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News: CrossGen Pirate Comic Walks Plank
posted May 20, 2004

May 20 -- In what may be yet another portent of an eventual ride on the Jolly Roger, CrossGen Entertainment put their pirate comic El Cazador on hiatus today. This ended the series at #6 despite two additional issues already solicited. The company's statement to the press emphasized humorous pirate-style language in describing artist Steve Epting leaving to take work at Marvel, but very little seems funny from a publishing standpoint about the Tampa-based company taking another hit to its schedule. Although the publisher insists the title will return, even the temporary loss of a newer, much liked series has to be considered a potentially major blow.

Keeping the company staffed has proven to be just as difficult in recent weeks. One April 1 Bill Rosemann left his position at CrossGen, severing his ties with the troubled comics company after a little more than year since coming onboard. Rosemann had been the Senior Vice-President of Publishing since late 2003, and had originally served as Director of Marketing Communications following a stint at Marvel Comics. Rosemann may be the highest-profile resignation yet at the company, which has purged employees and interrupted programs and publishing schedules since May of last year.

Vice-President of Sales and Marketing Chris Oarr followed suit less than a week later, leaving April 5. Oarr has since taken a job in sales with the manga division of ADV Films. He will rejoin another former CrossGen staffer, Robert Boyd, who while in Tampa had worked on the trade-publishing program and the education outreach Bridge program.

Oarr leaves after nearly three years with the Tampa publisher, and soon after making the recent announcement of the resumption of CrossGen's aggressive trade paperback program. The earlier loss of that program forced Boyd to begin seeking another job ("I was feeling a bit useless," he says.) "I don't have too much to say about their business or the inner workings of CrossGen," Oarr told the Journal. "But Bill Rosemann had resigned the previous Thursday. He was Senior VP of Publishing, a really bright guy and someone I worked with closely. I almost quit the day he gave notice. That was also the day when I got only 1/3 of my paycheck, which didn't help."