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Howard Chaykin
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Your career is four decades in, and you don’t seem to be slowing down. Would you tell us about your average workday (if you have such a thing)?

I've been doing an artist's seminar at Marvel since 2008.  Among other curricula, I directly address career management issues--how, for example, to have a career for forty years.  A contributing factor to that longevity is a principle of organization and time management.

This means rising at the same time daily--for me, this is 5 AM--I live in a small agriculture/surf town, where everybody is up at this hour.  I do an hour of work, go the gym, have breakfast with colleagues, and then work straight through the day, with brief breaks, until 5PM--at which point I'm closed for the day.

What do you think we’re doing right as an industry?

Shared profits.  Production quality that is breathtakingly beautiful.  Broader standards of acceptable material.

What are we doing wrong?

Material that is literary, and antivisual, in an industry that is increasingly writer driven.  the enabling of talent who refuse to accept the reality that they are businessmen, not hobbyists.  Companies that refuse to impose the fact that a month has four weeks, not six, or seven...

Fans have been treated to some great re-releases of your work. When these special editions are put together, do you take an active hand in their production? Do you have a favorite?

I'm not entirely convinced that fans give a shit about me.  I don't particularly take any hand, since I find self promotion cringe-making.  And no, no favorites-none that I'd admit to.

I think we’re all driven to create, and we follow that down whatever path we choose, but how important is it – for you, personally – to have a legacy?

I figure I'll get a week, maybe two, of good ink.  Maybe a New York Times obit.  Then I'll slip away and be forgotten, except by intimates with comic anecdotes of my charm, grace and frequent mean-spiritedness.

And my kids get to fight over the beach house.


You’ve racked up more than a few TV and movie credits over the years, but it seems like you’ve pulled away from that recently. How is your relationship with Hollywood these days?

I wrote a lot of episodic television for shows I wouldn't have watched otherwise.  The first half of my television career was a joy, working with a for people I respect and love.  the second half was, for the most part, in the service of soulless scumbags.

I no longer live in Los Angeles, and so have completely withdrawn from the entertainment industry as a working professional.  I remain a member of the Writer's Guild, and would be delighted to see one or all of my creator owned products turned into a movie or television series--but I'm not holding my breath.

2013 looked like a busy year for you, with SATELLITE SAM and various other projects. What can readers expect from you this year?

More SATELLITE SAM, BLACK KISS: CHRISTMAS IN JULY, and MIDNIGHT OF THE SOUL from IMAGE, and of course, THE SHADOW: MIDNIGHT IN MOSCOW for DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT.

I’d like to ask for your expert opinion in this last question, please: What is the Number One mistake that aspiring artists make?

I believe the answer to this is alluded to in my answer to number three.  Too many young artists forget that the minute they start working for a company, this is no longer a hobby.  One's relationship with the company is collegial, not friendly.




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