Mr. Grant, you couldn't be more correct in your assessment of Mr. Chaykin's contributions to the medium. Honestly, many of the storytelling techniques of American Flagg! appear in many current and subsequent titles -- the pacing, the sense of humor, the media-display techniques (to some degree, I wondered if these showed up with Frank Miller's Dark Knight, but that was three years after Flagg), the camera angles -- although they don't appear as successfully. (I also tend to think he was terribly prescient about basketball.)
It makes sense. If creators actually study the form, they should study those who are recognized as innovative, and that would mean looking at the work of people like Howard Chaykin.
Obviously, many of the more popular/sought after artists today have spent a lot of time studying Neal Adams -- Jim Lee shows a lot of Adams influence, as does Bryan Hitch and Steve McNiven, and even John Byrne (though perhaps less so now than earlier in his work).
I'm hoping that Darwyn Cooke, Bruce Timm, and Phil Hester get to be influential. I admire their styles, and their senses of design.
So, anyway, hats off to Howard! The man deserves it.