First reported by Rich Johnston in the just launched Lying In The Gutters column here at CBR, CrossGen Comics made it official when they announced the creation of an entirely new publishing entity and a new imprint.
The first is CG Entertainment (CGE), a publishing entity owned by CrossGen that will publish non-CrossGen Universe projects. According to the release those projects will include, but are not limited to:
- Affiliated Creator-Owned comics - Comics created and owned
by companies outside of CrossGen.
- Code 6 Comics - Code 6 Comics is a new imprint under
CrossGen created for the purpose of publishing non-CrossGen Universe
continuity titles, such as new projects outside of the CrossGen stable of
creators who are willing to share ownership of the project with Code 6
For creators who are published through CGE, they will retain complete ownership of their properties, but will be afforded the opportunity to sign-up for a number of added value services CrossGen plans on supplying including marketing, licensing, Comics on the Web, merchandising and others.
The imprint, Code 6 Comics, is described by the published as their independent comics imprint and is named for the Florida police signal code for "escaped prisoner." The purpose of this imprint is to provide an environment for creator-developed projects where the funding isn't quite there to do it on your own. Through Code 6, creators would share owners of the titles with CrossGen, but will receive the same benefits as all other CrossGen titles.
"CrossGen's primary mission has been and always will be to make comics
relevant to a new generation," said CrossGeneration Comics Publisher and CEO
Mark Alessi in the release. "The creation of CG Entertainment and Code 6 Comics is a
natural and logical progression of that mission. We'd be foolish and
arrogant to believe that CrossGen's creators are the only people out there
creating great comics. The problem, though, is that the existing means for
independent creators to get their works published isn't equal to the task of
delivering them to the currently troubled marketplace. There's some great
stuff out there that hasn't seen the light of day, so we're taking on the
additional responsibility of using the marketing and distribution
infrastructure we've created at CrossGen to bring other comics to the
public. And I cannot stress enough my appreciation to Diamond for helping us
by assigning us the process right to establish these new entities. Diamond
has in the past been criticized for its business practices by independent
creators, but their help and support in setting up CGE and in end result the
Code 6 Comics imprint, proves Diamond's commitment to helping the
independent creator, and will soon result in the publishing and marketing of
some very fine comics."
The CODE 6 COMICS Mission Statement includes:
- To be the best publishing alternative for creators looking
for a home for a new or existing project.
- To provide a fair profit and rights split that will be
beneficial to both the creator and CODE 6 COMICS.
- To be open and accessible to all creators involved.
- To serve as a vehicle for creating global recognition to a
select line of high quality, timely shipping comics.
- To alleviate the burden of self publishing by handling most
aspects of distribution, sales and marketing to allow creators to create
comics and not worry about the time impacting responsibilities of these
other important, yet difficult areas.
"We built Code 6 and CGE for those creators that want to create great
comics, but also want to be able to eat and support their families," said
Ian M. Feller, Director Business Development for CG Entertainment and Code 6
Comics in the release. "This industry is not an easy place to produce something you love
without taking on the financial hardships associated with self-publishing or
signing your creation away, yet still having to do all the work to make it a
success. We wanted to build a better home for these types of creators. A
place that treats them fairly, treats their creations fairly, and allows
them to profit from doing what they love to do and what they do
best...creating great comics!"
"A lot of people in the industry talk about creator-ownership and/or
development, but sometimes forget that along with that also comes a lot of
work that writers and artists aren't very fond of, or aren't necessarily
prepared to implement successfully," said Tony Panaccio, CrossGen's Vice
President of Product Development in the release. "There's distribution, marketing,
advertising, and then if a creator wants to see some additional revenue from
licensing, there's dealing with agencies, lawyers, film producers, video
game manufacturers and other licensing professionals while still trying to
produce a quality comic. Those can be some murky waters, and if you're in
the game because you simply want to create good comics, chances are you're
either not going to do any licensing, or you're going to do it at the cost
of impacting your product's timeliness and quality. That's why they hire
guys like me, who can't write or draw a lick, to market the comics. At
CrossGen, we've built a robust marketing program on the Internet through
Comics on the Web (with which we recently launched a ground-breaking project
with Clear Channel Radio Interactive to bring COW to Clear Channel's vast
network of radio station Web sites nationally), created ground-breaking
partnerships in Hollywood through Branded Entertainment's Michael Uslan,
established a broad spectrum group of effective foreign publishing options,
including our recent agreement for China, and we've begun building a strong
licensing presence in video games through FOG Studios. CGE and Code 6 were
built to take advantage of those relationships and provide that
behind-the-scenes infrastructure that the fans never see, but the creators
need in order to help make it financially rewarding to create good comics."
For more on this story read the June 27th edition of Lying In The Gutters.