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'My career is over,' says Indonesian comic artist Ardian Syaf

Ni Nyoman Wira
Ni Nyoman Wira

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Tue, April 11, 2017 | 07:34 pm
'My career is over,' says Indonesian comic artist Ardian Syaf

A drawing of X-Men Gold #1 by Ardian Syaf, Jay Leisten and Frank Martin. (facebook.com/ArdianSyafComicArt/File)

Following Marvel’s official statement that it would take “disciplinary action” against Ardian Syaf regarding the controversial X-Men Gold #1 comic, the Indonesian comic artist has announced the end of his career on his Facebook account.

“Hello, worlds… My career is over now. It’s the consequence [of] what I did, and I take it. Please no more mockery, debat, no more hate. I hope all [can live] in peace," he posted.

“In this last chance, I want to tell you the true meaning of the numbers 212 and Q 5:51. It is number of justice. It is number of love. My love to Holy Qur'an ... my love to the last prophet, the Messenger ... my love to Allah, the One God.

My apologize for all the noise. Goodbye, May God bless you all. I love all of you.”

Ardian Syaf's now deleted Facebook post.(facebook.com/ardian.syaf/File)

The post was quickly commented on by netizens; many seemed pleased with the news while others voiced support for the artist, saying that his career was not over.

A number of fellow professional comic artists shared their opinions on the matter. Indonesian artist and author Aji Prasetyo, for instance, shared on Facebook, “I’m a comic who draws and writes the storylines for my comics, while Ardian Syaf draws comic that are mostly based on his client’s script. His decision to add symbols that pointed out the Al Maidah issue and 212 rally is certainly against the American comic company’s ideology.”

Read also: Indonesian 'X-Men Gold' comic writer inserts anti-Ahok references in comic book, ignites controversy

Aji also mentioned the consequences of Ardian’s move, especially on other Indonesian comic artists who work for international companies. He also advised Ardian to become an independent comic artist. “I’m not bound by agreements with any corporation. And I’m not a comic artist, I’m an author. My work is the result of my own drawing and script. I’m responsible for all my work’s content without interference from other people.”

Ms. Marvel’s writer G. Willow Wilson also posted an opinion on her blog, which provides an explanation of  QS 5:51. “This is all to say that Ardian Syaf can keep his garbage philosophy. He has committed career suicide; he will rapidly become irrelevant,” she wrote at the end of her post. “But his nonsense will continue to affect the scant handful of Muslims who have managed to carve out careers in comics.”

Ardian previously also drew President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama in a panel of a Batgirl comic. He told tempo.co that he admired Jokowi when he was a candidate for Jakarta governor, adding that his drawing back then was a show of support. Ardian also claimed that DC Comics did not realize what he had done.

Ardian's international career began when he received an exclusive contract from DC Comics in 2009. The son of a children's literature author in the 1980s, Tamsir AS, said he had been mostly influenced by Western comics, including Lucky Luke, Tintin and Donald Duck. (kes)

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