25 August 2009

Six Degrees of Howard Chaykin

I've been thinking about Howard Chaykin a lot and so has the rest of teh intronets. I keep seeing Chaykin mentioned in all kinds of blog posts, interviews, comics history articles and news items. I think that teh intronets are currently being puppeteered by people about my age that read a lot of the same comics during the time when Chaykin was really shaking things up. Another reason I've been thinking of Chaykin a lot is because I recently unearthed a lot of his comics in my basement. Plus I found some old comics magazines with articles, interviews and advertisements relating to some of his comics from back in the day. As a writer/artist, sometimes the ideas I come up with for a story or gag can be tedious and/or painful to draw. I've been trying to find ways to draw that are more fun and feel less like work. I want drawing to be a joyful experience. When I think of joyful drawing I think of sitting on the floor as a kid drawing space battles inspired by Star Wars and other sci-fi comics. A lot of which were drawn by Chaykin. So, I've been looking at his stuff a lot and trying to re-inspire myself with his magic.
At some point in recollecting on all of that junk I just blabbed on about I invented a game I call Six Degrees of Howard Chaykin.
The game is just like the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon thing only with less Bacon and more Chaykin. Instead tracing actors back to Bacon based on movies they co-stared in, Six Degrees of Howard Chaykin links comics creators back to Howard Chaykin through comic books they mutually worked on. And to clarify, I'm thinking comic book titles, not just characters. With team books and cross overs, lots of guys have drawn the same characters. I'm talking about being a credited creator on a comic book by the same title. Here is an example. Just think of any comic creator that comes to mind. How about the late great Mike Wieringo.

1) Mike Wieringo drew Fantastic Four.
2) Jack Kirby drew the Fantastic Four and Challengers of the Unknown.
3) Howard Chaykin drew Challengers of the Unknown.

See? Easy. But wait, that is too easy. Kirby messes up everything because he worked on so many books with multiple publishers. So, let's have a rule I call the Kirby Clause. You can't use Jack Kirby. Let's try again. Gene Colan has also been on my mind lately. My laptop's desktop currently features a nice piece by Gene Colan I stole off teh intronets. Let's try him.

1) Gene Colan drew Daredevil.
2) John Romita Sr. drew Daredevil and Amazing Spider-Man.
3) Gil Kane followed Romita on Amazing Spider-Man and also drew Green Lantern.
4.) Neal Adams drew Green Lantern and also drew The Flash.
5) Carmine Infantino drew The Flash and also drew Star Wars.
6) Howard Chaykin drew Star Wars.

Wasn't that fun?! Exclamation point!

Kids, DO try this at home. Think up comics names and start playing now. It can be writers, inkers, pencilers etc. Underground creators will be hard but not as hard as you think. You can post your game results or here using the comments field.

And now, for almost no reason at all are some random Howard Chaykin images I stole from teh intronets. I'll get ya back teh intronets. I promise.

Your best pal ever,
Shannon Smith

p.s. Both Mr. Chaykin and myself have our birthday's in early October. Start shopping now true believers.


I linked myself...

1) Shannon Smith was in Fluke Anthology with Johnny Ryan.
2) Johnny Ryan was in Pete Bagge's Sweatshop.
3) Pete Bagge was in Bizzaro World with Kyle Baker.
4) Kyle Baker is in Wednesday Comics with Walt Simonson.
5. Wal Simonson drew Star Wars which was also drawn by Howard Chaykin.

You can see some other folk's attempts here.

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