Steve Niles' Black Mask Comics Set to Debut in May


The first two titles from the Steve Niles co-founded Black Mask Studios are set for release in May, as announced Thursday afternoon in The Hollywood Reporter.

is the first offering from the publisher, a three-part miniseries inspired by (and partial proceeds benefitting) the Occupy movement. Issue #1, scheduled for May 1, will include a story from the team of Alan Moore and David Lloyd; their first work together since the famous 1980s series.

Also on the Black Mask docket: , from the Wu-Tang Clan's RZA and Ghostface Killah, with a story "told partly in comic form and partly in music form" tying in to the upcoming Ghostface Killah album of the same name. It's scheduled for May 29, and will be illustrated by rotating artists including Riley Rossmo and Tim Seeley.

Occupy Comics.

"The way we put together the slate is with wanting to push the boundaries of what can be done in comics," Black Mask co-founder Pizzolo is quoted in the piece. "One of the chief goals is to expand the audience of comics. We are trying to do that by bringing in different sensibilities, like Wu-Tang, like hard sci-fi and futurism, and with madcap energy. Remember books like Transmetropolitan? You don’t see much of that today."

June sees two Black Mask releases — on June 19, a four-issue miniseries by writer Matt Miner and artist Joel Gomez about vigilantes seeking to punish animal torturers (30 percent of the profits from the series will go to animal rescue efforts, notes); and on June 26, from comics veteran Darick Robertson and filmmaker Adam Egypt, a "psychedelic and bizarre buddy adventure."

"We are not looking at these things as treatments for movies but we do want to engage in transmedia worldbuilding," Pizzolo told .

Black Mask Studios was founded last year by 's Niles, Halo-8 Entertainment's Pizzolo and Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz. Pizzolo funded on Kickstarter in 2011. According to , other creators slated to contribute to Black Mask include Art Spiegelman, Charlie Adlard, Mike Allred, Ben Templesmith, J.M. DeMatteis and Molly Crabapple.

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