Joe Pruett is a graduate of the University of Georgia, Joe broke into the comics industry in the summer of 1989 as Bob Burden's assistant on Flaming Carrot Comics, where he helped by inking backgrounds, assisting on lettering, transcribing scripts and basically learning all he could about the comics industry-which included sleeping in late and staying up all hours of the night. He worked with Burden from issues #23-29 before a full-time job and his own comic ambitions (not to mention his journey into the realms of married life) pulled him away to the world of nine to five.
Never giving up on his comic dreams, Joe began to toss ideas around his head about creating his own comic series and characters. First amongst these was his cult-classic creation, Kilroy Is Here. After flirting around with a couple of potential publishers, Kilroy was placed with Gary Reed at Caliber Comics-beginning a long and prosperous relationship with both Gary and Caliber that runs through this day. But Kilroy was a long, slow development. After debuting in the premiere issues of Calibrations #1 (May 1992), Kilroy's own series was delayed time and time again while as the art team underwent a couple of changes.
In the meantime, bored and with too much free time on his hands, Joe, while having a conversation with his brother, James Pruett (also now a creator and staff member at Caliber), decided on what his next project would be. James had made a suggestion that they should put together an anthology one-shot with a number of their comic professional friends. Thinking it was a good idea and something he couldn't handle on his own, Joe contacted veteran comics writer and friend, Charles Moore, and asked him if he would be interested in helping put together the proposed anthology one-shot. Charles quickly agreed to do so. They were able to convince fellow friends and comic professionals to commit to doing a short story for the unnamed anthology. Now all they needed was a name. Charles and Joe met and went over a long list of possible titles for the series. They both had decided that they wanted something unique and that people would remember. After turning down numerous possible titles, they settled on one of Charles' suggestions, Negative Burn. Then they went to work. Joe went again to Gary Reed at Caliber and pitched the idea of the one-shot to him. Gary agreed to publish it and, as they say, the rest is history. Joe approached his long-time friend and mentor, Bob Burden, about the possibility of including a Flaming Carrot short in the anthology title in order to give it instant credibility in the tough marketplace. Also, during a trip to New York City, Joe was able to convince a visiting Brian Bolland to allow him to publish his surreal, one-page comic strip, Mr. Mamoulian, as a regular feature in the anthology. Before anyone knew what was going on, this one-shot untitled anthology had become a monthly comic series.
Since everyone had told Joe that a monthly, black and white anthology with no particular genre to attach itself to would never survived in the marketplace, Joe decided to go all out and prove them wrong. In manner of the first months of getting the series running and after assuming full editorial duties with the fifth issue, Joe was able to line up such established talents as Michael Kaluta, P. Craig Russell, Paul Gulacy, Tim Bradstreet, Phil Hester, Moebius, Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman, as well as such up and coming talent as Jeff Smith, Terry Moore, James A. Owen, Andrew Robinson and Paul Pope.
Negative Burn became a commercial and critical success, which has been nominated for numeous industry awards (including 5 Eisners and 5 Harveys to this point) over the course of its run. In fact, Negative Burn, with the completion of its long run with issue #50, has become the longest running Caliber Comics title and one of the longest running independent titles in history.
Meanwhile, after getting Negative Burn started and running smoothly, Joe went back to his first project, Kilroy Is Here. Finding a remarkable artist and new friend, Joe settled on prolific painter and illustrator, Ken Meyer Jr., as artist on the series. Kilroy Is Here debuted with a special #0 issue in May of 1994 before moving into its regular run with the issue #1 in April of 1995. After Ken's schedule proved too filled to continue the series, Mike Perkins took over as regular artist. The series itself ran through #10 (June 1996).
While working on a freelance basis on Negative Burn and Kilroy Is Here, Joe's relationship with Caliber begin to change. Essentially, Joe became a freelance/staff member, where he was responsible for bringing in creators and projects-kind of a talent scout of sorts. Projects he brought to Caliber include: Exit by Nabiel Kanan; Bandy Man by Stefan Petrucha, Jill Thompson, Charlie Adlard and Miran Kim; Cavewoman by Budd Root; Construct by Paul Jenkins and Leo Duranona; Kingdom of the Wicked by Ian Edginton and D'israeli; Dicks by Garth Ennis and John McCrea; Moebius Comics by Moebius; and The Wretch by Phil Hester.
By the summer of 1996, Joe's freelance writing career begin to move forward. He was able to place Dusty Star with Andrew Robinson and The Nameless with Phil Hester at Image. . It was around this time that the offer of becoming a full-time staff member at Caliber was made. By January of 1997, Joe was named Creative Director at Caliber and made the move from his native Georgia up to the Caliber offices outside Detroit, Michigan. There he was reunited with his brother, James, who had accepted the job as Managing Editor at Caliber in the fall of 1995.
Once at Caliber, Joe resumed his duties as
"talent scout" (bringing in titles such as Brian Bolland's The
Actress and the Bishop, Mike W. Barr's Maze Agency
and Michael T. Gilbert's Mr. Monster Presents), as well as
serving as submissions editor, on-line "answer man" and comic line editor. He
also lettered the occasional comic, since he likes to keep his hands in a little bit of
everything. Joe's freelance writing also continues to horde up all his free-time (that is
when he's not busy trying to relive his youth by playing any of a number of athletic
events-softball, football, basketball, tennis, etc.). His current writing credits have
grown to include Unbound from Image Comics (with artist Mike
Peters) and Untouchables with artist John Kissee, both at
Caliber, plus several others still in the discussion stage-including a second The
Kilroy was relaunched as a new series and joined the Caliber Core after a crossover with Saint Germaine (issues 5-7). In early 1997, Joe moved back to Georgia to cocentrate exculsively on a writing career. He continues to write Kilroy and will be taking over some Marvel titles, inlcuding the new Magneto series and a Wolverine one shot.
Joe currently resides outside of Atlanta with his wife and their two daughters, Hannan and Rachel. A third daughter is expected in the summer of 1999.