Official Press Release
Perennial Fan Favorite and Award-Winning Writer Becomes Third Full-Time Writer for CrossGen
TAMPA, FL., August 22, 2000 – In a move designed to further position CrossGen as a long-term player in the comic book world, writer Mark Waid has accepted a full time position as Senior Writer with CrossGen Comics. With secure funding set for CrossGen for at least the next two and one half years, this hiring is just the first of other high-profile moves planned for the relatively near future. Waid will be relocating from New York to Tampa in November and will begin work for CrossGen full time in early January.
“This is probably the most exciting opportunity I’ve ever had in this business,” said Waid. “Don’t get me wrong — I love writing comics — but for a long time now, I’ve been itching to put to use all the other editorial and business skills I’ve acquired along my way. The challenge ahead of us all in the 21st century is to help this industry thrive once more, and I’ve been saying for years that I want my chance to contribute to that end in a capacity greater than simply that of a freelance writer. I’m grateful to Mark Alessi for giving me the chance to roll up my sleeves and get to work. Alessi and I share common goals, common ideologies, and frighteningly common musical tastes, and I’d be an idiot not to be in this guy’s corner.”
In his position as Senior Writer, Waid joins other Senior Writer Ron Marz and Head Writer Barbara Kesel as the CrossGen Comics writing staff. Waid’s writing responsibilities will include taking over the writing duties of Sigil from Barbara Kesel, allowing her to concentrate her efforts on Meridian, The First and her other responsibilities as Head Writer. Waid will use his 16 years of comic writing and editing experience to formalize an associate writer program designed to help train new talent. Waid will also help launch CrossGen’s yet to be announced sixth monthly title, tentatively scheduled for an early 2001 release. This launch will include his participation through November and December on the final planning of this new title, as well as working with Publisher Mark Alessi to hire a high-caliber, veteran art team to work with him on what is being dubbed the most innovative launch in comic book history, as this title will be released simultaneously in the U.S., Japan and other overseas countries.
“I’m happy to welcome Mark into the CrossGen writer’s world. I worked closely with Mark back in our mutual DC Comics days, and am looking forward to working with him again,” said Barbara Kesel. “I’m thrilled to be working with him as a fellow writer, and am excited about watching him develop our informal writer’s training program into a real and viable formal program. Mark’s been a top-level, award-winning writer long enough to have gotten that role down — now he needs a challenge!”
Sigil’s artistic team of brothers Ben and Ray Lai and Wil Quintana are excited to be working with a writer with a resume as extensive as Mark Waid’s. Said the three, “We feel honored that we get the chance to work with a writer as dedicated to comics as Mark Waid. He’s a great talent that will definitely fit in with the rest of the talent here at CrossGen and hopefully even help raise the bar.”
His exclusive move to CrossGen means changes for Waid’s existing projects. As was the case with Ron Marz, Waid will be expected to fulfill his already contracted work, meaning you will see his name on projects outside of CrossGen into 2001. All existing assignments will be written by the time he relocates to Tampa. As such, you can expect his Gatecrasher run to end by the time the title reaches the conclusion of its first year. His Gorilla Comics title Empire should continue through issue #6, the end of the first story arc. And his JLA run will continue through 2001, ending sometime late in that year.
Said Mark Alessi on his latest hire, “CrossGen is all about the commitment to making great comics and Mark Waid is all about the commitment to making great comics. CrossGen is all about high quality mainstream product and Mark Waid is all about high quality mainstream product. There’s tremendous synergy, tremendous potential. We’re all excited and looking forward to seeing what we can do together.”
Mark Waid has been writing comic books since 1984. In 1987, he joined DC Comics as staff editor. Two years later he left DC to pursue a freelance career that spanned throughout the 90s and led to award-winning runs on The Flash and Captain America. In 1996, he co-created the award-winning Kingdom Come. Waid has worked for every major comics publisher and has authored a broader range of well-known comics characters –including Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, The X-Men, and Archie — than any other writer in the history of the medium. He is also the only guy alive to have written X-Men, Avengers, and JLA.
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 five 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. 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, Mystic, Sigil, Scion, and Meridian are available in comic book specialty stores everywhere, with a different one on sale each Wednesday.