Agreement marks comic co.'s first entry into bookstores

NEW YORK — Marvel Enterprises is set to tap the vast Chinese market through a distrib deal with China Youth Press under which Marvel comicbooks will be translated and reprinted for the local market.

Under the four-year deal, which covers all of mainland China but excludes Hong Kong, the first titles launched will include “Spider-Man,” “X-Men,” “The Hulk” and “The Ultimates.” Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Agreement marks Marvel’s first entry into the vast market via catalog, bookstore and newsstand sales. Widening its reach into Asia has been a key goal of Marvel’s publishing operation, which hopes to boost interest in its superheroes’ theatrical releases and other branded merchandise.

International expansion is at the top of Marvel’s agenda. The company is opening offices in Tokyo and London to help spearhead new international licensing opportunities that will help lift overseas sales from its current meager level of 5% of total revenues. Company has said it hope to increase international revenue to 25% of the total within a few years.

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