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:

page 24_rough

Here is the first version of the pencils:

Page 24_old

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

Page 24_new

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.

Page24_inked

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:

Chapter 2_Page 03

Chapter 2_Page 04

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:

Chapter 2_Page 05

Chapter 2_Page 06

For more previews click here.

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

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

 

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.

Secret Messages Cover_02_small

Secret Messages covers_3-4-5

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.

Chapter One_Page22

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…

Bookmarks_01

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!

UFO Aliens Seize Farmer and Steal His Brain!!!

With the upcoming release of NBM’s new reprint of The Silent Invasion: The Great Fear, we thought we’d share a few covers from the original floppy comics published by Renegade Press way back in the summer of 1987 during the last century. Because I worked—and still do work—as a graphic designer, I treated the covers as as mini-experiments in design. Sales were “fair to middling,” so we determined we really had nothing to lose.

Silent_Invasion_7_small

Issue 7 featured the “crazy farmer.” We wanted the cover to emulate one of those trashy National Enquirer-like supermarket tabloids, since at this point in the story, our hero—Matt Sinkage—is moonlighting for a similar publication. The crazy farmer is a real person—a work colleague at the time—who decided it would be fun and hilarious to photo-copy his face using the new photocopier the design studio had just purchased. (Graphic designers really know how to have fun.) I took the image and continued to copy it until it had been degraded to coarse black and white areas, with no grey-tones.

Covers_7-8

With number 8, I thought I’d go for the old Life magazine look, and was only moderately successful. Looking back, the image should have been black and white and preferably a photo, but where we going to get a real person to pose as Matt Sinkage? Then with number 9, the explosion was used to “deconstruct” the standard cover elements, harkening back to one of my favourite old-time DC covers (Batman 194 by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson). My attempt at this was not nearly as dramatic.

In a future post, we’ll look at the covers for issues 10, 11 and 12.

Next time: Where is Union City, and why does it always seem to be 1957 in The Silent Invasion?

And remember to watch the skies!!!

For more information on The Silent Invasion click here.

You can follow us on Facebook as well.

 

 

The Silent Invasion – Podcast interview on PW Comics World: More to Come

Michael and Larry were interviewed about  The Silent Invasion by Calvin Reid at SPX for the Publishers Weekly podcast “More to Come.” The interview is included in More to Come 336 released September 21, 2018. It is available on several platforms, but you can find it here. Our segment begins at the 42 minute mark.

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

 

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