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. See DICK MALLETT.

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 structure of the two novels is very similar. They 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. Bothjournalists 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 moreso 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 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

BOOK GRAPHIC ANTHOLOGY:

Content:

Serial:

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

BOOK TEXT & GRAPHIC ANTHOLOGY:

Content:

Serial graphic:

“A Dick Mallett Adventure: the phantom jewel.” Canadian Children’s Annual 1981, Ed., Robert F. Neilson. Art Dir., Mary Tach. Potlatch Publications: 1980: 72-77.

“Dick Mallett an Epic In Crime Drama.” Canadian Children’s Annual 1980, Ed., Robert F. Neilson. Art Dir., Mary Tach. Potlatch Publications, 1979: 76-79.

Story graphic:

“The Bionic Beaver.” Canadian Children’s Annual, 1979. Ed., Robert F. Neilson. Art Dir., Mary Tach. Potlatch Publications, 1978: 81-82.

ILLUSTRATOR:

BOOK GRAPHIC:

Cover:

Book:

Front & Back: The New Frontier. N.B.M. Publishing Co., June 1994.

Front & Back: The Silent Invasion, N.B.M. Publishing Co.,

  • Book. 1: Secret Affairs. May 1988.
  • Book 2: Red Shadows. August 1988.
  • Book 3: Tarnished Dreams. March 1989.
  • Book 4: The Great Fear. July 1989.

BOOK TEXT & GRAPHIC ANTHOLOGY:

Content:

Serial graphic:

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

Story graphic:

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

Information text:

“Are You Sinistral.” Writ., Barbara Wilson. Canadian Children’s Annual 1980, Ed., Robert F. Neilson. Art Dir., Mary Tach. Potlatch Publications. 1979: 128-129.

PERIODICAL GRAPHIC:

Cover:

Front & Back: The New Frontier, Dark Horse Comics.
1, October 1992. 2, November 1992 3, December 1992.
Front: Illus., Michael Cherkas. The Silent Invasion. Renegade Press.
1, April 1986.

2, June 1986.

3, Aug. 1986.

4, Oct. 1986

5, Dec. 1986.

6, August 1986

7, May 1987.

8, July 1987.

9, Sept. 1987.

10, Nov. 1987

11, Jan. 1988.

12, Mar. 1988

Front: Illus., Michael Cherkas. The Silent Invasion. Caliber Comics Reprints with new covers.
1, 1996. 2, June 1996.

CO-CREATOR & ILLUSTRATOR:

BOOK GRAPHIC COLLECTED:

Content:

Novel:

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:

The New Frontier. Co-creator & Writ., John Sabljic. Dark Horse Comics

  • Part 1 of 3, October. 1992. “Prologue & There’s Nothing Funny About Murder.”
  • Part 2 of 3, November 1992. “The Queen of Kalamazoo.”
  • Part 3 of 3, December 1992, “Idol Worship.”

Content:

Serial:

“The Stubbinsville Connection.” Co-creator & Writ., Larry Hancock. From plot idea by John Ellis

Sech. The Silent Invasion. Renegade Press.

  • 1, April 1986 : “Part. 1: Atomic Spies!”: 1-23.
  • 2, June 1986: “Part. 2: Secrets & Insideous Machinations!”: 1-20.
  • 3, August 1986: “Part. 3: I Haven’t Been To Stubbinsville In A Long Long Time!”: 1-22.

“A Pink Slip For A Pinko.” Co-creator & Writ., Larry Hancock. The Silent Invasion, 4, October 1986:

1-21. Renegade Press.

“Identity Crisis.” Co-creator & Writ., Larry Hancock. The Silent Invasion, 5, December 1986: 1-21.

Renegade Press.

“The Final Battle: What We Really Know About Flying Saucers Co-creator & writ., L. Hancock

The Silent Invasion, 6, August 1986: 1-22. Renegade.

“Paradise Lost.” Co-creator & writ., Larry Hancock. The Silent Invasion. Renegade Press.

  • 7, May 1987: “Chapter 1: “No Secrets Hare”: 1-22.
  • 8, July 1987: “Chapter 2: “The Rockhaven Conspiracy”: 1-22.
  • 9, September 1987: “Chapter 3: “Tarnished Dreamers”: 1-24.

 

“The Great Fear.” Co-creator & Writ., Larry Hancock, The Silent Invasion. Renegade Press.

  • 10, November 1987: Chapter 1: “A Real And Ever Present Danger.”: 1-21.
  • 11, January 1988: Chapter 2: “Forces Beyond Our Control.” 1-22.
  • 12, March 1988: Chapter 3: “The Will Of The People.” 1-21.

The Silent Invasion, Caliber Comics reprints.

  • 1, 1996 : “Atomic Spies!”
  • 2, June 1996 :“Secrets and Insidious Machinations.”.

PERIODICAL GRAPHIC ANTHOLOGY:

Content:

“The New Frontier.” Heavy Metal Magazine, January 1991: 97-112. This is a short version of the final

story. It is part of the “The Queen of Kalamazoo”.

SOURCE:

Periodical text:

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

Newspaper:

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

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

GALLERY:

C:\Users\Robert\Documents\CARTOONING ILLUSTRATION ANIMATION\IMAGE BY CARTOONIST\C\CHERKAS Michael, The Silent Invasion, 4, Oct. 1986.jpg

Illus., Michael Cherkas. The Silent Invasion, 4, October 1986. Front cover.

C:\Users\Robert\Documents\CARTOONING ILLUSTRATION ANIMATION\IMAGE BY CARTOONIST\C\CHERKAS Michael, The New Frontier, 3 of 3, Dec. 1992.jpg

Illus., Michael Cherkas. The New Frontier, 3 of 3, Decmber 1992: Front cover