Wednesday, July 12, 2017


** A Geek Daddy received a complimentary comic book to review ** 
Could a situation like what is going on in Syria with a country falling into anarchy as everyday citizens revolt from an authoritarian government and fanatical groups jump into the fray causing mass casualties and destruction throughout the land ever happen within the United States?  Author Matteo Pizzolo and artist Amancay Nahuelpan portray a dystopian near-future where California becomes embattled territory as its residents begin to battle against the federal government, and each other, over the state's withdrawal from the United States.  In the CALEXIT comic book series being published by Black Mask Studios, when a Trump-like President becomes empowered by a second term re-election, he orders the mass deportation of all non-citizen residents.  California responds by declaring itself a "Sanctuary State" and resisting the policy resulting in all of its federal assistance and funding being cut off.  This leads the State Legislature and Governor to declare, similar to the Great Britain exiting the European Union (Brexit), that California would be withdrawing from the United States.

In response, local authorities begin taking sides with liberal urban areas supporting CALEXIT and  conservative rural regions standing up against it.  Citizen militias begin to form as well supporting each side and armed conflict erupts.  California is thrown into a chaotic civil war scenario and the President then takes control of the state's national guard to secure major cities and infrastructure while supporting local efforts to extinguish the rebellion.  In areas occupied by the federal government such as Los Angeles life goes on as if a state of emergency isn't taking place with tourists still coming into town to visit place like the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Disneyland creating a very odd dynamic.  Especially when the occasional sniper takes out a soldier guarding the tourist spots! 

This is where readers find themselves in the first issue of  CALEXIT that arrived at comic book shops today.  The ongoing series will tell the story of Jamil, a 25-year old man working as a courier (aka smuggler) that has a knack for slipping between secessionist and federalist battle lines, and Zora, a 27-year old woman who was adopted by an American family as a baby and is now facing deportation after having been told she is no longer a citizen because the law that allowed her adoption and citizenship has been invalidated. Zora has become a figurehead for the California resistance movement being tracked by a diabolical homeland security field agent who will do anything it takes to eliminate the rebellion.  Jamil and Zora are trying to escape a Los Angeles occupied by the United States military to keep her out of the hands of Agent Rossie who is engaging in a merciless hunt for the young woman.

Black Mask Studios aims to bring a punk rock ethos to comics and it hits that mark with this comic book series.  A fictional warfare themed suspense story with realistic plot undertones, CALEXIT is a great pickup for adults who enjoy comic books.  Fans of comic book/television series such as The Walking Dead and The Strain will appreciate the material in this gritty series that has its characters dealing with political drama and overcoming dangerous situations.  Instead of battling against supernatural horrors though the characters in CALEXIT must overcome situations arising out of sociopolitical issues pulled from today's news headlines.

I really enjoyed reading this comic book and am looking forward to the next issue.  This looks like a series I'll be adding to my pull list at the neighborhood comic book shop.  Beware that while CALEXIT is a comic book it isn't meant to be read by kids.  It is meant for an adult audience and is full of mature content.  The first issue includes swearing, lots of killing (a severed head is delivered as a warning in one scene), and sexual situations including a couple getting at it on while riding a merry-go-round at a playground.  This is a grown-up story that is full of shocking and thought provoking situations that will really draw you into its characters, plot and setting.  While it is full of shoot outs and other action scenes, CALEXIT also incorporates plenty of drama making Pizzolo's writing as interesting to read as it is entertaining to peruse through the comic book's nicely done illustrations by Nahuelpan.


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, award-winning filmmaker, and co-founder of Black Mask Studios. He is currently focused on writing comic books such as CALEXIT that explore and challenge the dynamics of today's political hot topics.

Amancay Nahuelpan has worked on ROBOCOP (Boom!), BOY-1 (IDW) and co-created YOUNG TERRORISTS and CLANDESTINO (Black Mask Studios).  He broke into the field of comic book artistry by participating in the Zuda Comics Competitions and his first published work was in OCCUPY COMICS.  Nahuelpan provides the visual vibe of CALEXIT by creating the interior illustrations and cover artwork for the comic book series.

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