Watch for Abductions! Coming Soon!

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:

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Here is the first version of the pencils:

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Then after much thought the page was re-pencilled to this:

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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.

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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?

Remember, watch the skies! And stay healthy!

 

Abductions is Coming!

Stay Safe and Enjoy Abductions, Book Three of The Silent Invasion series

Abductions_FINAL_Title Page

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:

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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:

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For more previews click here.

And remember to watch the skies while you stay at home.

Abductions is Coming!

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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.

And remember:
Look up! Look out! and Watch the skies while you stay at home!

GAAAK copy

Preview

 

New Silent Invasion Cover Not a Hoax

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.

Abduction_front cover

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…

Abductions Cover layouts

The Silent Invasion: Abductions is coming in May.

Watch the skies! The aliens are out there! And listen to your molars!

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Christmas in Union City

Perk Up Readers! Don’t let the Paranoia, Alien Encounters, Lies or the Mad Conspiracies of the Oligarchy get you Down! It’s Christmas!

While searching through the disorganized archives of The Silent Invasion we found this Christmas-themed cover from the sixth-issue of the Caliber reprints, published in a far distant past—a past that today almost feels like it was an alternate reality.

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Watch the skies! They ARE coming for you! And look out behind you! You don’t want to end up like old Matt Sinkage here—nursing a bunch of beers in a lonely Ontario bar…

Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! And all the best in 2020 from the Gang of Two that bring you The Silent Invasion.

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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.

Abductions! The Lost Covers

Abductions! is coming from NBM May.

And to get you all feverish with anticipation, here’s a look at four of the covers from Secret Messages—the long-lost floppy comic—in which Abductions! was first serialized.

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Next week: more lost art… plus answers to the following burning questions about Canadian football: Why are there two 50-yard lines? How can the entire backfield be in motion without confusing both the offensive and defensive teams? And why are the end zones so big?

Keep watching the skies, even though it’s already too late! The aliens are here and stealing your precious bodily fluids!

More Alien Abductions!

FINALLY! We’re relieved that Abductions—the third volume of The Silent Invasion—will soon be collected and published by NBM next May.

Abductions has had a long and tortuous history beginning when the first chapter was published by Caliber back in 1998. We self-published the second chapter as a mini-comic in July 1999. Then it was shelved until 2001, when NBM released it as a five-issue mini floppy comic book series.

Then it disappeared into the mists of time…

Abductions takes place in 1965, five or six years after the end of Book Two. Matt Sinkage, our hero from the first two volumes is—apparently—no longer with us, but private investigator Phil Housley is reluctantly drawn into the unsolvable puzzle of UFO conspiracy theories when he is hired to look for a missing lawyer, one Mr. Howard Finster.

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Here’s a glimpse into the past with the cover to the Caliber published first issue from 1998…

Abductions_1.cover_Caliber

The cover to our self-published mini-comic (a hotly sought after collector’s item!)

Abductions mini comic cover

And then, the above was re-coloured for the first issue of the NBM published Secret Messages

Sil_Invasion_NBM_Abductions01_small copy

Look out behind you! Over your left shoulder! No! Over your right shoulder! The aliens are coming!!! Or they may be here already…

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Don’t be afraid! Watch the skies!!!

 

The Silent Invasion’s Lost Fridge Magnets

We’ll be at TCAF—the Toronto Comic Arts Festival—on May 11 and 12 promoting the newest volume in The Silent Invasion reprint series—The Great Fear. In the past when we were more active in the comic book field and attended the odd convention, we would bring promotional items as give aways for interested readers and fans. These “trinkets and trash” have included buttons, bookmarks, fridge magnets, flyers and mini-comics.

This year we’ll have a series of four brand new bookmarks we’re in the process of designing. Since TCAF is held at the Toronto Reference Library, we think the bookmarks are doubly-appropriate. Drop by the NBM table and Larry will regale you with tall tales of our misadventures at past conventions! We hope to see you there.

In the meantime, here are reproductions of the fridge magnets we produced a number of years ago.

Magnet artNext time we’ll give you a sneak preview of the opening pages of the new Silent Invasion “epic” slated for release next year.

And remember to watch the skies!

UFOs, Flying Saucers, Conspiracies and Union City

Many fans and readers have asked us (all right, maybe one or two) “Where is the Union City that we see in The Silent Invasion?” Now is a good a time as any to try to answer this burning question.

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As you can see by the sign in the above panel, Union City is miles from “Rockhaven” (see “The Rockhaven Conspiracy” in our upcoming book The Great Fear), but only a short drive from Endicott which is just down the road from Johnson City and Binghamton, New York. However, Orangeville is northwest of Toronto. Obviously the aliens have been messing with our universe.

It is a place dripping with paranoia.

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The Union City found in The Silent Invasion is not located in New Jersey, California or Ohio. It could be located in Ohio—but not where the real Union City, Ohio is on the border of Indiana. And it’s not in Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania or Tennessee (other states that have places named Union City).

Our Union City is a place where the streets are have no names and are devoid of life. Buildings tower and twist over the few brave souls who venture out into the lonely night where newspapers blow through the empty streets.

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When we set out to create The Silent Invasion, Larry and I both wanted to set the series in a generic comic book city much like Superman’s Metropolis, Batman’s Gotham City or The Spirit’s Central City. It would be a place that was fairly large, close to a million people in population. It would be located in a fictional part of America that’s not far from deserts, mountains, cottage country or rolling farmland. Union City is close to whatever setting a particular story demands.

And of course it’s always 1957, whether the actors in our stories like it or not.

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But where in that fictional America? We like to think it’s located on one of the Great Lakes. No deserts or mountains nearby, but it’s an alternate universe. How do we know that? Because in The Silent Invasion Union City is one of 12 American cities to have a franchise in a 24-team Canadian Football League. More on this in a future post for all you CFL fans out there!

In this page from a new story set in 1970, we see Walter Sinkage’s work pals trying to get him to watch a game between the Union City Pipefitters and the Sarnia Imperials.

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At the end of the day, I think our real inspiration for Union City was Buffalo, New York.

I grew up in Oshawa, Ontario; Larry in nearby Whitby. They’re on the north shore of Lake Ontario, about 50 kilometres east of Toronto and almost directly north of Buffalo. As kids, we watched American television coming out of Buffalo. American TV was always more exciting than the fare being served on Canadian channels. Commander Tom was on at 3:30 showing the old Superman TV show; Irv Weinstein read the news on Channel 7; and there always seemed to be a fire somewhere in Buffalo with “film at eleven!”

And Toronto didn’t start to become exciting until at least 1967, maybe even a few years later.

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Larry has said Union City might be located somewhere on the south shore of Lake Ontario between Buffalo and Rochester.

But I think the real location is in the dusty corners of our imaginations…

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Remember to watch the skies!

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