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The Art of Howard Chaykin HC [Hardcover]

Howard Chaykin , Robert Greenberger
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 22.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

3 July 2012
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.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment (3 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606901699
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606901694
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 23.5 x 30.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 421,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book worthy of its subject 20 July 2012
By Ian Williams TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is one of those reviews where I'm not sure where to begin. I can't start by saying that Chaykin is one of the greatest comics artists ever because he isn't -though he's pretty damn good. What he did do, however, is to write and draw American Flagg which is the greatest science fiction comic ever -I've reviewed the two-volume compilation elsewhere on Amazon. He did this back in the early 80's before Alan Moore (who wrote a backup strip for it) became ALAN (PRAISE HIS NAME) MOORE! and before Frank Miller released The Dark Knight Returns which cough borrowed cough the narrative/satirical info-dump technique from AF and then got widely praised for this 'innovation'. Perhaps not surprisingly, Chaykin doesn't have much time for Miller.

I could write a lot about American Flagg but I've already done that so I'll just say that if Chaykin had done nothing else he'd have earned an honoured place in the history of comics. Fortunately he did and this book explores all of it.

As an account of the work of a comic writer and artist, this is an excellent book. It's physically large, on glossy paper, with a vast amount of illustrations and an equally substantial amount of text. Structured chronologically, most of the written content derives from long conversations with Chaykin conducted over the course of a year. (This text is interspersed with comments from various peers which range from insightful and informative to 'my buddy Howie, wisecrack, wisecrack)'. This is followed by a checklist of everything Chaykin has had published, split into categories including comic books, strips, collected editions, etc. After this comes an eclectic forty page gallery of artwork. Anyone wanting to create their own The Art Of My Favourite Artist wouldn't go wrong using this as a template.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Master, and his work 4 Feb 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Always loved Chaykin's work, the wit, flair and swagger was there from the start and carries on today. Some remarkable pieces here that I've never seen, and representations of work I know obsessively well. A fine volume.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book as good as its subject 12 July 2012
By Ian Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Being British, I bought this on amazon.co.uk but for some reason they say it's not yet published and therefore aren't accepting reviews. Oh well.

This is one of those reviews where I'm not sure where to begin. I can't start by saying that Chaykin is one of the greatest comics artists ever because he isn't -though he's pretty damn good. What he did do, however, is to write and draw American Flagg which is the greatest science fiction comic ever -I've reviewed the two-volume compilation elsewhere in this blog. He did this back in the early 80's before Alan Moore (who wrote a backup strip for it) became ALAN (PRAISE HIS NAME) MOORE! and before Frank Miller released The Dark Knight Returns which cough borrowed cough the narrative/satirical info-dump technique from AF and then got widely praised for this 'innovation'. Perhaps not surprisingly, Chaykin doesn't have much time for Miller.

I could write a lot about American Flagg but I've already done reviewed the two pb collections so I'll just say that if Chaykin had done nothing else he'd have earned a distinct place on honour in the history of comics. Fortunately he did and this book explores all of it.

As an account of the work of a comic writer and artist, this is an excellent book. It's physically large, on glossy paper, with a vast amount of illustrations and an equally substantial amount of text. Structured chronologically, most of the written content derives from long conversations with Chaykin conducted over the course of a year. (This text is interspersed with comments from various peers which range from insightful and informative to 'my buddy Howie, wisecrack, wisecrack)'. This is followed by a checklist of everything Chaykin has had published, split into categories including comic books, strips, collected editions, etc. After this comes an eclectic forty page gallery of artwork. Anyone wanting to create their own The Art Of My Favourite Artist wouldn't go wrong using this as a template.

Chaykin started back in the early 70's as an assistant to people like Gil Kane. It's a comic business tradition of artists using assistants to do background work on panels and learn the trade that way and Chaykin continued this tradition. It's a form of payback and Chaykin always pays his debts. The impression gleaned from the book is that he's the sort of person that if you like him you like him a lot and if you don't you cross the street to avoid him but that's probably your loss. While admitting he might be an acquired taste, his peers are unstinting in their praise for his professionalism, the honesty and insight of his criticism, and how he goes out of his way to be helpful. When it comes to his work, he's meticulous. If he agrees to write and draw a 28 page comic every month then that's the editor will receive and it will be the best he can do.

By the early 80's Chaykin had established his style and it hasn't changed much; refined perhaps, also partly altered by the improvement in the technological changes in the use of colour. While his own work for independent comics companies can include the near pornographic Black Kiss (sexy shemale vampires no less), his tendency is to write the roguish hero, as good with a quip/gun/sword/blaster as he is in bed, he's also created comics for both DC and Marvel and drawn/written their characters.

While an intelligent writer and a skilled artist, his prime skill is as a designer. The way he lays out a page that blends text and art is outstanding -check out Google images for numerous examples. Not everything he does works -the same can be said for Alan Moore- but it's always interesting and he deserves this lavish and currently, on Amazon UK, almost modestly priced book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars even more than you'd expect 2 July 2012
By popular culture lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I was first exposed to Howard Chaykin when "American Flagg" hit me like a thunderbolt back in the day. Here was a comic far more sophisticated, both in story and art, than what comic fans had been used to. Unlike a lot of the pabulum spoon-fed by other writers, Howard actually demanded that you think.

This book surpasses most "Art of....." tomes in its editorial content. In addition to the excellent illos, Greenberger digs deep and delivers an astonishing amount of information to accompany the art, mostly by fellow professionals who really know Howard and his art. The production values here are just top-notch. I couldn't recommend this book more highly. A+.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chaykin 4 Aug 2012
By Russell49 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This item is a great buy. I received as advertised and on time. The history and progress of Chaykin's art is fully detailed and beautifully illustrated. I highly recommend for all Howard Chaykin collectors.
2.0 out of 5 stars this artist deserves better 3 Feb 2013
By Michael Cohen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Howard Chaykin is a great artist but this is not a great book about him. I can still remember as a kid getting a Star Reach package from Krupp with Cody Starbuck as part of it (good thing mom didn't find that section with the bull-man boffing the woman and getting its head cut-off). Looking back, in its anti-heroic stance, sci-fi punk stance, graphicy style and brutally condensed narrative structure that book revolutionized comics -- just from CS and American Flagg alone Chaykin is clearly a historic innovator in his field.

But this Art of HC book -- the illustrations seem haphazardly chosen and there's not much feel in the few story selections for his radical story-telling. The testimonials are generally fannish and the writing dull and uninsightful. How come there's nothing serious about the David Tishman phase or an interview with him? What was going on with Chaykin when he was making that crazy Black Kiss series? How about some old DC or Red Circle unreprinted stories published in full?

To be fair the Ken Bruzenak interview was pretty informative and the biographical piece by Chaykin is also quite good, his comparisons of the 70's comics greats with there EC forebearers is rich food for thought. And there are some rare illustrations and prep sketches that were good to get a hold of. But in general I found the book to be most useful for learning about obscure Chaykin projects that might be worth hunting down. For the casual reader I'd suggest buying a copy of American Flagg, Black Kiss or the first Bite Club and skipping this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Chaykin art book 28 Dec 2012
By Kurt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Exzcellant overview, well laid out page design, & great & representiv selection of images from through out his careeer to date.
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