Eric Millikin and Casey Sorrow's Fetus-X

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Friday, June 28, 2002


CrossGen Comics has launched two entities which will make it easier for creators to see their work published, licensed properties to make the transition into comic book form, and help resurrect other comics which have languished without the support of a publishing house.

CG Entertainment (CGE) is a publishing entity owned by CrossGen Comics that would publish non-CrossGen Universe comic book projects. Those projects 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 Comics.

All of CrossGen's current and future titles within - as well as outside - the continuity of the CrossGen Universe will also now be published through CG Entertainment's Supply Agreement with Diamond Comic Distributors.

Diamond Comic Distributors has allowed CrossGen to assign this agreement to CGE. This will allow CrossGen to publish and distribute all of the products stated above through the CGE banner.

Creators whose titles are published through CGE as affiliates will retain complete ownership of their properties, but be able to choose from an extensive list of added value services from CrossGen that include marketing, licensing, Comics on the Web and merchandising among others.

Code 6 Comics, CrossGen's independent comics imprint, is named for the Florida police signal code for "escaped prisoner." This is a hint at the imprint's primary purpose, which is to provide a friendly home for creator-developed projects which lack the funding for traditional self-publishing. Through Code 6 Comics, creators would share ownership of the titles, but in return receive a much more comprehensive set of benefits that would allow them to make a living at producing such comics, while at the same time benefiting from back-end participation in the profitability of those titles through all print and ancillary revenue streams.

"CrossGen's primary mission has been and always will be to make comics relevant to a new generation," said CrossGen publisher and CEO Mark Alessi. "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."

While CGE's participation with affiliate creator-owned titles is merely as a publisher, Code 6 Comics is designed to act as a proactive imprint tailor-made for great creators with great ideas who have been hampered by an inability to fund their projects or who have not received from other publishers the type of treatment they feel they deserve.

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.

"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!"

One of the primary functions of both CGE and Code 6 lies in the marketing, advertising and licensing that CrossGen has built.

"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. "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."

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