The Silent Invasion – Radio Interview with Michael Cherkas and Larry Hancock

When we first released The Silent Invasion as a comic book back in 1986, Michael and I (Larry Hancock) did a number of radio interviews in the Toronto area to promote the series.

Click here to go to a web page where you can listen to a seven minute interview which originally aired on CJRT-FM in Toronto!

After you have finished listening, remember to watch the skies!!

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

‘Silent Invasion’ Creators Head to SPX and Brooklyn Book Festival

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NBM Graphic Novels is extremely excited to announce that Michael Cherkas and Larry Hancock will be appearing at SPX: Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland on Saturday, September 15th and Brooklyn Book Festival on Sunday, September 16th to promote the return of their cult classic series, The Silent Invasion in a series of graphic novels that will reprint all of the previously released material as well as the series’ never before released final volume.

Truly ahead of it’s time, The Silent Invasion is a must-read for any comics fan.

 

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.

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In addition to The Silent Invasion, we’ll also have all of our newest titles available for sale including The Provocative Colette, Hasib & the Queen of Serpents, and Niki de Saint Phalle: The Garden of Secrets, as well as previews of forthcoming books such as Of Dust & Blood: The Battle at Little Big Horn.

SPX Signing Schedule (Table G1-2)

  • 11 – 12:30PM: Mike & Larry
  • 2 – 3:30PM: Mike and Larry
  • 4 – 5PM: Mike & Larry

Brooklyn Book Festival (Booth 321)

  • 10:30 – 12PM
  • 1 – 2:30PM
  • 3 :30 – 5 :30PM

The Silent Invasion – Larry Hancock at FanExpo Canada

Larry Hancock will be appearing at FanExpo Canada which takes place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from Thursday August 30 to Sunday September 2. The author of  The Silent Invasion can be found wandering the convention floor, but will also be involved in two panels.

On Thursday August 30 at 5:30 pm in Room 705 Larry will be doing a presentation on “Is it Time to Sell your Collectibles?” From the FanExpo website… “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!”

And on Friday August 31 at 5:00 pm in Room 701B Larry will be a panelist discussing “Why do we Collect?”. From the FanExpo website… “Mark Askwith, Larry Hancock and friends engage in a fascinating discussion of what drives us to collect!”

Larry will have copies of the new book with him!

Plus, of course, Michael and I will be on our “World Tour” as per the image above!

As ever, stay tuned and, watch the skies!!

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

The Silent Invasion – Work-in-Progress!

We are eagerly awaiting the release of the first volume of  The Silent Invasion on September 1. As you may know, the first two volumes will reprint material that NBM first published thirty years ago, and volume three will feature work completed in 2005 but never released in album form.

But volume four will feature brand new material that we are working on right now!

Michael Cherkas is on vacation at the moment and so I am going to take this opportunity to share a couple of pages of work in progress from that new album!

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As ever, stay tuned and, watch the skies!!

For more information on The Silent Invasion click here.

You can follow us on Facebook as well.

The Silent Invasion World Tour

Announcing our World Tour of 2018!!!

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Both Larry Hancock and I will be appearing at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland on September 15. And then through the magic of Amtrak we’ll be at the Brooklyn Book Festival on September 16.

If you’re in the area, and want to talk about conspiracies, secret government organizations, the Great Alien-Earth War of 1943, alien-human hybridization, the perils of the deep state, or why there were once two teams with the same nickname in the 9-team CFL look for us at the NBM booth and Larry will be happy to answer all your questions.

We’ll have more details in soon.

Here’s a scene from one of our previous appearances at a comic book convention.

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And remember to watch the skies!

Before The Silent Invasion

Long before The Silent Invasion ever saw the light of day, I had worked with John Ellis Sech on a short-lived feature called Dick Mallet. The series was a pastiche of the the hard-boiled private detective genre. Dick Mallet’s superpower was that he didn’t carry a gun. The strips appeared in the Canadian Comics Annual and the Canadian Children’s Annual. Then Larry Hancock wrote a couple of Dick Mallet stories that appeared as back-ups in Cerebus.

Here’s a page from Dick Mallet’s very first appearance in the Canadian Comics Annual:

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Then a full-colour adventure from the Canadian Children’s Annual:

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Dick Mallet was one of our initial proposals to Renegade Press. Even though the Dick Mallet proposal was rejected, we included Mallet as a minor character in the very first issue of The Silent Invasion.

Here’s a layout sketch…

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And the first three pages of The Silent Invasion… 

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Poor Dick Mallet. The lesson is: Be careful when you watch the skies!!!

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The Silent Invasion – More early promotional material

Back when we originally released The Silent Invasion as a comic book, we heavily promoted it within the comic book media. We prepared a new ad to tease each issue just before its release. In a previous posting I shared the ad which heralded the release of the first issue.

Here are the ads that led up to the release of issues #2 to #6

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Stay tuned and, watch the skies!!

For more information on The Silent Invasion click here.

You can follow us on Facebook as well.

Some Lost Art of The Silent Invasion

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Here are some lost sketches from The Silent Invasion. Some of these were done as convention sketches while you’re sitting around wondering when someone will come by your table and talk to you. Others were cover roughs, and I’ve included an old ad we created for Renegade Press promoting our third issue back in the day of floppy comics. The art for this ad has been adapted for the cover of NBM’s second volume, The Great Fear.

You can tell that in the above sketch, Matt Sinkage is not worried about the alien takeover. There are no flying drops of sweat or crazed worry lines. He has obviously already been brainwashed by The Deep State into believing the alien takeover of American institutions will be a positive development.

Here’s a cover rough…

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A couple of convention sketches…

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Below is the old ad for Renegade Press and the new cover for NBM’s upcoming second volume of The Silent Invasion. The ad was scanned from the original “paste-up.” Remember those days using waxers and X-acto knives or scalpels? You really had be on the ball so you didn’t bleed all over the art board…

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The cover to The Great Fear…

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That’s it for now.

And remember: Watch the skies for things that go bump in the night!

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The Silent Invasion – Accolades

When  The Silent Invasion  was released, first as a comic book by Renegade Press in 1986, and then as a series of graphic albums by NBM in 1988, the series was well received by reviewers.

Upon seeing the first NBM album, Publishers Weekly said, “A series that will undoubtedly become a classic… This comic has it all: great plotting, humor, suspense and excellent stylized black-and-white drawings.”

But even during its comic book days, our series was getting serious acclaim. Amazing Heroes magazine chose The Silent Invasion as #10 on its list of ten best comics of 1986 – not just #10 of indie comics, or black-and-white comics – but of all comics released that year!

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We were also finalists in the category of Best Black-and-White for the 1987 Jack Kirby Comics Industry Awards (the precursors of the Harveys and the Eisners).

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The Comics Buyer’s Guide referred to The Silent Invasion as “one of the lesser-known gems of comic books today” and went on to say that “the art style, which seems at first like a drawback, is actually one of the series’ strongest assets. It is a stark, no-frills style that makes some of the best uses of solid black areas.”

Maclean’s (Canada’s weekly newsmagazine) , in an article entitled “The comic book’s quest for maturity” said that “Hancock’s smart, slangy dialogue… and Cherkas’s blocky black-and-white artwork have the melodramatic charge of theme music from Perry Mason” and said that the series is “rich in ambiguity.”

In his article in Playboy in the December 1988 issue, Harlan Ellison included The Silent Invasion as one of several examples of the blossoming of comic books as a significant and meaningful art form.

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To conclude, for the time being, I want to give you one of my favorite quotes about our series. This is from the Amazing Heroes article describing why we were included on the list of ten best comics of 1986. “Both the writer’s and the artist’s vision seem to spill from the same fever-dream of dimly remembered images and horrors that it’s hard to believe this is the work of a team and not a lone, obsessed cartoonist. This is one of the most unsettling comics I’ve ever read…. This is a very original work of great potential.”

In a future posting, we’ll bring you some more reviews and excerpts from letters we received from other comic professionals!

Stay tuned and, watch the skies!!

For more information on The Silent Invasion click here.

You can follow us on Facebook as well.

Behind the scenes with The Silent Invasion

Larry and I are long-time collaborators on The Silent Invasion and other comic book work. We work the “Marvel method.” That is we discuss the story and roughly formulate the plot over a pizza or burger. I make a few rough sketches, then go away and do tighter layouts and send them to Larry. He scripts the story. I take the script and pretend to make it work. We make additional edits over much gnashing of teeth, fist fights, Sugar ‘n’ Spike inspired tantrums and other childish behaviour. I pencil it using non-repro blue pencils; letter; and ink the page.

I’m pretty methodical about it the process once I start pencilling. I begin with page one at each stage and work from the top left-hand panel on the first page to the bottom right-hand panel on the last page. A creature of habit, I guess.

Here’s a sample page ( a page from chapter 4 of “Abductions”) from the first rough sketch to final product:

The initial sketch done at the pizza meeting:

Sketch_01

Larry’s script with my scribbles:

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The page layout:

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The pencilled page:

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A test ink sketch that I usually do while I’m finessing the point on my brush:

ink sketch

And the final page:

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Next time: more on the CFL in The Silent Invasion!

Remember to watch the skies, because they are watching you!

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