Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Howard Chaykin

It's Howie Chaykin's birthday today. Y'know it amazes me when I hear people say how they've been into Chaykin as far back as American Flagg or Black Kiss. As great as those books undoubtedly are, I always feel like saying, yeah, but what about Monark Starstalker / Iron-Wolf / Dominic Fortune / Solomon Kane / Cody Starbuck etc etc etc. He's always been this great!
Alas, I couldn't make it to Brum Con this year where Howie's a guest, but Sean (Philbo) Phillips is obviously going. We were trying to find the obscurest thing to take for Chaykin to sign, and I think Sean won, curse him, with a british hardcover annual reprint of the Star Wars adaptation. Hope you got it, kid.
Here's Howie on peak form back in The Bronze Age with a piece written by Jim Starlin, so you know you're in for a good time. Even on other people's characters, these guys rock, and this is one of the few times outside of Steranko's run that Nick Fury was done absolutely, 100% right.
Plus you get Chaykin's patented decadent nihilism and "visceralness". Is that even a word? It is now.


  1. Great to see this story again~! haven't seen it since the late 70's. next issue of spotlight introduced Spider-Woman and included Nick Fury. Unfortunately, NOT by Howard Chaykin~! Big fan-o this blog~ keep'm coming~!

  2. Sorry Pete, didn't even manage to talk to him. He was less than ten feet away most of the weekend but we were both busy signing and sketching. We were in the same restaurant on Friday night but he was having a quiet dinner with his wife and it didn't seem right to disturb him.

  3. Well, that makes it slightly better that I didn't get my raggedy old copy of Monark Starstalker signed, anyway. Next year we'll nail 'im ( in a blood-spattered Chaykinesque way )

  4. that's a beaut, Pete. an absolute cracker. THAT's the Fury I want to read, not all that Samuel Mother@&%#ing Slaphead Jackson bollocks.

    happy birthday, Howie! & thanks, mate!

  5. Pete:

    Couldn't agree more with your praise of Chaykin's early work. He's one of those rare, exciting talents that delivered A-list work from day one.

    His recent return to comics has been a welcome one. I'm really looking forward to the prequel to Black Kiss (the original series was grand contraband at my high school growing up!), and I'm really enjoying the new Dominic Fortune miniseries (I know it's a Max title, but it's still shocking to see Chaykin sex in a Marvel title!)


  6. Thanks for your blog! Chaykin was my idol as a kid, and Monark was always one of the stories I wished he'd continued. I loved his painted/felt-tip markered graphic novels like The Stars My Destination and Empire. I always liked this Nick Fury story because it tried to come up with an explanation for why Nick had aged so gracefully - it's the '70s, and he is a WWII vet - however, it would have taken a major character overhaul to implement Chaykin's ideas. I guess this is an "imaginary story."

    I'm so out of touch with comics, I didn't know there was a new Dominic Fortune series, so thanks for that too!

  7. Excellent story. I love that there are fans that remember Monark Starstalker, his Soloman Kane stories, The Scorpion, Swords of Heaven and this Nick Fury story. Chaykin has always and continues to be the MAN!