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Look There, and Here: A whole lotta Chaykin goin’ on…

Since August 2008, Joe Bloke over at the “Grantbridge Street” blog has posted a dozen stories with art by Howard Chaykin:


UPDATE (28 November 2014):

Earlier today, I noticed that all of the stories with art by Chaykin that were posted at “Grantbridge Steet” have been deleted, but I see now that all but three of the old stories — the first three in my list below — have since been re-posted on Joe Bloke’s BIFF! blog, along with three new ones. Therefore, in order to preserve the utility of this post, I have taken the time this afternoon to update the links below to reflect the new locations of the old stories and have added links to the three new stories.


  • “The Mark of Kane” (part 1 of 2) by Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin, from Marvel Premiere #33
  • “The Mark of Kane: Fangs of the Gorilla God” (part 2 of 2) by Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin, from Marvel Premiere #34
  • “Red Sonja: Day of the Red Judgment” by Roy Thomas, Christy Marx, and Howard Chaykin, from Marvel Comics Super Special #9
  • Return to the Stars” by Wyatt Gwyon and Howard Chaykin, from DC’s Time Warp #2
  • Judgement Day” by Archie Goodwin and Howard Chaykin, from Detective Comics #441
  • The Grubbers” by Roger McKenzie and Howard Chaykin, from Weird War Tales #62
  • The Death’s Gemini Commission” by Howard Chaykin, from The Scorpion #1
  • Mind War” by Roger McKenzie and Howard Chaykin, from Weird War Tales #61
  • Gideon Faust, Warlock at Large” by Howard Chaykin, from Star*Reach Classics #5
  • Cody Starbuck” by Howard Chaykin, from Star*Reach #1
  • Horrors!” by Howard Chaykin, from Solo #4
  • Gideon Faust, Warlock at Large: Lotus” by Len Wein and Howard Chaykin, from Heavy Metal, vol. 2, #12
  • Starbuck” (1976) by Howard Chaykin, from Star*Reach #4
  • The Demon from Beyond!” by Gardner Fox and Howard Chaykin, from Chamber of Chills #4
  • The Fire Bug” by Paul Kupperberg and Howard Chaykin, from Weird War Tales #76
  • Rattle of Bones” by Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin, from Savage Sword of Conan #18

BONUS STORY:

“Seven Moons’ Light Casts Complex Shadows” by Samuel R. Delany and Howard Chaykin, from Epic Illustrated #2 (June 1980):

I remember thinking when I first read “Seven Moons’ Light Casts Complex Shadows” back in 1980, when I was still in high school: “Samuel Delany is my favourite writer, and Howard Chaykin is one of my favourite artists, so why is their work together merely okay, I mean, why is it not great?” Though I didn’t know it at the time, the answer, in the case of Chaykin and Delany’s 1978 “visual novel,” Empire, was, essentially, editorial interference from the project’s “producer” Byron Preiss (see “Appendix” below); with “Seven Moons’ Light,” however, I just don’t know…

Six issues later, in October 1981, a painting by Howard Chaykin was featured on the cover of Epic Illustrated #8. Now that was killer!


RELATED LINKS HERE AT RCN:


APPENDIX:

“To develop a visual novel, we wanted a design system, a framework in which the entire story could be told. I developed a horizontal/vertical axis spread design which could be consistently varied over every two pages of the book.” — Byron Preiss, from his “Foreword” to Empire: A Visual Novel

Was Preiss’s “design system,” which not only placed arbitrary formal constraints on the layout of the pages but also incorporated an unusual format for the captions and dialogue, really the ideal framework for a long-form comic, or was it a procrustean bed? As much as I admire Chaykin’s work in Empire, I would argue that the storytelling — especially the visual storytelling — was often hamstrung by Preiss’s system, which, among other things, made it more difficult than it needed to be for Chaykin and Delany to control the focus, rhythm, and pace of the action.

“When I did Empire with Howard Chaykin, which was 1980 or 1982, Byron Preiss was the packager, and that was a strangely ill-fated project. After we did it, I was very happy with what we did, and Byron was very unhappy with the ending, and just took it upon himself to completely rewrite it, and cut up the art, so that there’s no way to put it back in its original shape. It just doesn’t exist any more, and he’s dead now of course. So nobody will ever see the way it was originally supposed to end. I’ve written about it in at least one interview. I think it’s [in] my book Silent Interviews.” — Samuel R. Delany, in answer to a question from a fan

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