Hip Hop legend CHUCK D Creates Special Three-Part Variant Cover and Interior Art for Matteo Pizzolo's ROGUE STATE
The Provocative, New Comic Book Series from Black Mask Studios Will Be Released on November 16 with a Special Cover and Guest Art Drawn By the Public Enemy Co-Founder Himself
"Depicts an American Hellscape in Art." -ROLLING STONE
LOS ANGELES, CA– What if Americans refused to be governed?
Political violence plunges America into turmoil. Local police forces join with the National Guard, but even their combined strength is unable to quell the rage. Filling the vacuum, militia groups rise into roving gangs of vigilantes.
In a strict interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, an embattled Supreme Court overturns two centuries of settled law by recognizing militias as Constitutionally protected. In an instant, every paramilitary gang in America is suddenly deputized, transforming the entire country into a vigilante police-state. Lockdowns set in. Fear spreads… and whispers of revolution.
This is the world of ROGUE STATE, the new ongoing graphic novel series that marks writer Matteo Pizzolo’s return to comics for his first new series since 2017’s acclaimed CALEXIT, reuniting with artist C. Granda (who illustrated 2018’s CALEXIT: SAN DIEGO comic book that raised funds for families separated at the US-Mexico border) and CALEXIT cover artists Soo Lee and Ashley A Woods.
ROGUE STATE will launch with a special set of variant covers drawn by hip legend and higher thought leader Chuck D of PUBLIC ENEMY next month from Black Mask Studios, the Los Angeles based indie publisher of beloved titles including 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, reconquering stolen land, punching fascists in the face, and building a better nation.
“The concepts Matt is presenting here are so familiar they should be terrifying,” says Chuck D. “I thought the concept that there are good people out there but are surrounded by adversaries, even though they might look normal, was radical. Plus, it had a throwback to the last century kind of vibe mixed in.”
“Chuck’s illustration so perfectly captures the book’s vibe of feeling trapped in a cauldron of turmoil but not giving in to the chaos, still rising against it,” says Pizzolo. “Chuck is the preeminent incendiary storyteller, for decades through music and visual art as well, so to see the world of ROGUE STATE through his eyes is mindbending. Of course it’s powerful and booming and bold and fearless, it’s Chuck D.”
In addition to appearing as a cover, Chuck D’s illustration will also be inside the book itself as a street-art mural, in an homage to the Mission District’s history of socially-engaged public art.
“We set out to make ROGUE STATE a comic that’s politically charged but is optimistic and celebrates the history of radical art and street art. At first, Chuck was going to do one cover, but he went far beyond with this panorama of our modern hellscape, and as soon as I saw it I realized that it needed to be part of the storyworld itself,” says Pizzolo. “It’s like the most raging street art, and it conveys the inferno of horrors we all have burning away in our minds. The story is about staying hopeful enough to keep fighting, and Chuck captures that too. His work is never about wallowing in the turmoil, it’s a call to arms.”
In ROGUE STATE, a crew of young vigilantes will rise against a paramilitary police state robbing Americans of their rights. The ongoing series tells the story of Vya Of Brightstars, a mysterious figure rising from the unrest, and Clara Cruz (aka Dust Girl), who becomes activated in Vya’s movement when her fiancée Taylor Sanchez is disappeared as militias take over their Mission District neighborhood. But are Vya and Dust Girl freedom fighters or terrorists? Either way, their rogue state will not just blaze a path across America, it will also inspire others to raise their own armies... some in solidarity, others in opposition.
The first issue of ROGUE STATE will be available from Black Mask Studios on November 16, with a special variant drawn by Chuck D himself available exclusively from your favorite comic book shop in extremely limited quantities.