Tag Archives: matteo pizzolo

Preview: CalExit Vol. 1

CALEXIT Vol 1

Written by: Matteo Pizzolo
Illustrated by: Amancay Nahuelpan
Colored by: Tyler Boss
Lettered by: Jim Campbell
$14.99 | full color | mature | 160 pages
IN COMIC SHOPS 8/1
IN BOOKSTORES 8/14

What if California refused to be ruled?

SDCC 2018: Calexit: All Systems San Diego Raises Money for Immigrant Families

As the lines between fictional dystopias and our actual reality continue to blur, critically acclaimed comic book Calexit is making a difference for real families at the Mexican border. Profits from the brand new Calexit: All Systems San Diego #1 will be donated to San Diego Rapid Response Network, an organization dedicated to aiding immigrants and their families in the San Diego border region. Writer Matteo Pizzolo teamed with artist Carlos Granda, colorist Lauren Affe, and cover artists Ben Templesmith and Tyler Boss to create the new Calexit story, which goes on sale this week at San Diego Comic Con. The comic book, a story within the Calexit world, features all new characters in a San Diego-based adventure.

Review: Calexit #3

“Are you an activist? What are your city plans for? Are you a accident? Are you just in the way?“- Kendrick Lamar, “Black Panther”

Matteo Pizzolo, Amancay Nahuelpan, and Tyler Boss take a leaf out of the old Tarantino playbook going for some wheeling and dealing and bullshit in Calexit #3 before blowing it all to hell and ending the first “act” of the series on a powerful note. In Calexit, the citizens of the cities of California have resisted President Trump’s orders to deport all immigrants, and they are pitted in conflict with the more conservative citizens of the rural and suburban areas of California. They are helped by a bunch of progressive cities in the West Coast, like Vancouver and Tijuana, and opposed by the Bunkerville Militia, a white supremacist group that appears a little bit in this issue, especially their new leader Crowbar.

In just three issues, Pizzolo and Nahuelpan have engaged in a lot of worldbuilding, but have wisely focused on the very different characters of Zora and Jamil and explored the conflict between activism and apathy in a high octane manner. Of course, Jamil doesn’t agree with a fascist government, but he sees the regime’s Greenshirts as willing customers of his drugs, including anti-depressants, because Trump’s regime is ableist is fuck. He’ll look the other way as long as they do, which is what got him delivering Zora’s dad’s head in Calexit #1.

With his silver tongue and trusty drone at his side, Jamil tries to talk down the Greenshirts for most of the issue with a smile on his face and a gift for understatement. For a second, he even has some new customers. Nahuelpan’s poses for Jamil are agile and versatile just like the confidence man/drug dealer while Zora is stock-still in her Wonder Woman costume continuing the charade that she is Jamil’s girlfriend of the day. With the exception of the title page and a full page spread of Jamil’s drone telling the story of a dead Greenshirt, Nahuelpan uses a grid to show the give and take of him trying getting himself out of this crazy situation. He uses more shadows and flowing lines through the pretty much, never ending sex scene between Crowbar and his “secretaries of war” that matches up nicely with Boss’ sleazy color palette. Nahuelpan counteracts the eroticism of a menage a trois with the pretty obvious Nazi tattoos all over Crowbar and his partners’ bodies. Also, a white woman with dreadlocks equals yuck.

However, Calexit really kicks into another gear in the last third of the book. Up to this point, Jamil, and with the exception of her epic rampage in Calexit #1, Zora are content to play it safe within the system to get to their safe haven. But then shit gets real, and Amancay Nahuelpan and Tyler Boss really dial up their art game with some seriously intense reds and some loud yellows for when Crowbar finally gets off his ass and remembers that he has a deadline to take out Zora, or his superior kills him. Nahuelpan channels the energy of his work on Clandestino into a bullet straight into the metaphorical head of the patriarchy. It’s a memorable moment, and Matteo Pizzolo pays off all the roundabout conversations in the first two-thirds of the comic. Also, Jamil kind of develops as a character, but he’s far from perfect, and Zora tells him off for being content to sell drugs to fascists and sleep with PTSD-stricken sex workers in a variation of the “ride out into the sunset” moment.

Calexit #3 definitely has a “hell yeah” ending, but it also brings up a lot of questions that aren’t “Is Crowbar going to catch Zora?” because you know that guy is definitely mini-boss material. There’s the incisive questions that Jamil asks Zora as he wanders around in shock looking at the fire and blood around them if Zora wants to create real change or just has a death wish that involves her getting into risky fights with the foot soldiers of a fascist regime. Is she a rogue agent, or can she be connected to an actual resistance movement when she keeps getting her allies killed? She’s definitely a badass, and there seem to be some Mad Max Fury Road-esque chase scenes in her future, but Pizzolo and Nahuelpan aren’t afraid to look at the psychological underpinnings of her violent actions and how they affect those around her.

Story: Matteo Pizzolo Art: Amancay Nahuelpan Colors: Tyler Boss
Story: 9.0 Art: 10 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

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

Seith Mann Will Adapt the Comic Series Black

Seith Mann has been hired to adapt the comic series Black by Studio 8. The comic series exploresa world where only black people have superpowers.

The goal is to franchise the IP and develop the first spin-off comic Black [AF]: America’s Sweetheart which focuses on one female lead as opposed to the original series’ ensemble cast.

The comic series is by co-creator/writer Kwanza Osajyefo, co-creator/designer Tim Smith 3, artist Jamal Igle and cover artist Khary Randolph. The series is published by Black Mask Studios. Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3 are attached as co-producers, Matteo Pizzolo of Black Mask Studios is producing.

The original Black comic series focused on Kareem Jenkins who survives being gunned down by police and joins an underground group of black super heroes learning about the world conspiracy that hides the revelations that black individuals have super powers.

(via Deadline)

Review: Calexit #2

After much delay, the anticipated second issue of Calexit is here picking up the pieces of the first issue and taking us further into conflict and this world. The series is about every day people dealing with occupation in their neighborhoods by a tyrannical government and feels like it’s focusing on the human side of it all, how they’re dealing and where do they go from here.

Jamil takes much more of the center stage as the smuggler attempting to get Zora to where she’s going, a training camp. Jamil plays the role of the character we can most likely relate to, a person who lives by a code, unlike Zora the radical revolutionary who some may identify with but in the end is of the more extreme end of things. Still, writer Matteo Pizzolo focuses on humanizing them both in ways we can relate.

What’s really interesting is the focus on the group who is tasked to bring peace in some of California, a group of neo-Nazis who must deal with Rossie, one of our story’s villains. But, the end of the issue throws all of that up in the air as something is revealed by Rossie that’s unexpected and adds some depth to the character. There’s a thin line as to where this goes though and hopefully Pizzolo takes it where I think it’s heading instead of “even Nazis have feelings.”

The issue has more of a thrown into the thick of the action aspect of it all. Partially that is due to the delay since the first issue, and I can’t remember all the specifics of what happened, and also due to the art by Amancay Nahuelpan with colors by Tyler Boss. The world has a lived in feel about it with details that tell a story and add character to the series. The lettering by Jim Campbell too helps the story as a word here and there is emphasized for emotion driving the cadence and emotion of the speech.

The series is back and still holds a lot of promise as to where it all goes. There’s lots of extras exploring symbolism as well as interviews with interesting people. All of those extras really put the issue over the top from a read to a buy for me. This series still feels like a concept but the story is coalescing more into what was promised. We’ll see where it goes and hopefully we won’t be waiting as long for the third issue.

Story: Matteo Pizzolo Art: Amancay Nahuelpan
Color: Tyler Boss Lettering: Jim Campbell
Story: 7.95 Art: 7.95 Overall: 8.05 Recommendation: Buy

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

Preview: Calexit #2

CALEXIT #2

Written by: Matteo Pizzolo
Illustrated by: Amancay Nahuelpan
Colored by: Tyler Boss
Lettered by: Jim Campbell
48 pages | $3.99

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

Calexit Returns in February With a Third Issue in March

2018 will also see the return of Calexit, the series by Matteo Pizzolo and artist Amancay Nahuelpan. Following a hiatus, Calexit returns on February 14 with the release of the much anticipated second issue as well as a new, third printing of the debut issue which features a cover by Ashley A. Woods.

In Calexit, the citizens of California struggle to seize power back from an autocratic government after a fascistic President takes over the United States. “From its history as a breakaway state with the Bear Flag Revolt to becoming the home of rebel fiction like Star Wars and NWA, California has represented the spirit of resistance for almost two hundred years. The first arc of Calexit tells the tale of a U.S. President going to war against the Golden State, and, with California being the fifth largest economy on Earth, things escalate pretty quick. Although we conceived this story back before the 2016 election, California’s defiance of Trump’s policies and the Trump Administration’s new policy war against California has us scrambling to keep our speculative adventure a step ahead of the real world.”

The third printing of Calexit #1 by writer Matteo Pizzolo and artist Amancay Nahuelpan, featuring a cover by Ashley A. Woods,  goes on sale on February 14, 2018.

Calexit #2 by Pizzolo and Nahuelpan goes on sale on February 14, 2018.

Calexit #3, by Pizzolo and Nahuelpan, the conclusion of the series’ first story arc, will be published on March 14, 2018.

What if the .0001%’s Children Rejected Their Legacy?

What if the children of the .0001% rejected their family legacies of global brutality and tore down the billionaire patriarchy? That’s the concept behind Billionaire Killers, a new comic book series created by writer Matteo Pizzolo and artist Soo Lee about corruption, conspiracy, and what happens when the next generation vows to burn it all down. On sale this March, Billionaire Killers is the latest comic book series from Black Mask Studios, the progressive, Los Angeles-based indie publisher.

In Billionaire Killers, the CEO of ExxonMobil is America’s Secretary Of State, a hedge fund manager worth $300 million is the Secretary Of The Treasury and a lawyer who sued the EPA 14 times is head of the EPA. It’s a world where the President stops even bothering to hide the fact that America is ruled by corporations; a world where the next generation declares: enough. The series follows two young women, Sera and Pru, heiresses to their industrialist fathers’ empires, who come to learn the patriarchs of their families earned their fortunes by causing global suffering, and then decide to go to war against their own parents.

Billionaire Killers is a standalone, ongoing comic book series that expands on Young Terrorists, the acclaimed comic by Pizzolo and artist Amancay Nahuelpan.

Billionaire Killers #1 is 36 pages and will retail for $3.99 when it goes on sale on March 28, 2018. Billionaire Killers #1 will feature 3 covers — by Soo Lee, Alexis Ziritt and Amancay Nahuelpan.

Black is Optioned for the Big Screen by Studio 8

Deadline is reporting that Studio 8 has snatched up the Kickstarter smashing indie comic series Black created by Kwanza Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3, written by Osajyefo, with art by Jamal Igle, covers by Khary Randolph, and published by Black Mask Studios. The plan currently is to bring the series to the big screen.

The six issue series has recently wrapped up and is about a world where only Black individuals have superpowers and a widespread global conspiracy about that knowledge pervails. The story primarily follows a young man who survives being gunned down by police and is brought into the conspiracy forcing him to decide if he’ll keep it a secret or the truth will set him free.

Osajyefo and Smith are attached as co-producers to the film, with Black Mask Studios’ Matteo Pizzolo producing.

This isn’t the first comic property for Studio 8, they aquired film options for Scout by Timothy Truman.

Proceeds from Calexit to Fund the Become The Government SuperPAC

Superheroes are synonymous with comic books, while SuperPACs are ingrained in the current political landscape, and now there’s an unlikely crossover between the two worlds in the works. Matteo Pizzolo, the writer of Calexit and the co-founder of Black Mask Studios, is starting a SuperPAC called Become The Government to support first-time candidates from non-partisan backgrounds in the 2018 midterm elections. Pizzolo will contribute his writing royalties from the acclaimed ongoing Calexit comic book series to support Become The Government. Last week the first issue of the series by Pizzolo and artist Amancay Nahuelpan was released with a print run of 25,000. Within 24 hours, the book had sold out at the distribution level and at most major comic book retailers, prompting publisher Black Mask Studios to immediately initiate a second printing.

In Calexit, the citizens of California struggle to seize power back from an autocratic government. The ongoing series tells the story of Jamil, a 25-year old courier (aka smuggler), and Zora, a 27-year old leader in the Pacific Coast Sister Cities Resistance, who escape together from a prison camp in Occupied Los Angeles, where martial law has been in place for the past year —  ever since America’s demagogue President signed an executive order to deport all immigrants, and California responded by proclaiming itself a Sanctuary State. Each issue of Calexit will also include non-fiction material about local sustainability and grassroots campaigning for 2018 elections.

Become The Government will be an independent-expenditure-only political action committee focused on supporting first-time candidates in the 2018 midterm elections. The group, which will select candidates to support but will not donate directly to them nor coordinate directly with their campaigns, intends to advocate for candidates who bring fresh new ideas, perspectives, and experiences to the position.

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