‘Calexit’: A dystopian vision of an independent California

Writer Matteo Pizzolo’s new comic “Calexit” is set in a few years in the future. A second-term autocratic president calls for the immediate deportation of all immigrants. California secedes and declares itself a Sanctuary State. But a civil war breaks out within the state, and parts of it are occupied by the U.S. National Guard.

“California is kind of forced to secede, but it’s really about the escalation when no one can get along, and these things just ratchet up and ratchet up and ratchet up,” Pizzolo tells Press Play.

In a dangerous and anti-immigrant environment, where there are even shortages of water and electricity, the comic follows one young Mexican immigrant on the run. Her name is Zora. And with the help of an apolitical smuggler, she flees Los Angeles and leads a resistance movement.

“She wants revenge. But that’s a bad trait for a leader to have,” Pizzolo says. “So through the course of the story, she has to reconcile if this is just about her lust for revenge, or if she’s going to rise up and be a responsible leader.”

Pizzolo also discusses what inspired the comic (it was conceived of before President Trump came to office); what it’s like writing in President Trump’s voice; how much the comic is immersed in daily political news; and how he’s using his personal share of comic royalties to support candidates who are new to politics.

Read the first few pages of Issue #1: