On the heels of the Walt Disney Company’s acquisition of Marvel, which was announced in August 2009 and completed last December, Disney Publishing Worldwide said yesterday that it is now managing the global children’s licensed book publishing business formerly overseen by Marvel Entertainment.
Although Marvel had continued to handle book publishing activities based on its characters since the acquisition, the move comes as no surprise. Disney and Marvel characters already share several licensees, including Random House, Bendon and Publications International. As recently as early May, Marvel had signed Little, Brown for Iron Man and Super Hero Squad children’s books and expanded an existing deal with Bendon to include additional formats.
Disney said it will create new content and work with licensees to bring Marvel’s brands and characters into a range of formats for worldwide distribution. Upcoming Marvel programs will focus on the feature films Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger in 2011, as well as classic characters such as Spider-Man and Iron Man and multicharacter brands such as Marvel Heroes and Super Hero Squad.
The announcement covers only licensed children’s books; Marvel’s extensive comic book and graphic novel publishing program remains separate from DPW.