Official Press Release
TAMPA, FL., September 24, 2001 - Since the terrible tragedy of September 11, the comic industry has rallied to participate in the fund raising efforts. CrossGen has been cautiously planning its own effort that will "help our own" as well as those families directly affected by the tragedy.
CrossGen has coordinated with Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. to provide St. Marks Comics, a comic retailer located near ground zero whose business has been severely affected, with their normal monthly order of CrossGen comics for no charge. CrossGen will provide St. Marks Comics with an entire month of comics for free. As well, CrossGen will extend this relief offer to other New York retailers located within the ground zero area who advise us of their situation.
"We tried to determine the best course of action to help those directly affected by this tragedy," said CrossGen Publisher Mark Alessi. "The comic industry has planned many great things to help the victims and their families, but no one has thus far considered the members of the comic book retail community who were directly affected. We want to help our own as well."
In addition, CrossGen will be participating in the relief effort to raise money for the victims and their families by teaming with online auction web site, eBay, which has asked CrossGen to participate it its Auction for America online program in conjunction with The United Way. eBay is running a worldwide relief auction through its highly trafficked web site to raise money for the victims. CrossGen will be providing items for auction with all proceeds going directly to the charity.
"Only days after the disaster, eBay called us and told us of their plan to raise $100 million in 100 days," said Tony Panaccio, Vice President of Product Development for CrossGen. "With eBay's structure and payment system, they have the capability to collect funds immediately and channel them directly into the funds that are helping people now. We felt that this is the type of project that would deliver the greatest benefit in the fastest timeframe, and we encourage others - publishers or individuals - to participate as well. We felt that teaming with them was the best way for us to do our part."
Because of the time needed to coordinate these efforts, CrossGen has decided not to attend the recently announced Bill Jemas/Joe Quesada/Marvel Comics retailer summit in New York City scheduled for October 1. With New York City retailers still reeling economically from recent events, it was determined that helping them get their businesses back on track was more important to the industry as a whole than attending a hastily-planned retailer summit with apparently limited publisher participation.
"The theory has been offered that people who do not attend the conference are doing so because of their fear of flying to New York, and that's simply not true," Alessi said. "The best thing that we can do is to get about the business of wisely producing and marketing comics to a world that is changing around us. We just don't agree that a thrown-together conference with minimal attendance - that might draw New York-based retailers who simply need to focus on keeping their doors open - is a wise move. If people want to help New York retailers, then help us target the ones in need from the disaster and let's send them free product so they can reduce overhead for the next 30 days and keep their shops thriving."
Alessi added that CrossGen would consider attending a summit like this in the future if it was better organized, properly scheduled to allow publishers and retailers time to prepare for it, and included a broader range of participation from the industry.
CrossGeneration Comics is based just outside of Tampa, Florida. Since their initial launch on May 24, 2000, CrossGen Comics has set unprecedented sales records for a new start-up comics publisher by debuting their first eight releases on the comic book industry distributor's Top 100 sales list. Since then they have grown into the comic industry's fifth largest publisher. They were recently awarded the Diamond Gem Awards for Comic Publisher of the Year (2000) Under 5% Market Share and New Publisher of the Year (2000). CrossGen Comics is unprecedented in that their entire line of comics is currently published in three foreign languages and in at least 11 foreign countries. Their unique and innovative approach to comic book publishing is sure to make them a company to watch out for well into the new millennium. The CrossGen Comics, The First, Mystic, Sigil, Scion, Meridian, Crux, and Sojourn are available now in comic book specialty stores everywhere, with a different one on sale each Wednesday. Their next monthly title, Ruse, will be released on October 31, 2001, followed by Negation on November 7, and The Path in February 2002.