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30 December 2016 @ 12:14 am
Mutant X FAQ: Why did head writer Howard Chaykin leave?  
Howard Chaykin's Departure


Comic book author Howard Chaykin was the head writer for the first season of Mutant X and the first episode of season two, "Past as Prologue." According to Tribune Entertainment's executive producer, Seth Howard, Chaykin left the Mutant X staff as season two was being produced, due to "creative differences". Supervising Producer Peter Mohan then took over as the head writer of the show's second and third seasons.

From Seth Howard's Slipstream post in 8/02:

This is a really sensitive subject (as are all partings) as Howard was/is my comic book idol, friend, and I respect him so very much. As with many series (it happens all the time guys and gals), changes need to be made. Howard and Mutant X parted ways during the shooting of the third episode and a new head writer was brought on. It was a decision made by Fireworks & Tribune and it was a difficult one at that. Howard is actively persuing numerous new projects and will continue to succeed in everything that he does. The man is quite brilliant and I hope to work with him in the future. That's all I will say on the subject.

From Howard Chaykin's March 2006 interview with The Comicbook Bin:

It was 2000, and Chaykin had just come to a parting of the ways with his last television show, the syndicated Mutant X. "It was a great job, a good ride. I learned a great deal, I had a great time, and I finally started working myself into an early grave. After I left the show I dropped 35 pounds, I started sleeping, and my life just got easier." The time seemed right for a full-time return to comics.

And from Howard Chaykin's June 2007 interview with Suicide Girls's Daniel Robert Epstein:

Howard Chaykin: In the 90’s I worked in television. I did very little comics. I had a television career that hit the shoals in the early 2000s. I decided I didn’t want to go back. I felt it was time to leave television and become a human being again.

Daniel Robert Epstein: I thought you left Mutant X. Is that not true?

HC: I didn’t quit. I was fired.

DRE: Do you want to talk about why?

HC: No, not especially. It was a pleasant experience while it lasted. It wasn’t a pleasant experience at that point. Frankly I was happy to have the job but I wasn’t all that upset to leave it.

I was fired in June and the way television business works is that jobs become available in May and in November so that even if I wanted to go back to work all I could do was freelance and there wasn’t that much freelance. I decided that since I had all those months I might as well do some comics. So I pitched a book at DC Comics on a Friday and they bought it on a Tuesday. I did the book and I decided on the basis of that I wasn’t particularly interested in going back to television. I asked my wife how she would feel about it and she was delighted because she felt I had become a sort of unpleasant person and I never went back.


Howard Chaykin shared his ideas about Mutant X and his other projects on Sci-Fi Weekly, Comics Continuum, Sci-fi Wire, Comic Book Galaxy, and Comics 2 Film.

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