Crossgen Comics appreciation and memories thread.

Comic universes no longer active, Bravura, Broadway, Continuity, CrossGen, Defiant, Future, Malibu, Ultraverse... and others that are 'no longer with us' today.

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Crossgen Comics appreciation and memories thread.

Post by manga4life »

As a comic book collector, once in a while something so special to you comes along that you hold it so close to your heart that when it comes to an end you actually feel devastated and feel like giving up the hobby as a whole. That happened the day I found out that Crossgen Comics was going bankrupt and closing up it's operation. I was Crossgen super-fan #1 and I credit the company with making me care about comic books again after about a year and a half of not really giving a hoot. Sadly, after X-Men went down the tubes in the late 90's and DC canceled one of my favorite comic book series ever (Sovereign Seven) I was left with little to purchase every month and relied on buying comic books such as Amazing Spider-Man, Captain American, and JLA, which were all books I somewhat liked but wasn't truly enjoying due to the ramification of the loss of my absolute favorite series. I still dabbled in Hitman via DC Comics and was enjoying that quite a bit, and I focused on getting other books like Crimson and Battle Chasers by Image's Cliffhanger imprint (despite their lateness), but my “love” for the industry was dimming and something had to be done otherwise I was about to give up completely.

For months I had been reading in Wizard Magazine that Marvel was planning to unleash a line of comics that were going to re-imagine the Marvel Universe. The line would become known as their “Ultimate” line and I finally had something to look forward to once those books saw release, but they were still months and months away. While visiting one of my local comic book stores I came across 4 books that were clumped together in a small corner of the store and they all had a #1 on the cover, I picked them up and flipped through them and decided that I would give 3 out of 4 titles a shot. The 3 books I picked up were Scion #1, Sigil #1, and Mystic #1, I decided against Meridian #1 because it looked to be the weakest of the bunch and I didn't have the extra cash to pick it up (though I did get it later on). The logo on the front of all 4 books was similar to a ying/yang and later I found out that all of these characters had this image branded to them and it would become a mark for “sigil-bearers” within the Crossgen Universe. Well, when I got home to read these comics I read Mystic first and really enjoyed the amazing art that this book features as well as the main character which struck me by surprise as I've never really read many comics at that time that featured a strong female lead other than a couple team books. I read Scion next and instantly fell in love with the “King Arthur” style tale and all the characters involved, especially the main hero Ethan and his nemesis Bron. I knew this book would be something special but what I didn't know is that it would become my absolute favorite series throughout the next couple of years being rivaled only by Ultimate Spider-Man and a team book by Crossgen called Crux. I finally got around to reading Sigil after that and while I felt it was a good book I didn't really like the artwork and I felt the book was a little to “sci-fi” for my liking, but I would continue on with the series until it's end. Actually, about 10-12 issues into the series the book got a new writer and artist and eventually became one of my favorite books by the publisher, it just took them a little while and I'm glad I stuck with them as Sam Rey and Tchulsarud battled throughout the universe in epic battles.

Some months after the #1's hit the stands Crossgen announced that more titles were coming and that the initial 4 titles released have been highly successful. It wasn't long until The First (a team book with cosmic beings who watched over the entire universe) hit the stands, followed by Ruse, Sojourn, and Crux. Crux went on to become my 2nd favorite title that Crossgen ever published and as the series went on a felt connected to this book much like I did with Sovereign Seven, my favorite comic book series that was canceled in 1998. Crux told the story of a team of Atlantians who went into a hibernation status and woke up in a future world that had been shattered to it's core. The lineup was fresh, the stories were fun, and the book featured countless supporting characters (Danik, Aristophanes, Thraxis) that helped the book to tell fantastic stories, which had just led me to a revelation of sorts. The revelation being that many of Crossgen's books featured supporting characters that were either as cool, or even cooler than the main characters in their respective books. A few characters that come to mind aside from the ones I had mentioned earlier would be Exeter (Scion), Garath (Sojourn), and Roiya (Sigil), all of which have really made their mark on me at one point and have been a key reason as to why I purchased these books. Well, soon after the second wave of titles came there was a slew of books in the third wave, and it seemed as if Crossgen was just getting started. Comics within the third wave included Brath, Route 666, Way of the Rat, Negation, Chimera, Solus, Mark of Charon, and others, the only ones I personally cared about out of this bunch was Brath, Negation, and the Mark of Charon (which was a mini-series).

Soon after the third wave of books hit it was announced that there was going to be a line of comics that didn't connect to the “Sigil-verse” and that there was going to be a whole bunch of new and exciting things going on with Crossgen. The line of comics would become known as “Code 6” and Crossgen published a slew of books based upon existing properties such as Masters of the Universe, and Escape from New York. Some of the other things Crossgen began doing was publishing comics online through a strategy called COW (Comic on the Web), and publishing 5x7 digest format trade paperback's they called “Compendia” with a mix-match of titles within their line for a low price. I personally didn't care for any of these ventures and aside from Masters of the Universe I basically ignored Code 6 comics all together and never purchased any of their digests. Crossgen was one of (if not the first) comic book publishers to put their titles up on the web for digital viewing and they were pretty innovative with the Compendia line of digests, but sometimes being too innovative can come back and bite you in the *SQUEE* and that's kind of what happened here with Crossgen. Things looked to be on the up-swing as they began releasing normal sized trade paperback's which were being stocked by Barnes & Noble as well as Borders, but once the retailer began carrying more and more Marvel and DC TPB's they started sending back their Crossgen product to the publisher for a refund. This hurt Crossgen and eventually they began to sink into debt with their creators which saw many up and leave the company before it's closure.

Despite the turmoil going on behind the scenes I was highly enjoying all the titles I was reading by Crossgen and for a solid 3 years they were without a doubt my favorite publisher on the stands. My friend Kenny (Stelfo64) bought into the company as I did and started buying titles like Sigil, Scion, Sojourn, and Crux, he found a comic book store near him where he was actually able to find the “Primer” sample comic and the “Crossgenerations” book by the publisher which was sent out before the #1's hit the stands and he was able to pick them up for me to help complete my collection. One time I remember fondly was when Kenny and myself walked into one of our local comic shops I took a swipe right for the new release rack and spent about a minute browsing around and when I turned around he had a stack of about 20+ copies of Sigil in his hands. He had started reading Sigil a year or so before and fell behind and this was his way of catching up. On top of that we hit up several other comic book stores that day and he ended up buying a slew of other Crossgen titles, investing heavily into the publisher and having fun being a comic book fan in the process. Isn't that what it's all about?


After the collapse of Crossgen I went through a bit of a down time similar to what happened when DC canceled Sovereign Seven. I was buying random titles like Batman, Superman, JSA, Amazing Spider-Man, and a couple of other random titles but I wasn't feeling them nearly as much as I did the Crossgen books and eventually I sold off my entire comic book collection which consisted of 9 long boxes and 2 magazine sized boxes full of comics (which I regret doing). About a year later I decided that I was going to get back into comics but it was going to strictly be through trade paperback's and that would be it, but eventually I went back to floppies and spent thousands to get back a solid amount of what I once had as well as tons and tons of comics that I've discovered over the past several years. I now have 7 long boxes full of comic books and it's growing rapidly as well as over 500 TPB's spread across 2 massive bookshelves, but imagine how many comics I'd have if Crossgen never bit the dust and was still publishing today. It's funny how I bonded with the company the way that I did, it was exciting to me and it really felt like home and that I was a part of something special. To this day I still see Crossgen fans bring the company up on random forums, and when I do I stop and smile while I remember the great times I had buying, reading, and collecting Crossgen titles. It was truly one of the biggest highlights I've had (or will ever have) as a comic book collector and I will always cherish those memories until the day I die.
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Re: Crossgen Comics appreciation and memories thread.

Post by Chiclo »

I got back into comics after CrossGen folded. I do have several CrossGen comics lying around and my wife somehow became a fan of Ruse a few years ago and tracked down the complete run. 26 issues?

The first comic that really made me aware of CrossGen was the Sojourn collected edition. They had a bunch of CrossGen comics at a flea market for a dollar including a short stack of SCE's. I picked up one of each and a few weeks later I learned that it was a pretty rare book. I went back and there were three copies left so I picked them up.

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Re: Crossgen Comics appreciation and memories thread.

Post by Lightning Strike »

Chiclo wrote:I got back into comics after CrossGen folded. I do have several CrossGen comics lying around and my wife somehow became a fan of Ruse a few years ago and tracked down the complete run. 26 issues?

The first comic that really made me aware of CrossGen was the Sojourn collected edition. They had a bunch of CrossGen comics at a flea market for a dollar including a short stack of SCE's. I picked up one of each and a few weeks later I learned that it was a pretty rare book. I went back and there were three copies left so I picked them up.


If you really want to try out CG, I would suggest their best book--Negation. If you don't like that book, you won't like any of them.

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Re: Crossgen Comics appreciation and memories thread.

Post by TDarke »

I really wish that Negation War had been completed. I've seen some of the supposed "unofficial" scripts for the final issues floating around the net but I'm not sure they're actually legit or not, and they seem pretty goofy to me. Sigh, that would have been a great ending...

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Re: Crossgen Comics appreciation and memories thread.

Post by Lightning Strike »

TDarke wrote:I really wish that Negation War had been completed. I've seen some of the supposed "unofficial" scripts for the final issues floating around the net but I'm not sure they're actually legit or not, and they seem pretty goofy to me. Sigh, that would have been a great ending...


Yeah, that was really disappointing. They could have and should have at least printed the end to that mini-series just to wrap things up and give us fans some closure.

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Re: Crossgen Comics appreciation and memories thread.

Post by sbcomics »

I liked CrossGen - my store was a premiere store and we did really well with them! Ruse and Sojourn were probably my favorites, though I liked most of the line. I have a quote on the cover of one of the issues of Scion, from an article I wrote in my newspaper job. That was pretty excellent.

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Re: Crossgen Comics appreciation and memories thread.

Post by Elveen »

Crossgen is my second favorite universe, and really maybe the BEST complete universe I've read. I liked everything (except the First, yuck!) And I have read about all of it.

The best to me is Ruse (the Mark Waid run, but really all of it is good), Sojourn, Meridian (a REAL great book), Mystic and Negation.

Sigil and Scion are ok. The Path, Route 666 and Way of the Rat had some real good moments.


Overall the books are beautiful to look at. The colors are amazing! LOVE these books.

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Re: Crossgen Comics appreciation and memories thread.

Post by sbcomics »

I wrote several articles about CrossGen in their heyday, though some of them have slipped off the site.

This one's about CrossGen's "Comics on the Web" initiative... I think maybe they were just a few years too early on this one. They had a good idea and price point.
http://newsok.com/article/2786550

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Re: Crossgen Comics appreciation and memories thread.

Post by Jaknife »

Crossgen was great. I loved the underlying orange-eyed people that tied it all together. Also, how unique and distinct each planet/location/etc was. I loved the path, scion, way of the rat, ruse, and sojourn, and i generally liked the others. sigil was cool, meridian was cool, i cant really think of too many of their comics i didnt appreciate. it helped that i was able to find their collections 'forge' and 'edge' at the library.

hate how it ended so unfinished. all that setup for nada. damn shame
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Re: Crossgen Comics appreciation and memories thread.

Post by Lightning Strike »

Jaknife wrote:Crossgen was great. I loved the underlying orange-eyed people that tied it all together. Also, how unique and distinct each planet/location/etc was. I loved the path, scion, way of the rat, ruse, and sojourn, and i generally liked the others. sigil was cool, meridian was cool, i cant really think of too many of their comics i didnt appreciate. it helped that i was able to find their collections 'forge' and 'edge' at the library.

hate how it ended so unfinished. all that setup for nada. damn shame


One of THE most disappointing endings in comics. They could have at least wrapped up the Negation War to give us fans who supported them a decent ending. :(

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Re: Crossgen Comics appreciation and memories thread.

Post by Chiclo »

Ron Marz has been talking a little bit about CrossGen a little bit on Twitter. He always runs a Comics for Tots charity drive in December where he sells comic related items to raise money to donate to Toys for Tots and CrossGen has been represented in his offerings both this year and last year.

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Re: Crossgen Comics appreciation and memories thread.

Post by Lightning Strike »

Chiclo wrote:Ron Marz has been talking a little bit about CrossGen a little bit on Twitter. He always runs a Comics for Tots charity drive in December where he sells comic related items to raise money to donate to Toys for Tots and CrossGen has been represented in his offerings both this year and last year.


It's too bad that Marvel didn't publish the endings of the previous GrossGen stories and then afterwards, started their own.

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Re: Crossgen Comics appreciation and memories thread.

Post by grendeljd »

Are the Crossgen titles collected in trades? I've been tempted to try some out from time to time - never read any when they were being published.
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Re: Crossgen Comics appreciation and memories thread.

Post by Lightning Strike »

grendeljd wrote:Are the Crossgen titles collected in trades? I've been tempted to try some out from time to time - never read any when they were being published.


Some of them have been collected in trades, but not the entire sets.

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Re: Crossgen Comics appreciation and memories thread.

Post by manga4life »

I was randomly looking through some of my old Crossgen books the other day out of sorrow for the loss of the line, to this day only Valiant Entertainment comes close to giving me the feelings I had back when Crossgen was starting out. I still remember being so excited to go to the store to grab the latest issue of Scion or Crux, I remember getting all riled up when Sojourn was released because it was a great read and the #1 issue was a hot issue that ended up selling for $15 at some local comic shops by me. I remember when Sigil got a creative team shift and the art got dramatically better and the story started to come together, I was so big into this book and Mystic as well. I read a good chunk of the line but refused to read Ruse and Way of the Rat, the first few issues of each failed to grab me.
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Re: Crossgen Comics appreciation and memories thread.

Post by Lightning Strike »

manga4life wrote:I was randomly looking through some of my old Crossgen books the other day out of sorrow for the loss of the line, to this day only Valiant Entertainment comes close to giving me the feelings I had back when Crossgen was starting out. I still remember being so excited to go to the store to grab the latest issue of Scion or Crux, I remember getting all riled up when Sojourn was released because it was a great read and the #1 issue was a hot issue that ended up selling for $15 at some local comic shops by me. I remember when Sigil got a creative team shift and the art got dramatically better and the story started to come together, I was so big into this book and Mystic as well. I read a good chunk of the line but refused to read Ruse and Way of the Rat, the first few issues of each failed to grab me.


CrossGen is one of the best Indy line of books ever. They had perhaps the best stable of writers, artists and colorists. Their books were so good because they all worked so closely together in the same building.

And the theme of their books was the first of it's kind. I think if they could have stayed on the track that they were, they would have had something even more special than it is already.

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Post by StarBrand »

Sojourn was great. I enjoyed Scion as well.
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Post by manga4life »

It's hard to believe it but some of the early original Crossgen titles would be going on an estimated 150th issue soon had they not ceased publishing.....

Wow.
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Re: Crossgen Comics appreciation and memories thread.

Post by Lightning Strike »

manga4life wrote:It's hard to believe it but some of the early original Crossgen titles would be going on an estimated 150th issue soon had they not ceased publishing.....

Wow.


:(

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Post by manga4life »

Lightning Strike wrote:
manga4life wrote:It's hard to believe it but some of the early original Crossgen titles would be going on an estimated 150th issue soon had they not ceased publishing.....

Wow.


:(


Yep, crazy isn't it?

I just remember being in my early 20's but yet feeling like a child when I walked into a comic book store to get a new issue of one of the Crossgen books I read. It's funny, looking at how many comics Crossgen produced I really only read 7 or 8 of them with only about 5 or 6 taking a huge chunk of my heart with them, but man.....I loved the ones I did. I mainly read Scion, Sigil, Mystic, Crux, Sojourn, Negation, The First, Brath, Solus, and maybe one other but I was so damn in love with Crux and Scion that it was probably unhealthy.
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Re: Crossgen Comics appreciation and memories thread.

Post by Lightning Strike »

manga4life wrote:
Lightning Strike wrote:
manga4life wrote:It's hard to believe it but some of the early original Crossgen titles would be going on an estimated 150th issue soon had they not ceased publishing.....

Wow.


:(


Yep, crazy isn't it?

I just remember being in my early 20's but yet feeling like a child when I walked into a comic book store to get a new issue of one of the Crossgen books I read. It's funny, looking at how many comics Crossgen produced I really only read 7 or 8 of them with only about 5 or 6 taking a huge chunk of my heart with them, but man.....I loved the ones I did. I mainly read Scion, Sigil, Mystic, Crux, Sojourn, Negation, The First, Brath, Solus, and maybe one other but I was so damn in love with Crux and Scion that it was probably unhealthy.


I read all of them during publication except Mystic. Don't remember why I didn't like that one at the time, but everything else was cool

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Post by manga4life »

Had a conversation with a friend of mine who's also a comic book collector about Crossgen today, he knew I was into them back in the day but when I mentioned that my time with Crossgen was probably my absolute favorite time as a comic book collector he though I was crazy. I guess it was just my taste. I liked the different styles of characters and stories they told, they had gods, fantasy, sci-fi, superhero, jungle style characters, and other mixes of things and it was truly amazing how they all connected to create a giant universe. The only other time my comic book collecting was rivaled by my time with Crossgen was between 1995-1998 when I was heavy into Sovereign Seven by DC and X-Men titles by Marvel, those years were an absolute whirlwind of comic book store visits and trying to keep up with every book I could on literally no money. I was 14 in 1995 and literally had to mow lawns and shovel driveways to earn cash, that and my dad used to give me $20 every weekend for spending cash and it all went toward comics.
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Re: Crossgen Comics appreciation and memories thread.

Post by Elveen »

One thing I really like about Crossgen is that they hold up well
Over time. I just re-read Ruse and Sojourn not to long ago, both
We're as good as I remember.
Another thing I really enjoyed was the kind of one shot books they would
Put out. The one I rember the most is the sojourn book where it
Told the story about the family history of the monster tracking Arwyn. I dig those.

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Re: Crossgen Comics appreciation and memories thread.

Post by Lightning Strike »

Elveen wrote:One thing I really like about Crossgen is that they hold up well
Over time. I just re-read Ruse and Sojourn not to long ago, both
We're as good as I remember.


This. These comics are just as good as when they were published. :thumb:

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Re: Crossgen Comics appreciation and memories thread.

Post by Elveen »

Lightning Strike wrote:
Elveen wrote:One thing I really like about Crossgen is that they hold up well
Over time. I just re-read Ruse and Sojourn not to long ago, both
We're as good as I remember.


This. These comics are just as good as when they were published. :thumb:



Especially visually.


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