1996 Fools: [NEWS] Marvel buys Viz
Article 20397 of rec.arts.manga:
Path: news.jhu.edu!paladin.american.edu!gatech!newsfeed.internetmci.com!in2.uu.net!noc.nyx.net!nyx.cs.du.edu!not-for-mail
From: wsantoso@nyx.cs.du.edu (Widya Santoso)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.anime,rec.arts.manga
Subject: [NEWS] Marvel buys Viz
Date: 31 Mar 1996 12:48:18 -0700
Organization: Nyx.net, free public access to the Internet
Lines: 48
Message-ID: <4jmni2$qk7@nyx.cs.du.edu>
NNTP-Posting-Host: nyx.nyx.net
X-Newsreader: TIN [UNIX 1.3 950824BETA PL0]
Xref: news.jhu.edu rec.arts.anime:232058 rec.arts.manga:20397

In the week's Comics Buyers' Guide is an article about the acquisition
of Viz Communications by the Marvel Comics Group.  Written by staff
writer Paolo L. Fri from a press release issued by Marvel.  Briefly
this statement comes after several months of negotiation with Viz
Communications' parent company in Japan, Shogakukan.  Shogakukan
already has a distribution agreement with Marvel to market Marvel
properties, such as Spiderman, the X-Men, in Japan.  This deal cements
the international relationship the two companies share.

The deal basically gives all publishing and distribution rights
formerly held by Viz to Marvel and related companies.  This includes
translated manga, such as Ranma 1/2, Maison Ikkoku and Battle Angel
Alita, videos (Ranma 1/2, etc.), Animerica the magazine of anime and
manga in the US, and Cadence books (Magic 3D books.)

Marvel's plans for Viz are to subsume Viz into Marvel's corporate
structure.  Manga would come under a new imprint, Viz.  Videos would
be included as part of Marvel Entertainment P/L, the multi-media
subsiduary of the Marvel Comics Group, again as Viz Video, as will
Animerica.  The book section would be sold off.

A spokesman for Marvel said: "This acquisition will be a very exciting
time, not only for Marvel, for anime fans, but for the comics reading
public at large.  For the first time, the wide range of manga will be
available for the general public to read.  The superstars of manga
will become as well known in America as they are in Japan.  We will be
looking to acquire more manga to appeal to a wide range of markets,
such as the girls and women audience."

Marvel recently divested many of its licences, such as the Disney line
of comics, Spumco comics, Barbie, etc. in a move dubbed Marvelution.
It will introduce a new line, Paramount Comics, publishing a new line
of Star Trek comics.  Industry analysts speculate the divestment of
old licences and the pick up of new licences is a move to consolidate
profits from a dedicated market, eg. the Trek fan and the anime fan.
Viz's share of the translated market is estimated to be between

Marvel's profits are expected to be garnered mainly via the home video
market.  Ranma 1/2 will become a part of an aggressive marketing blitz
to infuse anime into the general public.  Rights of popular series can
also be expected to be purchased, with the strong financial clout of
the Comics Group.
Widya Santoso     wsantoso@nyx.cs.du.edu     +61 6 288 0405
"In the turn of the phrase, in the spin of the word, in the
 flip of the letter, is the truth" - Ann G. Ramme
-- Unit 3/12 Araluen Street, FISHER  ACT  2611, AUSTRALIA --