Black Mask Studios

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Black Mask Studios
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationLos Angeles, California
DistributionDiamond Book Distributors (books)[1]
Key peopleMatt Pizzolo
Brett Gurewitz
Steve Niles
Publication typesComic books, books

Black Mask Studios is a comic book and graphic novel publishing company formed by Matt Pizzolo, Steve Niles and Brett Gurewitz, designed as a new infrastructure to support comic book creators and a new pipeline for transgressive art.[2][3]


On March 20, 2012, it was announced that Occupy Comics, the charity comic book inspired by and raising funds for Occupy Wall Street, organized by Pizzolo, would not be released through an existing comic book publisher, but through a new company called Black Mask Studios.[4]

Niles and Gurewitz joined with Pizzolo to found Black Mask, Niles noting "if V for Vendetta were created today there would be no publisher for it."[5][6] Pizzolo has explained that Black Mask will operate under the mottos "to create you must destroy" and "Inspire, never meddle".[7]

On June 12, 2012, Black Mask Studios opened its webstore and officially released Occupy Comics #1 with the announcement that Pulitzer Prize-winner Art Spiegelman, Bill Ayers, Ryan Alexander-Tanner, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Matt Bors had joined the book's roster.[8]

On September 17, 2012, the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Comics #2 was released to the project's Kickstarter backers and via the Black Mask Studios website. The cover featured a new and iconic illustration by V For Vendetta artist David Lloyd pitting his seminal character V against the Wall Street Charging Bull.[9]

Nearly a year later, on February 14, 2013, Black Mask Studios unveiled its first slate of comics with a two-pronged distribution strategy of supplying comics to traditional comic book shops as well as direct-to-fan through digital-physical hybrid subscriptions.[10]

The following year, in October 2014, Black Mask Studios announced its second slate of 15 new series, a major expansion for the company, flagshipped by Sinatoro from Grant Morrison and Vanesa Del Rey and Disciples from Steve Niles and Christopher Mitten.[11]

Black Mask Studios has since announced several non-comics productions: a TV adaptation of Five Ghosts by Frank Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham, executive produced by Pizzolo and Gurewitz for Syfy and Universal Cable Productions with a pilot by Evan Daugherty;[12] an animated feature film trilogy of Godkiller by Pizzolo, Anna Muckcracker Wieszczyk and Ben Templesmith,[13] a TV adaptation of The Disciples by Niles and Christopher Mitten at Universal Cable Productions,[14] a TV adaptation of Mayday at Imperative,[15] and an adaptation of Sinatoro by Grant Morrison and Vanesa Del Rey at Universal Television with a pilot by Heroes writers Adam Armus and Kay Foster, co-produced with Chris Weitz (Rogue One) and Paul Weitz (Mozart In The Jungle).[16] According to The Hollywood Reporter, Black Mask currently has 11 projects in development at studios.[17]

Black Mask Studios announced in February 2017 that a new comic Calexit will be released on May 2017, which will be about the Pacific Coast Sister Cities Resistance in a California under martial law by the President of the United States set in an occupied Los Angeles.[18]

In May 2017, it was announced that Black Mask title Kim & Kim earned the company its first Eisner Award nomination.


The first slate of titles was scheduled to launch on May Day 2013 with Occupy Comics #1. The list announced by Black Mask includes:[19]

The second slate of titles began debuting in late 2014 with new series scheduled to launch through mid-2015, including:[21]

  • Sinatoro written by Grant Morrison, illustrated by Vanesa del Rey
  • Space Riders written by Fabian Rangel Jr., illustrate by Alexis Ziritt
  • Our Work Fills The Pews written by Vita Wong and Matthew Rosenberg, illustrated by Yasmin Liang
  • X'ed written by Tony Dreannan, illustrated by Ayhan Hayrula
  • Young Terrorists written by Matt Pizzolo, illustrated by Amancay Nahuelpan
  • The Disciples written by Steve Niles, illustrated by Christopher Mitten
  • Last Song written by Holly Interlandi, illustrated by Zoe Chevat
  • Mayday written by Curt Pires, illustrated by Chris Peterson
  • Toe Tag Riot written by Matt Miner, illustrated by Sean Von Gorman
  • We Can Never Go Home written by Matthew Rosenberg and Patrick Kindlon, illustrated by Josh Hood
  • Transference written by Michael Moreci, illustrated by Ron Salas
  • Godkiller written by Matt Pizzolo, illustrated by Anna Muckcracker Wieszczyk, covers by Ben Templesmith
  • Critical Hit written by Matt Miner, illustrated by Jonathan Brandon Sawyer
  • Pirouette written by Mark Miller, illustrated by Carlos Granda
  • Last Born written by Patrick Meaney, illustrated by Eric Zawadzki

The third slate of titles (dubbed Black Mask's Class Of 2016) debuted in Spring 2016, including:[22]

  • Jade Street Protection Services written by Katy Rex and Fabian Lelay, illustrated by Fabian Lelay, colored by Mara Jayne Carpenter, lettered by Taylor Esposito, covers by Annie Wu
  • Kim & Kim written by Magdalene Visaggio, illustrated by Eva Cabrera, colored by Claudia Aguirre, lettered by Zakk Saam, covers by Tess Fowler and Devaki Neogi (Eisner Award and GLAAD Media Award-nominated)[23]
  • Black written by Kwanza Osajyefo, designed by Tim Smith 3, illustrated by Jamal Igle, covers by Khary Randolph
  • Run For The Shadows written by J.M. DeMatteis and Matt Pizzolo, illustrated by Josh Hood
  • The Skeptics written by Tini Howard, illustrated by Devaki Neogi, colored by Jen Hickman
  • 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank written by Matthew Rosenberg, illustrated by Tyler Boss, lettered by Thomas Mauer
  • The Forevers written by Curt Pires, illustrated by Eric Pfeiffer
  • No Angel written by Eric Palicki and Adrianne Palicki, illustrated by Ari Syahrazad, colored by Jean-Paul Csuka, lettered by Jim Campbell
  • The Dregs written by Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler, illustrated by Eric Zawadzki
  • Tomorrow's Ashes illustrated by Anna Wieszczyk, written by Matt Pizzolo, covers by Jen Bartel and Tess Fowler
  • Space Riders volume 2 written by Fabian Rangel Jr, illustrated by Alexis Ziritt
  • We Can Never Go Home volume 2 written by Matthew Rosenberg and Patrick Kindlon, illustrated by Josh Hood


  1. ^ Our Publishers
  2. ^ aubin (February 15, 2013). "Brett Gurewitz helps launch Black Mask Studios".
  3. ^ MacDonald, Heidi (February 15, 2013). "New publisher/distro Black Mask Studios debuts with Moore, Lloyd, RZA and more". Comics Beat.
  4. ^ "Black Mask Studios; New Comic Publisher". ICv2. March 22, 2012.
  5. ^ Thill, Scott (March 20, 2012). "Black Mask Studios' 'Old Punks' Occupy Comics, Creators Rights". Wired.
  6. ^ "Black Mask Studios to distribute Occupy Comics anthology". Comic Book Resources. Robot 6. May 20, 2012.
  7. ^ Kit, Borys (February 14, 2013). "'Watchmen,' 'Walking Dead' and '30 Days of Night' Creators Help Launch Black Mask Comics". The Hollywood Reporter.
  8. ^ Thill, Scott (June 12, 2012). "Maus Creator Art Spiegelman Joins Occupy Comics' Growing Chorus". Wired.
  9. ^ Thill, Scott (September 17, 2012). "See David Lloyd's Ballsy, Bullish Cover of New Occupy Comics". Wired.
  10. ^ Webb, Charles (February 15, 2013). "Black Mask Studios: Two Comic Creators And A Punk Musician Announce Their Own Comic Company". MTV.
  11. ^ Kit, Borys (October 7, 2014). "Grant Morrison's 'Sinatoro' Getting the Comic Book Treatment From Black Mask Studios". The Hollywood Reporter.
  12. ^ White, Brett (October 7, 2014). "Image's "Five Ghosts" In Development At Syfy". Comic Book Resources.
  13. ^ Yamato, Jen (November 6, 2014). "'Godkiller' Post-Apocalyptic Comic Bound For New Animated Trilogy". Deadline Hollywood.
  14. ^ "Wes Craven to Adapt Steve Niles' Sci-Fi Horror Comic 'The Disciples' for TV (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  15. ^ "Imperative Entertainment to Adapt Black Mask Comic 'Mayday' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  16. ^ "Comic-Con: Chris and Paul Weitz Team With Grant Morrison for 'Sinatoro' TV Series (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  17. ^ "Adrianne Palicki, LGBT Bounty Hunters Highlight Black Mask's Comic Slate (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  18. ^ "'Calexit' Comic Book Pits California Against the President". The Hollywood Reporter. 2017-02-20. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  19. ^ Pizzolo, Matt (February 15, 2013). "Black Mask: The Spring Collection". Black Mask Studios.
  20. ^ gmanfromheck (November 7, 2015). "Matthew Rosenberg". ComicVine.
  21. ^ Pizzolo, Matt (October 7, 2014). "Welcome to Black Mask 2.0" Archived February 7, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.. Black Mask Studios.
  22. ^ "Adrianne Palicki, LGBT Bounty Hunters Highlight Black Mask's Comic Slate (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  23. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)

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