"A genre known as 'speculative fiction.' Except that it doesn't seem as speculative anymore." -The San Francisco Chronicle
"A Politically Charged Follow-up to Calexit." -IGN
RIPPED FROM TOMORROW’S HEADLINES, MATTEO PIZZOLO & C. GRANDA INTRODUCE ROGUE STATE
Announcing a Provocative, New Comic Book Series from Black Mask Studios, Premiering at Comic Con International
What if a contested Presidential election plunged America into turmoil? What if political violence consumed the streets? And what if a raging 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 across the United States–pushing out police, militias, and National Guard… enforcing its own laws… sovereign.
What if Americans refused to be governed?
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 this October 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.
“A big part of building authenticity and depth to the characters and the world of Rogue State comes from C. Granda’s incredible eye for detail and the way he infuses the work with his own experiences and observations,” said Matteo Pizzolo, co-founder of Black Mask Studios and the writer of ROGUE STATE. “Granda grew up in Medellín-Colombia, where he still lives and runs multiple cultural organizations devoted to supporting comic book creation in Latin America. He was a kid during the Palace of Justice siege when insurgents stormed the Supreme Court and left half the Justices dead. When Granda imagines a comic book world roiled by political violence, there’s a reason it feels so vital and lived-in.”
In ROGUE STATE, a crew of young vigilantes will rise against an authoritarian state robbing Americans of their rights. The ongoing series tells the story of Vya Of Brightstars, a mysterious freedom fighter rising from the unrest, and Clara Cruz (she/her), a young professional who becomes activated in Vya’s movement when her fiancée Taylor Sanchez (they/them) is disappeared as militias take over their Mission District neighborhood. As a nationwide police state takes shape following a contested Presidential election and The Supreme Court’s Second Amendment ruling to deputize paramilitary groups, Vya and Clara’s rogue state will blaze a path across America, inspiring others to raise their own armies… some in solidarity, others in opposition. Each issue of ROGUE STATE will also include non-fiction material about building local support networks and grassroots campaigning for coming elections.
“Confronting disinformation with political art has never been more important,” said Brian Giberson, Black Mask’s head of publishing development. “Black Mask Studios has always focused on stories that are adventurous and also have a real message driving them. Starting with OCCUPY COMICS, we published stories about inequity and the struggle for financial justice. Since then, we published stories about gentrification (THE DREGS), LGBTQIA+ self-discovery and found family (ALICE IN LEATHERLAND) and empowered Black superheroes fighting racist plutocrats (BLACK). We’ve partnered with creators to fundraise for Black Lives Matter, legal aid for families separated at the border, comic shops subjected to Covid lockdown mandates, and bail funds during the George Floyd protests. The fact that the comic market continues to support and provide a platform for such brave voices is a striking reminder that comics play a crucial and important role in our social, political, and cultural dialogue."
ROGUE STATE will hit comic shops October 2022.