Book Review: The Art of Howard Chaykin
Publication Date: July 3, 2012
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
· Robert Greenberger
· Howard Chaykin
· Dynamite Entertianment Website
by Darren Goodhart
Published: July 23, 2012
Howard Chaykin is one of my all-time favorite artists and one that I surely count amongst my own influences. Chaykin has been active as a comic artist for over 40 years now and in that time, he's done it all; writing, penciling, designing, inking, coloring and painting, storytelling, innovating- the works. He's even referred to himself as "comic's favorite Jew." His career has been vast, not only covering comics, but also illustration, movies and television. His personality is just as large and Chaykin's been known to be highly outspoken and give some very entertaining and forthright interviews. I was fortunate enough to meet Mr. Chaykin once at a Chicago comic convention right around the time he was ending his first run on American Flagg and certianly took the time to thank him for all of the enjoyment that he's given me through the years with his work.
Now, Dynamite Entertainment is celebrating Howard Chaykin's career with the just-released The Art of Howard Chaykin an absolutely gorgeous 250+ page hardcover volume that showcases Chaykin's art covering his entire career as well his life story with all the highs and lows. Written by veteran comics writer and editor, Robert Greenberger, this volume is just about as comprehensive as it gets, and yet by its end, I still feel that Chaykin's only just getting started.
For most, the works that they'll best know Chaykin for are his work with Roy Thomas being the first to ever adapt "Star Wars" to comics and his ground-breaking creator-owned comic American Flagg from First Comics in the early 80s. but oh, he's done so much more...
Everything is covered; from his early work on such things as Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and The Grey Mouser to his most recent work for Dark Horse, the highly entertaining Marked Man (which originally ran in Dark Horse Presents and will soon be collected in its own edition). Along the way, you'll learn about his quest to find a signature "look" to his work, his hard-partying lifestyle, his long period in Hollywood where he acted in both writing and producing capacities for television shows like The Flash and Mutant X, and his thoughts on what some of today's artists are missing the boat on. There's also talk on his techniques as well as thoughts and remembrances from many of his past colleagues, Including Denny O'Neil, Dean Haspiel, Ken Bruzenak, Walter Simonson and more. Along with all of this, there's even a complete (or as complete as it can be for now) checklist of everything that Chaykin has done.
Robert Greenberger has done an excellent job at covering Mr. Chaykin's career and Dynamite's book design (cover design by Josh Johnson and book design by Mark McNabb) is just terrific. It's an absolutely beautiful book and if you're a fan of comic book art or, of course, Howard Chaykin, then this book absolutely belongs in your collection. Now, I can't wait to see Chaykin's Black Kiss II!