Tag Archives: matt pizzolo

Review: Godkiller Deluxe Edition Book 1

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Fallen gods, sex magic, and quantum physics technowizards collide in Pizzolo and Wieszczyk’s beloved modern classic about a boy wandering the wasteland in search of a new heart for his dying sister.

Writer Matt Pizzolo has managed to create this brilliant, strange, and perverse story that gives us a world that’s extremely grim. Godkiller brings aspects of both fantasy, horror, and sci-fi to the story, excellently mixing all of the genres into one working world. While the plot seems almost classical in nature, the chosen setting and complex story aspects make it stand apart I’m curious to see how the story continues in Godkiller: Tomorrow’s Ashes.

The art in this book by Ben Templesmith and Anna Wieszczyk is a mixture of action, sexual perversion, and violence. The combination creates an atmosphere that keeps things dark at all times. Yet, despite the darkness, it manages to show the sorrow, and desperation of the main character, Tommy has as he searches for a replacement heart for his dying sister.

Story: Matt Pizzolo Art: Ben Templesmith, Anna Wieszczyk
Story: 9.5 Art:9.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

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

Matt Pizzolo’s Young Terrorists Books Playlist

by Matt Pizzolo

The germ of the idea behind Young Terrorists came when I was blackballed by a Washington lobbyist for distributing a documentary about animal rights activists who were serving time in federal prison as terrorists. It’s kind’ve a long story, and I go into it a bit in the backmatter of Young Terrorists #1. The point is… we all talk about “the system” and how it works or it doesn’t work, but it’s not until the system turns directly on you, til an insider who really knows how to work the machine identifies you as an individual to be targeted and starts grinding the gears around you, that’s when you get an inkling of the scale of it all… It feels kinda like when the eye of Sauron catches sight of Frodo — some omnipotent power has just noticed you and suddenly you’re very very fucked.

This all happened a while back, when the GW Bush Administration passed a law called The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, which made it so any activism against a business that exploits animals is classified as terrorism and punishable under the PATRIOT Act. The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act is a law that was brought to you by (wait for it) lobbyists who (you guessed it) work for businesses that exploit animals.

I only got the tiniest smidge of the lobbyist’s fury, and it was enough to rattle me. And I’m kind’ve not that easy to rattle, which is sort’ve how I wound up in that situation in the first place.

There’s no shortage of people abusing power across America and around the world. I love comics about superheroes who fights mutants and Nazis and various flavors of dudes-in-pajamas, but in this case I was inspired to create a team of superheroes who fight back against an abusive power structure. The power structure we all call home.

Issue 2 came out last week. Technically it’s over a year late. But… looking around at the world we’re living in right now, kinda feels like it came out right on time. Honestly, it’s pretty upsetting when you write dystopia fiction and people start calling your body of work prescient.

If you’re interested in some of the ideas beneath the surface of Young Terrorists, here are a few of the books I was reading when I wrote it. In several cases they directly impacted the actions on the page, in other cases they’re just sources I relied on to remind me why I’m always so pissed off all the time.

EATING ANIMALS

By Jonathan Safran Foer

This isn’t the book that turned me vegan when I was 17 years old, that was John Robbins’ DIET FOR A NEW AMERICA. But I’d heard good things about EATING ANIMALS and I wanted to re-acclimate before writing Cesar, since I’d lapsed into being a lazy vegetarian over the decades. And yeah, everything’s just as awful as I’d remembered it. Foer has a sincere, every-new-dad approach that makes the whole thing less polemic and more palatable, but it was a healthy shot of rage with specificity and if you read it you’ll note detailed descriptions of some of the treatment of animals that Cesar ponders in issue 1. EATING ANIMALS didn’t inspire the issue 4 illustration of cows being driven into a shredding machine and forcefed to their brothers and sisters though, that image has been burned into my brain since I read DIET FOR A NEW AMERICA.

eating-animals

THE DIVIDE: AMERICAN INJUSTICE IN THE AGE OF THE WEALTH GAP

By Matt Taibbi, with incredible art by Molly Crabapple

Taibbi is a national treasure for his relentless mocking of Wall Street in Rolling Stone throughout the financial crisis. THE DIVIDE delves into real-life stories that paint a mosaic of how our economic infrastructure fleeces the poor by the millions in order to upstream wealth to the elites. The scenes of Sera and Cesar joining migrants forced at gunpoint across the border directly into the hands of drug cartels waiting to kidnap and ransom them is directly inspired by this book (unless that technically counts as plagiarism, in which case I never read it). Taibbi has the guts to list specific locations and name names, whereas I am way too gutless (also I live closer to the border so fuck that—btw, if you’re in a drug cartel: I’m referring to the Canadian border cuz I live in Vancouver… f’real). Anyhow, if you actually want to learn something read his book not mine.

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ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE

By Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera

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CONFIDENCE MEN: WALL STREET, WASHINGTON, AND THE EDUCATION OF A PRESIDENT

By Ron Suskind

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THE BIG SHORT

By Michael Lewis

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GRIFTOPIA

By Matt Taibbi

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TOO BIG TO FAIL

By Andrew Ross Sorkin

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These are various books on the financial crisis, which I’m listing together because only a sociopath would read all of them. THE BIG SHORT is great (I heard it got made into a movie?), GRIFTOPIA is cool, and CONFIDENCE MEN was the one I probably found to be the most enjoyable read (though it’ll really make you grieve Bernie’s campaign), but I ultimately thought ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE was the most thorough account of the financial crisis with a ton of insight and details I hadn’t already heard elsewhere—which is probably why it’s the least popular on the list. TOO BIG TO FAIL was the most popular on the list until Adam McKay came along, and thank god for McKay because TBTF is fucking atrocious and should be stricken from the record—that book helped inspire Sera’s line “history is written by the culprits.”

BLACK FLAGS: THE RISE OF ISIS

By Joby Warrick

I tried a few books about ISIS/ISIL/Daesh trying to get a real breakdown on how exactly they structured a sovereign state rather than just being an insurgent, guerrilla group. Most of the books I found were dumb propaganda, fake-news, or not interesting enough to bother mentioning. BLACK FLAGS is legitimately great though. It’s mainly a pretty thorough biography of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, but it also expands to encompass the ensemble of characters and situations that led to the formation and operation of the Islamic State. And if you’re confused about what the fuck is going on in Syria, this book gives an insightful view through several facets of the prism.

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THE SECRET ARCHITECTURE OF OUR NATION’S CAPITAL

By David Ovason

I can’t remember if any of the Washington DC architectural stuff from the Young Terrorists FCBD story is actually from this book or not. I think I read this book wanting to find existing conspiracy theories about Washington DC architecture, but I didn’t like any of them so I just synthesized my own. This book is mostly about how a lot of the Founding Fathers were freemasons and how that inspired DC’s architecture. (I also read FAITHS OF THE FOUNDING FATHERS which was pretty good and asserts they were Deists.) Third Eye Comics was kind enough to fly me out to Baltimore for a signing, so I went to DC afterward and mapped out how the buildings face each other, that’s when I noticed the Eagle on the Fed building is basically glaring in Lincoln’s direction and I remembered years back reading an observation that Lincoln and JFK were the only two Presidents to go around the central banks and as luck would have it both were assassinated… that observation wasn’t made in this book though, I think it was in Jim Marrs’ RULE BY SECRECY. Which is great and fucking bananas.

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THE DOORS OF PERCEPTION

By Aldous Huxley

Huxley’s my all-time favorite writer, but I never read this book because I’m straightedge and I don’t care about Jim Morrison. Turns out it’s pretty rad though, and it finally made me understand the reason I never needed drugs as a kid is because I got the shit kicked out of me so much. Supposedly science later disproved this, but I’m stickin’ with Huxley.

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Black Mask Studios Announces their Class of 2016

Black Mask Studios is one of the hottest publishers out there, constantly releasing comics that are some of the most buzzed about and consistent sell-outs. Launched in 2014 by Matt Pizzolo, Brett Gurewitz, and Steve Niles, the publisher has revealed its third slate of comics, a dozen projects “principally from new creators bringing bold and unorthodox points of view to their comics.”

With an already proven success record as a publisher, plus a line-up of new creators, this could be one of the hottest launchpad for new comic talent in quite some time.

So who is in the Class of 2016? Take a look…


JADE STREET PROTECTION SERVICESJune 2016

JADE STREET PROTECTION SERVICES

writer Katy Rex
artist Fabian Lelay
colorist Mara Jayne Carpenter 
covers Annie Wu (Black Canary)

From an all-new creative team, Jade Street Protection Services is Black Mask’s first all-ages book, decribed as The Breakfast Club of Hogwarts.

Jade Street Protection Services follows a group of (bad) students at Matsdotter Academy, an elite private school for magical girls. When they all meet for the first time in a totally unfair detention, these punk rock witch delinquents cut class and discover the fates Matsdotter has in store for them are even more sinister than they suspected.

JSPS channels Black Mask’s edgy, subversive sensibility into a whipsmart all-ages adventure for delinquents young and old.


KIM & KIMJuly 2016

KIM & KIM

writer Magdalene Visaggio
artist Eva Cabrera
colorist Claudia Aguirre
covers Tess Fowler (Rat Queens), Devaki Neogi (Curb Stomp) 

Another one from an all-new creative team, Kim & Kim is a Tank Girl-esque buddy adventure about a trans woman and her best girlfriend.

Kim & Kim is a day-glo action adventure that’s bursting with energy and enthusiasm and puts queer women and trans women front and center. Badass besties Kim and Kim are out to make a name for themselves in the wild world of interdimensional cowboy law enforcement – and they very quickly end up in way over their heads.

Blending the punk exuberance of Tank Girl with the buddy adventure wackiness of Superbad (if Michael Cera was a trans woman and Jonah Hill a queer girl partner in crime), Kim & Kim focuses on the power and meaning of female friendships as engines of validation. A bright, happy, punk rock sci fi adventure that is queer as shit.


BLACK2016

BLACK

writer Kwanza Osajyefo (former editor at Zuda)
co-creator/designer Tim Smith 3
artist Jamal Igle (Supergirl, Molly Danger)
covers Khary Randolph (Robin Wars)

In a world that already hates and fears them – what if only Black people had superpowers?

After miraculously surviving being gunned down by police, a young man learns that he is part of the biggest lie in history. Now he must decide whether it’s safer to keep it a secret or if the truth will set him free.

X-Men meets The Wire, BLACK’s Kickstarter blazed through Black History Month 2016 earning $91,973, more than three time its funding goal.


RUN FOR THE SHADOWS2016

RUN FOR THE SHADOWS

writers J.M. DeMatteis (Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt, Justice League) Matt Pizzolo (Young Terrorists, Godkiller)
artist Josh Hood (We Can Never Go Home)
cover Amancay Nahuelpan

Julie was a good girl from an elite family with her whole life ahead of her, until she got mixed up with bad boy Winston. After a decade of hard drugs and harder living, Julie is finally pulling her life back together. In rehab, she undergoes intensive therapy that unearths a deeply repressed trauma: her memory from being 16 and giving up her and Winston’s baby for adoption. She realizes it’s a lie. An implanted memory. There was something else that took the baby. Something evil. Julie tracks down Winston and forces him to tell her what truly happened, a horrifying revelation that will lead them both on a journey into darkness.

A lyrical and fantastical tale of rebellion, redemption, and hellfire, but, most of all, a story of family.

From legendary writer J.M. DeMatteis, co-written by Matt Pizzolo fresh off his smash hit Young Terrorists and illustrated by Josh Hood still on fire from We Can Never Go Home.


THE SKEPTICS2016

THE SKEPTICS

writer Tini Howard
artist Devaki Neogi (Curb Stomp)

A stylish, period, political adventure about a pair of hip, clever teens who fool the world of the 1960s into believing they have superpowers. Like X-Men: First Class meets Project Alpha.

It is the 1960s. The Russians have the A bomb, the H bomb, and now the most terrifying weapon of all: a pair of psychically superpowered young people. Terrified and desperate, the US top brass scours from coast to coast in search of psychic Americans. Enter Dr. Isobel Santaclara, an eccentric illusionist and grifter who has recruited two teenagers and trained them to trick the US government, the Russians, and the whole world into believing they are dangerous psychics. Skeptical is a pre-punk period piece, a sort of honest, unfuzzy, non-nostalgic look at the Cold War 1960s in DC.

Featuring female doctors, black female college students, and other genius “undesirables.” Like a cross between Kill Your Boyfriend and Hard Day’s Night, but about politics and ethics and how punk rock it is to be the smartest person in the room.


4 KIDS WALK INTO A BANKStreet date: April 27, 2016

4 KIDS WALK INTO A BANK

writer Matthew Rosenberg (We Can Never Go Home)
artist Tyler Boss (VICE)

What is it?
A FUN(ISH) CRIME CAPER ABOUT CHILDREN!

11 year old Paige and her weirdo friends have a problem: a gang of ex-cons need her dad’s help on a heist… the problem is those ex-cons are morons. If Paige wants to keep her dad out of trouble, she’s going to have to pull off the heist herself.

4KWIAB is a very dark & moderately humorous story about friendship, growing up, d & d, puking, skinheads, grand larceny, & family.


THE FOREVERS2016

THE FOREVERS

writer Curt Pires (The Fiction, Mayday)
artist Eric Pfeiffer (Arcadia)

Live fast. Live forever.

Five friends struggling on the brink of stardom sacrifice everything in a black magic pact that brings them all the wealth and glamour they ever wanted. But now, years later, the glow is fading. When one of them is killed in an accident, they each feel a pulse of magic rise in them. They realize the glow is spread evenly among the group, and if one dies that power is passed along to the rest. Suddenly, they are being hunted. One of them has decided to kill the rest and harness the remaining power.

As they search for the killer, each of The Forevers will be confronted by the macabre reality of the lengths people will go to be adored, to make sure the spotlight never fades.


NO ANGEL2016

NO ANGEL

writers Eric Palicki (Guardians Of Infinity) Adrianne Palicki (actress, Mockingbird in Agents Of SHIELD)
artist Ari Syahrazad

Religious texts from The Bible to the Sumerian tablets speak of strange creatures descending from the heavens and mating with humans, their children the superhuman heroes of myth. None of this ever meant anything to Iraq War veteran Hannah Gregory, until she found herself in the crosshairs of a dangerous cult convinced that she’s a descendant of these dangerous bloodlines… bloodlines they’re determined to eradicate.

No Angel is a cosmological and conspiratorial modern western in the style of Preacher meets Justified by way of Jodorowsky.


THE DREGS2016

THE DREGS

writers Zac Thompson (VICE) Lonnie Nadler (VICE)
artist Eric Zawadzki (Last Born)

In this bloodsoaked satire of gentrification, an exclusive new restaurant called Pijin becomes the hottest spot in town by serving high-end dishes of human flesh. Where is the meat coming from? No one knows for sure, but a drug addled homeless man named Arnold Timm notices his friends disappearing and is determined to find out if they’re being fed to the rich.

A modern spin on Sweeney Todd in our world of excess where a touch of celebrity can make even cannibalism seem downright sexy.


TOMORROW'S ASHES2016

TOMORROW’S ASHES

writer Matt Pizzolo (Young Terrorists, Godkiller)
artist Anna Wieszczyk (Godkiller)

The creators of Godkiller (one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015) return for an all new saga.

In a twisted future where America has been divided into warring city states, escaped slavegirl Halfpipe and grifter Soledad roam the savage land on the fringes between civilizations. When they come upon a strange relic, they will uncover a secret history of America’s destruction.

This grimy apocalyptic fantasy manages to be simultaneously fun and horrifying, both brutal and intellectual, a unique descent into the American nightmare.


SPACE RIDERS, vol 2 GALAXY OF BRUTALITY2016

SPACE RIDERS, vol 2: GALAXY OF BRUTALITY

writer Fabian Rangel Jr (Space Riders)
artist Alexis Ziritt (Space Riders)

The Skullship Santa Muerte rides again as the creators of Space Riders (one of The Village Voice’s Outstanding Comics of 2015) return.

An ancient evil is gathering power throughout the cosmos, and it falls upon the legendary SPACE RIDERS to kick its a**! Having disbanded, the crew of CAPITAN PELIGRO, MONO, and YARA must reunite for what may be their final ride!

The cult comic that electrified comic readers in the brain RETURNS to blast your fragile human psyche into oblivion!!


WE CAN NEVER GO HOME, vol. 22016

WE CAN NEVER GO HOME, vol. 2

writers Matthew Rosenberg (We Can Never Go Home, QUAKE) Patrick Kindlon (We Can Never Go Home, QUAKE)
artist Josh Hood (We Can Never Go Home)

The dream team behind 2015 breakout hit We Can Never Go Home (winner of Diamond Comics Gem Award for Best Indie Graphic Novel of 2015) are back.

17 year old misfit Morgan was lost. Unsure if she imagined the teenagers with strange abilities who were involved in the death of her boyfriend or not, Morgan was worried she was losing her mind. She fell in with a rough crowd, developed some bad habits, and did whatever she could to try and forget the things she thought she saw. But when she runs into a very lonely and disturbed girl named Dania, everything changes. Like those teenagers from her past, Dania can do things other people can’t. Dania will be Morgan’s ticket out of their small town and into a bigger world… whether she wants to be or not.

Review: Young Terrorists #1

YOUNG TERRORISTS #1 1The daughter of an assassinated globalist kingpin breaks out of an internment camp and leads her fellow escaped prisoners in a battle against an elitist conspiracy of shadow governments, megabanks, and military juntas in this edgy and subversive political thriller.

The concept behind Black Mask Studio‘s latest series Young Terrorists is, what if “The Smoking Man” from X-Files was a real person, and his daughter found out what he did for a living?

Its been a few days, and I’m still digesting the oversized first issue written by Matt Pizzolo with art by Amancay Nahuelpan. At 80 pages, there’s a hell of a lot crammed into the first issue, which bounces around a bit introducing us to the various players. It almost at times feels like a Tarantino film with the various vignettes coming together towards the end.

The first issue is as brutal as it is thought provoking, almost a Fight Club for the politically active revolutionary set.

This being an oversized first issue, there’s a lot here, and at the same time, there’s still more than enough left out to create a mystery of what’s to come. The use of terrorism and violence to fight corruption will give Pizzolo years of stories ahead, especially in today’s political and social climate. Pizzolo also mines what a small revolutionary group might actually be like in today’s world, how they would insulate themselves, what they’d do to set up shop, in a few pages he creates a world and system that feels real. He also hits some very real issues like Detroit’s borderline “failed state” status. It’s a stark reminder that while this may be a comic, it’s making a statement about the world we live in.

It’s all brought to life through Nahuelpan’s art which is as brutal (in a good way) as the story itself. You can almost feel the scrapes and bruises, each punch, and every bit of violence shown. It’s an awesome combination of writer and artist and Amancay is showing off in this first issue that this is an artist to watch.

While I’ll admit I didn’t catch everything going on in the first issue (nor do I need to), the debut is a hell of a package that will get you to think about it well after you’ve read it. Young Terrorists is a debut that is as thought provoking as much as it is raw and brutal. Can’t wait to see what comes next.

Story: Matt Pizzolo Art: Amancay Nahuelpan
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.45 Recommendation: Buy

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

Amancay Nahuelpan’s Art Process for Young Terrorists #1

We have a look behind the scenes at the art process of Amancay Nahuelpan for Young Terrorists #1 from Black Mask Studios. The comic written by Matt Pizzolo is out this Wednesday and asks what if “The Smoking Man” from X-Files was a real person, and his daughter found out what he did for a living?

The daughter of an assassinated globalist kingpin breaks out of an internment camp and leads her fellow escaped prisoners in a battle against an elitist conspiracy of shadow governments, megabanks, and military juntas in this edgy and subversive political thriller.

Check out the cool creative process below for three different pages, including the cover, before the comic hits shelves this Wednesday. Click on the images to get an even better look at them.

 

 

Preview: Young Terrorists #1

YOUNG TERRORISTS #1

Artist: Amancay Nahuelpan
Writer: Matt Pizzolo
Colorist: Jean-Paul Csuka
Letterer: Jim Campbell
IN COMIC STORES: 8/19
IN BOOK STORES: 9/1

What if “The Smoking Man” from X-Files was a real person, and his daughter found out what he did for a living?

The daughter of an assassinated globalist kingpin breaks out of an internment camp and leads her fellow escaped prisoners in a battle against an elitist conspiracy of shadow governments, megabanks, and military juntas in this edgy and subversive political thriller.

Amancay Nahuelpan’s fresh, emotive and edgy art style gives kinetic life to the paradigm-shifting story, a return to Pizzolo’s street philosophy and punk polemic roots that Film Threat characterized as “unapologetically brutal and surprisingly intelligent.”

The 80-page issue 1 perfect-bound prestige-edition launches this new ongoing series, continuing forward with standard 32-page monthly issues.

YOUNG TERRORISTS #1 1

Wes Craven & Steve Niles Team Up For The Disciples Adaptation

The Disciples #1 CoverBlack Mask Studios has announced that horror maestros Wes Craven and Steve Niles are joining forces to adapt Black Mask’s upcoming comic book The Disciples into a TV show for Universal Cable Productions with Niles’ Black Mask co-founders Matt Pizzolo and Brett Gurewitz executive producing alongside Industry Entertainment’s Sara BottfeldThe Disciples marks Black Mask’s latest foray into TV, joining the adaptation of Five Ghosts that Black Mask has in development at Syfy with Evan Daugherty writing the pilot.

The Disciples is a sci-fi/horror story about a team of interstellar private eyes tracking down a girl who’s run off to join a cult on Jupiter’s moon Ganymede… it’s ‘True Detective in space’ brought to you courtesy of Steve Niles and Christopher Mitten.

Niles co-founded Black Mask Studios with Pizzolo and Gurewitz in 2013 as a home for edgy and subversive comics.

The Disciples #1 comes to shelves May 27th.

Sell-Outs and New Printing Roundup

Check out some of the announced sell-outs and new printings announced this week.

Black Mask Studios

Matt Pizzolo and Anna Wieszczyk’s brutal hit series Godkiller continues its reign of terror by selling through the 2nd printing of Godkiller #2 and generating demand for a 3rd printing!

The 3rd printing cover is a celebration of cosplay and fandom, featuring a fan-made photo of Samantha Lubrano cosplaying GODKILLER’s Halfpipe (photographed by Justin Brooks).

godkiller #2 3rd printingMarvel

Marvel has announced that Ant-Man #1 by Nick Spencer and Ramon Rosanas has sold out, and will return with a second printing on February 4. It will feature a cover by Mark Brooks.

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Godkiller animated film trilogy starts production at Black Mask

godkiller 1 second printingPublishing and production company Black Mask Studios has announced its first major in-house production: three animated features based on the comic book Godkiller by Black Mask co-founder Matt Pizzolo, Anna Muckcracker Wieszczyk, and Ben Templesmith.

Black Mask acquired the film/TV/transmedia rights earlier this year from Pizzolo’s film company Halo-8, who produced an animated series of the property in 2010.

Black Mask will re-release the animated series Godkiller: Walk Among Us in 2015 as a fully re-mastered feature with new voice talent. This will be followed by two brand-new animated features Godkiller: Tomorrow’s Ashes in 2016 and Godkiller: The Trouble You Took From Her Eyes in 2017.

The features will utilize different animation styles for the various dimensions the characters travel through. They will be produced by Black Mask Studios, co-founded last year by Pizzolo, Brett Gurewitz, and Steve Niles.

Godkiller, about a teenage orphan and an escaped slavegirl journeying through a post-apocalyptic wasteland, debuted as a self-published underground comic and was launched in stores as a new ongoing comic book series from Black Mask on October 29. It was recently announced that Godkiller’s debut issue on Black Mask sold through its print run and would be the label’s first comic to receive a second printing based on outsized demand.

Black Mask is co-producing the Syfy series Fiver Ghosts with UCP and BenderSpink, based on the comic by Frank Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham. Evan Daugherty is writing the pilot. Black Mask is also developing a transmedia adaptation of the same comic in-house.

Review: Occupy Comics #2, 12 Reasons to Die #2 and Ballistic #1

Occupy Comics #2

occThe Kickstarter phenomenon is in it’s second issue and it shows no sign of diminishing in quality. Occupy Comics #2 continues the thought provoking anthology with more strips, prose and in general contributions that actually makes you think. The second issue continues to show that comics and politics do mix. The comics boast an impressive line-up of creators like Alan Moore, David Lloyd, Charlie Adlard, Art Spiegelman, Molly Crabapple, Matt Bors, Mike Allred, Ben Templesmith, J.M. DeMatteis, Tyler Crook, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Joe Infurnari, Ales Kot, Dean Haspiel, Joshua Dysart and Matt Pizzolo.

This issue continues to impress with thought-provoking contributions. Again, it’s pretty non-partisan and numerous entries border on graphic journalism, and might be creating a whole new genre of graphic social commentary. This is a perfect marriage of comics and politics, of course I dug it. Continue to ignore that word “occupy” and don’t let it taint your willingness to give this series a chance. You’ll be surprised, though shouldn’t be considering the talent behind it.

But on top of the political message and commentary, the series continues to be entertaining. The stories contained within are smartly written and beautifully illustrated, making this a package that has depth in message as well as presentation, an awesome combination. It’s a perfect connection between emotion, facts and art. The stories have depth and are well thought out, their intelligence shows.

Despite some pretty heavy hitter names, Matt Miner’s contribution about his experience with Occupy Sandy during Hurricane Sandy is especially emotional. It really opens up your eyes as to what occurred during that storm and clean up after and the travesty that was relief efforts by the government.

I’m a political nerd. I’m a comic geek. Lets occupy some comics!

Story and art: Alan Moore, David Lloyd, Charlie Adlard, Art Spiegelman, Molly Crabapple, Matt Bors, Mike Allred, Ben Templesmith, J.M. DeMatteis, Tyler Crook, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Joe Infurnari, Ales Kot, Dean Haspiel, Joshua Dysart and Matt Pizzolo
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

12 Reasons to Die #2

APR130921_mThis 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.

Two issues in and I’m still pretty entertained by the series which mixes horror and crime. Overall though, this second issue isn’t quite as polished as the first and I wonder if the limited series might be better read in one sitting or as a trade paperback.

Again the comic comes off as disjointed stories, with an attempt to weave them together. That weaving isn’t quite as tight as the first one, and that might be where my issue comes into this. The stories don’t fit as quite nicely together as that first issue, jumping around in the subjects and characters and the art at times differing either too much or not much causing delineation between the chapters to be more difficult.

And that’s where I struggle with the comic. Take each of the stories by themselves and they’d be great. But, together there’s an issue for me and the flow between them is part of it. Breaking each section up, even with a page that just says “chapter 1,” etc. might have helped. It could also be the fact I’m reading it digitally, which makes that more difficult.

I’m also at the point I’d like more information about these records and the bigger picture around them. If they’re just a story device, that’s fine, but I’d like that a bit more clearer.

The series is an example of 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. So, you have a soundtrack to check out while reading the comic.

Overall, this is an entertaining example of cross-media entertainment, but the series needs to pick up a bit for me.

Story: Adrian Younge, Ce Garcia, Matthew Rosenberg, Patrick Kindlon Art: Breno Tamura, Gus Storms, Tim Seeley, Nate Powell, Brian Level, Dave Murdoch
Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Ballistic #1

Ballistic-001_600pxWelcome to Repo City State, where everyone’s an asshole… even the air conditioners.

Darick 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.

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.

If you’re a fan of 80s British comics, then you need to do yourself a favor and pick up this debut issue of a series that I’m sure will be making “best of” lists at the end of the year. The story is a mad rush full of adrenaline in a world so far out there and crazy, it’s hard not to be entertained.

Though it might have that “80s British” vibe, the story also feels fresh and innovative. That package also has a main character that has the snappy banter of coolness of Ash from Army of Darkness. You can take your pick as to which character I’m referring to with that one.

On top of the fun story, there’s visuals that’ll blow you away. The world can’t be described, it can only be seen and you’ll find yourself lingering on pages to catch everything and coming back to do that some more once you’re done reading.

The comic lives up to it’s name and blew me away. This one might be a sleeper, but do yourself a favor and go grab a copy!

Story: Adam Egypt Mortimer Art: Darick Robertson
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Black Mask Studios provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review

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