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Don't Avert Your Eyes Launches Black Mask Special Projects Imprint

Maria Llovet and Patrick Kindlon are launching a new comic, TNT: Don't Avert Your Eyes, as a semi-sequel to There's Nothing There, set in the same world, from Black Mask. They are launching it as an anthology of short stories with new artistic collaborators on Kickstarter as part of a new initiative seen as Black Mask Special Projects imprint overseen by Pat Shand of Destiny NY.

Don't Avert Your Eyes Launches Black Mask Special Projects Imprint

Celebrity-socialite Reno Selleti doesn't believe in very much beyond Instagram comments, hipster drugs, and the flash of paparazzi cameras, so when a friend invites her to an Eyes Wide Shut-type party she goes along mostly for the lulz. But the joke doesn't feel as funny when she realizes it's an actual occult ritual, and suddenly she's seeing things… horrifying apparitions trying to warn her. "RUN." That story concept launched Reno into 2017's beloved erotic-horror series There's Nothing There, and it also launched Maria Llovet and Patrick Kindlon into the American comics market. Now, five years later, Llovet (Faithless, Luna, LOUD) and Kindlon (Frontiersman, Antioch, Nobody Is In Control) are returning to the world of There's Nothing There with new collaborators Valentina Pinti (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Simone Sellecchia, Andy Duggan (Star Wars), Jasmin Darnell (Godkiller), Kelsi Jo Silva (Thirsty), and variant cover magic-maker Leirix for Don't Avert Your Eyes, the leadoff book in a new Black Mask Special Projects line at Kickstarter.

Don't Avert Your Eyes Launches Black Mask Special Projects Imprint

"It's wonderful that the world Patrick and I explored in There's Nothing There will continue to expand and grow beyond what we saw in the original series," said Llovet. "I have a really fond memory of the characters Patrick created, I think the readers will love to discover a bit more about some of them, and about the new ones too!"

"Maria and I always saw the potential for There's Nothing There to hit with an under-serviced reader. Someone who wants a story meant for adults but is still firmly rooted in genre fiction FUN," said Kindlon. "Over the years, the book gained a bit of a following, and we're grateful for readers who have stumbled over it and fallen in love. In Don't Avert Your Eyes we're taking the universe we made and telling short, scandalous, stories with zero constraints. The content is raw and steamy, and scary, in various order. We've assembled a team with a wide range of style and influences, and each one is just going for it on every page. In short, we're taking it to the limit."

"Kickstarter has become the definitive home for indie creators to bring their stories directly to readers. I've had career-changing success on this platform, while still working in the direct market with publishers like Black Mask. It is unique to find a publisher that supports creative voices without fear or reservation, and Black Mask is exactly that kind of fearless publisher that excites daring creators," said Pat Shand. "I'm excited to continue with Black Mask what we started with my series Breathless, Snap Flash Hustle, and of course Destiny, NY… and that is to curate a line of indie comics from creators with powerful voices, and both Patrick Kindlon and Maria Llovet are the perfect choices here. Kindlon matches Black Mask's fearlessness with his bold, uncompromising vision and thirst for pure, unfiltered, unafraid creation. Llovet brings a unique mixture of whimsy and terror to her work in There's Nothing There, and we are excited to continue on with the spirit of that first incredible book. This is the first of many new projects that will show just how bold creators can be when allowed to stand on the strength of their visions."

"Maria and Patrick are two of my favorite creators, and the idea of them opening their storyworld to new collaborators for a Kickstarter feels innovative and smart and keyed in to what makes Kickstarter such a vibrant and exciting community," said Black Mask publisher Matt Pizzolo. "There's Nothing There is one of those rare books that resonates within the direct market but has also captured the imaginations of readers who are new to comics. This idea of Maria and Patrick working with the excellent Pat Shand to expand their storyworld to Kickstarter and partner with artists in the space on new stories designed with the community in mind feels fresh and on point."

Don't Avert Your Eyes marks the launch of Black Mask Special Projects, the new line of Kickstarter-oriented comics by the Los Angeles-based publisher behind comics Black, Calexit, We Can Never Go Home, Space Riders, Alice In Leatherland, Godkiller and more. The line will be overseen by Destiny, NY writer and crowdfunding mastermind Pat Shand, who has run more than twenty successful Kickstarter campaigns–recently generating over $100,000 for the graphic novel Cheeky. Rather than treating Kickstarter as a marketplace for traditional comics, Black Mask Special Projects states that they will focus on bringing the coolest storyworlds to Kickstarter for new stories uniquely suited to the Kickstarter community. Whatever you decide that means.

Featuring four new stories written by Kindlon and illustrated by Pinti, Sellecchia, Duggan, and Silva, Don't Avert Your Eyes launches on Kickstarter with a new cover by Llovet and special covers by artists Jasmin Darnell and Leirix.

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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