Tag Archives: carbon

Review: Carbon #1

The beloved HBO showThe Wire was one of the best portrayal of a city on television that anyone could remember. The show only lasted a few seasons but gave a precise, if not meticulous, overview of what makes the city of Baltimore so interesting and complicated. The first season was a slow burn until the last few episodes which pulled in the rest of the world. The show encompassed complex characters, interesting situations, and heavy stakes. This became a standard bearer for storytelling, as each season resembled a Charles Dickens classic, just updated for modern times.

This focus on different narratives and points of view suddenly became a staple of writers everywhere. This has also become a hit with readers, as this keeps a reader’s attention when certain characters either get too boring or simply annoy them. This is also fascinating to read in comic books. It’s what makes comic book anthologies so alluring to readers and have them looking for collections like the ones put out by Iron Circus Comics. In the first volume of Justin Madson’s Carbon, we get put in the middle of a city full of characters, all trying to make their way through life.

We meet Jaron who is about to celebrate his sister’s birthday, Powell, something he is not quite looking forward to. We also Meet Carbon, a private detective at his wits end, trying make his business successful, but finding roadblocks instead, until he sees a case needing solving from the local newspaper. We also meet Savannah, a waiter who also struggles with her addiction to a drug. We also meet a retied couple, Daniel and Arie, who are trying to have a baby. By issue’s end, some of our characters cross paths and others make life changing decisions.

Overall, it’s an excellent introduction to this world and these fascinating characters. The story by Madson is deeply affecting, humorous, and relatable. The art by Madson is alluring and vivid.  Altogether, it’s an excellent comic book which will make new fans of Madson’s work.

Story: Justin Madson Art: Justin Madson
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.4 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Caliber Comics Announces Their Summer Releases

Caliber Comics, one of the leading independent comic companies of the 90’s, announced its return to publishing in February of this year. Now they are announcing their schedule for the summer of 2014.

Caliber will be releasing only graphic novels initially with no timetable on releasing monthly periodicals. Here’s their announced schedule for the summer:


Talismen is a full color young adult graphic novel about a modern day soldier finding himself waking up in a fantasy land and tabbed as a returning hero.  From creators Steve Jones and Barb Jacobs.

Wayne Vansant, the noted historical artist for books such as The Civil War series from Heritage and Days of Darkness, tells the tales of the Waffen SS in Knights of the Skull which will be released in black and white.

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Hitting shelves will be a new printing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show comic collection. Adapted by Kevin Vanhook, Kevin has also gone through the pages and made some adjustments, primarily in the coloring of the pages. In addition to a new cover and some guest pinup pages, the section on the audience participation guide will be replaced with a look at Rocky Horror and what went into the comic production.

From writer Danny Boyd and artist Edi GuedesCarbon is an ecological adventure tale based on the turmoil of coal extraction in West Virginia.  Film director John Sayles provides the introduction.

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Storyville: The Prostitute Murders is an original mystery in graphic novel format. Set in early 1900 New Orleans, Storyville was the legalized red light district. In this tale, written by Gary Reed and illustrated by Wayne Reid, someone is killing the prostitutes and their clients and the lead detective is forced to work with a doctor specialized in psychotherapy in an attempt to figure out the motive for the murders.

Also by Reed is Subversives: Tales of Rebels, Spies, Schemers and Other Acts of Misdeeds.  Reed explores brief glimpses into the lives of the famous and infamous in this survey of traitors and subversives throughout history.   Some exploits are well known, or believed to be and of course, there are always a number of surprises.

Also in September is Disciples: The New Magic, a full color graphic novel collecting the Image series featuring art from Laurence Campbell, artist on Mike Mignola’s B.R.P.D. and Deadpool, Punisher, and Wolverine for Marvel.  Written by Chris Dows and Colin ClaytonDisciples are a misfit group of seers, magicians, and wielders of the Black Arts whose own internal politics pose as great a threat to their survival as any outside influence.

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With all of the books in the final stages of production and all but one have the complete art finished, Caliber publisher Gary Reed has said “These books will ship on time.”  He added that there will be other books printed but most of them are collections of previously published material which will probably not be carried by Diamond Distributors.

Reed said that since Caliber first announced its return, most of the effort has been to bring the Caliber library into digital format for all the various formats.  “From Transfuzion (Reed’s former publishing company that rolled into Caliber), we had some 45 graphic novels which not only have to be converted to Caliber titles but also digitized for the formats.  Plus, we’ve picked up a number of other titles, both previously published and new material.”  Reed also said that the digital formatting was nearly complete.  As for new titles, Reed said that there will be likely a short delay releasing to digital after the print version, especially for any titles that go through Diamond Comics,  but no specific time frame has been set as of yet.