Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Gary Reed : Caliber Comics (Zulu Nation)

Sad news coming in that Gary Reed, publisher at Caliber Comics has died at the age of 60 - see Bleeding Cool's report here.

Caliber were a bit of an inspiration to me when I was weaning myself of American superhero comics by producing a whole range of alternative storytelling involving history, fantasy, detective and mystery titles in their distinctive black and white style.

Personal favourites, which I've still kept and re-read, St Germaine, Jack the Ripper, A Murder of Scarecrows, Troy and of course Zulu Nation (1991), a 3 part series of the Zulu War, probably the first time I had seen the conflict in comics form.

Many of these titles, including Zulu Nation, were written by Gary himself who was a talented writer, capable of picking up diverse subjects and making highly readable stories of them. The fact that he managed this alongside running a successful publishing company is remarkable.

I never had any direct contact with him or Caliber but several of today's established UK independent comics folk had their early work produced through Caliber, including Jim Alexander, Ed Murphy and our very own Gary Crutchley.

I understand from reports that he had recently relaunched the Caliber Comics brand with a new range of titles so it is a great shame that he will not be here to see this through but he has already left an impressive legacy in the world of comics.   

Thoughts with his family.

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