Category Archives: Howard Chaykin

Review: MIDNIGHT OF THE SOUL #1 by Howard Chaykin

Howard Chaykin

It’s always good to read a comic by Howard Chaykin. I can tell that Mr. Chaykin is having a grand time writing and drawing his latest comic, “Midnight of the Soul.” It wasn’t very long ago that I was marveling over another of his works, “Satellite Sam,” also published by Image Comics. As long as there are good comics being made, I’ll be writing about them. And this one inspires my own creating of comics. I admire many things here. Chaykin has a naturalness about him. He has an enthusiasm to share with you as much as possible.

Howard Chaykin wants nothing less than to drench you in the era his story is set in, wants you to appreciate that people ate, slept, shit, fucked, yelled, cried, murdered in this time he’s taking you to. And maybe they did things a little differently back then from the way things are done today by a new generation. A little more blunt and raw, not so pretty. But, one thing is for sure, they lived!

The time for this story is 1950, five years after World War II. The boys, now men, must find their way. For many, the war had never left them. It certainly messed up one Joel Breakstone, former GI and liberator of Auschwitz. Joel thought he might find the answers as a writer. But, too much booze and little discipline have soured his pipe dreams. Maybe he was never cut out to be a writer. Patricia, his girlfriend, tries to get him to wake up. All around him, everything is falling apart, including his relationship with Patricia, including Patricia herself!

Chaykin Midnight Image Comics

Few cartoonists embrace the old school tradition as well as Chaykin: both writing and drawing his work consistently over decades in his distinctive style. To do that, and do it so well, that makes you a legend. But what makes you someone to remember is real passion. Chaykin has such a crisp style, its stark beauty creates a certain distance between the reader and his characters. It is sort of like he doesn’t want you to get too close to these people he creates. Mostly, these are not very nice people to begin with. There’s a very intriguing dark world that Chaykin wants to share with you. These people are broken and are apt to do ugly, even unspeakable, things. Disconnection. Dissonance. Ah, the stuff of noir!

Image Comics Midnight Chaykin

Creating the right mood is so important. Chaykin is such a masterful draftsman that he can easily use the same drawing, even the same set of panels, again in the same issue. If the artwork is strong and interesting enough, and it lends itself to a satisfying reverberation, then why the hell not? Anyway, it is done to great effect here. This whole first issue to a must-read. For fans, you’ll find Chaykin just as gritty and tough as ever. For new readers, you’re in for a wild ride.

“Midnight Of The Soul #1” is available as of June 8th. For more details, visit Image Comics right here.


Filed under Comics, Comics Reviews, Crime Fiction, Howard Chaykin, Image Comics, Noir



Matt Fraction and Howard Chaykin are a dream team and “Satellite Sam” is their baby. This comic has become a hit and for very good reason. This is retro cool, as in I-can-kick-your-ass-street-smart cool. The salty artist Chaykin has found a writer every bit as salty in Fraction. The first issue made us believe we could travel back to the heyday of early television and live and breathe that time. With this issue, we settle into the story. It will be something that will intrigue and entice.

The sins of the father shall be visited upon the son and so on. That is the case here. Satellite Sam, a goofy matinee idol for television had proven to be too randy and too drunk for his own good. As we learned in the first issue, he was a no show to his own show. One of the staff runs over to his apartment to see if she can get the stray actor back on set to maybe finish up the second act of the live TV broadcast only to find him dead amid a collection of porn. It is left to his son to save the show by taking his father’s role and diving into an improvised script about having found a fountain of youth. It’s so goofy that it makes perfect sense for the show but maybe not so much for the son.

Mike wasn’t exactly cut out to take over his dad’s show and why the hell should he? Father and son are not meant to be lumped together so closely. It’s just not healthy and it can end up being downright creepy. If the father is a jerk, a hack, and an all-around pain in the ass, it’s going to be a horrible burden for the son to step into the old man’s shoes. And there’s a good part of the appeal to this story. We’re going to see poor Mike suffer but it’s going to be very entertaining. Never forget, Carlyle White was murdered. Mike needs to find out who killed his no good dad. And Carlyle hung out with a lot of racy women. Mike needs to talk to these women. Talking can lead to other things. Poor Mike, he is only going to dig himself deeper, and become more a part of, his father’s sins.

Leave it to Matt Fraction to bring to life a world of yesteryear in an honest and unsentimental way. And leave it to Howard Chaykin to take a script and really run with it. His dames are hot and they enjoy getting into trouble.

“Satellite Sam #2” is out as of August 7. Visit our friends at Image Comics.

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Filed under Comics, Comics Reviews, Howard Chaykin, Image Comics, Matt Fraction

Howard Chaykin, An American Original


Howard Chaykin is an American original. It was his groundbreaking “American Flagg,” a 50-issue series created in 1983, that paved the way for Frank Miller’s “Dark Knight” and Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s “Watchmen” three years later. You can buy it at Amazon here.


Howard Chaykin has taken the American comics medium in new directions, including erotic adventures, and comics is the better for it. Micahel Dooley caught up with Chaykin for Print Magazine’s Imprint blog about the recent problems with his “Black Kiss II” being considered too lewd for distribution. You can buy it at ComiXology here.


Much lies ahead for this master cartoonist, including his new series for Image Comics, with Matt Fraction, “Satelite Sam.” The first issue is on sale July 3, 2013 and you can check it out here.

You can read Michael Dooley’s interview with Howard Chaykin here.

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Filed under Comics, Comics News, Graphic Design, Howard Chaykin, Image Comics, Imprint, Interviews, Michael Dooley, Print Magazine