Publishing and production company Black Mask Studios has announced its first major in-house production: three animated features based on the comic book, Godkiller, by Black Mask co-founder Matt Pizzolo (Occupy Comics, Threat), Anna Muckcracker Wieszczyk, and Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night).
Black Mask acquired the film/TV/transmedia rights earlier this year from Pizzolo’s film company, Halo-8, who produced an animated series of the property in 2010.
Black Mask will re-release the animated series Godkiller: Walk Among Us in 2015, as a fully re-mastered feature with new voice talent. This will be followed by two brand-new animated features: Godkiller: Tomorrow’s Ashes in 2016 and Godkiller: The Trouble You Took From Her Eyes in 2017.
The features will utilize different animation styles for the various dimensions the characters travel through. They will be produced by Black Mask Studios, co-founded last year by Pizzolo, Brett Gurewitz (Bad Religion, Epitaph Records, ANTI- Records), and Steve Niles (30 Days of Night).
Godkiller is a project I started developing back in 1999 and finally began producing as a comic in 2008… since then I’ve been working on it whenever I can’t avoid it. I wouldn’t really call it a labor of love… maybe a labor of hate. It’s kind’ve something that haunts me.
My intent with the project was to create a weird little mythology for misfits and fuckups, and being joined on this effort by Anna and Ben and all the incredible actors and now Brett and Steve is just beyond any expectations. Godkiller is actually the project that creatively connected me to Brett and Steve in the first place before Black Mask was even an idea, so getting to expand the storyworld here with them is a dream come true.
Godkiller, about a teenage orphan and an escaped slavegirl journeying through a post-apocalyptic wasteland, debuted as a self-published underground comic and was launched in stores as a new ongoing comic book series from Black Mask on October 29. It was recently announced that Godkiller‘s debut issue on Black Mask sold through its print run and would be the label’s first comic to receive a second printing based on outsized demand.
Godkiller is smart, transgressive, and innovative, it’s great to finally have these characters join Black Mask’s pantheon.
And from Niles:
A lot of people claim to be on the cutting edge. Pizzolo actually is.
Black Mask is co-producing the Syfy series Five Ghosts with UCP and BenderSpink, based on the comic by Frank Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham. Evan Daugherty (Snow White And The Huntsman, Divergent) is writing the pilot. Black Mask is also developing a transmedia adaptation of the same comic in-house.
Godkiller debuted as an underground comic book in 2008 and an animated series in 2010, featuring performances by Lance Henriksen (Aliens), Davey Havok (singer AFI), Bill Moseley (Devil’s Rejects), Justin Pierre (singer Motion City Soundtrack), Tiffany Shepis (Nightmare Man), Danielle Harris (), Nicki Clyne (Battlestar Galactica), and punk icon Lydia Lunch, with music by Atari Teenage Riot. After building a strong following, the series was released widely by Warner Brothers. With a readership and viewership over 500,000 and a devoted fandom known for Godkiller tattoos, cosplay, fan-art, and crowdsourced role-playing games, Godkiller continues to grow across media with an ongoing comic series that debuted in stores on October 29.
About Black Mask Studios:
Black Mask Studios is a publishing/production company that specializes in working with creators interested in utilizing “transmedia storytelling” to reach a range of audiences across multiple media platforms. Launched in 2013 by Brett Gurewitz (Bad Religion, Epitaph Records, ANTI- Records), Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), and Matt Pizzolo (Occupy Comics), the company’s mandate is to support unique creators and expand their audiences. Black Mask’s initial slate included the political, not-for-profit Occupy Comics (with Alan Moore, Charlie Adlard, Art Spiegelman, Molly Crabapple, and dozens more), the animal-rescuing vigilantes story Liberator, Adam Egypt Mortimer and Darick Robertson’s transreal, cyberpunk adventure Ballistic, and the multi-platform gangster odyssey 12 Reasons To Die by Ghostface Killah and RZA. Black Mask recently announced its 2015 slate, which features new works by Grant Morrison, Vanesa Del Rey, Michael Moreci, and Steve Niles.
About Matt Pizzolo:
Award-winning filmmaker, comic book writer, and entrepreneur, Matt Pizzolo was named Wired Magazine‘s World’s Most Wired In Comics for “engineering the transmedia spine that will take comics into the future.” Prior to co-founding Black Mask Studios, Pizzolo founded film company Halo-8 where he championed early films by Adam Wingard (who went on to direct You’re Next, The Guest, and the upcoming pilot of Robert Kirkman’s Outcast), E.L. Katz (who recently directed the indie hit Cheap Thrills), and Frank Pavich & Stephen Scarlata (don’t miss their recent docu Jodorowsky’s Dune). Pizzolo directed his award-winning debut feature Threat at the age of 21, mixing color and black & white 16mm film with animation and a soundtrack of theme songs performed by actors in-character. His experiences with Threat formed his career interests in transmedia storytelling and developing new business structures to support creators’ rights.