Mark Alessi, Founder of CrossGen, Has Died
Mark Alessi passed away yesterday morning.
CEO of Technical Resource Connection, a company he founded in 1986, he sold the firm to Perot Systems Corporation in 1988. He took that money and in two years later, founded comics publisher CrossGen Entertainment in Tampa, Florida, which began publishing in 2000, with titles such as Mystic, Sigil, Meridian, Negation and Scion, all sharing a universe and linked by mystical and science fiction forces
The attempt was to create an in house comics bullpen and to challenge Marvel and DC Comics. To that end, they recruited name creators to work exclusively for them, including Barbara Kesel, Mark Waid, Tony Bedard and Ron Marz as salaried employees. Other creators included Greg Land, Jim Cheung, Chuck Dixon, Bart Sears, Brandon Peterson, Josh Middleton, Scot Eaton, Steve McNiven, Mike Perkins and more, a number of whom had their first significant work published through CrossGen. Their shared universe and creator-owned titles had significant market impact, and both their chronological collection of their comics for the bookstore market and their move to digital were way ahead of the curve.
The publisher went into liquidation in 2004, after major issues with cashflow payments, and its assets were sold to Disney. A Marvel revival began but was curtailed.
Brought up in Connecticut, he went class of 71 at Xavier High School, Middletown and studied Elizabethan English and Political science at UConn, Connecticut. After CrossGen, he went on to co-found and be CEO of TOA Solutions in Florida, and recently he became President of Bards Faire, an IP entertainment firm also in Florida.
A number of comic creators have been sharing memories online.
Fiorentino, who is best known for Titans, Doc Samson and Final Crisis, got his start on Mystic, Scion and Sigil for CrossGen. He posted,
His friends and family, especially his daughter, son and sister, are in our thoughts and prayers today.