Carves Out New Territory...
When CrossGen Comics
entered the scene a little over two years ago, the company promised
great comics loosely bound together by a shared universe. The company
logo symbolized this association, as its sigil could be found on many
of its main characters. And, as intended, reading one title didn't actually
mean you had to read them all in order to understand them (though many
people do read them all).
In addition, publisher
Mark Alessi surprised the industry by creating an actual studio for
his publishing company. Call it a throwback to the fabled bullpen system,
where writers, artists and editors all work side by side in one building.
Many high-profile creators such as Bart Sears, Barbara Kesel, and Ron
Marz left work for other companies to follow Alessi's dream. All agreed
to work exclusively for the budding company.
Some of that changed
when Alessi managed to lure George Perez and Mark Waid to the fold.
Rather than be limited to CrossGen titles, the two were allowed to simultaneously
honor promises to other companies, a deal that allowed Perez to take
a hiatus from CrossGen work to draw the long-awaited JLA/Avengers
book. But in all that time, the editorial mission of CrossGen remained
the same. Until last week…
CrossGen has formed
two new imprints, intended to make it easier for creators to see their
own visions brought to the public. If it sounds similar to how Image
Comics operates, you'd better believe that the Big I is already feeling
the heat. One of their most critically-acclaimed titles has caught the
boat to Tampa, Florida.
has formed in order to distribute work done by studios outside of CrossGen,
and Archangel Studios will be the first to take advantage of the new
imprint. Previously announced as publishing on their own, Archangel
may be more commonly known as Team Red Star. Yes, The Red Star
will soon marketed, solicited and distributed through CrossGen.
The two companies
were full of mutual accolades.
"The Red Star is
one of the most beautiful comics being published today, and what Team
Red Star has been going through in order to get their book to market
is a perfect illustration of why CGE exists," Alessi said. "The fact
that these guys have had to work so hard to get this book on shelves
is ridiculous. We believe in their book, we believe in their commitment
to quality and we believe that together we can pave the way for a long
and prosperous run with one of the highest quality comics on the market
"CGE is exactly
what we've been looking for," said Christian Gossett, creator of The
Red Star and co-owner of Archangel Studios. "We have had nothing
but respect for the way CrossGen has approached the comics industry,
and as independent creators, we feel that CGE allows us to tap into
the best of both worlds. We get to create The Red Star the way we always
have, but then we also get to benefit from the market strength and marketing
ingenuity of one of comics' movers and shakers."
The second new
imprint from CrossGen will be known as Code 6 Comics. Intended as an
"independent comics" line, Code 6 takes its name from the Florida police
signal code meaning "escaped prisoner." While no titles have officially
been announced, CrossGen hints that already they have received a lot
Under the terms
of Code 6, creators would share ownership of their titles with CrossGen,
in return for the company's marketing abilities and a benefits package
that would enable creators to actually make a living at doing comics.
mission has been and always will be to make comics relevant to a new
generation," said Alessi. "The creation of CG Entertainment and Code
6 Comics is a natural and logical progression of that mission. We'd
be foolish and arrogant to believe that CrossGen's creators are the
only people out there creating great comics. The problem, though, is
that the existing means for independent creators to get their works
published isn't equal to the task of delivering them to the currently
troubled marketplace. There's some great stuff out there that hasn't
seen the light of day, so we're taking on the additional responsibility
of using the marketing and distribution infrastructure we've created
at CrossGen to bring other comics to the public."
With the aggressive
licensing that CrossGen has been able to do in the last few months (including
film, television and gaming deals), both CG Entertainment and Code 6
seem attractive prospects for creators. Time will tell if others see
it Team Red Star's way.
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