Black Mask Studios’ provocative new comic series launches November 9, with a special image drawn by Public Enemy’s co-founder himself woven directly into the plot
What if a contested presidential election plunged the United States into turmoil? What if political violence consumed the streets? What if an angry Supreme Court, in a strict interpretation of the Second Amendment, legitimized and deputized all militias, transforming the entire country into a paramilitary police state? What if a freedom fighter emerged from the chaos, raised a civilian army, and carved out a territory for himself in the United States, driving out the police, militias, and National Guard…enforcing his own laws…sovereign? What would happen if Americans refused to be governed?
This is the world of ROGUE STATE the new ongoing graphic novel series marking the return of the writer matthew pizzolo to comics for his first new series since 2017’s acclaimed CALEXIT, reuniting with artist C. Granda (who illustrated the 2018 CALEXIT: SAN DIEGO comic). which raised funds for families separated on the US-Mexico border) and CALEXIT cover artists Soo Lee and Ashley A Woods. ROGUE STATE will be released with a special variant cover drawn by hip hop legend and top thought leader Chuck D from PUBLIC ENEMY next month from Black Mask Studios, the Los Angeles-based independent publisher of beloved titles like BLACK, 4 KIDS WALK INTO A BANK, SPACE RIDERS, KIM & KIM, ALICE IN LEATHERLAND and GODKILLER. Together, Pizzolo and Granda have created a timely title about rebelling against tyranny, retaking stolen land, punching fascists in the face, and building a better nation.
“The concepts Matt presents here are so familiar they should be terrifying” , says Chuck D. “I thought the concept that there are good people but they’re surrounded by adversaries, even if they seem normal, was radical. Also, it had a retro vibe from the last century mixed in.”
“Chuck’s illustration perfectly captures the book’s feeling of being trapped in a cauldron of confusion but not giving in to the chaos, still rising up against it,” says Pizzolo. “Chuck is the preeminent incendiary storyteller, for decades also through music and visual arts, so seeing the world of ROGUE STATE through his eyes is mind-boggling. Of course he is powerful, booming, bold and brave, he is Chuck D».
In addition to appearing on the cover, Chuck D’s illustration will also be inside the book as a street art mural, paying homage to the Mission District’s history of socially engaged public art.
“We set out to make ROGUE STATE a comic that is politically charged but upbeat and celebrates the history of radical art and street art. Chuck was originally going to do a cover, but he went much further with this overview of our modern day hell, and as soon as I saw it I realized it had to be part of the world of the story,” says Pizzolo. “It’s like the most enraged street art, and conveys the hell of horrors we all have burning in our minds. The story is about keeping up enough hope to keep fighting, and Chuck gets that too. His work is never about wallowing in agitation, it’s a call to arms.”
In ROGUE STATE, a team of young vigilantes will rise up against a paramilitary police state that robs Americans of their rights. The ongoing series tells the story of Brightstars’ Vya, a mysterious figure who emerges from the riots, and Clara Cruz (aka Dust Girl), who is turned on Vya’s movement when her fiancée Taylor Sanchez goes missing as militias close in on her. take over their neighborhood in the Mission District. But are Vya and Dust Girl freedom fighters or terrorists? Either way, your rogue state will not only blaze a trail across America, but inspire others to raise armies of their own… some in solidarity, some in opposition.
The first issue of ROGUE STATE will be available from Black Mask Studios on November 9, with a special variant drawn directly from the comic’s pages and drawn by the artist himself. chuck d exclusively at your favorite comic book store in extremely limited quantities. Retailers, see your Diamond representative to find out how to order before the book’s final order deadline of October 17.
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BLACK MASK STUDIOS PRESENTS SPECIAL ROGUE STATE VARIANTS DRAWN BY PUBLIC ENEMY’S CHUCK D – FRIKIGAMERS
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