Negative Burn

    (Caliber, 1993-1997)
™ and ©1993 Caliber Comics

(From The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide)

Despite attracting work by some of the great and good, Negative Burn remains rather indulgent. The diversity of the stories is laudable but too often they rely on supposedly humorous punch lines or else are let down by amateurish artwork.

There are several main strands to the likely content of any issue; from #28, the page-count was increased to sixty-four pages, so there’s plenty of room. There are the regular series: “Mr. Mamoulian” by Brian Bolland (all issues), dealing with park-bench philosophy; “Classics Desecrated” by Doug Wheeler and various artists (#4–18, 20, 21, 23, 24), in which literary classics are trashed (sorry, adapted) in one or two pages, and “Alan Moore’s Songbook” (#9–14,16–19, 25, 26, 28, 35, 37), where his lyrics are illustrated by different artists, more or less successfully. There are also early or unpublished works by a number of better known creators, P. Craig Russell (#4, 8, 30,37), David Lloyd (#6), Michael T. Gilbert (#14) and John McCrea (#37, 39).

A major proportion of the remaining material consists of strips from existing or upcoming Caliber titles or else examples of small-press titles that Joe Pruett, as editor, feels deserve wider exposure. Most of the following strips are well worth investigating, either here or in their own titles. In the former category we have Kilroy Is Here (#1, 4, 6,13, 18, 24), Boneshaker (#1, 8), The Wretch (#38), The Trigger Man (#4), Dominique (#9, 13, 25, 34), Twilight People (#9–13), Exit (#12, 22), Baker Street (#25), The Jam (#25), Nowheresville (#33) and The Kingdom of the Wicked (#38). In the latter, Flaming Carrot (#1, 14, 19), Jazz Age Chronicles (#7, 12), Strangers In Paradise (#13), Suburban Nightmares (#25–27), Trollords (#21), Replacement God (#29, 35), Strangehaven (#24), Very Vicki (#26), Rob Hanes (#30, 39), Shades of Gray (#32) and The Trespassers (#38). There’s nothing particularly wrong with this but the short-story format doesn’t always do the strips favors and it’s not always obvious whether the story’s been produced specifically for Negative Burn. Other strips that fall into the above categories but which are less successful are The Black Mist (#3), The Apparition (#1, 25), Sojourn (#5), Kabuki (#16, 25) and Milk & Cheese (#13).

Outside of the categories above, one or two creators deserve mention. Phillip Hester’s artwork is constantly surprising, changing shape to suit story or genre, whether it be odd short stories, like “Boneshaker, the Creep” (#29, 37) or longer ones like “The Wretch,” and he can be found in many other issues. Jeff Nicholson’s disquieting studies of human behavior are very effective (#15–18, 30–36). Joe Pruett and Philip Xavier’s “Lost Paradise” (#22) and Ian Carney and Dave Taylor’s “Mr. Murray” are both heavily, but interestingly, Moebius-influenced. Joe Pruett and Andrew Robinson’s “Dusty Star” (#28, 37) is a Western with robotic trappings, but regrettably reduces itself to a gag strip for the second episode (though it’s now been scheduled for its own title). Kevin O’Neill turns in some interesting experimental artwork in #31 and James Owen’s “Little Neil In Slumberland” neatly parodies Cerebus and Neil Gaiman. Star of the show, however, is Paul Pope, whose “Eulogy To Marx” (#12) and ‘Triumph Of Hunger’ (#13) are terrific political strips, and whose non-related short stories in #18, 20, 21 and #23–25 are worth looking out for.

Finally, many issues have sketchbook pages, some of which may be of particular interest—Mike Kaluta (#4), Jeff Smith (#3), Arthur Suydam (5), P. Craig Russell (#10), Tony Harris (#13), David Mazzucchelli (#17), Jaime Hernandez (#31) and Neil Gaiman (#25). There are two collections of the Best of Negative Burn Year One and Year Two, which are a good place to start for those who want to see why the title is generally well regarded; but on the whole there are no single issues that can be wholly recommended. ~NF

Jump to issue:
  NotesWriterArtist

#1

  7/1/1993
  $2.95
  $3.50
4 copies available from $3.50
Flaming Carrot; Flipbook; B&WAnn Goetz, Bob Burden, Brian Bolland, Charles Moore, James Pruett, Joe Pruett, Phil HesterBob Burden, Brian Bolland, Chris Hunter, Craig Gilmore, Guy Burwell, Nathan Massengill, Phil Hester, Randy Green, Tim Bradstreet

#2

  8/1/1993
  $2.95
  $3.50
2 copies available from $1.99
B&WJeffrey LangSteve Lieber

#3

  9/1/1993
  $2.95
  $5.00
7 copies available from $0.99
B&WJames Pruett, Brian Bolland, Jeff Smith, Brent Trammell, Mark Erickson, Joe Pruett, Craig HamiltonAvido Khahaifa, Brian Bolland, Jeff Smith, Brent Trammell, Mark Erickson, Adam Walters, Craig Hamilton

#4

  10/1/2006
  $2.95
  $4.00
No copies available
B&WMalcolm Bourne, Brian Bolland, Joe Pruett, P. Craig Russell, Mark Erickson, Doug WheelerMark Bloodworth, Brian Bolland, Guy Burwell, P. Craig Russell, Mark Erickson, Don Wimmer

#5

  12/1/2006
  $2.95
  $42.00
No copies available
B&W  

#6

  1/1/2007
  $2.95
  $2.95
No copies available
B&WJoe Pruett, David Lloyd, Elaine Lee, Phil Hester, Doug Wheeler, Brian Bolland, Ken Meyer Jr., Greg DiGentiKen Meyer Jr., David Lloyd, Craig Hamilton, Phil Hester, Steve Smith, Brian Bolland, Greg DiGenti

#7

  2/1/2007
  $2.95
  $2.95
1 copy available for $3.00
B&WSteve Mattsson, Brian Bolland, Ted Slampyak, Paul Tobin, Doug Wheeler, Vincent StallBrian Bolland, Ted Slampyak, Phil Hester, David Gatzmer, Richard Case, Vincent Stall

#8

  7/1/1996
  $2.95
  $4.25
2 copies available from $3.00
B&WJames A. Owen, BriaBolland, Phil Hester, Doug Wheeler, Charles Moore, P. Craig RussellJames A. Owen, Brian Bolland, Phil Hester, Jim Wheelock, Brian Clopper, Mac Myers, Casey Jones, P. Craig Russell

#9

  7/1/1996
  $2.95
  $36.00
2 copies available from $22.95
B&WCharles Moore, Lisa Moore, Brian Bolland, Mark Ricketts, Phil Hester, Alan Moore, Doug Wheeler, Barry Hale, Michael Moe, Art WetherellGene Gonzales, Tyler Bishop, Brian Bolland, Mark Ricketts, Phil Hester, Dave Dorman, David Gatzmer, John Grigni, Art Wetherell

#10

  6/1/2004
  $2.95
  $2.50
2 copies available from $1.99
B&WWayne Vansant, Brian Bolland, Mark Ricketts, Alan Moore, Mark Lucas, Doug Wheeler, Phil Hester, Ken Meyer Jr., David MazzucchelliWayne Vansant, Brian Bolland, Mark Ricketts, Richard Case, Bill Ruth, George Broderick Jr., Phil Hester, Ken Meyer Jr., David Mazzucchelli

#11

 
  $2.95
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3 copies available from $0.25
B&W; ca. 1994Neil Gaiman, Joe Pruett, Brian Bolland, Alan Moore, Chas Truog, Mark Ricketts, Doug Wheeler, Martha Henry, Malcolm BourneKen Meyer Jr., Brian Bolland, Phil Hester, Chas Truog, Mark Chiarello, Mark Ricketts, Matt Feazell, Donna Barr, Mike Hoffman, David Windett

#12

 
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  $3.50
2 copies available from $4.15
Jazz Age Chronicles; B&WMarc Gacy, Brian Bolland, Nabiel Kanan, Alan Moore, Mark Ricketts, Jason Caskey, Phil Hester, Lamar Waldron, Doug Wheeler, Paul PopeTed Slampyak, Brian Bolland, Nabiel Kanan, Dave Johnson, Mark Ricketts, Phil Hester, Ted Boonthanakit, Ian Akin, Paul Pope

#13

  7/1/1994
  $3.95
  $28.00
3 copies available from $17.99
B&WTerry Moore, Brian Bolland, Alan Moore, Joe Pruett, Evan Dorkin, Mark Ricketts, Paul Pope, Doug Wheeler, Brian Michael Bendis, Edward Martin III, Kyle Garrett, Phil Hester, Charles Moore, Lisa MooreTerry Moore, Brian Bolland, Neil Gaiman, Mark Erickson, Evan Dorkin, Mark Ricketts, Paul Pope, Stan Shaw, Brian Michael Bendis, Casey Jones, Nathan Pride, Phil Hester, Gene Gonzales, Tony Harris

#14

 
  $2.95
  $4.00
1 copy available for $3.99
B&W; ca. 1994Phil Hester, Brian Bolland, Michael Moe, Bob Burden, Alan Moore, Stephen Chang, Doug Wheeler, Michael T. GilbertPhil Hester, Brian Bolland, David Verruni, Bob Burden, Colleen Doran, Stephen Chang, Doug Wildey, Greg DiGenti, Doug Gray, Michael T. Gilbert

#15

 
  $2.95
  $2.95
1 copy available for $2.95
B&WBrian Bolland, Chris Dows, Colin Clayton, Dave Louapre, David Jackson, Douglas M. Wheeler, Jeff Nicholson, Jim CalafioreArt Wetherell, Bill Koeb, Brian Bolland, Jeff Nicholson, Jim Calafiore, Ken Lester, Mark A. Lester, Phil Wagstaff

#16

 
  $2.95
  $11.00
1 copy available for $94.99
B&WAlan MooreTerry Moore

#17

  7/1/1994
  $2.95
  $3.25
1 copy available for $2.99
B&WPhil Hester, Brian Bolland, Alan Moore, Jeff Nicholson, Doug Wheeler, Matthew SmithPhil Hester, Brian Bolland, Bill Koeb, Jeff Nicholson, Ray Lago, Ted Naifeh, Bruce Bolinger, Matthew Smith

#18

 
  $2.95
  $6.00
1 copy available for $2.99
B&W; ca. 1994James Pruett, Alan Moore, Jeff Bailey, Marty Golia, Paul Pope, Doug wheeler, Jeff Nicholson, Brian BollandCraig Brasfield, Arthur Adams, Joe Staton, Paul Pope, George Broderick Jr., Andrew Robinson, Jeff Nicholson, Brian Bolland

#19

  1/1/1995
  $2.95
  $4.75
1 copy available for $2.99
B&WTed Slampyak, Lurene Haines, Edward Martin III, Bob Burden, Brian Bolland, Alan Moore, Bill Yukich, Paul Carstairs, Jim Frier, Zander CannonTed Slampyak, Lurene Haines, Ken Meyer Jr., Bob Burden, Brian Bolland, Richard Pace, Guy Burwell, Laurence Campbell, Art Wetherell, Bambos, Zander Cannon

#20

  2/1/1995
  $2.95
  $8.00
1 copy available for $2.50
B&WPaul Pope, Brian Bolland, Alvin Lucier, Wayne Vansant, Jim Alexander, Greg DiGenti, Rafael Alvarez, Kevin Thomas, Doug Wheeler, Libby SingletonPaul Pope, Brian Bolland, Wayne Vansant, Chris McLoughlin, Greg DiGenti, Rafael Alvarez, Kevin Thomas, Mike Hoffman, Joe Staton

#21

  3/1/1995
  $2.95
  $2.75
2 copies available from $2.75
B&WPaul PopePaul Pope

#22

  4/1/1995
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  $2.95
3 copies available from $2.50
B&W  

#23

  5/1/1995
  $2.95
  $3.25
2 copies available from $1.25
B&W  

#24

  6/1/1995
  $2.95
  $4.50
3 copies available from $1.99
B&WJoe Pruett, Brian Bolland, Gary Spencer Millidge, Paul Pope, Martin Conaghan, Bill Jankowski, Paul Erickson, Kevin Gunstone, Doug WheelerKevin Landwehr, Brian Bolland, Gary Spencer Millidge, Paul Pope, Mike Perkins, BillJan

#25

  7/1/1995
  $3.95
  $6.00
2 copies available from $5.99
B&WAlan MooreDave Gibbons

#26

  8/1/1995
  $3.95
  $3.00
4 copies available from $2.50
B&WPaul Jenkins, Brian Bolland, James D. Hudnall, John Mitchell, Larry Hancock, Michael Cherkas, Zander Cannon, Alan Moore, Edward Martin III, Gene DiGentiAvido Khahaifa, Brian Bolland, Brian Michael Bendis, Jana Christy, Michael Cherkas, Zander Cannon, Michael Gaydos, Chris Hunter, Greg DiGenti

#27

  9/1/1995
  $3.95
  $3.00
3 copies available from $2.90
B&WLarry Hancock, Michael Cherkas, Brian Bolland, Bryan J.L. Glass, Stephen Chang, Alwyn Talbot, Jim Frier, Phil Hester, David Jackson, Paul Erickson, Mike Digesu, Dean HaspielJohn Van Bruggen, Brian Bolland, Michael Avon Oeming, Stephen Chang, Alwyn Talbot, David Hill, Phillip Hestler, Phil Wagstaff, Paul Fricke, Joel Thomas, Dean Haspiel

#28

  10/1/1995
  $3.95
  $7.00
2 copies available from $7.00
B&WJoe Pruett, Brian Bolland, Alan Moore, Mark Verheiden, Martin Conaghan, Hart Fisher, David Moyes, Paul Erickson, Jim FrierAndrew Robinson, Brian Bolland, James A. Owen, Ken Meyer Jr., Michael Perkins, John Cassaday, Chris McLoughlin, Paul Fricke, Tim Holtrop

#29

  11/1/1995
  $3.95
  $3.25
4 copies available from $1.99
B&WBrian Bolland, Zander Cannon, Jim Frier, Ken Meyer Jr., Paul Erickson, Bernie Mireault, Phil Hester, Nat Gertler, Andy BennettBrian Bolland, Zander Cannon, Mark Badger, Ken Meyer Jr., Paul Fricke, Bernie Mireault, Terry Moore, Phil Hester, Adam Rex, Andy Bennett

#30

  12/1/1995
  $3.95
  $73.00
2 copies available from $9.99
B&WP. Craig RussellP. Craig Russell

#31

  1/1/1996
  $3.95
  $71.00
1 copy available for $24.99
B&WAldyth BeltaneKevin O’Neill

#32

  2/1/1996
  $3.95
  $2.25
2 copies available from $1.99
B&W Steve Lieber

#33

  3/1/1996
  $3.95
  $4.50
3 copies available from $2.50
B&WChristopher Moeller, Brian Bolland, Jeff Bailey, Marty Golia, Greg DiGenti, Jeff Nicholson, Matthew Smith, Phil Hester, Jim Frier, Michael Avon Oeming, Cory Hinman, Mark Ricketts, Ken Meyer Jr., Scott A. Gilbert, Dean HaspielChristopher Moeller, Brian Bolland, Joe Staton, Greg DiGenti, Jeff Nicholson, Paul Fricke, Michael Gaydos, Phil Hester, Tim Holtrop, Michael Avon Oeming, Cory Hinman, Mark Ricketts, Ken Meyer Jr., Scott A. Gilbert, Dean Haspiel

#34

  4/1/1996
  $3.95
  $3.25
2 copies available from $2.99
B&W  

#35

  5/1/1996
  $3.95
  $3.95
1 copy available for $4.00
B&WZander Cannon, Bernie MireaultZander Cannon, Bernie Mireault

#36

  6/1/1996
  $3.95
  $3.25
2 copies available from $2.50
B&WJim Mahfood, Brian BollandJim Mahfood, Brian Bolland

#37

  7/1/1996
  $3.95
  $3.50
3 copies available from $2.60
B&WJoe Pruett, Brian Bolland, Darko Macan, Richard Strauss, Phil Hester, Alan Moore, Kevin Moeller, Ian Carney, Warren Ellis, John McCrea, Bryan J.L. Glass, Mark LaliberteAndrew Robinson, Brian Bolland, Edvin Biukovic, P. Craig Russell, Phil Hester, Mark Ricketts, Christopher Moeller, David Taylor, Brian Michael Bendis, John McCrea, Michael Avon Oeming, Mark Laliberte

#38

  8/1/1996
  $3.95
  $3.75
2 copies available from $3.65
 Andy Kuhn, Martin Conaghan, Brian Bolland, Ted Slampyak, Matthew Smith, Ian Edginton, Sean McKeever, Ian Carney, Jason B. Thompson, Joe Zabel, Paul Erickson, Joey RobinsonAndy Kuhn, Alex Ronald, Brian Bolland, Ted Slampyak, Michael Gaydos, D’Israeli, Jon Hayward, David Taylor, Jason B. Thompson, Joe Zabel, Paul Fricke, Duane Schilz

#39

  9/1/1996
  $3.95
  $2.50
2 copies available from $2.50
B&WDarko Macan, Brian Bolland, Kevin Moeller, Martin Conaghan, Greg DiGenti, Sean McKeever, Michael Neno, John McCrea, Phil Hester, Jason B. Thompson, Ian Carney, Randy Reynaldo, Chad WoodyEdvin Biukovic, Brian Bolland, Christopher Moeller, Dave Braysher, Greg DiGenti, Jon Hayward, Michael Neno, John McCrea, Phil Hester, Jason B. Thompson, David Taylor, Randy Reynaldo, Robert Lewis

#40

  10/1/1996
  $3.95
  $3.00
1 copy available for $2.99
   

#41

  11/1/1996
  $3.95
  $9.00
1 copy available for $7.99
 Darko Macan, Andy KuhnEdvin Biukovic, Andy Kuhn

#42

  12/1/1996
  $3.95
  $3.95
1 copy available for $3.99
   

#43

  1/1/1997
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  $3.50
1 copy available for $2.99
 Brian BollandBrian Bolland

#44

  2/1/1997
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  $36.00
1 copy available for $12.99
   

#45

  7/1/1996
  $3.95
  $5.25
1 copy available for $7.99
   

#46

  7/1/1996
  $3.95
  $3.75
2 copies available from $2.50
 Darko MacanEdvin Biukovic

#47

 
  $3.95
  $5.00
2 copies available from $1.99
 Darko Macan, Danijel ZezeljEdvin Biukovic, Danijel Zezelj

#48

 
  $4.95
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1 copy available for $5.00
1st appearance of Alex from MindbenderMark Chadbourn, Darko MacanFred Harper, Goran Sudzuka

#49

 
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  $5.00
1 copy available for $4.99
   

#50

 
  $6.95
  $21.00
3 copies available from $19.99
Final IssuePaul Jenkins, James A. Owen, Dave Johnson, Nabiel Kanan, Mike WieringoMichael Gaydos, James A. Owen, Dave Johnson, Nabiel Kanan, Mike Wieringo