Tag Archives: liberator

Black Mask Launches Tube Comics

Black Mask LogoPublishing and production company Black Mask Studios has debuted its latest tech-entertainment innovation today: tubecomics, a new digital comics format, and Blackmask.tv, a YouTube multi-channel network that will serve as tubecomics’ home. The format/platform duo are designed to encourage ad-supported binge-viewing of comics, a project developed by Black Mask co-founder Matt Pizzolo.

The Blackmask.tv network launches today with five initial series: the sci-fi actioner Ballistic, Ghostface Killah and RZA’s horror odyssey 12 Reasons To Die, supernatural pulp adventure Five Ghosts, monster-hunter super-heroine series Hack/Slash, and the animal-rescuing vigilantes tale Liberator.

The network will post new episodes weekly and additional series monthly.

Tubecomics replicate the panel-by-panel reading style of a digital comic, but do so in a video format that can be viewed on any device from HDTVs to smartphones and tablets, adding voice narration and music to the package. Unlike motion comics, tubecomics do not add animation–Black Mask is placing an emphasis on tubecomics retaining the structural integrity of the paper comics’ art and story.

Tube Comics


Liberator Heads to Hot Topic

Black Mask StudiosLiberator, the comic about young vigilantes taking action for abused animals, has been picked up as a t-shirt by Hot Topic. 30% of profits from the sales will benefit animal rescue work.

From the backup story ‘Unlocking’ in the Liberator Volume 1 trade paperback (written by Fabian Rangel, Jr., art by Jonathan Brandon Sawyer, colors by Doug Garbark and letters by Crank!) the shirt features Jeanette, the woman lead of the series, pondering her teenage years with the caption “I learned more about life from punk and hardcore records than I ever did at school.”

It’s awesome to see comics, especially indie comics, getting some exposure and doing some good at the same time! Sales of the shirt can bring new readers to comics, important issues to new eyes, and crucial funding to pit bull rescue work.

Liberator-panel-HT-shirt shirt

Review: Liberator/Earth Crisis: Salvation of Innocents #1

LiberatorEarthCrisis-cover-001a_RWriter Matt Miner in the first volume of Liberator showed that real heroes don’t wear capes. In his case, his wore ski-masks, but the greater point was that amazing things can be done by individuals when they stand up for the issues they believe in. These heroes fought to save and help those who can’t speak for themselves, animals. No matter your thought on the subject, the first volume created an entertaining series that opened up the issue for those unfamiliar. In the second volume, Miner has teamed up with legendary hardcore band Earth Crisis.

This second volume tells the story of a young janitor in an animal testing lab who stumbles on a dark conspiracy and is inspired to rescue the animals. When Sarah Mann takes a crappy custodial job at a cosmetics lab, she discovers cold-blooded scientist Dr. Elena Reznik’s secret facility where illegal vivisections are performed on live, conscious animals. Inspired by the stories of Jeanette and Damon’s animal liberations, Sarah pulls on her own mask and sets out to rescue the tortured animals.

Though the above is spoilerish, if you couldn’t tell that’s what was going to happen… well, it was pretty clear I think.

Again, like the first volume, the story is nice because this is the type of thing that’s done every day by those fighting to save animals from torture and abuse. This is real world “heroism,” and this first issue shows how someone like Sarah might go from innocent worker, to badass vigilante. It’s a believable transition, though maybe rushed happening in one issue, but it is a two issue series, so understandable. Miner also doesn’t hold back in the issue, he presents the very real brutal activities that occur in animal testing. It made me cringe at times.

Those moments are gruesomely depicted by Javier Sanchez Aranda who keeps up the nice art from the first volume. Aranda mixes moments where I had to look away with more subtle moments of every day life as well.

Miner has a solid second volume in the making. Again he puts together a socially relevant and “political” comic without being overtly preaching. While moments are shocking, the story is entertainment with a message. Pulling that off is impressive.

Story: Matt Miner and Earth Crisis Art: Javier Sanchez Aranda
Story: 8 Art: 7 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Buy

Black Mask Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Liberator teams up with HC Punk band Earth Crisis and More!

With its debut slate of comics wrapping up, Black Mask Studios, is teasing what we can expect in March 2014, with the full line-up being announced next month. The creator-supporting comics publisher was founded by Matt Pizzolo, Brett Gurewitz,and Steve Niles.

One of the more interesting debuts from the publisher in 2013 was 12 Reasons to Die. The transmedia story integrated a comic and album release, not shocking since two people behind it were RZA and Ghostface Killah. Black Mask Studios is continuing this collaborative and interesting effort in 2014 with their announced team-up of the legendary animal rights hardcore punk band Earth Crisis with the animal-avenging vigilante story Liberator for Liverator/Earth Crisis: Salvation of Innocents. Black Mask revealed that the 12 Reasons To Die comic book sold nearly as many copies in record stores as it did in comic book stores, demonstrating how effective this multi-pronged distribution approach can be at finding new readers for comic book creators.

Black Mask’s primary goal is to support comics creators, and part of that is by cultivating a space where creators can feel safe to support one another. The March debuting Liberator Volume 1 collected book reflects this mission’s success so far, with the book featuring 40 brand new, previously unreleased comic stories taking place in the world of Liberator written by a range of creators including Tim Seeley, Ales Kot, Ed Brisson , Alex de Campi, Frank Barbiere, Fabian Rangel Jr, Megan Hutchison, Matt Pizzolo, Matthew Rosenberg, and Adam Egypt Mortimer.

Check what you can expect Liberator related in March 2014 below!

LIBERATOR/EARTH CRISIS: Salvation of Innocents #1

Creator: Matt Miner
Producer: Matt Pizzolo
Writers: Matt Miner, Earth Crisis
Illustrators: Javier Aranda (pencils/inks), Joaquin Pereyra (colors).
Cover A: Menton3
Cover B: Rod Reis
32 pages / T+ / Full-color / $3.99
Comic book street date: March 5
Album street date: March 4 (Candlelight Records)

“Earth Crisis has wanted to have a comic that went along with an album’s lyrical concept for a while, but we didn’t think one existed that shared the same vision of the band, until now! Liberator and Matt Miner are just what we’ve been waiting for, and we are honored to have him help us tell the story!” -Earth Crisis

“Working with EARTH CRISIS on the comic book side of Salvation of Innocents has been a dream project for me.  Our styles, ethics, and ideologies are a fitting match and I’m super excited for folks to read the story.” -Matt Miner, creator Liberator

“It’s crazy to me that it took twenty years for comics to produce a set of animal-minded vigilantes strong enough to roll with EARTH CRISIS. It’s probably the most perfectly aligned superhero team-up ever.” -Matt Pizzolo, Black Mask Studios

Hardcore punk legends Earth Crisis join forces with Liberator for this unique comics & music collaboration, telling the story of a young janitor in an animal testing lab who stumbles on a dark conspiracy and is inspired to rescue the animals.

Different sides of the same story are told in the simultaneously released comic book and concept album.

When Sarah Mann takes a crappy custodial job at a cosmetics lab, she discovers cold-blooded scientist Dr. Elena Reznik’s secret facility where illegal vivisections are performed on live, conscious animals. Inspired by the stories of Jeanette and Damon’s animal liberations, Sarah pulls on her own mask and sets out to rescue the tortured animals.

liberator earth crisis Liberator Earth Crisis #1 cover by Rod Reis
LIBERATOR Vol .1 Rage Ignition

Creator/Writer: Matt Miner
Javier Aranda (pencils/inks), Joaquin Pereyra (colors)
Cover: Tim Seeley

New Stories:

“This Is You”
Written by Tim Seeley
Illustrated by Tim Seeley (pencils/inks), K. Michael Russell (colors)

Written by Ales Kot
Illustrated by Morgan Jeske

Written by Ed Brisson
Illustrated by Brian Level

Written by Alex de Campi
Illustrated by Sally Jane Thompson (pencils/inks), Jenn Manley Lee (colors)

“What’s a hero, anyway?”
Written by Frank Barbiere
Illustrated by Matthew Marks

Written & Illustrated by Megan Hutchison

“Anchor Point”
Written by Matt Miner
Illustrated by Tess Fowler

Written by Fabian Rangel, Jr.
Illustrated by Jonathan Brandon Sawyer (pencils/inks), Doug Garbark (colors)

Written by Matt Pizzolo

“We Are What We Are”
Written by Matthew Rosenberg and Patrick Kindlon
Illustrated by Ariela Rie Kristantina

Written by Adam Egypt Mortimer
Illustrated by Ryan Lee
144 pages / T+ / Full-color / $14.99

Acclaimed from the establishment media of the NY Post to the activist trenches of Earth First, Liberator brings real-world vigilante-heroism to comics for the first time–demonstrated by its popular hook “Real heroes don’t wear capes, they wear ski-masks.”

Whether it’s vicious dog-fighting clubs or senseless lab experiments force-feeding oven cleaners to monkeys, Jeanette Francis and Damon Guerrero have had enough. Using any and all means available to them, Jeanette and Damon not only rescue the animals but also avenge them – delivering harsh retribution to the animals’ captors and tormentors.

This book collects Liberator issues 1-4 into a single volume for the first time. Collected for the first time, this 144-page volume includes 40 pages of brand-new, previously unreleased comic stories taking place in the world of Liberator.

Liberator vol. 1 collected book cover by Tim Seeley

1/3 of Liberator profits will go to animal rescue initiatives.

Around the Tubes

The weekend is almost here! Here’s some news for you to spend your Friday with.

Around the Tubes

Robot 6 – Williams bids farewell to “Batwoman” – Everyone is going to wonder what the differences are.

Robot 6 – DC’s Dan DiDio to hear Whoopi Goldberg’s pitch on ‘The View’ – It’ll be interesting to see if this goes better than when they talked Marvel comics.


Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Vine – Animal Man #24

Talking Comics – Animal Man #24

Comic Vine – Batman/Superman #4

Comic Vine – Hawkeye #13

Comic Vine – Indestructible Hulk Special #1

Comic Vine – Justice League of America #8

Comic Vine – Letter 44 #1

Comic Vine – Liberator #4

ICv2 – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: The Graphic Novel HC

Comic Vine – New Avengers #11

Comic Vine – Nowhere Men #6

Talking Comics – S.H.O.O.T. First #1

Comic Vine – S.H.O.O.T. First #1

Comic Vine – Supergirl #24

Comic Vine – Uncanny X-Men #13

Comic Vine – Wonder Woman #24

Comic Vine – X-O Manowar #18

Preview: Liberator #4

Liberator #4

Writer: Matt Miner
Art: Javier Sanchez Aranda
Colors: Joaquin Pereyra
Letters/Edits: Vito Delsante
Cover: Chris Burnham art, Rod Reis colors
Street Date October 16


Review: 12 Reasons to Die #3, Ballistic #2, Liberator #3

12 Reasons to Die #3

12ReasonsToDie_03-cover_600pxThis horror-crime hybrid from the legendary Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and Ghostface Killah is the brutal story of a vengeful soul hunting the 12 most powerful crimelords in the world. The pseudo anthology comic continues with its weird stories mixing horror and crime for its usual entertaining mix.

The third issue follows Anthony Stark working for the DeLuca family after taking out a rival family in the last issue. Now though, the head of his new employers knows his wife is cheating on him, so he sends Stark to deal with it. The story is pretty entertaining if a bit predictable in how it ends, though isn’t hurt by that.

The rest of the comic deals with the gathering of these records, in this case a club and getting a record from a DJ which leads to the more horror aspects of the comic.

What’s interesting is the series’ continued mixing of the two stories. I await them to crossover and tie together, but three issues in and it really hasn’t happened. The stories seem completely separate and disconnected, maybe I’m just waiting for more when it comes to all of that.

The strengths is the mix that you find in each of these issues. The art and story styles have a gritty independent comic feel about them, a nice change and mix from a lot of what else is out there. Overall the two stories are solid, but I’d almost rather seem them split into their own series, especially if they never converge together. I can’t imagine that’ll be the case, so I’m  more awaiting that moment.

12 Reasons to Die is an interesting comic, one that should be checked out, whether you’re a Wu-Tang Clan fan or not.

Story: Ghostface Killah, Adrian Younge, Matthew Rosenberg, Patrick Kindlon, Ce Garcia Art: Breno Tamura, Gus Storms, Tyler Crook, Toby Cypress, David Murdoch
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Ballistic #2

Ballistic-002_cover_600pxDarick Robertson and Adam Egypt Mortimer’s 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.

The mix of speculative science, pulpy noir, and drug-addled adventure cooks up a strange brew that continues in the second issue leading to an entertaining and unique mix of a comic series that we haven’t seen in quite some time.

Lets start with the story which brings with it a manic, kinetic energy that takes you along for the ride. It throws everything at you, in a world that’s unlike anything I’ve seen. A drug fueled future where so many ideas and visions are mixed together, I wonder what drugs these two creators were on when they came up with it. This issue deals more with what’s affecting Gun, yes the gun is having some drug dependency issues. Where the comic goes from there is out there, and frankly awesome.

Robertson’s art just takes all of that craziness and puts it on the page. Somehow, he makes the crazy down to Earth and in his style, fun. The world is out there in looks as well, and these two together is an awesome team.

Ballistic is one of the freshest debuts of 2013 with a retro-style to it that harkens back to the great British comics of the 80s.

Story: Adam Egypt Mortimer Art: Darick Robertson
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Liberator #3

Liberator-iss3-cover_600pxA hard-edged vigilante series about two young heroes who avenge the torture of animals, created by writer and real-life dog rescuer Matt Miner with art by Javier Sanchez Aranda and a cover by Ben Templesmith.

At the end of the second issue the tension had ramped up with Jeanette and Damon caught by police during a break in and as a reader, I had no idea where the comic was going to go. With a solid and realistic next step the comic really dives into a discussion of good and evil.

Though our two heroes are doing good in their mind, they’re breaking the law to do so. This is in contrast with those they’re taking on who are doing some evil things to animals. Is it ok to break the law while pursuing justice? That’s really the theme of the comic series as it delves deeper and deeper into the world of animal rescue.

There’s also Damon’s spiraling actions throughout the issue, which make us the reader question his actions and motives more and more as he slips towards crossing an imaginary line of right and wrong. This comic continues to challenge us and make us think about justice and taking action through a carefully planned narrative that takes us along the ride into the world of political action.

To me, its not just those actions that stand out, but also the details such as a simple act of texting an apology. Even that kind act turns into an episode of paranoia. This comic has us not just question actions but also the mental state of both of our protagonists.

Three issues in and the comic seems to be getting better and better. It’s a solid read that mixes politics and super hero heroics with plausible real world action.

If the beautiful cover by Templesmith doesn’t draw you in…. On top of getting a solid comic to read, 30% of Liberator profits will go to animal rescue initiatives. So, you can be entertained and also help a good cause as well.

Story: Matt Miner Art: Javier Sanchez Aranda
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Black Mask Studios provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review

Around the Tubes

The weekend is almost here and I’ll be spending it at the Small Press Expo which takes place in Rockville, Maryland just outside of Washington DC. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend it.

Around the Tubes

Gizmodo – The Only Thing These Superman Coins Will Rescue Is Canada’s Economy – Want…. eh?

Calgary Herald – New musical explores comic code – Interesting.

CBLDF – Tokyo Olympics Emboldens Censors – Boooo!

The Beat – Z2 Comics relaunches with Pope and Haspiel – Congrats!


Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Vine – Action Comics #23.2

Kotaku – Cyborg 009

Comic Vine – Deadpool #16

Comic Vine – Earth 2 #15.2

Talking Comics – Ghosted #3

Comic Vine – Green Lantern #23.2

Comic Vine – Indestructible Hulk #13

Comic Vine – Infinity: The Hunt #1

Comic Vine  – Justice League #23.2

CBR – Justice League #23.2

Comic Vine – Liberator #3

The Beat – Liberator #3

Comic Vine – The Manhattan Projects #14

Talking Comics – Mighty Avengers #1

ICv2 – Orchid Vol. 3 TP

Comic Vine – Red Sonja #3

Comic Vine – Uncanny X-Force #11

Comic Vine – X-Men #5

Preview: Liberator #3

Liberator #3

Writer: Matt Miner
Pencils/Inks: Javier Sanchez Aranda
Colors: Joaquin Pereyra
Editor/Letterer: Vito Delsante
Cover Artist: Ben Templesmith

Liberator races toward its first mini-series conclusion as Damon and Jeanette delve deeper into the conspiracy.


Around the Tubes

The weekend is almost here and we have lined up a lot of reviews over the next few days! What’s everyone doing this weekend? Who’s excited for 2 Guns which opens this weekend?

Around the Tubes

Bleeding Cool – Batman #1 CGC 9.2 Highest Graded Copy Sells For $567,625 (And The Strange Story Behind It) – Huh.

MTV Geek – Bronies Infiltrate The U.S. Air Force! – Ok then.
Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Vine – 3 Guns #1

CBR – Batman Incorporated #13

The Beat – The Bunker

Comic Vine – Captain Midnight #1

Comic Vine – Collider #1

Talking Comics – Collider #1

Comic Vine – FF #10

Talking Comics – FF #10

Comic Vine – Liberator #2

ICv2 – The Lost Boy

Comic Vine – Morning Glories #29

Comic Vine – Uncanny X-Men #9

Comic Vine – Wolverine: Japan’s Most Wanted #4

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