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.
Lock your doors! Close the blinds! Bar your windows!
Hide your children and especially your pets!!
The little grey men from Proxima Centauri are coming for you, if they haven’t already taken you for a ride through the galaxy!
And while watching out for little grey or green men, look for Dark Matter, the fourth book in The Silent Invasion series coming this October from NBM. And, remember, if you see mysterious glowing lights in your back yard during the middle of the night — run and hide!
Dark Matter, Book Four of The Silent Invasion will be released this coming October. This tale of shadowy, out of control, international cabals weaving byzantine webs of deep state conspiracies, fear, and paranoia in an America that may be controlled by mysterious space aliens “continues” in an alternate-world 1970—five years after the “conclusion” of Abductions, the previous book in the series.
The jury is still out on whether The Silent Invasion is a documentary or just the addled ravings of a couple of comic book geeks from southern Ontario.
Here are a couple of finished pages from Chapter Two…
Until next time, stay safe and watch out for those little green men!
A number of weeks ago Larry Hancock and I chatted with by John Swinimer, the host of the True North Country Comics Podcast to promote our appearance at this year’s now cancelled Toronto Comics Arts Festival. We had planned to launch the newly-released Abductions, Book Three of The Silent Invasion series at TCAF 2020.
Tune in and enjoy our conversation with John here.
This time around, here’s a tour of the tiny space where The Silent Invasion is drawn, erased, redrawn, lettered and inked.
And now some photos:
Top row; the approach to the studio: bottom; the ink-stained desk, surrounded by some treasured and well-read favourite comics and other bric-a-brac.
The artist’s materials, including his trusty blue pencils, numbers 4 and 5 Winsor & Newton Series 7 watercolour brushes, and jars of India ink.
The bookshelves beside and behind my drawing table, and three very dusty 1/72-scale plastic airplane models built in the wayback time when I was in high school. The aircraft are a Hawker Tempest (in front), Grumman Bearcat (rear left) and a Grumman Hellcat.
Until next time, watch the skies, and stay safe and healthy.
Way back in the distant past (remember those days?), we created this 7-page tale telling the story of Dick Mallet’s last case. If you recall, it was Dick Mallet’s mysterious disappearance at the beginning The Great Fear that was the catalyst to get this wild goose chase going. Presented here for the first time in many years, is the story that explains how poor old Dick Mallet ended up on a lonely road somewhere in America back in the halcyon days of 1952.
As we get closer to the release of Abductions, the excitement is almost unbearable!
No forget that…
Let’s talk about floating anxiety. I’m sure most people perusing this blog have it. I have it. How can we relieve that sense of uncertainty?
I know! Read something light and fluffy—not stuffy—like The Silent Invasion! Books One and Two are now available from NBM. Abductions, Book Three of the series will be released shortly. The art is a little quirky, and the story will take you down rabbit holes with no exits. And as I like to say, The Silent Invasion is a comic/graphic novel for people who LIKE to READ comics.
Before closing for today, here’s a look at some pages from Chapter Two of Dark Matter, Book Four of The Silent Invasion, coming next year from NBM. These images are not scans. They were photographed with my phone camera. So here they are, warts and all.
Next—a visit to the artist’s lair.
Until tomorrow… Watch the skies! Stay safe and healthy! And read The Silent Invasion (and all those other comics)!
Yes, Abductions, Book Three of The Silent Invasion will be released very shortly. Our challenge this week will be to post something every day.
Today, I’m going to give you a peek at some work from Book Four which will be released next year.
Here is the evolution of one page from Chapter Two of Book Four.
The initial rough of said page drawn with a big fat marker:
Here is the first version of the pencils:
Then after much thought the page was re-pencilled to this:
Below is the inked version. Some background details are missing in panel 4. And we are still waiting for the wordsmith to provide words to the page. Of course when Larry sees this blog post that will the first time he’s seen the almost finished page.
All of these images were shot with a phone camera in my kitchen under bad lighting.
Tomorrow: the artist’s secret sanctum; or pages from an alternate world Silent Invasion?
Presented in glorious black and white, Abductions is an escapist, fun-filled, paranoia-filled romp through 1965-era Union City in which private detective Phil Housley searches for Matt Sinkage—the man he thought he killed six years earlier (see Books One and Two of our series for more conspiracy-riddled tales from America’s fictional heartland).
Here’s a short sequence from Chapter Two of Abductions:
And then Phil Housley is mesmerized by the 25-yard end zones while watching a Canadian Football League game between the British Columbia Lions and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats:
Abductions, Book Three of The Silent Invasion is coming in May! For those who don’t know, Abductions is a fun-filled paranoia-fuelled escapist romp through a warped 1960s America, a small antidote for these anxiety-inducing times.
Look up! Look out! and Watch the skies while you stay at home!
As you have most likely seen, the next volume of The Silent Invasion — Abductions — now has a new cover. And no this is not some sort of hoax or an alternate universe.
Actually what happened is this: I received a message from space — through a filling in a back molar — that the aliens did not want to be portrayed on the cover! It turns out that they appear in different guises to different people. Some see them as little grey aliens; others as wisps of smoke; and others see them as tall robotic-like creatures. So we had to change the cover or risk abduction into deep space or a parallel world (Earth 2 maybe?).
The aliens also suggested showing a few development sketches for the new cover. Here they are…
The Silent Invasion: Abductions is coming in May.
Watch the skies! The aliens are out there! And listen to your molars!