Wednesday, May 2, 2012

CrossGen Comics

In January 2000,  Ron Marz, Mark Waid and Barbara Kesel (with the aid of Mark Alessi and Gina M. Villa expanding the fictional universe) founded CrossGen Comics. The company tried to diversify its publications  by covering various genres while sharing a single fictional universe (unofficially called Sigilverse).
The first wave of CrossGen included a "military science fiction space opera" called Sigil, a fantasy called Mystic, Meridian (inspired by "traditional folklore"), Arthurian legend-inspired adventure called Scion and a fiction universe-expanding CrossGen Chronicles. Each of the protagonists of these comics had sigils that gave them powers and were dubbed "Sigil Bearers".
The first wave was quickly followed by other titles. 2000 unveiled the Homer myths-inspired The First. After 2001, the Atlantean myth-based Crux, epic fantasy Sojourn, Victorian detective story Ruse and Negation. Horror comic Route 666, samurai drama The Path and comedic Way of the Rat came out of 2002. 2003 had titles building up to "Negation War": Solus and Mark of Charon (which were meant to explain the origin of the sigils), Chimera ("about a Sigil-bearer on the far reaches of the Universe" according to Wikipedia), sword and sorcery Brath and pirate story El Cazador. Despite supposedly being in the same universe, these titles rarely crossed over. The most notable exmaple of an actual crossover was Negation War, a company cross over that never was finished. 
CrossGen became CrossGen Entertainment in 2003. They formed 11 sub-companies. For reference, Stan Lee managed to write 8 comics by himself, yet these guys (with more people) need  11 sub-companies. Code6 (one the sub-companies) published out-of-continuity comics, such as The Crossover, Demonwars and The Red Star, that were actually owned by CrossGen Entertainment. Comics on the Web (another sub-company) allowed fans to download digital copies of actual comics, however users had to hover over the word balloons to actually read them.
When a scandal involving "systemic financial problems" was exposed, creators left like it was a sinking ship. This and Barnes and Nobles and Borders returning tradepaperbacks led the company to file bankruptcy.
Joe Quesada, editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, announced Marvel will try to revive CrossGen.
My source was the Wikipedia page "CrossGen".

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