The Silent Invasion: Abductions – Robert J. Sawyer introduction

Abductions, Book 3 of The Silent Invasion is now available through finer book shops (as the saying goes). It can be ordered in print online and is available as a digital download.

To help entice you to make the purchase, we are presenting here Robert J. Sawyer’s introduction to this volume. Sit back and enjoy!

INTRODUCTION

HERE WE GO AGAIN

The French, they have a certain—I don’t know what. But they sure do have a way with words, and, as they say, Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Here we are in 2020—remember when that was an eye-test score and not a year?—and the dark paranoia of the 1950s is with us once more. To let Yogi Berra, a famed athlete from that era, continue our French theme, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.”

Larry Hancock, who writes The Silent Invasion, is my accountant—and a damn good one he is, too. Since my principal dealings with the government are on matters of taxation, I like that Larry has a healthy skepticism about what those in Ottawa (for us Canadians) and Washington (I’m a dual citizen—he does my US return, too) are up to.

Larry and Michael Cherkas, the gifted artist who draws The Silent Invasion, were mere young’uns when McCarthyism gripped the United States, but they were university students by the time the edict “follow the money” led to the downfall of Tricky Dick Nixon. And, as they were creating the first floppy-comic versions of what’s become a beloved cult classic, the notion that the US government had faked the moon landing (and then faked it again, and again, and again, and again, and again) was already entrenched in the popular imagination.

Those earlier issues of The Silent Invasion predated the Clinton impeachment, the Iran-Contra scandal, the trumped-up war in Iraq following 9/11, the labeling of truth as “fake news,” the current raging paranoia about deep-state activities, the resurgence of flat-Earthers, and the election of a shifty reality-TV star to the most powerful office in the world. And although this third volume was also begun before all that happened, it reads as though it could have been written today.

What seemed like nostalgia for the hard-boiled detective fiction of the 1930s and 1940s, and a callback to the UFO craze and Red scare of the 1950s, now reads like—well, not newspaper headlines; those are so last millennium. Our intrepid hero, Matt Sinkage, were he still plying his trade today, would doubtless have a YouTube channel with millions of followers. He’d no longer be a voice in the wilderness, his warnings rarely heeded, but rather the center of tweetstorms, and no doubt the subject of online jabs, not from the long-forgotten President Callahan, who, in the Invasion-verse was elected in 1960 despite Sinkage’s attempt to assassinate him, but from President Trump himself.

Matt Sinkage would recognize the parallels between those two commanders-in-chief, though: Callahan was a dupe, a stooge, a puppet of alien forces, and, well, so, it seems, is Donald Trump, in that interchangeable way that aliens and Russians exist in the shadows of our minds. As Matt said of the former president but could have just as easily observed of the latter, “If he gets elected the aliens will control him. They’ll be in charge of the country … and maybe the world.” Where is Senator McCarthy now that we finally actually need him? Instead, we live in a world where nothing, not even impeachment, seems capable of bringing down the monster in our midst.

This third volume of The Silent Invasion at last adds in a little Canadian content; after all, its two creators live in Toronto. They insidiously use Canadian spellings (“neighbours” rather than “neighbors”), casually bring Canadian football into a conversation, and seamlessly weave the long forgotten Avro Avrocar flying disc into the plot.

Some grad student will eventually note that the name The Silent Invasion echoes The Quiet Revolution that transformed Quebec in the 1960s. Yes, grad student. What you have in your hands is pure entertainment, to be sure, but also food for thought: there’s enough meat here about how conspiracies, cover-ups, and corruption work to fuel a decent thesis or two.

Of course, the first thing one notices when leafing through these pages is the very distinctive art. There’s always been something eerie about Michael Cherkas’s figures, with their muscular bodies and tiny heads, but today, when we apply force—whether online or off—without much thinking, they seem emblematic of our shoot-first-and-consider- later age.

Meanwhile, Cherkas’s harsh use of black and white, with shades of gray reserved solely for showing shadows, seems the perfect metaphor for our era of polarization. And, really, how apropos of the infiltration of Russia into our daily life is Cherkas’s unique lettering in which a ‘U’ looks like the backward ‘N’ that is the tenth letter of the Russian version of the Cyrillic alphabet?

So, will this long-delayed third volume of The Silent Invasion be the end of Matt Sinkage? Well, as Phil Housley said in Volume Two, “I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him.” And as Housley says in this volume, “Once again I was being drawn into fantastic events over which I had no control—that I couldn’t even hope to understand…”

Yes, indeed. Welcome back to the 1950s—and welcome to the 2020s. No matter the decade, you’re in for, as the French would say, un enfer d’un tour—a hell of a ride.

ROBERT J. SAWYER

Mississauga, Ontario, January 2020

Robert J. Sawyer is one of only eight writers ever—and the only Canadian—to win the world’s top three awards for best science-fiction novel of the year: the Hugo, the Nebula, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. The ABC TV series FlashForward was based on his Aurora Award-winning novel of the same name, and he was one of the scriptwriters for that series. He also wrote the two-part finale for the acclaimed webseries Star Trek Continues. A member of the Order of Canada—the highest honor given by the Canadian government—and one of the initial inductees into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, Rob’s latest novel is The Oppenheimer Alternative.

In Conversation with Silent Invasion Creators

 

space_01A 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.

In the meantime, follow us on Facebook.

And remember to Watch the Skies!

The Silent Invasion, Abductions: A Visit to the Artist’s Garret

Abductions, Book Three in The Silent Invasion series will be released May 15.

This time around, here’s a tour of the tiny space where The Silent Invasion is drawn, erased, redrawn, lettered and inked.

The artists studio_04

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 artists studio post_01

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 artists studio post_02

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.

The artists studio post_03

Until next time, watch the skies, and stay safe and healthy.

Abductions is coming but here’s a blast from our past!

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.

The Last Dick Mallet_P1

The Last Dick Mallet_P2

The Last Dick Mallet_P3

The Last Dick Mallet_P4

The Last Dick Mallet_P5

The Last Dick Mallet_P6

The Last Dick Mallet_P7

Click here for more information about The Silent Invasion.

Abductions is Coming!

Silent_Invasion_back cover image

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

 

NBM May 2020 Releases

Here are upcoming titles, now being solicited in comics stores through Diamond Previews for an May 2020 release.

NEW

SILENT INVASION VOL. 3: ABDUCTIONS
Written by Larry Hancock; Art 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 TPB US $16.99/ $22.50 CAN. ISBN:978168112255751699; DIAMOND CODE: MAR201979. Pub Date: May 13th, 2020


AVAILABLE AGAIN

THE SILENT INVASION VOL. 1: RED SHADOWS
Written by Larry Hancock; Art by Michael Cherkas
Introduction by Max Allan Collins

In this era of fake news and ‘deep state’ this couldn’t be more timely! The paranoid cult-classic science fiction mystery of the early days of indie comics returns! The series will begin with two books reprinting the original volumes, followed by the never before collected third album and concluding with an all-new fourth book of this epic series of conspiracy and paranoia.

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 TPB, $16.99/ $22.50 CAN. ISBN: 978168112174151699. DIAMOND CODE: MAR201980



THE SILENT INVASION VOL. 2: THE GREAT FEAR
Written by Larry Hancock; Art 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 TPB, US $16.99 / $22.50 CAN; ISBN: 978168112206951699
. DIAMOND CODE: MAR20 1981




LOVE: A DISCOVERY IN COMICS
Created by Margreet de Heer

Love is a many-splendored thing, as comic artist Margreet de Heer has found out through several relationships and her marriage to fellow artist Yiri.

How to describe it? Is love passion, stability, friendship, or all of the above? In this comics exploration, the author investigates different aspects of love: is there really such a thing as finding The One?

What happens in the brain when we fall in love? How can we keep long-term love? What to do about a broken heart?

Margreet herself seems to have found her ideal partner in Yiri, but after so many years of marriage, how about that Seven Year Itch?

This book deals with many aspects of love, sex and relationships in a light-hearted, playful and often thought-provoking manner and is a fun and informative read for anyone who is in love or planning to be.

8 x 8, 128pp full color HC, US $18.99; ISBN 978168112210651899; DIAMOND CODE: MAR201982




RELIGION, A DISCOVERY IN COMICS
Created by Margreet de Heer

Dealing with religion often means walking on eggshells – that is what comic artist Margreet de Heer finds out in this book in which she presents the five major religions and modern spirituality in a colorful, personal yet serious manner. She explores religious history and practices with tact and an open mind, but can’t prevent a few eggs from breaking.

Why is religion such a sensitive subject?

This book in comics is fun and informative for believers, non-believers and everyone in between. It offers a fresh look from different perspectives on the phenomenon of religion, the backgrounds and history of the five major world religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism) and makes the point that religion is something that should unite us, not drive us apart.

8×8, 120pp. full color HC, $17.99, ISBN 978156163994651799; DIAMOND CODE: MAR201984




PHILOSOPHY – A DISCOVERY IN COMICS
Created by Margreet de Heer

A fun introduction in comics to deep thinking and the history of Philosophy!

What is Thinking? And how does our thinking set us apart from other animals?
Now that we’re thinking, what is Reality? Is there an objective reality or are there numerous subjective realities? And do we move in it with a free will or is everything predestined?

Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Erasmus, Descartes, Spinoza, Nietzsche: just a few philosophers who have pondered these questions. Comic artist Margreet de Heer and her husband Yiri travel through the history of Western Philosophy and draw a colorful picture of all these questions.

8×8, 120pp., full color HC, $16.99, ISBN: 978156163698351699; DIAMOND CODE: MAR201983




THE PROVOCATIVE COLETTE
Created by Annie Goetzinger & Rodolphe

Many biographies describe this uncommon woman and author. It is her years of formation which are focused on here, from her marriage at the age of 20, until her divorce.

“One dies only from the first man,” she wrote in 1909. But this death was a new beginning, and the one that signed “Colette” from 1910 on gradually opened her eyes to her condition of a woman who was an exploited writer and a betrayed wife, and who will emancipate herself by writing, and with what talent!

Incredibly complex, powerfully determined, truly gifted, Colette challenged herself to reinvent her life and assert herself as a free woman.

In her day, her behavior scandalized and vexed the establishment. But in the end, she helped to free women in their thinking and became member and then president of France’s prestigious Académie Goncourt, among many other honors as one of France’s preeminent authors. For mature readers.

7 ¾ x 10 ¼, 128pp., full color quarter-bound HC, US $24.99; ISBN: 978168112170352499; DIAMOND CODE: MAR201986




MARIE ANTOINETTE, PHANTOM QUEEN
Created by Annie Goetzinger & Rodolphe

During the 1930s, Maud, an artist, discovers she has a psychic gift. The first signs manifest themselves in the royal gardens of the Trianon where gradually she understands that a woman from the beyond is attempting to communicate with her.

The revelation is beyond belief: it is the ghost of Marie Antoinette appearing to her to share a terrible secret that has tormented her for centuries.

After being guillotined, the Queen is said to have been thrown into a common grave but then exhumed and buried with her husband, Louis XVI, in the Saint-Denis basilica. Yet the ghost tells Maud that her remains are still in the pit, on which a chapel stands today. The queen asks Maud to move her body to the right place so she can finally find peace and no longer haunt people.

Part fantastic ghost story, part biography, this is a delicious beautifully illustrated look into French revolutionary history by the artist of the bestselling Girl in Dior.

8 ½ x 11, 68 pages, full color HC, $18.99, ISBN: 978168112029451899; DIAMOND CODE: MAR201985

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!

 

 

 

 

 

NBM Graphic Novels Announces Spring 2020 Releases

NBM Graphic Novels is proud to announce the release schedule beginning in March 2020, including brand new biographies of Phoolan Devi and Leonardo Da Vinci, as well as new volumes of The Silent Invasion and The Louvre Collection.

In addition, we’re releasing the historical fiction book, Giant, set in New York in the early 1930s, which follows a steelworker harboring a terrible secret.

Also being reissued as a bundle is The Rock & Roll Set which includes our Beatles, Rolling Stones and Bob Marley biographies.

MARCH

PHOOLAN DEVI, REBEL QUEEN
By Claire Fauvel

phoolandevi.jpg

She rebelled against the ancient tribal rules of India, her country, resulting in her becoming a Robin Hood type bandit. Essentially sold at the age of 11 to become a wife for a much older man, she ran away when he raped her.

From that point on, there were few choices for her but to join a roaming gang of bandits, her ambition leading her to become their rebel chief. Ultimately, society caught up with her and she even became a strong voice for change as a representative in the nascent Indian parliament.

A story of courage and unbending determination in front of centuries of established inequities in the classic Indian caste system.

8½, 11, 224pp., full color HC, $29.99, $19.99 ebooks (9781681122526).  ISBN 9781681122519

Previews


APRIL

GIANT
By Mikael

New York, early 1930s. We find Giant, a mysterious Irish colossus who, with his fellow immigrants, sweats blood to build the skyscrapers of Rockefeller Center. For a while, he has not received a reply to the typewritten letters he continues to send, as well as money, to the other side of the ocean, to Mary Ann, the wife of one of his colleagues who died accidentally. Giant, who seems to be afraid of nothing, still has not found the courage to reveal to the young woman that she is a widow … What does her silence mean? … What would happen if she had left for the New World to join her husband?

An entrancing everyday working class tale with a majestic background.

9×12, 120pp., full color HC, $24.99, ISBN 9781681122533, e: 9781681122540, $16.99

Previews


MAY

SILENT INVASION, VOL.3: ABDUCTIONS
By Michael Cherkas and Larry Hancock

SILENTINVASION3.jpg

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., B&W trade pb., $16.99, e-books: $9.99 (9781681122564); ISBN 9781681122557

Previews


JUNE

The Louvre Collection: THE RED MOTHER WITH CHILD
By Christian Lax

In Mali in Africa, a red Mother with Child, a 14th century African sculpture, is saved from the destructive madness of Islamists by Alou, a young honey hunter. In the company of other migrants, sisters and brothers of misfortune, Alou goes all out to reach Europe. His goal and his obsession: entrust the precious statuette to the Louvre Museum!

An epic adventure, touching upon the burning worldwide issue of refugees and immigration, in the ever-expanding Louvre collection commissioning graphic novels from leading world artists to spin tales around the famous museum.

9×12, 144pp, full color HC, $27.99, ebook 19.99 (9781681122588); ISBN 9781681122571

Previews


JULY

LEONARDO DA VINCI & THE RENAISSANCE OF THE WORLD
By Marwan Kahil and Ariel Vittori

leonardo-cover.jpg

One of the greatest artists of all time, as well as a genius inventor, Da Vinci was arrestingly tall and handsome. This comics bio shows the process of his work and his inventions, his persecution as a gay man and how the changing politics of his country and ebbs and flows of those in power affected him and his career.

A turbulent story on an exceptional man. Complemented with back matter on his chronology, list of his oeuvres, etc…

6 ½ x9, 144pp., full color HC, $24.99, ebooks $16.99 (9781681122601).  ISBN 9781681122595

Previews


AUGUST

The ROCK & ROLL SET!
By Various

rock-set.jpg

Here is a set of 3 tomes on great rock and roll bands! The bestselling comics bios of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Bob Marley are collected into one attractively priced banded set. Normally separately $85, $74.99 as a set.

ISBN 9781681122618, $74.99

Previews

Save Now on NBM Titles: 20% OFF SALE

That’s right, now through October 30th, we’re offering 20% OFF all titles in stock at the NBM Online Store.

Experience some of the best graphic novels from across the world including:

Click here to and enter coupon code E20 in the coupon box when ordering. Promotion expires on 10/30.

(Free Print Offer Not Included With This Sales Promotion).

Cherkas and Hancock Go Local at FAN EXPO Canada!

55945117_2285967958121448_387535294255071232_nFAN EXPO Canada is the largest Comics, Sci-Fi, Horror, Anime, and Gaming event in Canada and the 3rd largest Pop Culture event in North America running this weekend, August 22-25th, 2019.

Celebrating its 24th year, FAN EXPO Canada has grown from a small comic book convention attracting 1,500 fans into a multi-faceted, 4-day citywide event that attracts over 129,000 people from around the world. The event provides a substantial multi-million dollar economic impact to the City of Toronto, filling up hotels and restaurants throughout the duration of the Expo.

Everyone is a fan of something, and FAN EXPO Canada is a place to celebrate all things pop culture. Get an autograph or a photo with your favourite guest and get the inside scoop about your favourite movies and TV shows at our celebrity panels! Watch professional comic artists battle it out in our popular Sketch Duels, learn from our “How To” workshops, and take photos with your favourite costumed characters! It’s also a great place to buy a unique gift (or treat yourself!) with over 400,000 square feet of shopping madness.

FAN EXPO Canada showcases over 1,000 exhibitors and sprawls over 750,000 square feet, occupying the North and South buildings of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, in the heart of downtown Toronto.

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Appearing all four days will be Michael Cherkas & Larry Hancock, co-creators of the The Silent Invasion, the paranoid cult-classic science fiction mystery of the early days of indie comics. With the first two volumes, Red Shadows and The Great Fear back in print (and available at the show), the upcoming third volume of previously uncollected material and the all-new fourth volume will conclude the epic series of conspiracy and paranoia.

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.

On Thursday, August 22nd, Larry will be presenting the panel, IS IT TIME TO SELL YOUR COLLECTIBLES? from 6:00 pm in ROOM 705.

Long time collector, creator (The Silent Invasion) and professional accountant Larry Hancock presents reasons why NOW may be the time to sell your collectibles! Need cash? Downsizing your home? Retiring? Bring your spouse / significant other at your peril!

Michael and Larry can be found all
weekend at P033A & P033B