Gary Reed (comics)
|Area(s)||Writer, Editor, Publisher|
Gary Reed is an American comic book writer who was also the publisher of Caliber Comics, an independent comic book company that released 1,300 titles in the 1990s and gave a chance to many of today’s top comics talents. Reed has written over 200 comics and graphic novels, sometimes under assumed names (including Kyle Garrett, Brent Truax, and Randall Thayer). He was also Vice President of McFarlane Toys when the company launched in 1993. His comics writing credits include Baker Street and Deadworld. In addition to comics, Reed wrote a role-playing game for Palladium, wrote some of the storyline scenarios for Final Fight: Streetwise for Capcom, and is currently working on a novel with writer Gary Francis based on Deadworld. Deadworld has recently been signed up for a film, with David Hayter (Watchmen, X-Men) providing the script.
Early life and education
Gary Reed was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. Reed opened his first bookstore while still a student at Eastern Michigan University. By the time he graduated with his Master's degree, he had four stores that specialized in used books, comic books, and other popular culture items. (Reed has a Master of Science in biology, specializing in molecular genetics.)
In 1982, Reed launched King Kon, an annual event celebrating comics and pop culture. After three years and a heavy schedule, which included a weekly radio show and television show on public-access television, Reed had to reduce his workload with the arrival of his first daughter, so in 1986 he ceased the conventions. In 1989, Motor City Comic Con launched its annual convention, which continues today.
In 1989, Reed launched Caliber Comics, an independent publishing company which gave exposure at an early stage of their careers to many of today’s top comics talents, including Brian Michael Bendis, David W. Mack, Vince Locke, Guy Davis, Michael Lark, Patrick Zircher, Jim Calafiore, Ed Brubaker, Michael Gaydos, James O'Barr, and Mike Carey. The initial titles were Deadworld, Realm, Caliber Presents, Moontrap, The Crow and Baker Street, a series co-created by Reed with Guy Davis. Reed and Davis were nominated for a prestigious Harvey Award for Best New Series for Baker Street.
Caliber continued through the 1990s releasing over 1,300 comics and over 70 graphic novels. Unlike most comic companies, Caliber didn’t publish superheroes, other than a few titles mainly produced for other distribution areas such as Wal-Mart. Caliber was a collection of different imprints featuring specialized lines such as: Tome Press featuring biographical, historical and literary works, Gauntlet, the action adventure line, Icongrafix which carried the alternative type material, and Tapestry, a line geared for young readers. During the time at Caliber, Reed also became vice president of McFarlane Toys for the first three years of that company’s existence. Caliber ceased publishing around 2000.
Reed concentrated on his teaching until he started working with Byron Preiss. Preiss had contracted to reprint all of the issues of Baker Street into a single collection to be distributed by Simon & Schuster. Reed was brought in to write graphic novel adaptations of the classic horror novels from Penguin Books. Frankenstein and Dracula were released before Preiss died in a car accident, and the line was canceled.
Reed launched a new series of Deadworld with Desperado Publishing and Image Comics, and brought back many of the Caliber titles with Image, such as Red Diaries, Saint Germaine, Renfield and others. Reed currently releases Deadworld via IDW.
In 2006, Reed wrote a young adult novel for the new Actionopolis line. His Spirit of the Samurai is the first in a series of books featuring a young heroine with an ancestry she never knew she had. Reed also formed a new company with fellow writer Rafael Nieves called Transfuzion Publishing, which has collected many of his previous work into compilations although Transfuzion is now also publishing all new material as well. In 2009, Reed released A Murder of Scarecrows through Desperado as well as a hardcover original tale of Deadworld in Slaughterhouse with art by Hatter M's Sami Makkonen. In 2010, an original graphic novel written by Reed, Sherlock Holmes: Murder at Moulin Rouge, was released via Transfuzion Publishing.
Continuing with his publishing and writing (in addition to his teaching), Reed has joined the board of Detroit Fanfare, which is putting on a major annual comics convention in the Detroit area.
Reed currently lives in a suburb of Detroit with his wife. They have four daughters. In addition to his freelance writing, Reed teaches various biology-related courses at different community colleges in his area.
Comics work includes:
- A Murder of Scarecrows (Desperado)
- Book of the Tarot (Tome Press)
- Cortez and the Fall of the Aztecs (Tome Press)
- Deadworld: Requiem for the World (Image)
- Deadworld: The Dead-Killer (Image)
- Deadworld Chronicles (Desperado)
- Deadworld: Slaughterhouse (Desperado)
- Deadworld Classics (IDW)
- Dracula (Penguin)
- Frankenstein (Penguin)
- Ghost Sonata (Transfuzion)
- Helsing (Transfuzion)
- Honour Among Punks: Complete Baker Street (iBooks)
- Jack the Ripper (Transfuzion)
- Magus (Caliber)
- Mythology’s Mistresses (Tome Press)
- Of Scenes and Stories (Transfuzion)
- Raven Chronicles (Transfuzion)
- Realm (Caliber)
- The Red Diaries (Image)
- Renfield (Image)
- The Red Revolution (Tome Press)
- Saint Germaine(Image and Transfuzion)
- Sherlock Holmes: Murder at Moulin Rouge (Transfuzion)
- Sin Eternal: Return to Dante's Inferno
- Song of the Cid (Tome Press)
- Spirit of the Samurai (Actionopolis)
- Troy: An Empire in Siege (Tome Press)
- True Spy Stories (Tome Press)
- Zulunation: End of Empire (Transfuzion)
- "Con Reports: King Kon Strikes Again!," CBGXtra.com (Aug. 22, 2008).
- Gary Reed at the Comic Book DB