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  1. #1
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    Default SENYC: Howard Chaykin on Superhero Absurdity

    Renowned writer/artist Howard Chaykin discussed fashion, the absurdity of superheroes, and more in his spotlight panel at Special Edition: NYC.


    Full article here.

  2. #2
    Mattress Tester t hedge coke's Avatar
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    I love Chaykin. And I adore his use of textures and line widths, his talent for and interest in eyes and clothes.
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  3. #3

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    Chaykin is the best. Nobody tells it the way it is like Howard. His panels and interviews are a breath of fresh air in these days when everyone speaks so cautiously.

    I'm glad he's got a sense of his importance to the industry as a true innovator when so many fans seem to write him off. We don't have modern comics storytelling without Chaykin.

    Also, he's dead on about Simonson being the guy from his generation whose work continues to mature in interesting new ways instead of becoming self-parody. (Although I'd argue he's not the only one-- Rich Corben comes to mind as well.)

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    Mattress Tester t hedge coke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FanboyStranger View Post
    Also, he's dead on about Simonson being the guy from his generation whose work continues to mature in interesting new ways instead of becoming self-parody. (Although I'd argue he's not the only one-- Rich Corben comes to mind as well.)
    I could see Corben put into the self-parody category. Which doesn't mean I don't hugely appreciate his more recent work, as well as several of their notable contemporaries. Simonson is obviously trying new things, experimenting, working out the angles in fresh ways in his new work, from the Manhunter pages in Judas Coin to his awesome dragons and superhero work in the last few years.
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  5. #5
    Don't make fun of my hair Crazy Diamond's Avatar
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    I liked American Flagg and what I read of Blackhawks, but Guy Gardner:Collateral Damage is one of the ugliest books I've ever read from DC.
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    It was me, Dio! Billy Batson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy Diamond View Post
    I liked American Flagg and what I read of Blackhawks, but Guy Gardner:Collateral Damage is one of the ugliest books I've ever read from DC.
    Yeah, I wouldn't agree with Chaykin when he said his art got better when he returned...
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    Mattress Tester t hedge coke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Batson View Post
    Yeah, I wouldn't agree with Chaykin when he said his art got better when he returned...
    Maybe not better, but as good and with some new tricks.

    To each their own, but I think his current work looks amazing.
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    It was me, Dio! Billy Batson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t hedge coke View Post
    Maybe not better, but as good and with some new tricks.

    To each their own, but I think his current work looks amazing.
    I just don't find most of his work in the previous decade to be as good as it was before.
    But yeah, his current work is better.
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  9. #9
    Don't make fun of my hair Crazy Diamond's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Batson View Post
    I just don't find most of his work in the previous decade to be as good as it was before.
    But yeah, his current work is better.
    Any recommendations? I haven't read Black Kiss. Just so long as it isn't like Collateral Damage I'm good.

    I don't want to be that kinda fan and maybe the article gives a bad impression of what Chaykin actually said, but I don't know how you can say superheroes are absurd and shouldn't be taken seriously and then proceed to do a story with G'Nort where he's pissed off most of the time and then his planet gets blown up.
    Mogo doesn't socialize... but they shine on like a Crazy Diamond.

  10. #10

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    That reminds me, I really need to finish those Flaggs. They've been sitting there forever.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy Diamond View Post
    Any recommendations? I haven't read Black Kiss. Just so long as it isn't like Collateral Damage I'm good.

    I don't want to be that kinda fan and maybe the article gives a bad impression of what Chaykin actually said, but I don't know how you can say superheroes are absurd and shouldn't be taken seriously and then proceed to do a story with G'Nort where he's pissed off most of the time and then his planet gets blown up.

    His Shadow was ok, but didn't really feel like what most people think of as "The Shadow." I'd recommend Black Kiss only as a curiosity. It's really just transgressive sex and violence for it's own sake. I wouldn't go around telling people that it's great comic book storytelling.

    I actually think Satellite Sam is pretty decent. It's a murder mystery set against the backdrop of 50's television. However, it might not be to everyone's taste. The main characters are backstabbing jerks and there's a fair amount of raunch throughout.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by ed2962 View Post
    His Shadow was ok, but didn't really feel like what most people think of as "The Shadow." I'd recommend Black Kiss only as a curiosity. It's really just transgressive sex and violence for it's own sake. I wouldn't go around telling people that it's great comic book storytelling.

    I actually think Satellite Sam is pretty decent. It's a murder mystery set against the backdrop of 50's television. However, it might not be to everyone's taste. The main characters are backstabbing jerks and there's a fair amount of raunch throughout.
    I disagree on the original Black Kiss not being great comic book storytelling. It is transgressively sexual and violent-- shockingly so, to be frank-- but it is also a tour-de-force of storytelling. It is perfectly paced, has flawless transitions from scene to scence, and creates a realistic atmosphere that most comics would kill to achieve, even with some of the later supernatural elements. It's a pitch-perfect crime comic. I think it gets short-shifted by critics because the work is ostensibly porn (and vicious porn at that), but it's also a master class in how to tell a story. (No one ignores Beto Hernandez' work when it gets into Skinamax territory, so why is Black Kiss so marginalized?)

    Now, Black Kiss II is a bit of a mess, although it pulls itself together towards the end. Although there is some salient political commentary between the lines, a lot of it does seem like it's being transgressive simply to be transgressive. Then again, you could say that about much of Robert Crumb's and other proiminant underground artists as well.

    I love Satellite Sam, but it's definitely a book to read in collected editions. Fraction and Chaykin don't hold your hand as far as the characters and their motivations, although they do have the funniest character recap pages in the business.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy Diamond View Post
    I liked American Flagg and what I read of Blackhawks, but Guy Gardner:Collateral Damage is one of the ugliest books I've ever read from DC.
    Yeah. I think that was the nadir as far as his art. I thought he came back fairly strong with Mighty Love, Challengers of the Unknown, and City of Tomorrow, but Guy Gardner: Collateral Damage was the weakest art he's produced since his early days. Sad, too, as it was meant as a love letter to Gil Kane, Chaykin's mentor and co-creator of Guy.

    I think Dominic Fortune MAX was where Chaykin really got his groove back. Everything before that was a warm-up.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy Diamond View Post
    Any recommendations? I haven't read Black Kiss. Just so long as it isn't like Collateral Damage I'm good.

    I don't want to be that kinda fan and maybe the article gives a bad impression of what Chaykin actually said, but I don't know how you can say superheroes are absurd and shouldn't be taken seriously and then proceed to do a story with G'Nort where he's pissed off most of the time and then his planet gets blown up.
    Satellite Sam (with Matt Fraction) is amazing..Chaykin's art is great in that book.
    The Dominic Fortune mini from a few years ago is another gem.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by FanboyStranger View Post
    Yeah. I think that was the nadir as far as his art. I thought he came back fairly strong with Mighty Love, Challengers of the Unknown, and City of Tomorrow, but Guy Gardner: Collateral Damage was the weakest art he's produced since his early days. Sad, too, as it was meant as a love letter to Gil Kane, Chaykin's mentor and co-creator of Guy.
    I wasn't that keen on the Guy Gardner book either, but it was nice seeing Chaykin draw the uniform he designed for Guy. He is the only one that could ever do it justice, in my opinion.

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