NBM’s new tween imprint to manga-fy mystery mavens
NBM Publishing, one of the oldest graphic novel publishers in the U.S., is going after the lucrative tween market with a new imprint called Papercutz. Under the guidance of editor-in-chief Jim Salicrup (a comic veteran who’s worked at Topps and Marvel), the division will start off by modernizing Simon & Schuster’s classic literary sleuths Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys in two manga-inspired comic book series. The first issues will roll out in November, with new titles to follow each month, and Papercutz is also working on 96-page pocket-sized graphic novels for the brands that will hit retail in February (US$7.95). In their lead-off comic The Ocean of Osyria, the Hardy Boys have to return a priceless artefact to a Middle-Eastern museum, while Nancy Drew stars in a horror film about a spooky urban legend in The Demon of River Heights. Simon & Schuster recently revamped its Nancy Drew novel line, and the first new title quickly landed on the New York Times bestseller list following its March release.
Target and Kmart cut more stores loose
Target has sold off the second of its two subsidiaries, handing Mervyn’s 257 stores over to an investment consortium made up of Sun Capital Partners, Cerberus Capital Management and Lubert-Adler and Klaff Partners for US$1.65 billion in cash. Mervyn’s will continue to operate from its Hayward, California headquarters. Earlier this year, Target sold its Marshall Field’s chain to St. Louis, Missouri-based May Department Stores for $3.2 billion.
In other sell-off news, Kmart is continuing to offload stores and streamline operations, having just reached an agreement to sell 45 locations to Sears for US$524.45 million in cash. The Troy, Michigan-based discount retailer says there’s still a possibility it will throw in another six stores for an additional US$65.25 million. Kmart will continue to operate the stores until March or April 2005. This deal follows closely on the heels of a similar one that saw Atlanta, Georgia-based home improvement retail giant Home Depot take on 18 Kmart stores for US$271 million in August. Since emerging from bankruptcy in 2003, Kmart has been working towards a major financial turnaround, generating net profits of US$155 million for the quarter that ended July 28, and improving exponentially on a net loss of US$5 million recorded for the same quarter in 2003.