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The Art of Howard Chaykin Hardcover – July 3, 2012
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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.
Howard Chaykin's story and career is told in a chronologically from the 1950s. It's a biography sort of, mixed with essays from such as Joe Jusko, Dave Johnson, and even Joe Quesada. There's a lot of text but the most interesting are the back stories of each title he works on, those are famous such as American Flagg!, Black Kiss, and those not that successful. That would things like things like story conceptualization, drawing of the pages and art, competing with other titles, etc. Howard Chaykin has plenty of war stories in the comic industry that makes this book an insightful read.
Accompanying the text are many illustrations and comic panels reproduced in high quality.
Also included is a checklist of all the titles he has worked on. And a gallery follows that with uninterrupted full page illustrations, sketches and selected comic pages.
It's a great book for any fans who has followed his work.
(See more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)