It’s Not a Hockey Game Unless a Fight Breaks Out

Abductions, the third volume in our series The Silent Invasion will be released this coming May. As we’ve been preparing book three, we’ve actually been harder at work on book four which, when complete, will be our first all-new Silent Invasion story in 20-plus years.

Here’s a sneak peak at the first six pages of book four, showing the evolution of these pages from raw layouts to final art.

Larry and I will get together and regale each other with ideas for a story. In between story ideas, he talks about baseball (the Blue Jays) and I talk about hockey (the Oshawa Generals and Whitby Dunlops). We are clearly not listening to one another. And as with hockey, bench clearing brawls often break out. After the first set of fisticuffs, I go away and roughly lay out the scenes as we think we’ve discussed them. The layouts are drawn with a ball point pen or felt pen in small notebooks.

layouts book 4

The layouts then go back to Larry and he says, “this scene is too long,” and I say “we don’t have the space limitation anymore. It doesn’t matter. Let’s keep it.” He then says, “The book will go on forever. We’ll never finish it.” Naturally there is a second set of blows—but no game misconduct yet. Pencils are then completed the old fashioned way—with non-repro blue pencils. Rough scripting is indicated on tracing paper. Scenes have been shortened, others moved or added. Then the pencils are photographed with a crappy phone camera and go back to Larry.

pencils book 4

Larry edits the scripting even more and after one final donnybrook, I make more changes to the art. Pages are redrawn and redrawn—and after much gnashing of teeth edited again and again. And then finally lettered and inked. The art is then scanned, cleaned up and grey tones added in Photoshop. And there you have it the final art as it stands now. I expect as we move further along in the story I will go back and make more adjustments to the art.

final art book 4

And you thought this post was going to be about (ice) hockey.

Next time: Remembering the Baltimore Stallions—winners of the Grey Cup in 1995 (and the only American-based team to win the CFL championship).

Watch the skies remember—all U.S. presidents since 1980 have been aliens from space!!! The radio in my fillings told me so.

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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