"Invisible Hands" was a six-part animated serial which aired on MTV in the early 1990s. MTV had hired Colossal Pictures, an animation studio located in the Bay Area (where I was, too) to produce Liquid Television, a show that would feature lots of new animation. After one of the producers saw "Invisible Hands" in Night Drive, my first (self-published) comic, which was then selling at City Lights and other independent bookstores in the San Francisco area, I was hired to write and draw an expanded version for their show. The first season of Liquid TV was to consist of six episodes, and "Invisible Hands," which I had written as a tongue-in-cheek version of old-time mystery thrillers, would run in each episode as two-minute chapters of a complete 12-minute serial.
So I went to work expanding the story, drawing the story-boards and lots of new art. Then I'd drive them over to Colossal where the staff would blow up my drawings onto colored paper. Next, the director, Denis Morella, made the art come alive by photographing the cut-outs (which were positioned on three layers of glass to give the illusion of depth) using stop-motion. It was pretty primitive, I guess, but I really liked the jerky effect that resulted.
"Invisible Hands" was shown a lot on MTV during the early 1990s, sometimes even in a complete 12-minute version. MTV & Colossal kept all the original artwork I did, but luckily I made a bunch of photocopies, which, I recently realized, I've never shown before. So, here are a few for now. I can post some more soon, as well as some of the storyboards.
At the top is my drawing for the opening credits. Next, the original promotional postcard, advertising the debut of Liquid TV, with a scene from "IH" (the costume party) on the front, followed by more of my drawings -- characters, interiors & exteriors --- before they were transferred to colored paper.
I used to get asked about this serial a lot. It's never been on video in either VHS or DVD (there are reasons) though other Liquid TV animations were. However, it has been on YouTube for a long time now, so I don't get asked about it as much as I once did. I'm just glad that folks can (finally) see it again if they want to. And I hope some people may enjoy a look at the drawings I did for it.
(note: Animated version of "Invisible Hands" is copyright MTV & Colossal Pictures. Print version of "Invisible Hands" is copyright Richard Sala)