Prepare For The Compendium

Feel like it's too late to start reading CrossGen? Have they got a deal for you...

In response to concerns over just how expensive comic books have become, CrossGen has announced its new project: The Compendia Series. Launching the project will be two titles, Forge and Edge, each intended to give the consumer a better value for his comic buying buck.

Taking a cue from European comics and manga, the two books will be monthly, 200 plus pages, full color and in standard trade paperback size. They feature the same production values as CrossGen's regular monthly comics, printed on a similar quality paper stock within card stock covers.

But what exactly are these titles?

Intended to bring new readers in, Forge and Edge will be reprint books, each containing eight stories covering at least five titles. CrossGen vows that the books will lag 90 - 120 days behind the original comics' publications, so as not to annoy those who like getting their titles in the regular "pamphlet" standard. Also, no stories will appear in the Compendia that have not already been printed elsewhere in the CrossGen line.

"We've been using this analogy around the office when explaining the types of choices we're offering readers," said Ian M. Feller, Director of Corporate Communications for CrossGen. "Consider your favorite soft drink, say cola. That cola is offered in many different forms for purchase. There's the 12 ounce can, 16 ounce bottle, 20 ounce bottle, 32 ounce bottle, 1 liter bottle, 64 ounce bottle, or it is available from a soda fountain, all at different prices. But in the end, it's all the same product. We are taking that formula and applying it to comics. And if you want something other than cola, you can choose one of our different genres the way you would a different soft drink flavor."

The books will start out at a $9.95 cover price, though after a few issues CrossGen may slightly raise the price when they increase the page count to almost 300.

Forge #1 will be on sale April 10 and Edge #1 will be on sale April 24. They will then continue to ship the second and fourth or fifth weeks of every month. Forge #1 will contain: Crux #1-#3, Meridian #15, Negation Prequel, Sojourn Prequel and #1, and a preview of The Path. Edge #1 will contain: The First #8-#10, Mystic #15 and #16, Ruse #1, Scion #15, and Sigil #15. Each "in-process" series begins with the first issue following the second trade paperback collection and both Compendium titles contain a significantly expanded "Story So Far" description for new readers, making it easy to jump onboard.

CrossGen has also stated that this is merely the first stage in a massive effort to bring new readers to comics and to comics shops, promising more information within the next month. Feller hinted to us, "Just wait until you see where this leads in the next month. If you think this is great, just wait!"

We hardly can. Sure, our reviewer Charlie Wentling always knew something good was going on here, but I recently took a look at the whole line, not just a couple of select Waid-written titles. Even the weakest of CrossGen's titles is still solid read, sucking you in quickly. (And don't ask which is the weakest - that was just for rhetorical effect.)

Derek McCaw

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