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CrossGen repurposes the comic book

By SCOTT BARANCIK, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 14, 2003

Comic books still drive the vast majority of sales at CrossGeneration Comics Inc., but they're no longer part of its name. Last week the Oldsmar company renamed itself CrossGen Entertainment Inc.

Senior vice president of product development Tony Panaccio says the original name gave some observers the impression of "a bunch of old guys out in Oldsmar making comic books." In fact, he said, the company is creating intellectual property that can be "repurposed in a variety of mediums in almost limitless marketplaces." (Its comic book characters can be used in film, toys, video games and educational tools.)

The past few years have been rough on the comic book industry, and CrossGen -- whose publisher and CEO, Mark Alessi, remains its majority investor -- needs to attract new capital.

For good measure, CrossGen created 12 new subsidiaries. They include CrossGen Interactive, Comics on the Web, CrossGen Intellectual Property and ROFR Interactive.

What does ROFR stand for? Right of first refusal, says Panaccio.

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