Transfuzion Publishing and Millennial Concepts Join Forces

(July 9, 2008). Gary Reed, founder of Caliber, a seminal independent comics publisher in the 1990s and currently co-publisher with Rafael Nieves of Transfuzion Publishing have joined forces in a joint graphic novel publishing venture with Mark Ellis and Melissa Martin Ellis, founders of Millennium Publications,

Gary was owner of Caliber Comics, an independent publisher which centered on creator owned titles and helped to launch or further the careers of many of today’s top creators such as David Mack, Michael Lark, James O’Barr, Vince Locke, Mike Perkins, Guy Davis, Patrick Zircher, Don Kramer, Jim Calafiore, Laurence Campbell, Ed Brubaker, Mike Perkins, Michael Avon Oeming, Brian Bendis, Mark Ricketts, Galen Showman, and many others. Caliber also published many of the established and top creators at that time such as Alan Moore, Moebius, Dave Dorman, Warren Ellis, and more.

In March 2008, Transfuzion Publishing officially launched. The collaboration between Reed and Rafael Nieves debuted with four titles and in the first four months, Transfuzion has released 13 graphic novels. Nieves, played a formulative role in the launch of Moonstone Comics as well as the revamped Comico, also was the author for Marvel’s Tales from the Heart and Moonstone’s Phantom series.

Newport, RI residents Mark Ellis and Melissa Martin Ellis have been professional writers, artists and comics creators for over 20 years.

Mark, a full-time novelist who created the best-selling Outlanders SF series for Harlequin Enterprises, worked as a creator in the comics field throughout the 1980s, writing for Adventure Publications, Innovation and several others.

In 1990, Mark and Melissa formed Millennium Publications with a third partner and published Anne Rice’s The Mummy, as well as a series based on The Wild Wild West and what is generally considered to be the most faithful comics adaptation of Doc Savage. During their time at Millennium, they gave artists like Darryl Banks and the late Mike Wieringo their first major exposure.

In 1993, they sold their interests in Millennium but retained ownership of a number of comics properties, such as Nosferatu, The Miskatonic Project and The New Justice Machine.

In 2007 when Mark and Melissa were contracted by Adams Media to produce The Everything Guide to Writing Graphic Novels, they learned that the graphic novel form had exploded in popularity over the last few years.

“I had been out of the comics field for years,” says Mark, “working as a full-time novelist since 1995…when we realized that graphic novels had supplanted comic books as the preferred graphic narrative, Melissa and I decided to take the properties we owned and present them as graphic novels.”

After putting together Death Hawk: The Soulworm Saga, Mark queried Gary Reed about publishing it through the newly formed Transfuzion. “Obviously, I was aware of Caliber during the 90s and had met Gary on a couple of occasions at trade shows. I had always been impressed with the diversity of Caliber’s output.”

Melissa, a professional graphic designer and photographer as well as a writer focuses on the layout and design of the graphic novels. She is the author of The Everything Guide to Photography, 2nd Ed., and The Everything Guide To Ghost-Hunting. She says, “As an homage to our first company, we decided to call ourselves Millennial Concepts and we revived my Millennium ‘M’ logo.”

Death Hawk: The Soulworm Saga (which features the earliest published comics work by superstar Adam Hughes) is scheduled for release in September '08, followed in October by The Miskatonic Project: H.P. Lovecraft’s The Whisperer in Darkness, a 128 page graphic novel with artwork by the legendary Marvel artist, Don Heck.

Future Transfuzion/Millennial Concepts projects include Mr. Holmes and Dr. Watson, a book which presents the classic Sherlock Holmes comic strip (with art by Gil Kane, Mike Sekowsky and Frank Giacoia) in graphic novel form for the first time, and Star Rangers: The Spur, which not only features little-seen work by the late Jim Mooney, but doubles as a tribute book to the great cartoonist.

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