Just like Baron Corbin, the Ratings King of Friday Nights, is my favorite wrestler, comic book writer Pat Shand is probably my favorite comic book writer. That's why The Chadster was really happy to learn that the 2018 comic, Breathless, will be published by Black Mask this September as a trade paperback, and I asked my editors if I could write an article in the comics section about it. Shand is joined by artist Renzo Rodriguez, colorist Mara Jayne Carpenter, and letterer Jim Cambell on the series described as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer if the villains were Big Pharma."
But don't take it from The Chadster. Let's hear what this comic is all about, and why it's more relevant now than ever, from the Baron Corbin of comics himself, Pat Shand.
Breathless is a healthcare horror story, which takes a different tone now than it did when I first wrote the series.
Breathless was published in single issues in 2018 through Black Mask, and now we're collecting it into a trade paperback. It feels right to bring the series back at a time when it seems as if the mask that Big Pharma wears is crumbling faster than ever. The series was pitched as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer if the villains were Big Pharma," and that's true – there are monsters, both literal and the kind that monetize drugs people need to live. It's a dark book, but it's a lot of fun, too. It takes a satirical approach to it all, giving people something to laugh about and care about as they go on this fucked up rollercoaster.
It's a comic book about how, when a price tag is put on life, it dehumanizes both the victim and the people profiting. Breathless is a book about how monsters are made. As a medication I needed to breathe became unavailable for a time during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, as it was being used to treat patients with the virus, I felt the same anger that fueled Breathless, hotter than ever before. Thinking about writing this book and now, re-releasing it, helped me find something to put that rage into. I hope it can do the same for someone else.
Look for the Breathless trade paperback in comic book stores and digital outlets on September 2nd. The final order cutoff is Monday, August 10th.
Writer: Pat Shand (Snap Flash Hustle from Black Mask, Destiny NY from Space Between Entertainment, Marvel novels for Joe Books)
Artist: Renzo Rodriguez (Hellchild for Zenescope, Gangster Ass Barista for Space Between Entertainment)
Colorist: Mara Jayne Carpenter (Jade Street Protection Services, Jupiter Jet)
Letterer: Jim Campbell (Giant Days for Boom! Studios)
Publisher: Black Mask Studios
Release Date: September 2nd, 2020