Howard V. Chaykin was born in Newark in 1950. Chaykin started his career in comics as an assistant to Gil Kane. Working in the studio of Wallace Wood, he made his debut with the western 'Shattuck' in Overseas Weekly in cooperation with Nicola Cuti. He also assisted Gray Morrow and Neal Adams.
From the early 1970s, Chaykin worked as a freelancer for publishers like Marvel, DC, Warren and Atlas. He started out drawing stories for publications like Marvel Spotlight and Marvel Premiere, working with characters like 'Solomon Kane' and 'Monark Startalker'. In 1974, he created 'Cody Starbuck' for the Star Reach review.
In Heavy Metal, he proved himself one of the best authors of science fiction graphic novels. Chaykin pioneered the graphic novel in the USA with 'The Stars my Destination', 'The Swords of Heaven' and 'Flowers from Hell'. In 1977, prior to the movies, he drew the first 'Star Wars' comics with scripts by Roy Thomas for Marvel, which were a very big hit.
In 1983, he created the hit seies 'American Flagg!' over at First Comics. Among his best known comics are his DC works 'The Shadow' (1986) and 'Blackhawk' (1988), and his post-modern graphic novel 'Time2' at First Comics (1987), in which he could endulge his love for jazz and New York. In 1988, he created the erotic 'Black Kiss'.