at the event. I can't fault the show in any way. They've been wonderful. So, thanks to the Montreal Comic Con for their support and willingness to fix any situations that did arise. And thanks to the fans that come to see everyone at the show. Best, Renee Witterstaetter
But this hasn't slowed things down. Indeed, for some, it has exacerbated things.
One of the de-tabled creators, Rachel Richey who we had previously spoken to, tweeted her own response to the escalating situation.
As of about an hour ago I was actually starting to feel a little bad for Arthur until he came over with his agent and had her "speak" to Francis Manapul and (earlier) Dan Parent about the miscommunication. He would have had to go past my table to get back to his, but he disappeared. Apparently I, for reasons I can probably guess right, don't deserve the non apology that Francis and Dan got. What makes me even more angry is that he had his agent blame the organizers who are honestly the kindest people ever. I'm actually amazed that he's managed to show how crappy he is. I was more than willing to look past it but honestly, his response is exhausting and disappointing. There was no miscommunication, he bullied the convention, took what he wanted, lied about it, hid behind his agent and tried to pass the blame. At least I can say I stood up for myself and hopefully changed the outcome of future shows.
But Nat Jones, artist on zombie comic '68 had his own tale to share from a previous show.
Sources close to Suydam tell Bleeding Cool that Calgary Expo told Suydam which tables to take and that Nat, a rather imposing figure, then ended up destroying some of Arthur's set-up when pulling it down. They also state that any rare changes in any table placement at trade shows are always authorized by said conventions–usually in order to correct layout problems and that if it was perceived otherwise, that perception is erroneous. Furthermore, they insist that Arthur is a big draw at conventions and a popular artist with his fans. So as to those allegations that promo photos have been doctored to add more people to his lines to bulk them out, they state that "no photos have been doctored in any way, as can be attested to by anyone that has seen Arthur at any show. To suggest otherwise is rather laughable." I would concur that I have seen those sort of lines at shows that Suydam attends. But damn, those photos look freaky.
I remember the day I was downgraded from 8 tables to 7 tables… The darkest hour of my career for sure… — FrancescoFrancavilla (@f_francavilla) July 3, 2015
As ever, it appears that greater communication from all involved parties, Arthur Suydam, his representatives, shows and other creators would be a good thing. Even if that communication is simply "are you sure everyone is okay if I take these four tables?"
Though as a result of this, some may not get the chance…
@canrugger never had him never will.
— Stan Lee's Comikaze (@StanLeeComikaze) July 4, 2015
Busy contacting every show I'm doing the rest of this year to warn them that if Sudyam pulls this shit there, I'll make it LOUD and UGLY.
— Mark Waid (@MarkWaid) July 3, 2015
And since everyone seems to be piling on, I notice that this has been brought up again by some…