CHERKAS Michael

CHERKAS Michael

Cherkas’ first work appeared in The Canadian Children’s Annual and Potlatch presents The 1980 Comics Annual, principally as a private detective character “Dick Mallett” which he apparently created, He was later joined by Larry Hancock, John Ellis Sech & John van Bruggen.

There is a sharp break between his work in the “Dick Mallett” series and his work seen in “The Silent Invasion”, “Suburban Nightmares” and “The New Frontier” as one might expect in a change in focus from a youth audience to a more cynical adult audience. The stories became darker, one could say noir, and the illustration style became heavy with thick lines and a predominance of blacks. The figures became geometrical even crude. This all in contrast the light touch, underlining humour, thin lines and bright appearance of the “Dick Mallet” stories.

These latter works were done in partnership with various other writers but although the writers changed the underlying vision which drove them remained consistent, suggesting that it was primarily Cherkas’ vision.

The structures of Silent Invasion and The New Frontier are very similar. The protagonist in both is a journalist who is also more or less the observer/narrator. Both are at odds with the political/social forces around them. Both have newspaper editors who are ineffective, and a close associate who is ambivalent in his or her support of the protagonist. Both journalists have bad endings. One resists the forces against him to the end and is killed. The other prospers by entering and benefitting from the corrupt society he initially opposed. One novel appears to be science fiction and the other political intrigue, but in essence both deal with political intrigue and people’s gullibility.

Both novels are unified by issues prevalent in 1950’s U.S.A and apparently even more so today. These include the paranoia towards communism, the willingness to believe the somewhat unbelievable as in flying saucers, which was linked with the fear of science and its accompanying conspiracy theories, the government is trying to hiding something from us. This is not to suggest that these ideas were made up or even extensions, that is taking a tendency to its logical conclusion. The 1950’s U.S.A. included realities like the McCarthyism and the “Red Scare”, having lived through the 1950’s, I can attest to that other prevalent fear, flying saucers and abduction by aliens.

Cherkas’ last work was as co-creator and illustrator with John Sabljic of Guelph Ontario as co-creator and writer. “The New Frontier”. continues Cherkas’ interests visible in Silent Invasion and Suburban Nightmares.” The interactions between entertainment, politics and religious fervor and pseudo science that was the 1950’s United States. Yet this new novel has reached a new level of integration where for example the fervour of fundamentalist Christianity is now in service of celebrity, which in turn is the driving force behind electability in politics. This novel has a noir atmosphere that is impossible to become blacker. Everyone is corruptible and is corrupted. Even the narrator journalist Ace Bradley proves corruptible. The possible exception is a character April Valentine who is nevertheless ineffective against the forces against her. Money and power are welded together, and the real powers are the ultra wealthy figures invisible to the population. Most remarkable is the astonishing prescience that Cherkas and Sabljic showed in 1990 to 1992 with a surprisingly accurate description of what the U.S.A. has become in the 21st century.

The “Suburban Nightmare” stories can be more or less summed up as reality falls far short of the vision of the “American Dream”.

WORK:

See SUBURBAN NIGHTMARES for Michael Cherkas’ participation.

CARTOONIST:

BOOK GRAPHIC ANTHOLOGY:

Content serial:

Potlatch presents The 1980 Comics Annual. Ed., Ian Carr. Potlatch Publications, 1979: “A Dick Mallett Adventure”: 104-111.

BOOK TEXT & GRAPHIC ANTHOLOGY:                                                                        Published by Potlatch Publications. Ed., Robert F. Neilson. Art Dir., Mary Tach.

Content:

Serial graphic:

Canadian Children’s Annual 1981. 1980: “A Dick Mallett Adventure: the phantom jewel”: 72-77.

Canadian Children’s Annual 1980. 1979: “Dick Mallett an Epic In Crime Drama”: 76-79.

Story graphic:

Canadian Children’s Annual, 1979.1978: “The Bionic Beaver”: 81-82.

ILLUSTRATOR:

BOOK TEXT & GRAPHIC ANTHOLOGY:                                                                        Published by Potlatch Publications. Ed., Robert F. Neilson. Art Dir., Mary Tach.

Content:

Serial graphic:

Canadian Children’s Annual 1982. 1981: “The Adventures of Dick Mallet, no. 5.” Co-writ., Larry Hancock & Michael Cherkas. Co-plotter John Ellis Sech. 147-154.

Story graphic:

Canadian Children’s Annual 1980. 1979: “Studynets.” Writ., Walter Kish: 56-57.

Information text:

Canadian Children’s Annual 1980,1979: “Are You Sinistral.” Writ., Barbara Wilson 128-129.

CO-CREATOR & ILLUSTRATOR:

BOOK GRAPHIC COLLECTED:

Content serial & Cover book front & back:

The New Frontier. Co-creator & writ., John Sabljic. N.B.M. Publishing Co., June 1994.

The Silent Invasion …. Co-creator & writ., Larry Hancock. N.B.M. Publishing Co.

… Book 1: Secret Affairs. May 1988. (Developed from plot idea by John Sabljic.)

… Book 2: Red Shadows. August 1988.

… Book 3: Tarnished Dreams. March 1989.

… Book 4: The Great Fear. July 1989.

PERIODICAL GRAPHIC:

Content novel & Cover front & back:

The New Frontier …: “….” Co-creator & Writ., John Sabljic. Dark Horse Comics. Colour cover. Black & white interior.
October. 1992: “…pt. 1 of 3: Prologue & There’s Nothing Funny About Murder.”

November 1992: “… pt. 2 of 3: The Queen of Kalamazoo.”

December 1992: “…pt. 3 of 3: Idol Worship.”

Content serial & Cover front:

The Silent Invasion….” “The Stubbinsville Connection: ….” Co-creator & Writ., Larry Hancock. From plot idea by John Ellis. Renegade Press. Colour cover. Black & white interior.
1, April 1986: “… pt. 1: Atomic Spies!”: 1-23.

2, June 1986: “… pt. 2: Secrets & Insidious Machinations!”: 1-20.

3, August 1986: “…pt. 3: I Haven’t Been To Stubbinsville In A Long, Long Time!”: 1-22.

The Silent Invasion….: “….” Co-creator & Writ., Larry Hancock. From plot idea by John Ellis. Renegade Press. Colour cover. Black & white interior.
4, October 1986: “A Pink Slip For A Pinko”: 1-21.

5, December 1986: “Identity Crisis”: 1-21.

6, August 1986: “ The Final Battle: What We Really Know About Flying Saucers”: 1-22.

The Silent Invasion….: “Paradise Lost: ….” Co-creator & Writ., Larry Hancock. From plot idea by John Ellis. Renegade Press. Colour cover. Black & white interior.
7, May 1987: “… Ch. 1: No Secrets Hare”: 1-22.

8, July 1987: “… Ch. 2: The Rockhaven Conspiracy”: 1-22.

9, September 1987: “… Ch. 3: “Tarnished Dreamers”: 1-24.

The Silent Invasion….: “The Great Fear: ….” Co-creator & Writ., Larry Hancock. From plot idea by John Ellis. Renegade Press. Colour cover. Black & white interior.
10, November 1987: “… Ch. 1: A Real And Ever Present Danger”: 1-21.

11, January 1988: “… Ch. 2: Forces Beyond Our Control” 1-22.

12, March 1988: “… Ch. 3: The Will Of The People” 1-21.

Content serial & Cover front:

The Silent Invasion …: “…” Caliber Comics reprints with new covers.
1, 1996: “Atomic Spies!” 2, June 1996: “Secrets and Insidious Machinations”.

PERIODICAL GRAPHIC ANTHOLOGY:

Content story:

Heavy Metal Magazine, January 1991: “The New Frontier”: 97-112. This is a short version of the full length story. It is part of the “The Queen of Kalamazoo”.

SOURCE:

Article periodical:

Amazing Heroes, 148, Sept. 1, 1988: “UFI The Unidentified Flying Interview.” Interviewer, Wendi Lee: 20-29.

Article newspaper:

Toronto Star, 27 Feb.1987: “Here’s your guide to superheroes of Canadian comics”: D6.

Toronto Sun, 11 Jan.1987: “Fab Funnies.” Writ., Dan Proudfoot: C8.

GALLERY:

C:\Users\Robert\Documents\CARTOONING ILLUSTRATION ANIMATION\IMAGE BY CARTOONIST\C\CHERKAS Michael, The Silent Invasion, 4, Oct. 1986.jpgThe Silent Invasion, 4, October 1986. Front cover. Illus., Michael Cherkas.

C:\Users\Robert\Documents\CARTOONING ILLUSTRATION ANIMATION\IMAGE BY CARTOONIST\C\CHERKAS Michael, The New Frontier, 3 of 3, Dec. 1992.jpgThe New Frontier, 3 of 3, December 1992: Front cover. Illus., Michael Cherkas.