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Caliber Comics, which in the 1990s published the debut works of such creators as Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Guy Davis and Michael Allred, is plotting its return within the next few months, with founder Gary Reed again at the helm.
Now a division of Caliber Entertainment, a company formed by Reed and Eagle One Media President Eric Reichert, the revived Caliber will focus primarily on graphic novels and collections of previously released material. Transfuzion Publishing, which Reed launched in 2007 with Rafael Neives, will become a graphic novel imprint of Caliber.
“As far as new monthly comics go, that is a massive undertaking that we’re not going to tackle immediately,” Reed said in a statement. “We will likely look to partner up with an established company on the comic ‘floppies’ because in today’s market, you can’t just make it unless you have enough awareness in the comics market.”
Although Image Comics has staked out territory as both the premier publisher for creator-owned work and a proving ground for fledgling writers and artists, it was another 1990s company that served as an entry point for many of today’s top talent: Caliber Comics.
Launched in 1989 by retailer Gary Reed, Caliber Comics was a harbinger of the coming wave of creator-owned titles. Launching with two flagship books — Deadworld and The Realm — Reed quickly expanded the line with his in-house anthology book Caliber Presents and a entire sub-line of illustrated books similar to Classics Illustrated. But perhaps its enduring contribution was as a doorway into the comics industry for writers and artists who are today marquee names
The list of A-list creators whose comics debuts were made possibly by Caliber is mind-boggling: Brian Michael Bendis, Stuart Immonen, Michael Lark, James O’Barr, Brandon Peterson, Dean Haspiel, Georges Jeanty and Jason Lutes all made their comics debuts here. In addition, Caliber also was where many budding creators made their first recognizable work; it was at there that Mike Allred created Madman, and Guy Davis blossomed with Baker Street.