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We are thrilled to announce Black Mask Studios, a brand new comic publishing company created by Steve Niles (30 Days of Night, Criminal Macabre), Matt Pizzolo (Occupy Comics, Godkiller, Halo-8), and Brett Gurewitz (Bad Religion, Epitaph Records). Black Mask has just unveiled the initial leadoff slate of comic book series.

Black Mask Spring 2013 Slate:

Occupy Comics cover

cover by Mike Allred

OCCUPY COMICS ANTHOLOGY
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Occupy Comics #1 (of 3)
Street Dates: 1- May 22, 2013; 2- June 19; 3- August 28.
Cover price: $3.50
Creator: Matt Pizzolo, organizational spearhead.
40 pages
Diamond Order Codes:
#1 MAR130907
#2 APR130920

Synopsis: This star-studded political anthology features Alan Moore (Watchmen, V For Vendetta), David Lloyd (V For Vendetta, Aces Weekly), Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead), Art Spiegelman (Pulitzer-winning Maus), Molly Crabapple (Shell Game), Matt Bors (Pulitzer-nominated political cartoonist), Mike Allred (Madman), Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night), J.M. DeMatteis (Justice League, Spider-Man), Tyler Crook (Petrograd), Joshua Hale Fialkov (I, Vampire), Joe Infurnari (Mush!), Ales Kot (Wild Children), Dean Haspiel (American Splendor), Douglas Rushkoff (media theorist), Joshua Dysart (Unknown Soldier, Swamp Thing), Matt Miner (Liberator), & the project’s organizational spearhead Matt Pizzolo (Godkiller).

*All revenue received by creators (past hard costs) will be donated to various Occupy-related initiatives.*

Think Occupy is dead? Matt Miner (Liberator) has contributed a riveting new piece about how Occupy Sandy rescued his Rockaway, NY community after Hurricane Sandy.

 

12 Reasons To Die #1 cover

cover by Christopher Mitten

12 REASONS TO DIE
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12 Reasons To Die #1 (of 6)
Street Date: 1- May 8, 2013; 2- July 10; 3- August 21; 4- Sept 25; 5- Oct 30; 6- Nov 13.
Cover price: $3.50
Creator: Ghostface Killah, Adrian Younge
Producer: The RZA
32 pages
Diamond Order Code:
#1 MAR130906
#2 APR130921

Synopsis: This horror-crime hybrid is the latest comic book from the legendary Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and Ghostface Killah.

A brutal tale of gangsters, betrayal, and one vengeful soul hunting the 12 most powerful crimelords in the world.

It is illustrated by a rotating team of artists starting with Riley Rossmo (Bedlam), Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash), Joe Infurnari (Mush!), Kyle Strahm (Haunt), Gus Storms & Breno Tamura (Pigs), and more to be announced; written by Matthew Rosenberg & Patrick Kindlon (MENU).

Covers by Paolo Rivera (Daredevil), Ramon Perez (Tale of Sand, Wolverine & The X-Men), Ronald Wimberly (Prince of Cats), Garry Brown (The Massive), and Christopher Mitten (30 Days of Night).

*12 Reasons To Die is a multi-platform, transmedia concept project with a storyline that spans from the comic book to the new Ghostface Killah album released simultaneously by RZA’s Soul Temple Records.*

 

Ballistic #1 cover

cover by Darick Robertson

BALLISTIC
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Ballistic #1 (of 5)
Street Date: 1- July 10, 2013; 2- August 14; 3- Sept 18; 4- Oct 30; 5- Nov 20.
Cover price: $3.50
Creator: Adam Egypt MortimerDarick Robertson
32 pages
Diamond Order Code:
#1 APR130918

Synopsis: Welcome to Repo City State, where everyone’s an asshole… even the air conditioners.

Darick Robertson (Happy, The Boys, Transmetropolitan) and Adam Egypt Mortimer’s (director of Grant Morrison’s upcoming Sinatoro) madcap, psychedelic, transreal, utterly-wacko buddy adventure about Butch and his best friend Gun, a drug-addicted, genetically-modified, foul-mouthed firearm, as they attempt to elevate Butch from air conditioner repairman to master criminal in the twisted, post-eco-apocalyptic Repo City State, a reclaimed trash island built entirely from DNA-based, living technology with bad attitudes.

Ballistic marks Darick Robertson’s return to the hard sci-fi worldbuilding of his classic Transmetropolitan but mixed with The Boys’ ultra-violence and the lunacy of Happy. Mortimer’s mix of speculative science, pulpy noire, and drug-addled adventure cooks up a strange brew of Lethal Weapon by way of Cronenberg meets Dr. Who if written by Odd Future.

 

Liberator #1 cover

cover by Tim Seeley

LIBERATOR
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Liberator #1 (of 4)
Street Date: 1- June 19, 2013; 2- July 17; 3- August 14; 4- Sept 25.
Cover price: $3.50
Creator: Matt Miner
32 pages
Diamond Order Code:
#1 APR130919

Synopsis:A hard-edged vigilante series about two young heroes who avenge the torture of animals, created by writer and real-life dog rescuer Matt Miner (Occupy Comics).

Covers by Chris Burnham (Batman Incorporated), Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash), Yildiray Cinar (Earth 2), and Joe Prado (Aquaman, Justice League).

“Unlike any comic book project to date, Miner delivers a message about the world of animal abuse from the point-of-view of someone with expert knowledge on the matter, while blending it with a gritty protagonist in the vein of Batman or The Punisher.” – ComicBooked

“A really cool, progressive story about young outcast crusaders.”
-Scott Snyder (Batman, American Vampire, Superman Unchained)

*30% of Liberator profits will go to animal rescue initiatives.*

 

Brett Gurewitz

Brett Gurewitz

Black Mask will differentiate itself based on its respective founders’ decades-long commitments to championing creator’s rights across media from comics to film to music.

As Pizzolo explains, “Groundbreaking art thrives when the relationship between artist and label is built on integrity, respect, and a team effort. Comics has a troubled history with its treatment of creators, our goal is to bring the supportive ethic of record labels like Epitaph, Dischord, and Revelation to comics.”

“From Bad Religion’s first DIY efforts to the artist-first mandate of Epitaph and ANTI- Records, creator’s rights have always been central in all I’ve done,” adds Gurewitz. “That’s the way you make things happen. By inspiring; never meddling. Art has the power to move people and transgressive art can challenge and even change norms. It’s what punk and comics have in common and one of the reasons I’m super excited about Black Mask Studios.”

Matt Pizzolo

“Brett, Matt, and I all came up in the DiY punk scene,” furthers Niles. “And we’re bringing that kind of attitude to this… the constructive part about supporting voices who are talking about real things but in a bold and exciting way. We’re not afraid to bring in activism and politics and counterculture. What publisher today could be bringing out the next V For Vendetta? Nobody.”

While Black Mask Studios’ initial titles will be released to comic book stores through Diamond Comics starting in May, the comics are already available for pre-order in the Black Mask webstore as physical-digital hybrid bundles. The comics won’t be delivered until their retail street date, but digital subscribers will instantly receive a digital “comics mixtape” as well as a limited edition t-shirt. You can find the Black Mask webstore by going to: http://kingsroadmerch.com/black-mask-studios

“We experimented with the direct-to-fan digital-physical-hybrid subscription model for Godkiller at Halo-8,” explains Pizzolo. “Basically you get the digital issues every month and then the collected trade paperback when it’s all done. The audience loved it and we think it’s a great way to reach new audiences with Black Mask.”

Steve Niles

Steve Niles

“There’s a gap right now, creators are either working under very strict regimes on legacy characters or they’re essentially self-publishing at places where creator-owned means the creators are on their own,” said Niles. “At Black Mask we want to be there to lend support when a creator needs it, and other than that we want to cheer them on and champion their work.”

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