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Chaykin, Howard V

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Artist, Author, Comics.

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(1950-    ) US author/illustrator, mainly of Comics. Chaykin's first professional work was the 1973 art for Marvel Comics's War of the Worlds (a sequel to H G Wells's novel!) and DC Comics's Sword of Sorcery (which featured Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser). Much of his work has been sf. He was writer/artist on Cody Starbuck and Iron Wolf before drawing the bestselling adaptation of Star Wars (1977) for Marvel in 1976. Chaykin teamed up with Samuel R Delany to produce the Graphic Novel Empire (graph 1978), and the following year he worked with Michael Moorcock on The Swords of Heaven, the Flowers of Hell (graph 1979), a story in Moorcock's Eternal Champion series. The first volume of his graphic-novel version (adaptation by Byron Preiss) of Alfred Bester's Tiger! Tiger! (October 1956-January 1957 Galaxy as "The Stars My Destination"; 1956; vt The Stars My Destination 1957; rev 1996) appeared as The Stars My Destination Vol 1 (graph 1979); the second volume, though advertised, was not in fact published until it appeared, with the contents of the first, in The Stars My Destination (graph 1992). After working on Marvel's Micronauts, Chaykin painted a number of covers for sf and fantasy paperbacks, returning to comics in 1983 as writer/artist for First Comics's American Flagg! – perhaps his major work – and later on Time2. He revitalized the comics incarnation of The Shadow for DC (some critics, such as Harlan Ellison, disapproving of his innovations) in 1986, and Blackhawk in 1988. After the pornographic Black Kiss (1988-1989) Chaykin increasingly concentrated on writing, as in Twilight for DC and Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser for Marvel. He turned to television for several years, writing episodes of several awful programs such as The Flash (1990-1991), Viper and Mutant X. Barnum! In Secret Service to the USA (graph 2003) with David Tischman, illustrated by Niko Henrichon, is a Steampunk tale in which P T Barnum must foil Nikola Tesla's plan to create a kingdom in North America which he will rule. Although never fully away, he returned to comics as such with gusto in 2004, sometimes writing, sometimes drawing, sometimes both. Moorcock speaks of Chaykin's "considerable intelligence and ... excellent eye". He is best known for his exquisite sense of design and ground-breaking integration of typographical elements into his art. [RH/JP]

see also: Heavy Metal.

Howard Victor Chaykin

born Newark, New Jersey: 7 October 1950

works (selected)


American Flagg

  • American Flagg: Hard Times (Chicago, Illinois: First Comics, 1985) [coll: graph: American Flagg issues 1-3: American Flagg: hb/Howard V Chaykin]
  • American Flagg: Southern Comfort (Chicago, Illinois: First Comics, 1987) [coll: graph: American Flagg issues 4-6: American Flagg: hb/Howard V Chaykin]
  • American Flagg: State of the Union (Chicago, Illinois: First Comics, 1989) [coll: graph: American Flagg issues 7-9: American Flagg: hb/Howard V Chaykin]
  • American Flagg Volume 1 (Berkeley, California: Image Comics, 2008) [coll: graph: American Flagg issues 1-7: American Flagg: pb/Howard V Chaykin]
  • American Flagg Volume 2 (Berkeley, California: Image Comics, 2009) [coll: graph: American Flagg issues 8-14: American Flagg: pb/Howard V Chaykin]

individual titles


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