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Comic creator Howard Chaykin is no stranger to controversy; his cult classic American Flagg mixed political and pop culture commentary to create a heady mix ahead of its time, while Black Kiss, his sexually explicit 1980s comic book series, was banned in a number of countries due to its content.
With the release of the first image from his latest project, however, it’s clear that Chaykin might be about to sail into the stormiest waters of his career. The Divided States of Hysteria was first announced last year as a story of the second American Civil War, launched after a terrorist attack destroys New York City, and in the intervening months, it’s seemingly only become more timely.
Alongside the first issue cover — which features a woman wearing a hijab made of the American flag — publisher Image Comics provided the following promotional text: “An America sundered. An America enraged. An America terrified. An America shattered by greed and racism, violence and fear, nihilism and tragedy … and that’s when everything really goes to hell.”
A statement from Chaykin, accompanying the image, sees him referencing his earlier notoriety. “Black Kiss was banned in the U.K. and Canada,” he said. “The Divided States of Hysteria may very well get me arrested here in the good ol‘ USA.”
The series will launch on June 7.
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