Written by Robert Greenberger, The Art of Howard Chaykin will include a foreword by Brian Michael Bendis and an afterword by Walter Simonson. The product description at Amazon reads as follows:
Legendary for what he has done on the page and infamous for what he has said off it, Howard Chaykin ranks among the superstars of modern comics. In The Art of Howard Chaykin, go behind the scenes with the creator whose pioneering works include American Flagg! and Black Kiss, and experience the stories of his life as only he can tell them. Filled with no-holds-barred perspective from his longtime friends and colleagues, and featuring an extensive selection of artwork from throughout his career, including many never-before-published pieces from Chaykin’s own archives, The Art of Howard Chaykin takes readers on an in-depth journey from the 1970s to today with one of the medium’s great storytellers.
Although we won’t know until The Art of Howard Chaykin is published what work will be reprinted, here’s a gallery of the kind of work that MIGHT appear:
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Actually, Howard Chaykin’s work has been in the spotlight a few times here at RCN. You can click here, for instance, to access a list of links to stories with art by Howard Chaykin and to read the story “Seven Moons’ Light Casts Complex Shadows” by Samuel R. Delany and Howard Chaykin, from Epic Illustrated #2 (June 1980). You can also click here to read “Gideon Faust” by Wein and Chaykin, from Star*Reach #5.
Keywords:The Art of Howard Chaykin, Weird Worlds Presents Iron-Wolf, The Scorpion, The Swords of Heaven, the Flowers of Hell, The Stars My Destination, Cody Starbuck, The Tomb of Dracula, American Flagg, Black Kiss.
Notice how Frazetta hasn’t bothered to construct any kind of a harness for the Silver Warrior’s polar bear sleigh team and how Chaykin’s attempt to supply Urlik Skarsol’s polar bear team with a semi-plausible harness — with collars that look as though they might be made out of big, black inner tubes recycled from old truck tires — actually diminishes rather than enhances Frazetta’s gloriously silly original concept by drawing undue attention to the mundane question of how, exactly, the fantasy hero’s cool mode of transportation could be made to work in the real world and whether Chaykin’s design is, in fact, a viable solution.
Back on 27 March 2010 over at “Grantbridge Street and Other Adventures,” blogger Joe Bloke posted the story “Gideon Faust: Warlock at Large” by Len Wein and Howard Chaykin, as it was reprinted, in colour, in Star*Reach Classics #5. Today here at RCN, however, we’ve got the story as it originally appeared, in beautiful black-and-white, in Star*Reach #5 (3rd printing, June 1978 [1st printing, July 1976]); and here, also, is Chaykin’s original colour cover:
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The inking style here is pretty much the same as the style Chaykin used in the first issue (March 1977) of Marvel’s Star Wars series — and from where I sit, over thirty years later, it still looks fresh!
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
“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
“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!
“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