Caliber Comics founder and CEO Gary Reed passed away suddenly on Sunday.  He is survived by his wife and three daughters.

Reed was active throughout the rise of the direct comics market in important ways, as a chain retailer (four Readers Exchange stores in the Detroit area); as publisher of Caliber Comics, Transfuzion Publishing, and Caliber Entertainment; as a writer; and as Senior Vice President of TMP International, the parent company of McFarlane Toys for its first three years.

Caliber Comics was a font of indy talent that later moved on to bigger things, including Mike Perkins, Phil Hester, Greg Ruth, Mike Allred, Guy Davis, Dean Haspiel, Joe Pruett, Mike Carey, Stuart Immomen, Georges Jeanty, Brian Bendis, Patrick Zircher, James O'Barr, David Mack, Vince Locke, Ed Brubaker, Michael Gaydos, Michael Oeming, Tim Vigil and others.

O’Barr, of course, was the creator of The Crow at Caliber, which was made into a movie in 1994, and is once again about to be the subject of a film (see “’The Crow’ Remake to Start Production”).

Caliber also published work by many notable creators, including Moebius, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Mike Deodato, Warren Ellis, Garth Ennis, and John McCrae.

And Reed was an all-around nice guy, who was a constant presence at cons (including one just last weekend) and had many friends in the business.  He will be missed.

Caliber Comics Vice President Eric Reichert said the company would continue with its plan "to make the company once again a beacon for independent creator owned titles and help launch the careers of up and coming writers and artists."