Black Mask Studios, the publishing/production company founded by Brett Gurewitz (Bad Religion), Matt Pizzolo (Occupy Comics) and Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) is unveiling its second wave of new releases.
Black Mask is coming off of the recent announcement that the series Five Ghosts, by Frank Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham had been picked up as a TV series on Syfy.
With its first slate, Black Mask tried a lot of different and unique approaches to marketing their books: 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.
But now the important part, the actual books:
Writer Grant Morrison Artist Vanesa Del Rey
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. Sinatoro melds the Tibetan Book of the Dead with the Great American Road Movie for Grant's masterwork on Life, Death, and America.
Writer Fabian Rangel Jr. Artist Alexis Ziritt Letterer Ryan Ferrier
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."
OUR WORK FILLS THE PEWS
Writers Vita A. & Matthew Rosenberg Artist Yasmin Liang
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.
Writer Tony Patrick Artist Ayhan Hayrula Colorist Doug Garbark
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.
Writer Matt Pizzolo Artist Amancay Nahuelpan Colorist Jean-Paul Csuka
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.
Writer Steve Niles Artist Christopher Mitten
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.
Writer Holly Interlandi Artist Zoe Chevat
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.
Writer Curt Pires Artist Chris Peterson Colorist Pete Toms Letterer Colin Bell
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.
TOE TAG RIOT
Writer Matt Miner Artist Sean Von Gorman Cover Rod Reis
A hilarious and gory tongue-in-cheek story, Toe Tag Riot is a punk rock band cursed to become zombies whenever they perform their music! The band goes on a last cross-country tour in search of a cure to their affliction, but being the ethical sometimes zombie-punks they are, Toe Tag Riot uses their zombie superpowers to rid the world of racists, homophobes, misogynists and all kinds of other nasty people.
WE CAN NEVER GO HOME
Writer Matthew Rosenberg, Patrick Meaney Artist Josh Hood
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.
Writer Michael Moreci Artist Ron Salas
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.
Writer Matt Pizzolo Artist Anna Muckcracker Wieszczyk Covers Ben Templesmith
Fallen gods, weaponized orgasms, and sex-addicted technowizards populate the twisted post-apocalyptic world of Godkiller. Debuting as a digital series, Godkiller is a beloved storyworld with hundreds of thousands of fans so devoted that many have full chest and arm tattoos. Called "Saga meets Johnny The Homicidal Maniac" by Ain't It Cool News, GODKILLER follows teenage orphan Tommy and escaped-slavegirl Halfpipe on an odyssey across the wasteland in search of a new heart for Tommy's dying sister.
Writer Matt Miner Artist Jonathan Brandon Sawyer Colorist Doug Garbark Cover Phil Noto
Real heroes don't wear capes, they wear ski-masks. Matt Miner rallies a brand new art team and launches LIBERATOR fan favorites Jeanette and Sarah in a bold new direction with their own gritty mission to stop a gang of particularly brutal hunters – but the girls learn to their horror that these thrill-killers have developed a new hobby: hunting people… and suddenly the rescuers become the prey.
Writer Mark L. Miller Artist Carlos Granda
Raised from infancy by duplicitous clowns who entertain by day and menace by night, Pirouette dreams of washing the paint from her face and escaping to a better life far away from her cruel adoptive circus family… because when the spotlights dim and the crowd disperses, the clown princess' big-top dreams give way to a nightmarish world of monsters with painted smiles.
Writer Patrick Meaney Artist Eric Zawadzki
What if the Big Bang was not the first of its kind? And, more importantly, not the last?
Her whole life, Julia has yearned for adventure… when she falls through a rupture in spacetime, she finally gets her wish.
Writer Frank Barbiere Artist Chris Mooneyham
The critically-acclaimed, breakout-hit comic Five Ghosts byFrank J. Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham is a stylish, pulpy adventure about a 1930s-era treasure hunter possessed by five literary ghosts (Merlin, Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes, Musashi, and Dracula) whose unique abilities he can draw on during his adventures.
Frank and Chris have partnered with Black Mask to expand the FIVE GHOSTS storyworld through transmedia, and the first fruit of that union is the TV series recently set up at Syfy Channel. But setting up Hollywood adaptations is not the core of what Black Mask does when it comes to transmedia worldbuilding, so expect updates shortly on the ambitious plans we have for this beloved story.