Media Release — As the lines between fictional dystopias and our actual reality continue to blur, critically acclaimed comic book CALEXIT is making a difference for real families at the Mexican border. Profits from the brand new CALEXIT: ALL SYSTEMS SAN DIEGO #1 will be donated to San Diego Rapid Response Network, an organization dedicated to aiding immigrants and their families in the San Diego border region. Writer Matteo Pizzolo teamed with artist Carlos Granda (Pirouette, Grant Morrison’s upcoming Sinatoro), colorist Lauren Affe (upcoming Stranger Things), and cover artists Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night) and Tyler Boss (4 Kids Walk Into A Bank, upcoming Mr. Robot) to create the new CALEXIT story, which goes on sale this week at San Diego Comic Con. The comic book, a story within the CALEXIT world, features all new characters in a San Diego-based adventure.
“CALEXIT is an optimistic dystopia. It’s about people living in a world gone mad who still struggle through the chaos to try to do the right thing, to try to help one another,” said Pizzolo. “Our job is to tell the most entertaining story we can, but we’re also blessed with such a supportive readership that we can use the book’s earnings to help people in our own world gone mad.”
“These families need help, and we thought it was important to focus some of the energy at San Diego Comic Con to support them.”
The CALEXIT ongoing series was released in July 2017 and sold out all 25,000 first print copies in less than 24 hours. The series returns to San Diego Comic Con this week with a fifth printing of issue 1 and a special SDCC-exclusive advanced edition of the CALEXIT Volume 1 collected book (in stores August 8th).
The new comic CALEXIT: ALL SYSTEMS SAN DIEGO introduces readers to Emmie, a teenage skater who runs an indie record shop in an otherwise abandoned San Diego strip mall. When Homeland Security forces take over the mall to use as an impromptu detention center for border-jumpers caught trying to escape to Mexico, Emmie decides to rise up and resist.
“ALL SYSTEMS SAN DIEGO is more about resistance than revolution. CALEXIT’s main ongoing comic is a high-octane war-story, so it was refreshing here to have the opportunity to slow things down and focus on characters who aren’t shooting their way through urban street warfare but instead are peacefully resisting and inspiring their neighbors to stand beside them against tyranny,” said Pizzolo.
CALEXIT is no stranger to focusing its fiction toward non-fiction goals. Pizzolo has contributed his writing royalties to forming a SuperPAC called Become The Government. In addition, each issue of CALEXIT features a non-fiction section where Pizzolo interviews activists, organizers, and candidates in local elections. Of the three candidates covered in CALEXIT’s non-fiction sections, all three prevailed in their primary elections earlier this year and are now gearing up for the midterms.
“I grew up in the New York hardcore punk scene, and I was deeply influenced by the idea you could create art that entertains but also engages in social issues. The non-fiction portion of CALEXIT comes from that idea, it’s like a zine inside the comic where I get to interview people who are doing inspiring and constructive activism.”
“The interviews really opened my eyes to how crucial local politics are and the importance of the 2018 primaries and midterms. It was from conducting those interviews that I was inspired to form the SuperPAC. I met a bunch of people running grassroots campaigns for local offices, some were just teams of friends with the same youthful exuberance I’d have associated with a garage band or indie filmmakers. It made me really feel like local politics is the new punk rock.”
It was due in part to one of those interviews that Pizzolo was inspired to donate CALEXIT: ALL SYSTEMS SAN DIEGO’s profits to San Diego Rapid Response Network.
“For CALEXIT #3, I interviewed political organizers working with INDIVISIBLE San Diego. As I was putting this new San Diego-based comic together for SDCC, I asked them how we could help with the efforts to reunite families being separated at the border, and they suggested the San Diego Rapid Response Network.”
Black Mask Studios will be exhibiting at San Diego Comic Con this week at booth 5536 and selling CALEXIT: ALL SYSTEMS SAN DIEGO #1 and an advanced SDCC-exclusive edition of CALEXIT Volume 1.
For readers who aren’t attending Comic Con but still want to read the comic and support the goal, CALEXIT: ALL SYSTEMS SAN DIEGO will be available digitally on Comixology and can be ordered from Black Mask direct and through local comic shops.
For more information, contact:
Black Mask Studios
ABOUT SAN DIEGO RAPID RESPONSE NETWORK
The San Diego Rapid Response Network is a coalition of human rights and service organizations, attorneys, and community leaders dedicated to aiding immigrants and their families in the San Diego border region. The SDRRN was activated to respond to increased immigration enforcement activities within San Diego County and humanitarian issues arising at the border, including widespread family separation and unjust deportation of asylum seekers presenting at the Port-of-Entry. As “Operation Streamline” goes into effect in San Diego, SDRRN Legal Partners are holding free trainings for attorneys interested in providing pro bono legal representation to families seeking asylum and defense against unjust deportation. This effort ensures that more than 30 volunteer attorneys will be prepared to handle the anticipated increase in cases and be matched with experienced immigration attorneys to mentor them throughout the case.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Named Wired Magazine’s ‘World’s Most Wired Comics Creator’ and included in Bleeding Cool’s Top 100 Most Influential People In Comics, Matteo Pizzolo is a comic book writer-creator (his GODKILLER was listed as one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books Of The Year and his YOUNG TERRORISTS was second only to Lumberjanes as the highest selling indie graphic novel of the year), an award-winning filmmaker, and the co-founder of Black Mask where he’s championed SPACE RIDERS, BLACK, THE DREGS, WE CAN NEVER GO HOME, KIM & KIM, 4 KIDS WALK INTO A BANK, and more. Utilizing his background in political organizing, Pizzolo created the Occupy Comics project and devotes himself to supporting and creating some of the bravest comics on shelves.
ABOUT BLACK MASK STUDIOS
Bringing the punk rock ethic to comics c/o co-founders Brett Gurewitz, Steve Niles, and Matteo Pizzolo, Black Mask supports creators telling awesome and important stories.