Black Mask Studio 2017
Written by Matteo Pizzolo
Illustrated by Amancay Nahuelpan
Coloured by Tyler Boss
Lettered by Jim Campbell
Flatter: Dee Cunniffe
Maps: Richard Nisa
Flags: Robert Anthony Jr.
What if a fascist, autocratic President took over the United States? And what if that President lost California, the sixth largest economy on Earth, by nearly 2-to-1... a margin of almost 3 1/2 million votes? What if the day after that President took power, the largest mass demonstration in history occurred, and the state with the largest turnout was California. And then, the following week, two of the largest international airports in the world, California's LAX and SFO, were blockaded by protesters? What if California refused to be ruled?
Aside from this being one of the realistic nightmares that we can see actually happening this is a pretty entertaining book. Granted it was a tad uncomfortable to read the all too accurate speech by the President of the United States, Matteo really does nail #45’s way of speaking and the grating on the nerves he causes (on me anyway) when he makes them. It really is shudder worthy to see POTUS doing his thing and having the reader realise that what’s to follow is as likely to be something isn’t as far-fetched as one might think.
When we get past POTUS and into the people who live in California and see them in not only their struggle to break free of the United States control, something the POTUS isn’t letting happen as it’s currently being occupied. So naturally freedom fighters will be made and they’ll need those counterparts in the “government” to serve as a reminder why they desire this freedom. Matteo really does make things feel more WWII with Third Reich and how they had such a nasty foothold on so many ruling through terror and violence.
Amancay and Tyler do some stellar work on the interiors here. The way we see page layouts utilised through their angles, perspective and those all important backgrounds are amazingly well realised. I love the likeness’ we see in some characters and that the ones created for this just have that “All-American” feel about them, meaning they really come across as average ordinary folks. The attention to detail here is incredibly well done and so very nice to see in everything from the clothing they wear to the weight of the linework in the backgrounds.
It’s interesting to note that this is taken from the whole thought or idea of California exiting the United States because of Trumps winning the office of President. Some used it to make a point that much like Brexit they would rather take their chances as sovereign country than live under his rule. Mockingly or in jest for some and for others something that would love to have been realised. It’s that combination of fantasy and reality that tinge the whole idea here and make it as compelling as Matteo manages to do.
It’s amazing that something as mockingly innocent as Calexit can be used to show that free thinking people are in greater danger than the Sheeple who can’t be bothered to learn.