Black Mask Studios’s Seven-Page Preview of “Occupy Comics #2”


“Occupy Comics #2” & “Liberator #1” Hit Shelves Today Amid Accusation of War Crimes &C a Politcally Radical Variant Cover

Black Mask Studios is sending two very unique comics into shops today: issue #2 of the acclaimed Occupy Comics, a “thought-provoking and heartfelt” collection of stories by some of comics’ greatest creators celebrating the Occupy movement and continuing the 99%-conversation in a new forum; and issue #1 of Liberator, a “fiercely strong” tale of animal avenging vigilantism that is garnering stunningly positive reviews and “doesn’t screw around” according to The NY Post.

Bill Ayers (co-founder of The Weather Underground) provides the final story in “Occupy Comics #2,” which happens to street just one day after he demanded President Obama be tried for war crimes. So anyone who still thinks Occupy Comics is partisan simply isn’t paying attention. As Graphic Policy said, Occupy Comics is “shockingly non-partisan.”

Meanwhile, Liberator debuts with two ultra-rare limited editions variant covers, including an anti-Ag-Gag cover only available in states where Ag-Gag laws are moving through legislation.

With Ag-Gag laws, lobbyists are pushing to criminalize the act of videotaping animal abuse. Recent coverage in The NY Times and Wired breaks it down. When peaceful actions like videotaping animal torture are banned, then otherwise law-abiding activists will be pushed into the types of destructive vigilantism displayed by Liberator’s Punisher-esque anti-hero.

“Occupy Comics #2” continues the rotating roster of creators, this time matching old-school legends with some leaders of the new school, including:
Alan Moore (Watchmen, V For Vendetta)
Joshua Dysart (Unknown Soldier, Harbinger)
Riley Rossmo (Bedlam, Adventures of Superman)
David Mack (Kabuki, Daredevil)
Molly Crabapple (Shell Game)
Matt Bors (Pulitzer-nominated cartoonist)
Mark Sable (Two-Face: Year One, Graveyard of Empires)
Megan Hutchison (The Aurora Grimeon Stories)
Matthew Rosenberg (12 Reasons To Die)
Zoetica Ebb (Biorequiem)
Shannon Wheeler (Too Much Coffee Man)
Matt Miner (Liberator)
Salgood Sam (Planet of the Apes, RevolveR)
Si Spurrier (2000 AD, X-Men: Curse of the Mutants)
Anna Wieszczyk (Godkiller, Lucid)
Bill Ayers (co-founder The Weather Underground)

“Liberator #1” introduces animal avenging vigilantism to the superhero genre with a “raw, realistic, and revolutionary” approach that follows through on its tagline: Real heroes don’t wear capes, they wear ski-masks.

Earth First Journal boldly stated: “The comic world hasn’t had anything approaching this since Grant Morrison’s Animal Man chickened out during a laboratory arson.”

Bleeding Cool calls Liberator: “A fiercely strong, clever book that refuses to preach.”

Graphic Policy points out: “No matter your opinion on the issue, it’s a great read & interesting cause.”

And Comics Beat calls it: “Debut of the year… unmissable.”

Liberator writer-creator Matt Miner is a newcomer with a double-debut today, along with Liberator’s premiere issue Miner also contributed a seven-page story to “Occupy Comics #2” about how Occupy Sandy rescued his Rockaway, NY neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

So as a special high-five to the awesome Matt Miner, we’re providing his Occupy Comics story here for free to your readers, along with David Mack and Salgood Sam’s double-page splash illustrations.

Launched as a Kickstarter shortly after the start of Occupy Wall Street, this star-studded political anthology features Alan Moore (Watchmen, V For Vendetta), David Lloyd (V For Vendetta, Aces Weekly), Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead), Art Spiegelman (Pulitzer-winning Maus), Molly Crabapple (Shell Game), Matt Bors (Pulitzer-nominated political cartoonist), Mike Allred (Madman), Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night), J.M. DeMatteis (Justice League, Spider-Man), Tyler Crook (Petrograd), Joshua Hale Fialkov (I, Vampire), Joe Infurnari (Mush!), Ales Kot (Wild Children), Dean Haspiel (American Splendor), Douglas Rushkoff (media theorist), Joshua Dysart (Unknown Soldier, Swamp Thing), Matt Miner (Liberator), and the project’s organizational spearhead Matt Pizzolo (Godkiller). After being released digitally to Kickstarter backers throughout the creative period, it is now reaching mass audiences with all profits being donated to Occupy-related initiatives. Pizzolo pointed out Occupy is inspired by “ideas rather than ideology” and this project is intended to reflect the chorus of individual voices that make up the 99% movement.

In 2011, a handful of comics creators were inspired by the events of Occupy Wall Street to create a comic book anthology called Occupy Comics that would serve the dual purpose of creating an artistic time capsule of the goals & themes of the movement while also fundraising for the protesters with all revenues (past hard costs) being donated to various Occupy actions. After a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised nearly three times its goal and amassed a star-studded roster of over fifty professional creators (including a few legends), organizational spearhead Matt Pizzolo attempted to arrange a distribution deal for Occupy Comics through a traditional comics publisher so the stories could reach broader audiences. Although the project was much-discussed and eagerly anticipated, the fees demanded by publishers seemed excessive and would likely leave little to no profits left for the protesters. So Pizzolo joined with fellow Occupy Comics original member Steve Niles (creator 30 Days of Night) and Occupy Comics Kickstarter-backer Brett Gurewitz (guitarist Bad Religion, founder Epitaph Records) to form a distribution pipeline that could bring Occupy Comics to larger audiences at a lower cost than any of the other publishers were able to offer, thus generating more funds for protesters. Since they had to build a pipeline for Occupy Comics, Pizzolo, Niles, and Gurewitz decided to turn it into a company called Black Mask Studios that could support creators making outsider/transgressive/non-traditional comics. The initial slate of projects set for release in Spring 2013 all feature at least one Occupy Comics contributor: 12 Reasons To Die writers Matthew Rosenberg & Patrick Kindlon, Ballistic artist Darick Robertson, and Liberator writer Matt Miner. With a mandate to find new ways of supporting creators and reaching new audiences, Black Mask is committed to pushing the boundaries of comics.

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