Caliber Presents

 CALP   (Caliber, 1989-1992)

™ and ©1989 the respective creators

(From the Slings & Arrows Comic Guide)

Caliber’s original showcase title is the curious mélange of all such beasts, offering few delights, but numerous different perspectives and a very catholic editorial policy. For all that, there have been very few successful graduates from the title, the best known being James O’Barr, whose Crow strip first appears in #1. Always more about mood than talent, it’s basic stuff, as is Tim Vigil’s appalling slash-and-sex alter ego strip in most issues to #8. If the size of the character and his weapon is in inverse proportion to the creator‘s and his, then Tim Vigil is a midget lacking a penis. More respectable in the early issues is “Faerie Tails,” a funny-animal fantasy by Dave McKinnon and James Dean Smith, drawn in Smith’s appealing open style, but #5 is the best of the first flush. For starters there’s no Vigil, with the overriding theme being maternal and tragic love, but there is a poignant tale of an old lady being robbed, and a decent prose piece from Mark Perry. Many issues contain illustrated prose, but it’s largely mundane. Another feature of the earlier issues is previews of the more popular Caliber titles such as Deadworld (#2, 9), The Realm (#3), Fringe (#8) and most effectively Baker Street in #4, with an original “Baker Street” story in #9. That issue, the best overall, also features a “Jazz Age Chronicles” short, and two very different, well written stories from Rafael Nieves. The cover claims it introduces “Street Shadows,” which has to wait an issue, but it’s a generally fine selection of stories concerning life in the city, with 20s “The Caretakers,” about garbage collectors, and #12’s tale of a retiring diner-owner standouts.

Of other semi-regular strips, the meandering and tedious “Orlak” was somehow popular enough to warrant two comics collecting his escapades, while the far superior “Taken Under” was also collected. By Debra Rodia and Michael Lark, it’s an odd and mood-driven story about a guy whose father ran a funeral parlor and sold his soul to the devil. “Mack The Knife” is almost underground cartoony, while there are too many strips seemingly progressing without a conclusion in mind, ”The Fugitive” foremost among them. Originally a novel idea of a killer being chased through various TV dramas and comedies, the joke is stretched way too far. “Eyes of the Hero” takes the innovative (for comics) idea of depicting exactly what the crimefighter is seeing for every panel, and departs with a decent conclusion after three installments. Beyond the fact that there’s a decent “Silencers” short in the final issue and O’Barr returns in #5, there’s little else worth noting. The missing extra ingredient ensuring the greater popularity of the similarly conceived Negative Burn was the addition of more personal works by already highly regarded creators. ~FP

Recommended: 9

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1st appearance of The Crow; B&WJames O’Barr, Mark Bloodworth, Tim Vigil, Mark Winfrey, Kyle Garrett, Barbed Wire Halo StudiosJames O’Barr, Mark Bloodworth, Tim Vigil, Mark Winfrey, Barbed Wire Halo Studios


9 copies available from $0.96
Cuda by Tim Vigil; Deadworld by Vince Locke; Cover by James O’Barr; B&WKyle Garrett, Mark Winfrey, Tim Vigil, Bryan K. Ward, Vincent LockeJames O’Barr, Mark Winfrey, Tim Vigil, Eric Hess, Vincent Locke


4 copies available from $2.50
B&WTim Vigil, Guy Davis, Randy Zimmerman, Mark Winfrey, Eric Hess, Jim CalafioreTim Vigil, Guy Davis, Mark Winfrey, Eric Hess, Jim Calafiore


5 copies available from $1.99
B&WMark Winfrey, Charles Marshall, Gary Reed, Guy Davis, Chester Jacques, Tim Vigil, Randy ZimmermanMark Winfrey, Greg Cravens, Guy Davis, John Dennis, Tim Vigil, Randy Zimmerman


6 copies available from $2.50
B&WRafael Nieves, Kyle Garrett, Jim Calafiore, Mark C. PerryLiu Hui-Han, Ken Landgraf, Eric Hess, Jim Calafiore, James O’Barr


6 copies available from $0.99
 Charles Marshall, Tim Vigil, Bob Duchesneau, Daniel McKinnon, Chester Jacques, Jame Perham, Kevin VanHookAndrew Pepoy, Daniel McKinnon, Greg Cravens, Guy Davis, James Dean Smith, John Dennis, Kevin VanHook, Tim Vigil


19 copies available from $0.96
B&WCharles Marshall, Kyle Garrett, Bob Duchesneau, Daniel McKinnon, Kevin Atkinson, Jim Calafiore, Tim VigilRantz Hoseley, Ken Landgraf, Daniel McKinnon, James Dean Smith, Kevin Atkinson, Jim Calafiore, Tim Vigil


9 copies available from $1.49
 Kyle Garrett, Charles Marshall, Mark C. Perry, Scott Parish, Chester JacquesVincent Locke, Greg Cravens, Rantz Hoseley, John Dennis


13 copies available from $1.49
 Guy Davis, Rafael Nieves, Scott Parrish, Grass Green, Ted Slampyak, Jim CalafioreGuy Davis, Shawn Van Briesen, Scott Parrish, Ted Slampyak, Jim Calafiore


20 copies available from $1.25
 Kyle Garrett, Scott Parrish, Charles Marshall, Mark C. Perry, Ted SlampyakJohn Dennis, Scott Parrish, James Tucker, Shawn Van Briesen, Ted Slampyak


17 copies available from $1.49
Misnumbered #12; B&WBill Widener, Stephen Csutoras, Scott Parrish, Sarah Chamberlain, R.G. Taylor, John BerginStarlen Baxter, Bill Widener, Craig Gassen, Stefano Gaudiano, Scott Parrish, Guy Davis, R.G. Taylor, Rob Walton


8 copies available from $0.96
 Stephen Csutoras, Randy Zimmerman, R.G. Taylor, Charles Marshall, Kyle Garrett, Ron FortierCraig Gassen, Jason Moore, R.G. Taylor, James Tucker, Ken Landgraf, Christopher Jones


17 copies available from $1.49
B&WR.G. Taylor, Rafael Nieves, Stephen Csutoras, Starlen Baxter, Bill Widener, Donne AvenellR.G. Taylor, Ken Holewczynski, Craig Gassen, Starlen Baxter, Bill Widener, Florenci Clave


10 copies available from $0.99
B&WGreg Cravens, Charles Marshall, Andrew Pepoy, Rafael Nieves, Stephen Csutoras, R.G. Taylor, Ken Holewczynski, Katherine KuderGreg Cravens, Andrew Pepoy, Jack Etheridge, Craig Gassen, R.G. Taylor, Rafael Nieves, Ken Holewczynski, Stuart Immonen


3 copies available from $35.00
64 pagesPaul Tobin, Rafael Nieves, Stephen Csutoras, Ken Holewczynski, Mel Taylor, Gene Day, James O’BarrFredd Gorham, Chas Truog, Craig Gassen, James O’Barr, Rafael Nieves, Ken Holewczynski, R.G. Taylor, Dan Day


5 copies available from $1.75
64 pagesKen Holewczynski, Rafael Nieves, John Hartman, Stephen Csutoras, Steve Matusczak, Phil Hester, Martin Powell, Charles MarshallKen Holewczynski, Rafael Nieves, Vincent Locke, Stan Shaw, Kirk Bath, Steve Matusczak, Phil Hester, Dean Haspiel, Greg Cravens


4 copies available from $0.99
64 pagesMartin Powell, Mel Taylor, Ken Holewczynski, Rafael Nieves, Mark C. Perry, Bill Widener, Michel LarkDean Haspiel, R.G. Taylor, Ken Holewczynski, Rafael Nieves, Guy Davis, Nate Pride, Bill Widener, Michael Lark


3 copies available from $1.50
64 pagesBill Widener, Ken Holewczynski, Rafael Nieves, Kyle Garrett, Robert Louis Stevenson, Roland Mann, Martin Powell, Al RoyBill Widener, Ken Holewczynski, Rafael Albuquerque, Shawn Van Briesen, R.G. Taylor, John Bergin, Mitch Byrd, Dean Haspiel, Max Douglas


2 copies available from $2.00
64 pagesDebra Rodia, Brian McDonald, Roland Mann, William Cullen Bryant, Bill WidenerMichael Lark, Ron McCain, Steven Butler, Mark Winfrey, Bill Widener, R.G. Taylor


1 copy available for $2.99
64 pagesKen Holewczynski, Rafael Nieves, Bill Widener, Kyle Garrett, Heather Kennedy, Debra Rodia, Thomas SniegoskiKen Holewczynski, Rafael Nieves, Bill Widener, Paul Daly, Starlen Baxter, Michael Lark, Mark Masztal, R.G. Taylor


5 copies available from $0.99
64 pages  


1 copy available for $2.00
64 pagesDarren Raye, Mel Taylor, Bill Widener, Cyril Chen, Debra Rodia, Stan YancovichSean Scoffield, R.G. Taylor, Bill Widener, Cyril Chen, Paul Daly, Michael Lark, Stan Yancovich


2 copies available from $1.99
64 pagesBill Widener, Martin Powell, Roland Mann, Mark Askwith, Phillip HesterKen Holewczynski, Rafael Nieves, Bill Widener, Paul Daly, Starlen Baxter, Michael Lark, Mark Masztal, R.G. Taylor


4 copies available from $1.49
64 pagesAlan Oldham, Bill Widener, Brian McDonald, Mark Askwith, Shane Simmons, Starlen BaxterAlan Oldham, Bill Widener, R.G. Taylor, Scott Tolson, Shane Simmons, Starlen Baxter