, and tv producer
Born early 50’s in Newark NJ, raised in Brooklyn, now living in the San Fernando Valley
Chaykin started in the comics business in the early seventies as an assistant to Gil Kane, who remains his biggest influence.
He went freelance in 1974 and has produced material for most comics publishers. His recent work is published by DC/Vertigo. Most of his more notable work in ”mainstream” comics has also been with DC characters including Batman (Dark Allegiances), Superman (Son of Superman, Distant Fires), and JLA (The Secret Society of Super-Heroes
As an artist, Chaykin’s obsession with graphical layout has led to groundbreaking work with utilizing the format of comics, and has inspired many others. As a writer his, cynical, sexy and violent stories have always been a welcome contrast to the stuffy mainstream. At a first look, the sex and violence in his comics can be deceiving, but it isn’t comic porn. The stories are often elaborate, the dialogue is credible and characteristic, and even though there is a lot of it, the sex isn’t thrown in just to please the readers.
Some claim that Chaykin invented the graphic novel genre with "Empire" and The Stars My Destination, adapted from Alfred Bester’s book. First or not, I think that this format brings out the best in Chaykin. The epic SF story of Twilight and the very violent and sexy Black Kiss are examples of how well Chaykin’s dramaturgy works in a concluded story.
Apart from being considered one of the most influential people in comics, Chaykin is also known for another thing: his attitude. He has a lot of opinions and never misses an opportunity to express them. When asked about what he would tell a kid who’s interested in getting into the comics industry, his characteristic response was: ”Find another job--but if you really want to do this, don't be a fucking whore and produce the same puerile shit everybody else is, just to make a short term dollar.” He also maintains that comics as we know it will not survive another fifty years.
Chaykin is still making comics, though, even though he has spent more time producing and consulting for TV series, the most succcessful ones being The Flash and Viper TV. His latest television project is Mutant X.