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From a facebook post by James Proctor:

So I reached out to the ORIGINAL illustrator/sculptor of the Krystonia line: Mark Newman and he was kind enough to answer a few questions I had regarding the History of Krystonia.

Apparently he partnered up with some individuals (maybe Beau Dix and Mark Scott) right after graduating from Art School in the late 80's. He traveled to England and they developed a production studio and he sculpted the original 19 krystonia figurines. He was under the impression that he was to be a part owner in the company and as the line was becoming more popular, he was marginalized. What he thought was going to be a joint venture ended up a "hard lesson" in dealing with people in business. He said that they reached out to the "Michigan Company" who had a streamed-lined marketing/production process and they initially partnered up and subsequently had a "falling out" where Panton took over the line. He left the company and signed over the copyrights to his illustrations and the Krystonia sculptures to "get his life back".

He ended up partnering with another creative author and illustrator, Gayle Middleton with Willitts Design and developed the Elanti: Quest for the Stones line of collectible figurines and started to make a go of it. Panton became aware and sued for copyright infringement which dissolved the Elanti line.

He said he appreciated my interest in his work and me being a fan but it was a "hard and painful" time and he learned a lot about the business side of things through it. He is now a phenomenally successful sculptor in the Bay area.