Phil Housley
Created by Michael Cherkas and Larry Hancock

"You know how they tell you that nothing is certain in life but death and taxes?... Well, you can scratch death from the list..."
-- Phil begins to tell his tale...

PHIL HOUSLEY is the hapless (but broad-shouldered) former FBI agent/gumshoe caught up in a snare of conspiracies and aliens in Secret Messages, the continuation of Cherkas and Larry Hancock's classic Silent Invasion graphic series, an ode to paranoia if there ever was one.

It's 1965, and Union City P.I. Housley, after a burst of success is down on his luck again, living off his long-suffering girlfriend/secretary, dodging an ex-wife, alimony, child support, back rent and the sneaking suspicion someone or something is after him. It all goes back to 1959, when Housley was still with the Bureau, assigned to protect the leading Democratic candidate, and he foiled an assassination attempt by a whackjob reporter, Matt Sinkage, who believed the candidate was part of a conspiracy to allow an alien invasion of earth.

Doncha just hate when that happens?

Anyway, Phil shot and apparently killed Sinkage, but in the ensuing confusion, his body was never found. Phil's haunted by the fact the reporter may still be out there, plotting his revenge. Not to mention the fact he's been having blackouts lately. And he's beginning to think maybe Sinkage wasn't such a whackjob after all. And then he's hired by a woman to find her missing husband, who's been having blackouts himself.

It's all a pretty clever spoof of the Sci-Fi and noir movies of the 50's, and also works pretty well as a crime comic. Sort of like The X-files with tail fins, and a dash of P.I. fare tossed in. And the stylized retro artwork, all broad-shouldered-men and treacherous women, rendered in bold strokes, is a true delight.

And this Canadian gets a kick out of the frequent references to Canuck sports references. The Argos! Hah!





Thanks, Joe.

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