Review of Cold Heat #1: A Gem of The Soapbox Zine Library

ColdHeat1.1By Dre Grigoropol

A rare first issue with a cult following, comic story Cold Heat is archived in The Soapbox’s Zine Library and available for reading for any library visitor. This twenty-four page comic is by author Ben “BJ” Jones (Paper Rad) and illustrator Frank Santoro (Storyville) and was first published in 2006 by the former publishing company PictureBox.

This an action/adventure comic about a teenage girl named Castle. Her intense lifestyle includes taking anti-depressants, a local noise music scene, martial arts and strange entities. The story begins when Castle finds out that the lead singer Joel Cannon from her favorite local noise band Chocolate Gun suddenly passed away and things escalate from there.

The artwork has a pink, blue and violet color scheme, which is a product of two-color offset printing. Santoro’s drawing style varies throughout the piece which ranges from pages of cartoons, sketches, to what looks like highly rendered pastel fine art. Santoro created the illustrations by using the layering method he is well-known for.

Want more after the first issue? The first six issues are available for reading online for free at While the Cold Heat comic series never made it to the proposed twelve issues, Cold Heat Special issues were published later and include Santoro and a handful of other collaborators.