Black Mask Studios started their NYCC with a bang, announcing a slate of exciting new titles that will be hitting the shelves in 2015. The biggest surprise? A brand new series from Grant Morrison featuring the incredible Vanesa Del Rey on art duties. The full slate of announced books follows, capped off by the original press release:

 

Sinatoro

SINATORO
writer Grant Morrison
artist Vanesa Del Rey

What is it?
Grant Morrison fans have heard rumors of this project for years now… it’s one of the stories dearest to Grant’s heart, so he took his time seeking the right home and perfect format for it.

The story of a necronaut sent into the afterlife to save Earth from destruction, SINATORO melds the Tibetan Book of the Dead with the Great American Road Movie for Grant’s masterwork on Life, Death, and America.

Why it’s awesome:
This strange tale of living life and facing death is one Grant has been extremely passionate about for years, and it’s sure to be his next legendary work.

Teaming Grant with Vanesa Del Rey makes for a real dream team — Vanesa is one of the most exciting new artists to hit the scene in years and the dark mystique of her artwork channels all the transcendent themes of Grant’s wildest imaginings.

Space Riders

SPACE RIDERS
writer Fabian Rangel Jr.
artist Alexis Ziritt
letterer Ryan Ferrier

What is it?
The psychedelic space opera of disgraced Captain Peligro seeking redemption and a body count worthy of his namesake, the Skullship Sante Muerte.

As writer Fabian Rangel Jr. put it “Get a bowl; add KIRBY, STERANKO, B-MOVIES, and METAL and mix until your mind is blown. We can do ANYTHING in comics. And we plan to.”

Why it’s awesome:
Alexis Ziritt (who’s been doing those amazing LOKI: RAGNAROK AND ROLL covers) is making tripped-out, psycho-manic art like no one else these days, and we think SPACE RIDERS is the perfect book for him to hit the next level. Fabian Rangel Jr. is a very cool new writer we’ve been watching for a while, his DOC UNKNOWN digital comic is a real gem and his backup in the LIBERATOR trade went viral on Tumblr. Both of these guys are about to break huge and SPACE RIDERS is poised to be the book that does it for them.

Our Work Fills The Pews

OUR WORK FILLS THE PEWS
writers Vita A. & Matthew Rosenberg
artist Yasmin Liang

What is it?
In the dark future of OUR WORK FILLS THE PEWS, the rise of fundamentalist groups and hardline political leaders has led America to a culture war it was not prepared for… when the dust settled, America had placed its own citizens in internment camps for the first time in 80 years. Camps for subversives, homosexuals, Muslims, Jews, the poor, the mentally ill… but the largest camps with the highest population of prisoners are the breeding camps where the women are held. Marcus, a gay black man, is a bounty hunter–he can stay out of the camps as long as he hunts down and arrests escapees… but he finds his conscience and his purpose when he comes upon 8-year old Sojourner and vows to sneak her across the border or die trying.

Why it’s awesome:
In the spirit of V FOR VENDETTA and Y THE LAST MAN, OUR WORK FILLS THE PEWS is a disturbing adventure that addresses who we are today and where we’re going as a society. Vita and Matthew know how to frame their story for thrills so the fantastically-bleak setting is no more overtly political than a Nazi or Soviet-set story, while through the darkness they reach deep truths. Yasmin’s soft-edged, emotive art eschews the grimdarkness of most dystopias and instead evokes the nuance and texture of an imperfect future.

X'ed

X’ED
writer Tony Patrick
artist Ayhan Hayrula
colorist Doug Garbark

What is it?
A sci-fi thriller about a next-gen form of psychiatry: ‘subliminal hitmen’ injected into your mind who hunt down and kill the demons that haunt you.

Ex-military sharpshooter Colin McClure is Mezign Corporation’s most recent recruit for the still-experimental (and often deadly) job of subliminal hitman. McClure is the perfect candidate for two reasons: a- he’s a killing machine, and b- he lost his legs in the war, so subliminal-ops are his only way to see any action. But he’s also a dangerous candidate for one reason unknown to Mezign: Colin’s true motive is to enter the mind of his catatonic daughter and bring her out of a coma.

Why it’s awesome:
Melding Hitman with Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, newcomer Tony Patrick has crafted a slam-dunk concept that merges all the things we love about comics: complex characters, surreal locations, mindbending concepts, and non-stop action. Ayhan’s sophisticated linework brings a smart and grounded feel to the otherworldly actioner.

Young Terrorists

YOUNG TERRORISTS
writer Matt Pizzolo
artist Amancay Nahuelpan
colorist Jean-Paul Csuka

What is it?
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 thriller that channelsFight Club by way of Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

Why it’s awesome:
Fearless and reckless in its assault on politics as usual, YOUNG TERRORISTS manically rips the scab off life under the new world order and revels in the puss underneath.

Newcomer 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.”

Disciples

THE DISCIPLES
writer Steve Niles
artist Christopher Mitten

What is it?
This ghost story in space reunites comics’ king of the macabre Steve Niles with his longtime collaborator Christopher Mitten, whose stylish mix of grit and flow matches Steve’s sharp characterizations and taste for screams.

Why it’s awesome:
After wrapping their longtime collaborations 30 DAYS OF NIGHT and CRIMINAL MACABRE, Steve and Christopher cooked up the perfect new project to explode at Black Mask, and this grounded sci-horror story taps both their strengths while giving them limitless opportunity to flex their storytelling muscles.

Last Song

LAST SONG
writer Holly Interlandi
artist Zoe Chevat

What is it?
This comic is about rock n roll. Not as a metaphor. Not as a backdrop. No. This is about what rock n roll feels like… that pleasant but sad sort of nostalgia, the poetic melancholy, that epic rockstar mortality. The album that made you break up with your fiancee. The concert that was exactly what you needed when your parents didn’t understand. That singer that made the kinds of mistakes you would never make. Never. Or so you thought.

LAST SONG is the rise and fall rockstar story of a band called Ecstacy. They change rock n roll — and people’s lives — for better and for worse. A symbolic, fantastical journey through the music industry all Velvet Goldmine meets Pink Floyd’s The Wall except with groupies instead of Nazis.

Why it’s awesome:
Holly and Zoe met at Meltdown Comics in LA when Holly took one look at Zoe’s artwork and asked the fateful questions: “Do you love rock n roll?” Zoe, in her motorcycle jacket, tattoos, and dyed red hair, nodded an emphatic yes. Then Holly told Zoe about her passion project LAST SONG that she’d been developing for years: she’d invented a fictional band representing everything that makes rock n roll magical and life-changing, she wrote lyrics for their albums, imaginary liner notes and set lists, even critics’ reviews, building Ecstacy into a band as real in her mind as any she’d seen live on stage. Zoe was hooked, and the two jumped down the rabbit hole together for this unique journey through sequential art into the depths of rock n roll.

Mayday #1

MAYDAY
writer Curt Pires
artist Chris Peterson
colorist Pete Toms
letterer Colin Bell

What is it?
Fresh off buzz-books THEREMIN and POP, Curt Pires delivers this madcap, transgressive adventure that reads like a Hunter S. Thompson supernatural shoot-em-up.

A washed-up, drug-addicted screenwriter and a transgender bartender stumble onto a Satanic cult’s plan to sacrifice people all across LA (geomapped in the form of a pentagram, of course) and bring on armageddon. As our intrepid, damaged heroes embark on a suicide mission to stop the crazy cultists, even they wonder if this is all really happening or if they’re just plain batshit crazy. Probably both.

Why it’s awesome:
Pires is already a red hot writer for smart readers in the know, and we think this book will jettison him to being comics’ next great mad scientist writer. Peterson is coming off GRINDHOUSE where he honed the energetic and lurid b-movie look that makes MAYDAY roll like Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas meets Pulp Fiction.

We Can Never Go Home Again #1

WE CAN NEVER GO HOME
writer Matthew RosenbergPatrick Meaney
artist Josh Hood

What is it?
When high school misfit Duncan wanders past Makeout Point and sees popular girl Madison hurl her dickhead boyfriend out the car window, he knows there’s something special about her. She confides in him that she is super strong, literally “super” strong. He tells her a secret: he has a power as well – he can kill people with his mind. Soon enough, the two are on the run from cops, killers, drug dealers, and crime gangs in this super-powered spin on True Romance andBadlands.

Why it’s awesome:
Matthew and Patrick have crafted a gritty new take on powers-noir wherein high school-aged outlaws are under the gun and on the run as they grapple with more strength than they can control. Josh’s clean lines and fast energy imbues a youthful exuberance in this edgy coming of rage story.

Transference #1

TRANSFERENCE
writer Michael Moreci
artist Ron Salas

What is it?
An elite team of special agents run black ops utilizing a secret form of time travel technology called “transference,” which enables them to send their consciousnesses back in time and inhabit other people’s bodies – but, when the team leader’s past is altered to reshape his life in the present, they discover this technology isn’t as exclusive as they thought.

Why it’s awesome:
Fresh off the white-hot ROCHE LIMIT and a string of highly regarded genre books, Moreci’s elevated-genre action thriller mixes smart storytelling with intriguing twists for a cocktail of Looper and Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Salas’ sharp and stylish renderings portray a range of eras as well as characters that may be lurking below the surface… much farther down than skin deep.

 

———–

Grant Morrison, Vanesa Del Rey, Steve Niles, Ben Templesmith
help rocketfuel Black Mask’s next wave

Publishing/Production studio adds comics, transmedia, and television for new slate

 

BLACK MASK STUDIOS , the publishing/production company launched last year by Brett Gurewitz (Bad Religion, CEO Epitaph Records, ANTI- Records), Matt Pizzolo (Occupy Comics),and Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), has unveiled its second slate of comics: an armada three-times the size of its previous slate, now flagshipped by Grant Morrison (ALL STAR SUPERMAN, THE MULTIVERSITY), Vanesa Del Rey (EMPTY MAN), Ben Templesmith(SQUIDDER), TV and transmedia expansions of Frank Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham’sbreakout hit FIVE GHOSTS,and Steve Niles’ long-awaited debut book for the upstart company.

But it’s not just legendary creators, Black Mask is also continuing its streak of debuting the next wave of creators who will be making waves in the comic market.

“On our first slate, Black Mask brought out important new works from legends like Darick Robertson and RZA while simultaneously debuting young guns like Adam Egypt Mortimerwho wowed people with Ballistic, just like we did on Occupy Comics bringing Alan Moore andJ.M. DeMatteis together with then-freshmen Ales Kot and Matt Miner.

“We’re doing that again, we’re ecstatic to be bringing new books from Grant Morrison and Vanesa Del Rey and Steve Niles, and we’re equally excited to be debuting new creators you’ll be talking about all of 2015 such as Tony PatrickHolly InterlandiAmancay NahuelpanZoe ChevatJonathan Brandon SawyerVita A., and tons more. We’ll also be bringing you what I think will be the breakout books by hardworking creators that savvy readers already love such as Curt PiresMichael Moreci, Mark L. MillerMatthew Rosenberg, and Alexis Ziritt.

“I’m thrilled because I love all these creators and all these books, and I’m excited because I know our strategies are the bleeding edge for getting their stories to current readers as well as new audiences,” said Pizzolo.

Black Mask is coming off a bit of a coup setting up FIVE GHOSTS as a TV series on Syfy Channel with Universal Cable Productions producing and Evan Daugherty (SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, DIVERGENT) writing the pilot. Pizzolo and Gurewitz will co-executive produce with executive producers Chris Bender and Jake Weiner and producer Jake Wagner of BenderSpink (THE HANGOVER). That deal came together after Black Mask partnered with FIVE GHOSTS creators Barbiere and Mooneyham back in late 2013 to develop transmedia expansions of the FIVE GHOSTS storyworld. The developing TV series is just the first fruit of this partnership to be announced, with more projects being unveiled soon.

With its first slate, Black Mask took risks on innovative new approaches: selling comics in record stores, positioning Liberator and 12 Reasons To Die apparel in lifestyle shops, bundling DRM-free digital subscriptions with trade paperback pre-orders, building an international direct-sales webstore, tying in comics with music (even scoring coverage on Jimmy Fallon), and more.

The next slate will similarly be supported by bold and inventive new strategies, many of which will be revealed shortly.

3 COMMENTS

  1. A lot of these books interest me too, for the fact that I’ve never heard of any of these creators before. And I like that. I like just going into a new book, just enjoying it and its vision for what it is, and discovering new writers and artists. Can’t wait for these books to come out.

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