|Bad Religion's BRETT GUREWITZ part of new comic company, Black Mask Studios|
|Friday, 15 February 2013 21:44|
Black Mask Studios, a brand new comic publishing company created by Steve Niles (30 Days of Night, Criminal Macabre), Matt Pizzolo (Occupy Comics, Godkiller, Halo-8), and Brett Gurewitz (Bad Religion, Epitaph Records) has just unveiled the initial leadoff slate of comic book series.
The company's lead title is '12 Reasons To Die' - this horror-crime hybrid is the latest comic book from the legendary Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and Ghostface Killah. A brutal tale of gangsters, betrayal, and one vengeful soul hunting the 12 most powerful crimelords in the world. It is illustrated by a rotating team of artists starting with Riley Rossmo (Bedlam), Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash), Joe Infurnari (Mush!), Kyle Strahm (Haunt), Gus Storms & Breno Tamura (Pigs), and more to be announced; written by Matthew Rosenberg & Patrick Kindlon (MENU). Covers by Paolo Rivera (Daredevil), Ramon Perez (Tale of Sand, Wolverine & The X-Men), Ronald Wimberly (Prince of Cats), Garry Brown (The Massive), and Christopher Mitten (30 Days of Night).
'12 Reasons To Die' is a multi-platform, transmedia concept project with a storyline that spans from the comic book to the new Ghostface Killah album released simultaneously by RZA’s Soul Temple Records.
Black Mask Studios will differentiate itself based on its respective founders’ decades-long commitments to championing creator’s rights across media from comics to film to music.
As Pizzolo explains, “Groundbreaking art thrives when the relationship between artist and label is built on integrity, respect, and a team effort. Comics has a troubled history with its treatment of creators, our goal is to bring the supportive ethic of record labels like Epitaph, Dischord, and Revelation to comics.”
“From Bad Religion’s first DIY efforts to the artist-first mandate of Epitaph and ANTI- Records, creator’s rights have always been central in all I’ve done,” adds Gurewitz. “That’s the way you make things happen. By inspiring; never meddling. Art has the power to move people and transgressive art can challenge and even change norms. It’s what punk and comics have in common and one of the reasons I’m super excited about Black Mask Studios.”
“Brett, Matt, and I all came up in the DiY punk scene,” furthers Niles. “And we’re bringing that kind of attitude to this… the constructive part about supporting voices who are talking about real things but in a bold and exciting way. We’re not afraid to bring in activism and politics and counterculture. What publisher today could be bringing out the next V For Vendetta? Nobody.”
While Black Mask Studios’ initial titles will be released to comic book stores through Diamond Comics starting in May, the comics are already available for pre-order in the Black Mask webstore as physical-digital hybrid bundles. The comics won’t be delivered until their retail street date, but digital subscribers will instantly receive a digital “comics mixtape” as well as a limited edition t-shirt. You can find the Black Mask webstore by going to: http://kingsroadmerch.com/black-mask-studios
“We experimented with the direct-to-fan digital-physical-hybrid subscription model for Godkiller at Halo-8,” explains Pizzolo. “Basically you get the digital issues every month and then the collected trade paperback when it’s all done. The audience loved it and we think it’s a great way to reach new audiences with Black Mask.”
“There’s a gap right now, creators are either working under very strict regimes on legacy characters or they’re essentially self-publishing at places where creator-owned means the creators are on their own,” said Niles. “At Black Mask we want to be there to lend support when a creator needs it, and other than that we want to cheer them on and champion their work.”