Discussion heats back up
As first reported on Johanna's blog a few days ago was a thread on writer Ron Marz's message board, with former CrossGen creators commiserating about their experiences at the company. There were some fairly mean things said, most about the too hands on control that Alessi had over the creative staff and direction.
Things had been slowing down since then, to the point where the thread had almost ran its course. That is until this post by former CrossGen PR representative Ian Feller:
Hello Ron, Drew, Andy, Andrea and all my other fellow former co-workers that may be here somewhere. Very interesting discussion going on here. I'm a little shocked to read how horrible and stifling CrossGen was for all of you. And how much disdain there is for some of our other co-workers.
While I agree that the majority of the poor choices were handed down from WAY on high, no one forced anyone to remain there if they felt so strongly about how terrible the books were or how poorly the company was run. I don't remember but two people leaving because of those reasons. It seems to me that I'm reading the rants of a bunch of cry babies. For all those years it was very easy to take the easy money and tow the company line and not express your negative opinions. Even with NDAs people still did it when they felt strongly enough and wanted to stand up for it. But now that times have changed, how easy it is to spew venom.
I loved my time at CG and all my co-workers as family. Wouldn't it have been just as easy to say nothing? What are you gaining from trashing what we all built? I don't get it.
In the early days, CG took no-names and the downtrodden, who in a lot of cases were cast off by the big 2, and turned them into creators the fans want to see. As horrible as you think your time there may have been, remember where you were before you came there and how much better off you are now. Don't piss on my memories.
I just did a quick websearch but was unable to find a suitable comic book explosion sound effect, so just imagine one and you'll get the reaction the others had to this.
First up was
Andrea Di Vito
i'll make it simple for ya, these are not YOUR memories , you never were in our shoes.
These are MY memories and if i wanna piss on them i will.
There are good things and bad things about crossgen, like any other experience. Point is, we are merely discussing WHY CG failed, if you care to join in the discussion you're more than welcome but keep in mind that with a few exceptions, there was no "Easy money" for the artists, we worked harder than any of you management guys.
Kind of harsh, but to the point. Ron came in next to try to settle things down somewhat, but feelings were already bruised hence these snippets, of much longer posts, by Drew Geraci
A lot of us sold our souls for money, there's no doubt, myself included. If you consider me a crybaby, so be it. Your opinion, while curious, is coming from one of the luckiest people in comics. You think your track record's going to get you into another comics company? I think you were insulated and caught up in the fantasy that CG was going to crush Marvel and DC. I remember you gleefully predicting DC and Marvel's demise. In fact, you'd counted on that as part of your strategy. Very pollyanna-ish.
Before CG, I myself was on the fast track at DC doing JLA and Nightwing,(both of which I STILL get royalties from!) which you may have overlooked, as they were in the Diamond top ten and fifty, respectively. However, I understand you had to routinely skip the top 100 searching for CG books. Once in a while there was a blip where a first issue or Sojourn would squeek in there. Hmm, I wonder who inked that the first year?
A lot of us took a MAJOR speedbump in our careers that we're still overcoming to restablish ourselves to the mainstream. During my CG tenure, I turned down several offers from other companies, and although CG's money was better at the time, career-wise I'm now having to restablish myself after a 3-year exile catering to a hardcore readership of 10,000 or so.
and Scott Eaton who after reaffirming what the other had said, added
What does it say about Crossgen that Scot Eaton, no name, downtrodden and cast-off by the big two, packed up his wife and cats and bags and moved back to Vermont in the February of 2003?
It says that starting my career over again was a better bet than Crossgen.
It is always strangely interesting to follow things like this. There is an awkwardness in seeing professionals argue about things that for the most part only happens behind closed doors. Yet it is also interesting, because you learn how the business of comics is no different than any other field.
Which perhaps is good, because it can keep you from blindly worshipping any creator or the opposite hating a creator because you realize they are people with problems just like you.