Monday, June 6, 2016


Comic book writer Len Wein and artist extraordinaire Howard Chaykin were never at the finest, as they were on Gideon Faust in this, his first appearance, in Star*Reach #5. This is easily why I am such a big fan of their work.

Len Wein and artist Bernie Wrightson created the horror character Swamp Thing back in The House of Secrets #92. He wrote a highly well-regarded run of Justice League of America (issues #100-#118) with classic artist Dick Dillin. He and talented artist Dave Cockrum revived the X-Men. Among the new characters the duo created were Nightcrawler, Storm, Colossus and Thunderbird. Wein had created Wolverine earlier, with artists John Romita Sr. and Herb Trimpe in The Incredible Hulk series. Wein wrote and did story editing for such animated television series as X-Men, Batman, Spider-Man, Phantom 2040 and Godzilla.

Howard Chaykin began working for Marvel Comics in the early 1970s drawing-one off stories for publications such as Marvel Spotlight. He also created a short-lived sword and sorcery title, Ironwolf. In 1976, Chaykin landed the job of drawing the Marvel Comics adaptation of Star Wars. There were also a number of lavish graphic novel projects, with an adaptation of Alfred Bester's The Stars My Destination and original collaborations with Michael Moorcock (Elric, The Eternal Champion) and Roger Zelazny (Jack of Shadows, Damnation Alley.) Chaykin also worked on the design of the movie Heavy Metal. Chaykin launched American Flagg! for First Comics, wrote and drew a re-launch of The Shadow for DC Comics and produced Time2, a quasi-spin-off to American Flagg! Chaykin has also been active in television since the 1980s, acting as Executive Script Consultant for The Flash and Viper. 

Other notable talent in this issue of Star*Reach were Joe Staton (E-Man), Frank Brunner (Warp), John Workman (Roma), Lee Marrs (Gates of Eden) & Mike Vosberg (doing Linda Lovecraft.) Star*Reach was an amazing series you could really lose yourself in.

Star*Reach #5
Wraparound cover by Howard Chaykin.  
Inside front cover introductory text page by Mike Friedrich (Batman, Iron Man)
"Gideon Faust, Warlock at Large"
Out from the ink-dark shadows, a figure of a man bursts into the misty circle of gaslight, scattering the demonic horde before him like chaff before the storm. London 1880! This is his city. His name is...Gideon Faust, Warlock at Large. 
Written by Len Wein (Batman, Green Lantern) with art by Howard Chaykin (Scorpion, Iron Wolf.)

This Gideon Faust story was reprinted in Star*Reach Classics #5, in color, sporting a catchy new Chaykin cover, although I don't believe it was a wraparound cover. The original Star*Reach series can be hard to find, but you may be able to find this reprint series easier. It also included a checklist of the original series & cover pics. It's well worth it! Relive the magic!

Highly Recommended!!!
The Star*Reach Companion provides a complete history of the independent comic book series and it's spin-offs. A marvelous trade paperback you just have to have, that came out a few years ago!

Also Highly Recommended!
I've said it before and I'll say it again - you do not want to miss The Art of Howard Chaykin. The huge hardcover book includes a foreword by Brian Michael Bendis (Alias, Jinx) along with an afterword by Walter Simonson (Manhunter, Thor.) The book is a literal treasure trove of Howard Chaykin, filled with his incredible artistic greatness! This fine book is from writer Robert Greenberger, who brought us The Batman & The Spider-Man Vault hardcovers. 

Gideon Faust appeared in two issues of the Heavy Metal magazine. Unfortunately, I missed these. "Urchin" is from Heavy Metal V5 #11 (2/82.)
Illustration used for the Dynamite Entertainment reprint of Howard Chaykin's Black Kiss! You'll want to get the over-sized hardcover edition. Trust me.
Cody Starbuck, acrylic on board.
Live Large My Friends!

Thank You!

Marvel Comics' Epic Illustrated #8 cover by Howard Chaykin.
Splash page from Epic Illustrated #2 by Chaykin.
One of my faves, The Scorpion, a short lived Atlas Comics series written & illustrated by Chaykin. He did the first two issues, with inks from Bernie Wrightson, Mike Kaluta, Walter Simonson & Ed Davis on the second issue.

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