Save 30% on Ted Rall’s ‘To Afghanistan and Back’ & More

Twenty years ago this week, a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the militant Islamist terrorist group al-Qaeda against the United States of America on the morning of September 11th.

The United States reacted, bombing the Taliban. Controversial cartoonist Ted Rall didn’t just watch it on TV–he jumped on a plane straight to the war zone to get the real story for himself.

But the only cartoonist to go to Afghanistan got more than he bargained for, way more than his previous gut-wrenching trip deep up the legendary Silk Road. Within days of arriving, armed men were hunting down journalists to murder and rob them. Waving funnies didn’t help.

From the gruesome spectacle of a Taliban prisoner blowing himself up with grenades to the hilarious image of mujahideen lining up for shaves and DVD porn a day after joining the Northern Alliance, you can count on Rall for a decidedly different take on this gritty war.

To Afghanistan and Back, features as its centerpiece a 50-page graphic novel travelogue of his experience as a cartoonist and war correspondent. It also includes Rall’s articles, cartoons and photos as filed from the front for the Village Voice and syndicated throughout America.

Ted Rall saw all the way back then how this was doomed to failure. Called a “tremendous contribution to comics war journalism” by Publishers Weekly, and Booklist reviewed To Afghanistan and Back stating,”For alternative views of post-9/11 politics, don’t pass up this small, potent volume.”

Now with Afghanistan in the news once again, we encourage readers to explore both this book and others by Ted Rall, who has earned his reputation as a stellar reporter, twice winning the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and is a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

Through the month of September, you can order any of Rall’s NBM titles and save 30% by entering the code: “RALL” at checkout.

Drawing The Silent Invasion with Aliens Breathing Down Your Neck

The title may seem dramatic but it’s true!

Tiny, chirping, grey aliens are all around my drawing board, causing little mishaps as I try to complete each page. They misplace my pencils, hide my ink, break my pen nibs, and steal perfectly good art work before I can finish it. They claim they’re being mischievous—like that character from the fifth dimension in a comic book that shall not be named. BUT, I know all of these lame tricks are part of an ongoing effort to stop us from revealing the truth behind what these aliens been really doing on our planet over the past 75-plus years!

But they will not succeed! Dark Matter, Book Four of The Silent Invasion graphic novel series will be released on October 19!

And here is a page from chapter four to give you an idea of the process …

Here is a page of “final” pencils. I tend to do all my pencils using a non-repro blue pencil. The artwork is 10-1/4 inches wide by 15-3/8 inches high.

Here is the same page inked and lettered. You’ll see differences between the pencils and inks. Before inking I decided to change the viewpoint in some panels; and the design of the character operating the “mind-O-meter.”

The completed page. Grey “zip-a-tone-like” tones were added using photoshop. And for the sake of consistency, I re-lettered the story on the computer. But that my friends, is a story for another day.

Remember watch the skies! The aliens are coming!

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The Silent Invasion at Fan Expo Canada

The Silent Invasion Book 4: Dark Matter will be available in bookstores, comic shops and digitally in mid-October. The first (and so far only) stop on our WORLD PREMIERE BOOK LAUNCH tour will be at Fan Expo Canada in Toronto from October 22 to 24, 2021 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Come by and see us at our table in Artist Alley. We will have copies of all four books available for purchase. Michael will have original art for display and for sale. You can also cajole Michael to provide a sketch!


Meanwhile… Watch the skies!

THEY….. are… out… there!!

Michael Cherkas and Larry Hancock

For more information on The Silent Invasion click here.

You can follow us on Facebook as well.

You can find Larry’s previous blog posts here

And posts by Michael Cherkas, here

Meet the stars of The Silent Invasion, Dark Matter!

Dark Matter, book 4 of The Silent Invasion series continues the strange saga of evil aliens, deep-state conspiracies, and paranoia that began in Red Shadows. Though it’s now 1970, the troubles of the Sinkage family continue, as Walter Sinkage tries to learn what really happened to his brother Matt back in 1959.

Here to help you get acquainted with the stars of the new volume are brief descriptions of the main characters in Dark Matter.

Walter Sinkage
He’s an unassuming financial analyst for a large multi-national insurance company, whose quiet suburban life is shattered after he sees several flying saucers whiz by in April 1970.
Katie Sinkage
Walter’s wife. She convinced him to move from Glen Allan Hill to Willowdale in April of 1970 which only causes Walter more trouble and strife than he can handle.
Eddy Dime
A detective who finds himself stymied while investigating what he believes may be a dark
conspiracy that reaches into the highest and murkiest echelons of government power.
Charlene B.
She’s been abducted by little grey or green aliens since she was a child. But no one, not even her best family or friends believes a word she says.

Commander forbes
A rat, a back room fixer and a ward healer! from way back! Who is he really working for?

Next time we’ll meet the supporting cast of Dark Matter!

Meanwhile watch the skies! I did and saw a “UFO” the other day! Really! I did.

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The Silent Invasion: In-depth interview

What do you think of that cover for Book 4? Pretty snazzy, eh?

Looking for more background on The Silent Invasion? Here is a fun, long, in-depth interview from 2018 when Michael and I appeared at SPX in Bethesda Maryland to promote the release of Book 2.

http://comicsdc.blogspot.com/2018/10/the-silent-invasions-michael-cherkas.html

NBM October 2021 Releases

Here are upcoming titles, now being solicited in comic stores through Diamond Previews for an October 2021 release.

NEW

THE SILENT INVASION VOL 4: DARK MATTER
Written by Larry Hancock; Illustrated by Michael Cherkas

Walter Sinkage’s quiet suburban life is shattered when he witnesses several UFOs flash past in the sky. His search for the truth about the UFOS and the suspicious disappearance of his brother Matt, leads him to an alien abduction support group and confrontation with the Church of Cosmic Enlightenment.

When Walter also vanishes, police detective Eddy Dime finds himself stymied while trying to uncover the truth behind what happened to the two brothers and other victims of what he believes may be an alien conspiracy that reaches into the highest and murkiest echelons of government power.


7×10, 144pp., Black & White trade paperback., $16.99/ $22.50 CAN
PB ISBN: 978168112283051699 
; DIAMOND CODE: AUG211898

PREVIEWS

AVAILABLE AGAIN

THE SILENT INVASION VOL 1: RED SHADOWS
Written by Larry Hancock; Illustrated by Michael Cherkas

Introduction by Max Allan Collins

Set against the background of a nightmarish 1950s crawling with communist spies, corrupt FBI agents, McCarthyites, Stalinists, cold warriors, flying saucers, mysterious government organizations, The Silent Invasion weaves a byzantine tale of mystery and deceit as a bewildered investigative reporter Matt Sinkage pursues the truth behind an apparent alien invasion of earth that points to involvement at the highest levels of American government officials.

7×10, 160pp., Black & White trade paperback., $16.99/ $22.50 CAN
PB ISBN: 978168112174151699

; DIAMOND CODE: AUG211899

PREVIEWS

THE SILENT INVASION VOL 2: THE GREAT FEAR
Written by Larry Hancock; Illustrated by Michael Cherkas

The paranoia and conspiracy theories continue! Beleaguered reporter Matt Sinkage’s quest to discover the truth behind an apparent, government-backed alien invasion of earth leads him to investigate a quasi-religious UFO cult based in an idyllic small American community.

Then the sudden death of a prominent politician paves the way for Senator Harrison Callahan to seek the Presidency of the United States. But Sinkage, believing that Callahan is an alien pawn, is determined to stop him at all costs.

7×10, 160pp., Black & White trade paperback, US $16.99 / $22.50 CAN
PB ISBN: 978168112206951699

; DIAMOND CODE: AUG211900

PREVIEWS

SILENT INVASION VOL 3: ABDUCTIONS
Written by Larry Hancock; Illustrated by Michael Cherkas
Introduction by Robert J Sawyer

Several years after his fateful final encounter with would-be presidential assassin Matt Sinkage, private detective Phil Housley finds himself reluctantly protecting a paranoid lawyer from alien abductions, sinister government agents and mad scientists. At the same time Housley is battling demons from his past that threaten to unravel his own fragile sanity.

Collected here for the first time, Abductions continues the Silent Invasion saga of a deeply paranoid and fearful America.

7×10, 160pp., Black & White trade paperback US $16.99/ $22.50 CAN
Paperback ISBN:978168112255751699; DIAMOND CODE: AUG211901

PREVIEWS

First Look at The New ‘Dungeon’ on Free Comic Book Day!

This November, NBM is proud to release an all new edition of our beloved Dungeon series!

The Dungeon: Zenith Omnibus Vol. 4: Outside the Ramparts will be sharing a first look for fans with our Free Comic Book Day issue available Saturday, August 14th at participating comic book shops everywhere!

This over-the-top adventure is full of mischief, misadventure, and scheming… lots and lots of scheming, that is sure to leave you wanting more… and also leave you wondering how these guys wind up in some of these situations in the first place!

Help Marvin the dragon, Isis and Herbert the duck reclaim Dungeon from the scheming (told ya there’d be a lot of scheming) William Delacour. All you have to do is find some magic ‘fugus purit’ and use it to dislodge the current occupants of the fortress. Seems easy enough, right? What could possibly go wrong??

Head to your local comic shop on Saturday, August 14 for FCBD for your chance to pick up this tantalizing teaser of what’s to come!



Watch the skies this coming October! “Dark Matter” is heading your way!

We have finally completed the story and art for Dark Matter, the fourth volume in our graphic novel series The Silent Invasion. For those new to the series, Dark Matter continues the mis-adventures of the Sinkage family (in this volume, Walter Sinkage and his wife, Katie) as they get entangled with flying saucer sightings, UFO-based religious cults and a clandestine network of deep state agencies.

To whet your appetite for more here is the final cover to Dark Matter.

Next time we’ll have sketches, layouts, pencils and final art to preview.

Stay tuned and watch out for the little grey aliens! They’re coming to steal our minds if they haven’t already!

The Silent Invasion: Dark Matter is almost here!

NBM will be releasing Book 4 of our Silent Invasion series in October. This is the first brand new material that we have produced in the series since we did the Abductions story in 2002 (which NBM released as Book 3 last year)

Above you will see a synopsis from the back cover of the book.

Over on his portion of the Blog, Michael has been posting some artwork from the book. Check that out.

Some of you reading this may not be familiar with The Silent Invasion. So for a bit of background information here is the text that we wrote as an Afterward for a french language edition of Book 1 which was published in mid 2020.

The Silent Invasion; Aliens Ate Our Brains

The Silent Invasion was first published by Renegade Press in comic book form in 1986. This volume contains the first six issues and, in the beginning, that was all that there was supposed to be.

We had contributed a couple of back-up Dick Mallet stories to Dave Sim’s Cerebus, published by Aardvark-Vanaheim. When Deni Loubert left Aardvark-Vanaheim to start Renegade Press she asked us if we wanted to develop a series for the new line. We jumped at the opportunity. Michael knew that at that time he had no chance at working in mainstream comics.

As we searched for a topic, our minds turned to our childhood fantasies and fears for inspiration.

During the 1950s, and well into the 1960s when we were growing up, there were numerous UFO sightings across North America. UFO researchers called them “UFO flaps.” Michael in particular was fascinated by these UFO sightings. He grew up in Oshawa, a city located on the north shore of Lake Ontario about 50 kilometres east of Toronto. In looking for diversions and excitement he would, with a couple of friends, spend long evenings staring into the night skies hoping to see one of those mysterious discs visiting us wretched earthlings from the deep reaches of outer space.

Our imagination was fuelled by “bad” sci-fi movies; Fate Magazine; the charlatan, George Adamski, who claimed to have been taken on tours of the solar system by friendly aliens; and the story of Barney and Betty Hill, the New Hampshire couple famously abducted by aliens in 1961.

We thought we could have some fun by creating a series that would follow the adventures of a delusional reporter (Matt Sinkage) as he tries to link the UFO sightings and “alien abductions” of the 1950s and 1960s to the Cold War and the communist witch hunts that were orchestrated by Joseph McCarthy and his crowd of right wing hooligans. And this link would be a deep-state (in the days before we knew what the deep state was) conspiracy run by a shadowy government organization.

The series was always meant to be a light-hearted and somewhat satirical pastiche of 1950s film noir thrillers and science fiction movies.

Visually, Michael looked to the European cartoonists for inspiration. He was first introduced to European cartoonists around 1970-71 through the fanzines Graphic Story World and Graphic Story Magazine. Additionally, he found that he could buy Pilote and Tintin at a smoke shop/pool hall/magazine stand in “culturally-deprived” Oshawa. It was then that he discovered Jean Girard, Hergé, Hugo Pratt; and then later Yves Chaland, Serge Clerc, Jacques Tardi and others. His eyes were truly opened as to what was possible in comics.

The premise of The Silent Invasion is that there is something terribly rotten in the American government. This book and the second volume are set in the 1950s during the time of the communist witch-hunts. But Matt Sinkage, our main character, thinks he is on to something when he believes he discovers evidence that a recent rash of UFO sightings is somehow connected to the so-called communist infiltration of government departments and agencies. What’s never clear is whether the “communists in government” is a cover story to detract from the “alien invasion of earth” or the other way around. And as with any good conspiracy theory, the conspiracy can never be resolved. It can only get more complex.

And now, in 2020, the world has caught up with The Silent Invasion. As we type these words, the Pentagon has just released videos of “unidentified aerial phenomena” – videos which it admits are real, but unexplainable. A President has been elected about whom conspiracy theories abound – was he fairly elected or was there manipulation by foreign or, dare we speculate, alien powers? And we are all locked indoors, fearing the worst from Covid-19!

In the months before the release of the original comic book series, our promotional campaign used headlines such as… “What kind of alien is your neighbor? What kind are you?” and “We are under surveillance! Who do you trust?” and “There are 187 aliens in Congress! Who did you vote for?” These phrases speak to the atmosphere of the 2020s just as much as they did to the 1950s.

Today The Silent Invasion resonates even more: the current president is no stranger to creating, and sustaining, conspiracy theories. It is unlikely that he’s ever seen a conspiracy theory he didn’t like. Is he under the influence of aliens? If so, are they terrestrial or extra-terrestrial?

As we mentioned, The Silent Invasion began as a six issue series in 1986, and that is what you presently hold in your hands. This was a staggeringly innovative year for comic books. Amazing Heroes magazine chose The Silent Invasion as one of the ten best comics of 1986, a list which was topped by Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight and also included Watchmen, Love and Rockets and Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing. We were also nominated for a 1987 Kirby Award for best black-and-white comic of the year (losing to Cerebus by fellow Canadian Dave Sim)

Before we completed those issues we realized we wanted to continue the story, and wrote and drew a further six issues. Several years later, aliens possessed us and forced us to tell yet another tale. And we are currently are working on a brand new story to be published soon.

Hopefully you will enjoy this book enough that Delcourt brings you the next perplexing adventure of Matt Sinkage!

Meanwhile… Watch the skies!

THEY….. are… out… there!!

Michael Cherkas and Larry Hancock

Toronto, Canada

May 2020

For more information on The Silent Invasion click here.

You can follow us on Facebook as well.

You can find Larry’s previous blog posts here

And posts by Michael Cherkas, here

NBM September 2021 Releases

Here are upcoming titles, now being solicited in comic stores through Diamond Previews for an September 2021 release.

NEW

Dungeon: Zenith Vols. 1-2 The Barbarian Princess
Created by Lewis Trondheim & Joann Sfar

DUNGEON IS BACK! With all-new stories coming in November, here are omnibus collections of the first volumes.

Welcome to Dungeon, the looniest world of horror and heroic fantasy you’ll ever be transported into! A spoof of Dungeons & Dragons and all heroic fantasy tropes. This series, a best-seller in many countries, starts with the apogee of Dungeon, a mighty castle filled with monsters, trolls and goblins kept by a wily bird, the Dungeon Keeper, and the object of desire of many an uncouth and disgusting form of life (and afterlife) and Herbert the Timorous Duck is assigned to defend it! Thank goodness, the Dungeon Keeper has assigned Marvin the Dragon, a blood-thirsty, uh, vegetarian, warrior, to his side. 4 full stories in one omnibus volume at a new larger size! (Combines the 1st 2 volumes originally published).

8 ½ x 11, 192pp., full color trade paperback, $19.99, ISBN 978168112280951999; DIAMOND CODE: JUL211800
Pub Date: September 15th 2021

PREVIEWS

 

Dungeon: The Early Years, Vols. 1-2 The Night Shirt
Created by Christophe Blain, Joann Sfar, Lewis Trondheim

DUNGEON IS BACK! With all-new stories coming in November, here are omnibus collections of the first volumes.

In the sprawling world of Dungeon, the Early Years subseries relates the origins of it. In this first story, you will see the Keeper barely an adult leaving his family to go find fortune in a time of chaos and darkness… Fun, adventure, suspense and… wry satire. Hyacinthe, Dungeon Keeper to be, continues to render justice in a cloak nightly as The Night Shirt and stumbles upon the one he pines for, Alexandra, an assassin, about to be raped! After his valiant and heroic rescue, his wettest dreams come true… with dire consequences.

In the second story which happens quite a few years later, he’s married and a poor husband, worse even, a poor lover, until Alexandra plots to gain him back. Cloak and dagger with romantic bravura! And you thought he didn’t have it in him. Art by Eisner nominated Blain (Gus) and story by legendary Trondheim and Eisner nominated Sfar (Rabbi’s Cat).

8 ½ x 11, 192pp, full color trade paperback, 19.99, ISBN 978168112281651999; DIAMOND CODE: JUL211799
Pub Date: September 15th 2021

PREVIEWS

 

AVAILABLE AGAIN

Dungeon Monstres, Vol.5 “My Son the Killer”
By Joann Sfar, Lewis Trondheim, Blutch, Frederic Bezian

In the title story, we meet Marvin the Dragon still a pup with his Mom but make no mistake, both are formidable. Their ferocity catches the eye of the Keeper who is still making his way up the ladder in Antipolis and has many dangerous enemies. He makes them his bodyguards. Soon enough, crafty little Marvin manages to witness a sinister plot and tries to save the Keeper and the city’s leaders from annihilation.

In “Soldiers of Honor,” Gork and Krag are brothers and soldiers of hell. They keep a secret door in the Dungeon. The door being little used, they get bored, until an old blind man forces Krag, alone on duty that day, to call reinforcements to prevent him from entering. Because he has not fulfilled his mission, Krag is sentenced to be killed by his own brother in the middle of the desert!

6 ½ x 9, 96 pp., trade pb., $14.99; ISBN 978156163937351499; DIAMOND CODE: JUL211803

PREVIEWS

 

Dungeon Monstres, Vol. 6 “The Great Animator”
By Lewis Trondheim, Joann Sfar, Stanislas, Nicolas Keramidas

In an automaton themed volume, ‘The Great Animator’ pits the predecessor to the Vaucanson great castle and realm against a huge army of ruthless invaders. The great castle’s army of battle automatons evens the fight but at great cost.

In the second story, ‘The Inventor’s Grimoire’, the Vaucanson grimoire with the secrets of building automatons has disappeared! If it fell in the wrong hands, much harm could come of it. And indeed, it turns out the greedy Lord Delacour has snatched it with the intention of auctioning it off to the highest bidder!

6 ½ x 9, 96pp., full color trade pb., $15.99, ISBN 978156163998451500; DIAMOND CODE: JUL211804

PREVIEWS

 

Dungeon: Twilight Vol. 4: High Septentrion & The End of Dungeon
By Johann Sfar, Lewis Trondheim, Alfred, Mazan

The last two stories of Dungeon!

In High Septentrion, there has been a violent eruption on the planet of Terra Amata. It’s a scramble to find breathable air, but the wizened blind, mystical dragon the Dust King (Marvin) thinks that it is perhaps time for him to die heroically. However the feisty young Marvin the Red refuses to give up and plans to find a way out of this mess, including finding a way to actually breathe… Art by Alfred of “Why I Killed Peter.”

And in The End of Dungeon the more the islets of the planet Terra Amata move upward, the less there is of breathable oxygen. While Marvin the Red and Zakutu, daughter of the Grand Khân, attempt to protect the seven objects of Destiny, Herbert and the Dust King are forced to swear allegiance to the Dark Entity in order to gain access to breathable air. 

All things must come to an end and so it is with the great Dungeon.

6 ½ x 9, 96pp., full color pb, $14.99, ISBN 978156163919951499; DIAMOND CODE: JUL211802

PREVIEWS

 

Dungeon: Zenith, Vol.3 “Back In Style”
By Boulet, Joann Sfar, Lewis Trondheim

Taking a pause from the Monstres sub-series, the main Zenith mini series is back! This time with the art of Boulet but still written by the Sfar/Trondheim duo. Two stories continue the heyday of Dungeon!

In the first, Isis is to be married to the Keeper but she wants Herbert! Besides, the whole affair promises to ruin the Dungeon completely.

In the second, besides the continued Keeper financial mishaps, Herbert wishes to make his comeback to his hometown where his name is mud. He disguises himself with a potion that makes him ‘the mask of death’. Only one problem: if he laughs, he becomes himself again!

6 ½ x 9, 96pp, full color trade pb., $14.99, ISBN 978156163550451499; DIAMOND CODE: JUL211805

 

Dungeon: Twilight, Vol. 2: Armageddon
Created by Lewis Trondheim, Joann Sfar, Kerascoet

Marvin, saved at the last minute from certain death in a duel by his young warrior admirer Marvin the Red, simply cannot be let to die like he wishes! Whatever he loses, he regains in different powers. He’s even become invincible.

It’s to the point where he’d rather exchange body parts to get back his mortality. But then he is led to a discovery that may make continuing to live actually worth it.

6 ½ x 9, 96pp., full color trade pb., $14.99, PB ISBN: 978156163477451499; DIAMOND CODE: JUL211801

PREVIEWS