Behind the scenes with The Silent Invasion

Larry and I are long-time collaborators on The Silent Invasion and other comic book work. We work the “Marvel method.” That is we discuss the story and roughly formulate the plot over a pizza or burger. I make a few rough sketches, then go away and do tighter layouts and send them to Larry. He scripts the story. I take the script and pretend to make it work. We make additional edits over much gnashing of teeth, fist fights, Sugar ‘n’ Spike inspired tantrums and other childish behaviour. I pencil it using non-repro blue pencils; letter; and ink the page.

I’m pretty methodical about it the process once I start pencilling. I begin with page one at each stage and work from the top left-hand panel on the first page to the bottom right-hand panel on the last page. A creature of habit, I guess.

Here’s a sample page ( a page from chapter 4 of “Abductions”) from the first rough sketch to final product:

The initial sketch done at the pizza meeting:

Sketch_01

Larry’s script with my scribbles:

Script_01

The page layout:

layout_01.jpg

The pencilled page:

pencils_01

A test ink sketch that I usually do while I’m finessing the point on my brush:

ink sketch

And the final page:

final_art_01

Next time: more on the CFL in The Silent Invasion!

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Author: Michael Cherkas

Michael Cherkas is a graphic designer, art director and sometime cartoonist. He was born in Oshawa, Ontario in 1954 and now lives in Toronto. He grew up reading comic books, watching bad 1960s sitcoms, and reading science fiction. His favourite comic book of all time is Superman 172. He has co-created with Larry Hancock, The Silent Invasion and The Purple Ray. Other comics he has worked on include Suburban Nightmares with Larry Hancock and John van Bruggen; and The New Frontier with John Sabljic.

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