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In 2011, a handful of comics creators were inspired by the events of Occupy Wall Street to create a comic book anthology called Occupy Comics that would serve the dual purpose of creating an artistic time capsule of the goals & themes of the movement while also fundraising for the protesters with all revenues (past hard costs) being donated to various Occupy actions. After a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised nearly 3x its goal and amassed a star-studded roster of over 50 professional creators (including a few legends), organizational spearhead Matt Pizzolo attempted to arrange a distribution deal for Occupy Comics through a traditional comics publisher so the stories could reach broader audiences. Although the project was much-discussed and eagerly anticipated, the fees demanded by publishers seemed excessive and would likely leave little to no profits left for the protesters. So Pizzolo joined with fellow Occupy Comics original member Steve Niles (creator 30 Days of Night) and Occupy Comics Kickstarter-backer Brett Gurewitz (guitarist Bad Religion, founder Epitaph Records) to form a distribution pipeline that could bring Occupy Comics to larger audiences at a lower cost than any of the other publishers were able to offer, thus generating more funds for protesters. Since they had to build a pipeline for Occupy Comics, Pizzolo, Niles, and Gurewitz decided to turn it into a company called Black Mask Studios that could support creators making outsider/transgressive/non-traditional comics. The initial slate of projects set for release in Spring 2013 all feature at least one Occupy Comics contributor: 12 Reasons To Die writers Matthew Rosenberg & Patrick Kindlon, Ballistic artist Darick Robertson, and Liberator writer Matt Miner. With a mandate to find new ways of supporting creators and reaching new audiences, Black Mask is committed to pushing the boundaries of comics.

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