July 18, 2016
[comics] Looking Back at Marvel’s Wonderfully Weird Comic Adaptation of the First Star Wars Movie … It’s always worth sharing Howard Chaykin’s view on his work in this comic. ‘It’s the first issue—of the six that would adapt the film eventually known as A New Hope—that is the most “alien” in comparison to the movie. Covering from the opening crawl to Luke being ambushed by the Tusken Raiders, it’s clear that Thomas and Chaykin had limited access to the film beyond the shooting script (and presumably, publicity stills). Not only are scenes that didn’t make it into the final movie included, such as Luke’s encounter with Biggs Darklighter on Tatooine, everything looks slightly off, if still recognizable with the hindsight of seeing the movie. The Star Destroyer from the opening is bizarrely curved, while C-3PO’s body angular and sharp. The X-Wings on the cover are right out of Ralph McQuarrie’s concept art rather than the final design. Darth Vader’s visage is almost skeletal compared to its movie counterpart, and… well, take a look at Chaykin’s surprisingly mature Luke…’
March 28, 2016
[comics] Howard Chaykin Speaks … Chaykin, like Alan Moore, is unable to give a bad interview … ‘I’m on record everywhere regarding this – I’d like to think that had I known it was going to be that big a deal, I would have done a better job. That work will haunt me to my grave, diminishing the value of the actually good and true work I’ve produced in the past forty odd years. I figure my NYT obit will read HOWARD CHAYKIN DIES; FUCKED UP STAR WARS COMICS – AND REALLY NOW, WHO GIVES A SHIT ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE HE DID, RIGHT?’
March 24, 2016
[comics] A Gallery with some of Howard Chaykin’s black and white art

Panels from Howard Chaykin's Shadow

August 10, 2012
[comics] Against Pussiness: An Interview with Howard Chaykin … A fascinating (and indiscreet) interview with Howard Chaykin … ‘I have a very strange reputation, because in the fans, I’m regarded as an obnoxious asshole, and yet – [raised eyebrows] oh no, they say it, trust me. Believe me, I have no illusions or confusions about who I am – while, in the context of the profession, I’m regarded as a go-to guy that can be depended on all the time, and it’s a very different relationship. And I’m more interested in being well-received by my colleagues and my employers – my clients – than I am that I give a shit about the fans. I mean, I was a fan. I have a picture of myself at 17. I weighed 265 pounds, and I was that kid. I was those guys. But I’ve learned a certain distance. I said once that for comic-book readers, it’s every Wednesday at the book store, for me it’s every morning on my desk. And that makes a difference in the relationship. But I love the process, enormously. I’m very… I am so grateful.’
June 12, 2012
[comics] Comics I Read In Series Form In The 1980s: American Flagg! … Tom Spurgeon On American Flagg … ‘That first 26-issue run felt like it spanned the entire decade. In actuality, issue #26 appeared a mere 25 months after the debut. Sometimes I wonder if the difficulty in repackaging American Flagg! for other formats comes down to something spiritual. The serial comic book edition was pretty close to perfect in its way: a regular visit to a giddy clash of satire, comedy, adventure-comic beats and general rudeness delivered with aplomb by an artist working at the far edge of his talent while being supported by able, compelling craftsmen. Reading American Flagg! as comics felt like getting a broadcast from someplace else and watching it on a broken, filthy, slapped-together computer screen.’
January 25, 2012
[comics] Chaykin’s Shadow is back… ‘The Howard Chaykin issues were great, the Andy Helfer, Bill Sienkiewicz and Kyle Baker issues were magnificent. And to be honest, I’d rather given up hope of ever seeing them again.But maybe not – because after securing the rights to The Shadow in 2011, Dynamite Entertainment has finally announced they’ll be reprinting the Howard Chaykin 4 issue Shadow: Blood & Judgment series from 1986…’
September 25, 2011
[comics] Snowball 99 … a tumblr dedicated to Howard Chaykin …

Raiders Of The Lost Ark Comic Cover

September 19, 2011
[comics] Brannon Costello Interviewed By Tom Spurgeon … interesting interview discussing Howard Chaykin – Costello has just compiled a book of interviews with Chaykin‘I’d also argue that Chaykin was the most successful of the design-oriented mainstream artists up until the mid-1980s to use design not just for dramatic effect but also to develop a set of themes or even an ideological worldview. And I think the fact that Chaykin continues to work steadily in the mainstream, using pop comics as a vehicle to explore new angles on his recurring themes and obsessions in his own voice and with a great deal of craft, is remarkable. He’s not the only creator of his era still doing that sort of work, but he’s one of a few, and certainly one of the most prolific.’
May 10, 2011
[comics] Howard Chaykin, Time and Time Again … Douglas Wolk On Howard Chaykin‘Chaykin’s ’80s comics are the work of an artist pushing himself savagely hard–especially Time2, an ambitious, densely packed 1986-1987 project that encompassed a one-shot comic book and a pair of slim graphic novels before vanishing.’
August 6, 2009
[comics] Thoughts on the Forthcoming Howard Chaykin Blackhawk Collection … a look at one of Chaykin’s less well known comics from the 1980s … ‘This is a quintessentially Chaykin image. Why? Well, just gaze into Blackhawk’s eyes, and you’ll see the horrible truth: that Blackhawk totally seduced and bedded that swastika before shooting it to death and setting it on fire.’
May 28, 2009
[comics] All American hero … Howard Chaykin Interview … Chaykin on American Flagg and the 1980’s: ‘The US was in a trough of political conservatism with Reagan, who was a fraud, thief, liar and a cheat. I also wanted to do a fun, violent, sexy, dirty story with a strong political underpinning and a streak of hysterical humour. I was laughing at the edge of the precipice. I was such a nihilist back then.’
August 7, 2008
[comics] Spotlight on Howard Chaykin … some interesting points from a panel with Chaykin at the San Diego Comic-con … [via Beaucoupkevin]

At one point in the panel, just to clarify (or maybe rationalize) his language, Chaykin said, ‘anybody under 18 who would actually be interested in sitting and listening to me is obviously on drugs.’

When asked about illustrating the Star Wars comic adaptation: ‘If I’d known the movie was going to be so successful, I would have done a better job.’

Chaykin said he is at work on a ten-issue prequel to ‘Black Kiss’ for Dynamite Entertainment. ‘Each issue will be a decade of the 20th Century, with the filth appropriate to that decade.’

December 12, 2006
[comics] Howard’s End? — Journalista takes a look at Howard Chaykin’s career … ‘Armed with a drawing style that owed more to J.C. Leyendecker than Jack Kirby, a storytelling sensibility closer to Raymond Chandler than Chris Claremont, and design chops seemingly on loan from God, Chaykin produced work during the 1980s that in many ways still has yet to be equalled by anyone creating adventure comics to this day. American Flagg!, Time2, Blackhawk, The Shadow: these were graphically challenging works of surprising and lasting storytelling sophistication, capable of entertaining thinking adults like few other works being produced outside the still-embryonic art-comics scene at the time. An implied blowjob scene from Blackhawk, not actually depicted but suggested through clever use of juxtaposition and framing, shocked DC Comics’ readership but signalled that Chaykin was an artist capable of anything…’
May 17, 2004
[comics] Chaykin On New Flagg For American Flagg Collection — interview with Howard Chaykin on the new reprint of American Flagg … ‘Though it’s been discussed before, it still should be touched on again — though few realized it in the early ’80s, reading American Flagg! was the comic book equivalent of reading H.G. Wells or Jules Verne in the 19th century. With a helluva lot more sex and violence, though. Case in point – commonplace elements in Flagg!: reality television, CGI actors (synthesbians), the collapse of the USSR with resultant Islamic militant groups controlling large portions of the former country, mass epidemics, German reunification, radical militant groups using children as soldiers, and the fractionalization of America into more and more factions.’
January 15, 2004
[comics] Jim Lee interviews Howard Chaykin‘Writing episodic TV is a constant series of negotiations between the writing staff and the line producer’s crew. When I’m doing comics, the old cliché is true – I’m the whole show-writing, acting, directing-and it’s a perfect place for a control freak like me.’
November 11, 2003
[comics] Howard Chaykin on American Flagg: ‘Twenty years ago I did a comic book about a twenty-first century America with endless reality shows based on public humiliation; a federal government secretly selling off pieces of the United States; and a citizenry so drugged out on media they colluded in their own betrayal. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.’
August 29, 2003
[comics] The Influence of the Flagg! — Stuart Moore on Howard Chaykin’s American Flagg! …

‘[Flagg!] succeeded because it was worth the work. The complex subplots involving Brazil, Chicago, and Mars built to a series of meaningful major storylines, which drove home the moral points of the series. The characters were interesting, layered, and mostly likable, even if they were hard to keep straight sometimes. And the whole series added up to a complex commentary on patriotism, greed, and the flawed nature of heroic human beings, all of which became clearer the more you read (and reread). The first year, in particular, still functions as a terrific novel when read in one gulp — all the plot threads build to a harsh, violent climax.’

August 14, 2003
[comics] Howard Chaykin Audio Interview — from 1988. Chaykin is interviewed by Kim Thompson … ‘What follows is a freewheeling, no-holds-barred conversation about Chaykin’s recent and forthcoming works, what went wrong with Flagg! after he left the series, the “creator’s revolt” following DC Comics’ attempt to impose a new ratings system on its comics, work-for-hire versus creator ownership, and the realities of the comics industry at the close of the 1980s. It’s an entertaining and illuminating discussion…’
February 10, 2003
[comics] Chaykin’s Mighty Love — Newsarama interview with Howard Chaykin … On his new comic: ‘The germ of this came from my wife — who asked me why there weren’t anymore love comics. I explained that all comics are love comics, because they’re all soap opera. That wasn’t what she wanted to hear, so she pushed and badgered me, and ultimately what emerged was the title, Mighty Love — the idea of doing a screwball romantic comedy with people wearing masks. The natural source of that would be The Shop Around the Corner, You’ve Got Mail, and all those stories of mistaken identities.’