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A look at CrossGen Comics
10.18.2002 by Scott, every Thursday.

A whole new world. That’s what CrossGen comics head writer, Barbara Kesel set out to create when she heeded the call of the fledgling company and signed on with them in September of 1999. Now, three years later, she is chiefly responsible for molding the publishing company into what it is today, a success.

Launching the comic line with four titles, Sigil, Scion, Meridian, and Mystic, CrossGen had created an entire universe, and offered to share it with flashy art and solid stories. They gave a guarantee to their readers with these books, buy them, and if you don’t like them, mail them back to the company, for a refund. Anything to garner some attention to their books, they knew that the key to having a successful comic is to get the people to read at least one issue, and after that, they’ll come back for more. Well, the gamble paid off, and the four titles sold well during their first few months.

After that, there came expansion. New titles started being shipped. The First, Sojourn, Crux, Negation, Route 666, The Path, Way of the Rat, Ruse. All the titles tied into one another, but not in a way that it makes it impossible to read one without having to get them all. As well, their titles cover a broad range of styles, none of which are the standard superhero fare. Scion, Mystic, and Sojourn are fantasy titles, Sigil and Negation are science fiction, The Path is a samurai tale, Route 666 is a horror comic, and Ruse is set in a world similar to Victorian England. They brag about having something for everyone.

This column so far sounds like a lot of fawning, which is especially surprising from me, as I had no interest when the company put its first few titles out. But they began offering compendia, collected editions of all their titles in two monthly books, Forge and Edge. So I bought one of each, and read all of their titles for about 25$ (they reprinted 9 issues in each, and I couldn’t pass up 18 comics for 25 bucks). Good art, writing, and fun stories converted me to a fan, and I continue to read the monthly compendia, having subscribed to them both.

If you are so inclined to look into their stuff, they have a large assortment of their comics online at their website, here.

Scott MacIver

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