CrossGen launched its comic book line in the summer of 2000 with four titles: Meridian, Mystic, Scion and Sigil. That initial success demonstrated that they were a legitimate, viable comic book company and it allowed them to attract even more big-name creators. In that first year of publishing, CrossGen added veteran artists Butch Guice and Bart Sears and popular writer Mark Waid. However, their biggest splash came when they announced that they had signed superstar artist George Perez. With these new additions, CrossGen was able to introduce some of their most successful titles in 2001.
Mark Waid: Mark
Waid was one of the biggest writers in the comic book industry before
coming to CrossGen, with Captain America, the Flash,
JLA and Kingdom Come to his credit. At CrossGen, he
co-created Crux with artist Steve Epting and wrote one of
most successful titles, the detective comic, Ruse. He also took
over Sigil from Barbara Kesel and co-created Negation
before handing it off to Tony Bedard. Waid was also one of the
first high-profile departures from the company. He had one of
his greatest successes after CrossGen, as the writer on Fantastic
Four with artist Mike Wieringo. Mark Waid is now the
at Boom Studios where he also writes their superhero/supervillain titles
Irredeemable and Incorruptible.
Tony Bedard: Bedard was relatively unknown in comics even though he had been working in the industry for almost a decade- interning, editing and writing for companies such as Valiant, Crusade and Malibu. CrossGen became his coming out party. He took over Mystic from Ron Marz, co-created Negation with Mark Waid and wrote Route 666 with artist Karl Moline. After CrossGen, Bedard became a regular presence as a free-lance writer at both Marvel and DC. He wrote an acclaimed run on Exiles and was part of the rotation of writers on Countdown. Bedard is currently the writer of REBELS and will take over as the writer of Green Lantern Corps next month.
Bart Sears: A graduate of the famous Joe Kubert School of Art, Sears worked on a number of high-profile comics in the ‘90s, including Justice League Europe and X-O Manowar. His first CrossGen assignment was the melodramatic The First, featuring that universe’s pantheon of gods. Sears then moved on to the samurai epic, The Path, becoming the first CrossGen artist to put his artistic stamp on two different titles. After CrossGen, Sears returned to superhero work, with stints on Captain America and the Falcon and Weapon X, before diving into more fantasy-related titles again with DC’s Warlord and Dark Horse’s The Helm. He has been working for the video game company, Heatwave Interactive, since 2008.
Andrea DiVito: DiVito was part of the contingent of Italian artists who gained a foothold in North America through CrossGen. He started at CrossGen as an associate penciller doing fill-in work before becoming the regular penciller on The First. He then became the first penciller on Brath. Since CrossGen, DiVito has kept busy at Marvel working on Thor: Disassembled, the Thing, Annihilation and World War Hulk. His most recent work is on the cosmic hero Nova.
Andy Smith: Andy Smith
started out at CrossGen as an inker, working on Bart Sears’ pencils
on The First. He switched to pencils and after a couple
of fill-in issues on other series, eventually became the third regular
penciler on that title. Smith found occasional work in comics
after CrossGen, providing freelance work on Marvel’s Weapon X,
DC’s Green Lantern, Atom and Superman: Confidential.
He is now mostly a corporate artist, having worked for companies such
as Bally’s Total Fitness and Fidelity Investments.
Steve Epting: Few
improved their standing as much as Steve Epting. Before joining
the company, he was considered a stalwart but not a standout, putting
in long runs on Marvel comics such as The Avengers and X-Factor.
At CrossGen, he opened a lot of eyes, first co-creating Crux
with Mark Waid and then co-creating El Cazador with Chuck Dixon.
He is now the critically acclaimed artist on Captain America
with writer Ed Brubaker though he most recently spent time with the
same writer on a side project: The Marvels Project.
Paul Ryan: Ryan had
one of the longest-resumes in comics before coming to CrossGen.
He had co-created DP7 as part of Marvel’s New Universe and
paired with Tom DeFalco on that company’s flagship title, Fantastic
Four. Ryan first worked for CrossGen as a freelance artist
doing single issue fill-ins. However, he was eventually offered
the job of taking over as the regular penciler on Crux after
Steve Epting started work on El Cazador. Ryan has been working
on The Phantom newspaper comic strip since 2005.
Sergio Cariello: He’s the Ted McGinley of CrossGen comics (from the pop culture book, Jumping the Shark). Sergio Cariello worked on the final issues of Crux, Scion and Sojourn as each of those titles came to an end. Cariello actually had a productive career in comics before coming to CrossGen, working on Daredevil, Deathstroke and Azrael among other titles. He’s kept active since the company folded as well with his most recent work appearing in Dynamite’s The Lone Ranger series.
Greg Land: Greg Land came to CrossGen off of two very successful runs on DC’s Batman family of titles, Birds of Prey and Nightwing. At CrossGen, he was assigned to the traditional fantasy epic, Sojourn, with writer Ron Marz. His gorgeous art quickly won Land (and CrossGen) popular acclaim though his increasing use of photo references also won him critical scorn. Undeterred, Land landed at Marvel where he provided numerous covers as well as the interior art for titles such as Phoenix: Endsong. He is currently one of the regular artists on Uncanny X-Men.
Butch Guice: Guice had been working in comics for about 15 years before coming to CrossGen. He was most famous for being one of the Superman artists during “The Death of Superman” storyline and had most recently worked on DC’s Birds of Prey. At CrossGen, he was the regular penciler on the mystery title, Ruse. Guice seemed to take some time re-establishing himself after CrossGen. He worked for the French company Humanoids and put in a short run on Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis. More recently, he worked on Marvel’s Ultimate Origins and Captain America Reborn.
George Perez: One of the biggest names in the history of comics, the signing of George Perez was one of CrossGen’s greatest coups. Perez had worked on almost every superhero for the Big Two companies of Marvel and DC: Fantastic Four, Avengers, Justice League of America, New Teen Titans, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, Incredible Hulk and Avengers again. CrossGen first assigned Perez to their anthology title, CrossGen Chronicles, so that he could play in every one of their worlds. After a break to work on JLA/Avengers, Perez returned to CrossGen with Solus. Perez has continued to be one of the masters of comics since CrossGen closed down, working on Infinite Crisis and Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds. He is reportedly finishing work on the oft-delayed Titans graphic novel “Games.”That covers another third including some of the biggest names to come to and come out of CrossGen comics. Come back one more week for the final installment of “Where Are They Now?—CrossGen.”