Kesel, Barbara 1960-
KESEL, Barbara 1960-
Born October 2, 1960; married; husband's name, Karl.
Office—CrossGen Entertainment, 4023 Tampa Road, Suite 2400, Oldsmar, FL 34677.
Graphic novelist. D.C. Comics, editor; Dark Horse Comics, editor, then managing editor and liaison to "Legends" series; CrossGen Comics, Oldsmar, FL, head writer, 1999—.
(With Karl Kesel) Hawk and Dove, D.C. Comics (New York, NY), 1993.
Elseworld's Finest, Volume 2: Supergirl & Batgirl, D.C. Comics (New York, NY), 1997-1998.
(Author of text) Sigil: Mark of Power, CrossGen Comics (Oldsmar, FL), 2001.
(With Mark Waid) Sigil: The Marked Man, CrossGen Comics (Oldsmar, FL), 2002.
(Author of text) Meridian: Flying Solo, CrossGen Comics (Oldsmar, FL), 2001.
(Author of text) Meridian: Going to Ground, Cross-Gen Comics (Oldsmar, FL), 2002.
(Author of text) Meridian: Taking the Skies, CrossGen Comics (Oldsmar, FL), 2002.
(Author of text) Meridian: Coming Home, CrossGen Comics (Oldsmar, FL), 2002.
(Author of text) Meridian: Minister of Cadador, CrossGen Comics (Oldsmar, FL), 2003.
Since 1981, when she wrote a "Batgirl" story for Detective Comics, Barbara Kesel has been a major fixture in the world of comics and graphic novels. As an editor at D.C. Comics she had a hand in virtually every series, including "Watchmen," and she performed much the same role at Dark Horse Comics, ultimately rising to managing editor. In 1999, she was hired as head writer for CrossGen comics after the chief operating officer saw her scriptwriting seminar at the San Diego Comic Con.
As a writer, Kesel is probably best known for her work on the "Meridian" series. Set on one of the city-states floating above the poisoned planet of Demetria, the series focuses on Sophie, daughter of the minister of Meridian. When her father dies, Sophie inherits his position and his mysterious sigil, which gives her powers of renewal. But her scheming Uncle Ilahn also has a sigil, with powers of decay, and he has every intention of using it in a grand plan to master all of Demetria by controlling its trade. Sophie and Ilahn are soon a collision course in a series of adventures that provide female comic book fans a heroine to respect. Reviewing the second volume, Going to Ground, School Library Journal reviewer Susan Salpini wrote, "these titles are a coming-of-age story on a richly imagined world with appealing characters." Reviewing the third volume, Taking the Skies, Library Journal contributor Steve Raiteri concluded, "Demetria is the most fully realized of all of CrossGen's invented worlds, and Sophie herself is the publisher's most endearing character."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, April 1, 2003, Cathy Buskar, review of Meridian: Flying Solo, p. 1390.
Library Journal, November 1, 2002, Steve Raiteri, review of Meridian: Taking the Skies, p. 66.
Publishers Weekly, September 23, 2002, review of Meridian: Taking the Skies, p. 52.
School Library Journal, October, 2002, Susan Salpini, review of Meridian: Going to Ground, p. 198; March, 2003, "Coming Home," p. 1390.*