Wednesday, June 30, 2004

The short and winding road: The St. Petersburg Times looks at CrossGen's bankruptcy, and Mark Alessi's big (but brief) adventure:

"Though Marvel Comics and other industry giants long ago turned to freelancers, Alessi lured talented artists and writers from around the world to humble Oldsmar with the promise of regular paychecks, a share of profits and the chance to work together in an old-fashioned 'bullpen' environment.

"He created an alternate universe of characters that shirked capes for corsets and created story lines to which Lord of the Rings fans could relate. He brought along his own piggy bank, filled with millions of dollars from the sale of his Tampa software company to Perot Systems Corp. of Dallas. He innovated, introducing Web-only comics and DVD-based comics that included sound and other special features.

"Alessi also vowed to pursue excellence in writing and artistry, a promise many fans believe the company fulfilled.

"Or did, until the company began running out of cash, that is."