by Michael Cherkas and Larry Hancock
Text Page from
The Silent Invasion #1 from Caliber Comics
on sale in May 1996
The appropriate place to start the text page in the first issue of a new comic book is to thank you for spending your hard-earned money on our book. But we'd also like to welcome new readers -- and welcome back old friends and readers.
Yes, we're not trying to hide the fact that this, this first issue of The Silent Invasion, is actually a reprint (or "re-presentation", if you wish) of the series that almost became a cult classic when it was first published by long-gone, but fondly-remembered Renegade Press beginning in 1986.
We'll delve a bit into the past history of The Silent Invasion shortly, but you might be wondering why we would decide to reprint a comic book that first appeared 10 years ago, achieved some critical success, was then collected by NBM Publishing into a series of four graphic albums and then sat quietly in the background while the comics world moved on.
There are three answers.
ONE: The albums released by NBM Publishing from 1988 to 1990 are still in print and available at better comic shops. We are pleased that while so many other series of the time have faded away, NBM has kept the series continuously in print and available. And if you just have to know how the story turns out, we encourage you to buy the albums (see NBM's ad elsewhere in this issue).
However, we also recognize that there is often a completely different audience for graphic albums and comic books. So we wanted to reach you, the comic book buyer, especially those of you who are interested in "independent" or "alternative" comics.
TWO: The upcoming sequel. We had occasionally given passing thought to bringing back The Silent Invasion. But it remained a remote possibility until a couple of years ago when an animation studio expressed interest in doing a movie version of The Silent Invasion. While preparing a presentation for the studio, we also started throwing around ideas for a possible sequel to the comic book series. Even then it took us quite a while to come up with a story which we both felt would be a worth butting heads over. And so, yes, sometime next year Caliber will be publishing an all-new Silent Invasion mini-series.
In the meantime, we felt -- and Gary Reed at Caliber Comics agreed -- it might be a good idea to reissue the previous 12-issue series in comic book form to familiarize new readers with the series -- especially those comic book readers who have started reading comics in the last five or six years and may never have heard of The Silent Invasion.
THREE: When we began work on The Silent Invasion in 1985 we drew part of our inspiration from our faded memories of the late-1950s and early-1960s, particularly some of the classic television shows and movies of the era such as The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, The Day the Earth Stood Still and The Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Ten years later, as we approach the end of the millennium, it appears we are not the only ones to have been inspired by those same sources.
The Twilight Zone returned to television with new episodes on CBS at the same time as The Silent Invasion went on sale. The Outer Limits has made a somewhat successful return on cable television. Even The Invaders has been brought back as a television movie (though a rather poor one) with an eye to a continuing series.
More importantly, programs such as The X-Files, Nowhere Man, and American Gothic have broadened the public's appetite for stories about UFOs, government conspiracies, secret government organizations and paranoid protagonists. Hell, even Pat Buchanan is taking a run at the presidency with some of his rhetoric sounding as if he really belongs in a comic book and not in the Oval Office.
We like to think that our paranoia was 10 years ahead of its time.
If you are already familiar with the Renegade Press issues, but not the NBM graphic albums, you may still want to pick up these Caliber issues. Within these twelve Caliber issues we will be reprinting the story pages as they appear in the NBM albums which includes substantial revisions to both script and artwork from the original Renegade comic books, particularly in the first three issues, but also scattered throughout the entire series.
These changes were made for the NBM books because a certain artist was -- and still is -- somewhat neurotic about collecting previously published work into more permanent graphic albums unless it's the best possible work we could put in front of a potentially wider audience. And that usually means extensive reworking of the original story and art. Eventually the writer had to tell the poor boy that "enough was enough" and put a stop to what could have turned into a life-long obsession.
We are also planning on including an assortment of other pages which we hope you will find to be interesting, ranging from unpublished cover art to pencil layouts to advertisements for the original series and maybe even a couple of other stories we have done over the years. (A frightening aside: Larry claims to have the artwork from our first-ever collaboration done when we were still in high school. AAAK!-MC)
Even though this is a reprint comic we would still like to hear from you. We are planning on running a couple of pages of text in every issue and perhaps even more if we have enough material. We would like to run letters from our readers, so please write to us, whether you are a first time reader of The Silent Invasion or you are a past reader who is enjoying the series again.
This text page and your letters are our primary dialogue with our readers.
You can send your letters to us at the address at the top of the page, or you can e-mail them to us at either: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. You can also visit our web site at: http://www.inforamp.net/~hancock and check out the latest news about our current work and more information about our past work.
We hope you'll join us again for issue 2 and stay with us right through until number 12 and beyond.
See you then.
-- Larry and Mike
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: In 1987 we were asked to contribute a short Silent Invasion story to a literacy benefit comic book Quest for Dreams Lost. As part of the overall storyline we were asked to base our story on a search for a well-known physical artifact from a famous story which our characters would retrieve. We chose the "Portrait of Dorian Grey" and when writing the story sprinkled it with quotes taken from the Oscar Wilde novel. This story is a curiosity because it is the only Silent Invasion story we have done outside of the original Renegade series. It was never intended to be part of the continuity of the series, but there is nothing in it that compromises the main storyline either.
NEXT ISSUE: Housley's agents close in on Matt and the mysterious Gloria Amber who are hiding at the home of Matt s brother where Matt faces his most deadly enemy yet -- his sister- in-law Katie. Meanwhile we find out that Housley has his own secret reasons for wanting Matt found. And Matt and Gloria spend the night together.