Excerpt from Westfield Comics: Head Writer Howard Chaykin
"Howard Chaykin Interview"
Howard Chaykin is probably best known as the creator of American Flagg. In his career in comics he has also penned DC’s Blackhawk, and recently, with co-writer David Tischman, DC’s Secret Society of Super-Heroes and DC/Vertigo’s American Century.
Westfield: As you said, you’ve done a lot of work recently with your co-writer, David Tischman. What’s your working relationship like?
Chaykin: David and I have been friends for about ten years. We started out developing screen concepts and we ended up going back to comic books. He’s always been a comic book reader, but never worked on them professionally. I just sort of dragged him in and he’s been having a great time.
Westfield: How do you work together on a book? Do you both contribute to the plot and dialogue?
Chaykin: We approach it very much the way we both approach television. We use index cards, we card the material out, each card represents a page. We structure the story, we page the material. Once that’s done, we write a fully evolved scripted outline. We write full script, we don’t do Marvel style, or whatever that’s called today. I believe in full scripts, even for my own stuff. From that, David writes the first draft, I take that draft and rewrite it completely, and then we wrestle back and forth on what the rest of the material’s going to look like.
Westfield: Any closing comments?
Chaykin: We’re doing Mutant X, which is the new TV series from Marvel, Fireworks, and Tribune. We’re hoping that people who love my stuff in comics will want to watch the TV series.
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