CrossGen has just changed the way they do business.
No, this doesn't mean that suddenly they will start shipping late, nor will they stop releasing quality books. Instead, as of this morning, they have released a creator from exclusivity.
Though he has signed a long-term deal to write Ruse for several more years, Mark Waid will no longer be "Senior Writer" at CrossGen, and has packed up his cubicle at the CrossGen compound. And internet rumor has it that right now Waid will have to beat other comics companies off with a stick.
In a press release this morning, CrossGen Comics confirmed this move.
"First, as brilliant a writer as Mark Waid is, he is not a man whose work
habits and creative style fit perfectly with a studio environment," said
CrossGen CEO and Publisher Mark Alessi. "He's a bit more of a maverick, and
produces his best work when he is able to work on his own terms. As we've
said in the past, the CrossGen studio isn't for everyone, and so we've
created a new situation that will ensure our fans will continue to enjoy
Ruse, which I believe is easily the best work Mark Waid has ever done."
The company also announced that Chuck Dixon will be taking over the reins on Crux and Sigil. As another feather in their cap, George Perez will be fitting a new monthly book into his schedule while still working on JLA/Avengers.
One project that CrossGen mentioned (and that Waid has confirmed with
us) is finishing up his Gorilla Comics project, Empire. The book
chronicles the trouble a supreme super-villain has in maintaining control
of a world without heroes. DC had expressed interest in publishing the
last issues of the mini-series until Waid signed with CrossGen. Whether
or not DC will pursue the series again is unknown at this time, but
"I still strongly believe in CrossGen's approach to this industry
and I intend to continue doing the best work I can with Ruse,
which is a title I enjoy writing immensely," Waid said in the press
release. "I work best when I have more freedom than a studio system
can provide me, and this situation gives both CrossGen and myself the
best of both worlds. On my own, I'll be a better contributor to the
cause, and I'm also thankful that Mark Alessi understood my desire to
deliver Empire to the fans who have been waiting so patiently
for it, and to also pursue other interests over time that might not
have existed within the CrossGen structure."
A rumor cropped up rather quickly that Waid would take over Fantastic Four for Marvel. When asked by Fanboy Planet, he would only reply that we had better give him a few weeks to decide what he's doing next, though he did say that work has already begun on Empire, with no release date as yet.
this and more in the Fanboy forums.