thing happened on the way to the comic store.
I ran into an old friend who used to read comics.
We talked for several minutes about "the Good Old Days"
and, naturally, the conversation lead to comic books.
I freely admit to being a "super-hero" guy.
My earliest comics from childhood featured Spider-Man and Superman.
And the ones I'll read as my kids are putting me in a nursing home
will probably also be super-heroes. That's
My friend, however, was different. He grew up with tastes in other genres. He regularly visited with Jonah Hex and the Rawhide Kid when
he wanted a Western fix. He
ventured into foxholes with Sgt. Rock and Sgt. Fury.
He thought Conan was the ultimate skull crusher and (after the
first Star Wars movie was released) got heavily into science fiction.
The thing is, there was something for both of us (plus all those
"lame" girl romance comics and funny animal "junk".)
Then one day, the comics changed.
The audiences for genres besides super-heroes left.
Or grew up. Or died.
so, at the beginning of the 21st Century, we're left with a whole
lot of super-hero comics and not a lot to offer someone like him.
That is, until CrossGen Comics started publishing almost two years
The origin of this
Tampa, Florida-based company is
very interesting. It involves
two cousins who were fans of comics deciding to re-invent the wheel.
Using high production values, a bullpen-style work environment and
a strict shipping schedule, CrossGen has made quite a splash.
As of this writing, CrossGen has NEVER missed a single shipping date for a
single comic book. And, none
of their titles include super-heroes.
CrossGen does Heroic Fiction. Sure, some of their characters have "powers and
abilities far beyond those..." But capes and masks are nowhere to be
Getting back to my friend, I began telling him about their sword and
sorcery (my term) comics like Scion and Sojourn.
CrossGen does tales of magic and gods in Mystic and The First.
Sigil and Negation are their sci-fi books.
Recent titles include Ruse, which is detective fiction in Victorian
England, and The Path, which is set in a land like Feudal Japan. On the horizon are plans for a martial arts adventure (The
Way of the Rat) and a straight horror book (Route 666).
My friend truly seemed interested. I repeated the part about the reliable shipping and explained
CrossGen's unique publishing formats.
Their comics come out monthly ($2.95 each). They publish trade paperbacks (6 to 7 issues from one series
for under $20). And, their
new idea (which is borrowed from European and Japanese anthology
collections) called "Compendia."
These books contain more than 200 pages of comics from various
titles for the amazing price of $9.95.
Seven or eight comics worth of material for under ten bucks.
I encourage anyone reading this to check out crossgen.com
for further information about the history of the "Little Comics
Company that Could"
along with further info about their comics, trades and anthologies.
Finally, I saved Meridian for last. Meridian
is a comic about a teenage girl FOR teenage girls (but guys like it, too)
written by a woman. It's
unfortunate that I need to single something like this out, but the truth
is, most comics are created by guys FOR guys.
Meridian is the comic you use to hook your girlfriend or wife.
Before long, she'll be reading some of your other comics as well.
Collector's Edge WEST Store Manager
All comments (c)2002 John Steib and may not be reproduced in whole or in
part, without written permission of the author.