It was Grant Morrison's favorite comic of 2013, my favourite comic of the 21st century, and it delighted even the most stone-hearted of comic critics. Ballistic, a five-issue series from Black Mask by filmmaker Adam Egypt Mortimer and blockbuster artist Darick Robertson, last hit the streets in 2014. Now it's back --- collected, polished, buffed to a shine for your delectation. It's on your shop shelves now people! So what better excuse to look back on the career of Darick Robertson, and Ballistic in particular, with the man himself?
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Frank Barbiere is quickly becoming one of the most prolific and visible writers in comics, having built his reputation working on both original and company-owned properties for a number of independent publishers, including Blackout and The White Suits at Dark Horse, Black Market at Boom Studios, Solar: Man Of The Atom at Dynamite, and the fan-favorite Five Ghosts at Image.
Now he's expanding even further, writing an Avengers title for Marvel, inking a deal to develop Five Ghosts in other media, and preparing to re-team with Boom for the launch of his new original series Broken World. In the midst of all this, he's somehow found the time to sit down for an in-depth conversation about his career to date, and his plans for the future, and bring us an exclusive first look at Broken World's characters, and some samples from this week's Five Ghosts #16.
When world leaders are criminals… maybe the terrorists are the good guys.
Black Mask Studios has an impressive slate of titles in the works for this year, and it’s nice to see that the upstart publisher is still pushing the punk envelope. Matt Pizzolo (Godkiller, Occupy Comics) has teamed up newcomer Amancay Nahuelpan to create Young Terrorists, a sci-fi thriller series that kicks off with explosive style in May with an 84-page graphic novella of a first issue. Check out the trailer, debuting exclusively on ComicsAlliance, and get a taste of what’s to come.
Earlier this month, Black Mask Studios announced a new initiative to bring comics to potential fans who aren't necessarily going into comic shops. This new initiative is a products they call 'Tubecomics', which you can find, unsurprisingly, on YouTube, as well as the Black Mask Tubecomic site. With voice over and camera movement on many of the panels, they're not just videos of still comics. They're also not quite motion comics, not quite animation, not quite guided view... but they're a bit of a hybrid of all of the above. It's an interesting endeavor that's worth a closer look.
Since co-founding Black Mask Studios with 30 Days Of Night writer Steve Niles and Epitaph Records owner (and legendary punk musician) Brett Gurewitz in 2012, Matt Pizzolo has established the company as a home for all manner of genre-busting, boundary-pushing comic books – their initial slate included the all-star Occupy Comics project, Darick Robertson and Adam Mortimer's hyper-violent sci-fi series Ballistic, Matt Miner's animal-liberation vigilante yarn Liberator, and Matthew Rosenberg and Ghostface Killah's 12 Reasons To Die.
Black Mask is now in the process of launching their second wave of titles, and first out the gate is Pizzolo's return to the role of comic creator, collaborating with artist Anna Muckcracker Wieszczyk on a new incarnation of his dystopian multi-media Godkiller project. Upon its release last month, Godkiller: Walk Among Us #1 became Black Mask's first ever title to go to a second-printing, and with #2 hitting comic shop shelves this week, we sat down to talk to Pizzolo about the inspirations for the series, his collaborative process, and his vision for Black Mask as a creative and commercial endeavor.
Grant Morrison has been talking about his film passion project, a psychedelic Western called Sinatoro, since at least 2010. It was even promoted with a poster. But the writer's screenplay has ended up taking the route so many projects take on the way to becoming movies: It will be a comic first.
Morrison will work with artist Vanesa Del Rey on the series, which will come out some time next year from Black Mask Studios, the comics and transmedia company launched last year by comics artist Ben Templesmith, writer Steve Niles, Bad Religion guitarist/songwriter Brett Gurewitz and Matt Pizzolo of Occupy Comics. It's one piece of a big and not too shabby slate of new comics coming from the publisher in the next year, the highlights of which you can check out below.
Universal Cable Productions, the cable and digital arm of NBCUniversal, announced three new projects rooted in the comic book realm, including what will be Planetary and Transmetropolitan writer Warren Ellis' first original series developed especially for television. Additionally, UCP optioned Night Mary, a 2005 IDW drama by Rick Remender and Kieron Dwyer about a young woman trained to enter the dreams of serial killers; and Five Ghosts, the recent critical hit from Image Comics/Black Mask Studios and creators Frank Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham, who tell the story of Fabian Gray, a 1930s adventurer possessed by the spirits of five literary ghosts — Merlin, Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes, Miyamoto Musashi, and Dracula. Five Ghosts began as a miniseries but its success resulted in an upgrade to ongoing, and now, it seems, an "upgrade" (because comics are the best, obviously) to television.