Fan demand for CrossGen merchandise is high, and the hugely successful publishing newcomer has heard the cry for licensed products. In early September 2001, CrossGen will unveil a virtual mall offering an array of licensed merchandise based on their popular comic book titles.
The mall will include an Apparel Shoppe, Licensed Products, Original Art, Custom Prints, and Comics, with items like clothing, hats, backpacks, lithographs, comics and trade paperbacks, original art, statues, custom created and framed prints, and much more available for purchase through the site. All items will be shipped directly to the customer, but many products will still be available to other retailers via the direct market. Concerns over shipping costs have also figured into CrossGen's online mall plans.
"Our fans have been asking us to produce a line of products for over a year now," says Ian M. Feller, CrossGen's Director of Corporate Communication. "They've asked for a way to get CrossGen clothing, statues, even comics that they've had trouble acquiring. Well, the partners we have lined up and the products we will be offering are going to make these fans very happy."
"Launching this mall was just a good business decision for us," says CrossGen Publisher Mark Alessi. "We need to find ways to attract new customers into the world of comics. In the near future we will be confirming some major partners to help us in this cause. This mall will be part of the bigger picture."
This announcement comes on the heels of another tidbit concerning details about the creative team for CrossGen's February 2002 launch of THE PATH, which will debut simultaneously in the US and Japan. Bart Sears will pencil the new series, joined by inker Andy Smith, and colorist Michael Atiyeh. This team has already become known to CrossGen fans through their work on THE FIRST, another CrossGen title.
So what becomes of THE FIRST? A new team consisting of penciler Andrea Di Vito, inker Rob Hunter, and colorist Rob Schwager will take over following the departure of Sears and company.
"Since we began working on THE FIRST #1, I knew I wanted a crack at this title," says Sears. "I've always had a fascination with Eastern culture and the storyline Ron [Marz] has lined up is so good, I can't wait to get started. I'm happy that I've been chosen as the person whose art will be showcased to an entirely different culture than our own."
The artistic team for the THE FIRST changes with that title's fifteenth issue in January 2002.
"The fact that we can move Andrea right into this title is a testament to the success of our associate program," says CrossGen Art Director Brandon Peterson. "Bart has all along been the guy to draw THE PATH, so we've been grooming Andrea for THE FIRST for a while. His outstanding work on his relief issues of SCION and THE FIRST sealed the deal."
"It is a bit frightening to take over this book after seeing what Bart has started," says Di Vito. "But I'm looking forward to this opportunity. I've worked very hard to get to this point and know that I've grown since joining CrossGen. I'm ready for the challenge."