Now, Mickey Mouse to regale in Hindi

Kolkata: Disney Publishing Worldwide, a division of The Walt Disney Company (India), has entered into a licensing agreement with publisher Junior Diamond to launch its Disney Comics portfolio in the country.

For the first time, these comics will be available in vernacular languages. At present, only story and activity books in English from Disney Publishing are available in India. Last year, Disney test-marketed eight storybook titles in Marathi and Hindi as a precursor to the launch of Disney Comics.

Roshni Bakshi, regional director, Disney Consumer Products, India & Asia, said, "We are adding value to the comics portfolio by bringing them out in vernaculars, as well."
Disney's comics, targeted at the age group of 6-14 years, would be priced at Rs 25. For starters, every month two new Mickey and Donald stories would be released. Later, the range could be expanded to include Disney's other characters, including the Princess.

Disney is targeting to sell its comics through about 10,000 outlets, including mom-and-pop stores and newsstands.

Bakshi said comic reading habits are not waning among kids since Disney has received encouraging feedback from children for the 3-4 page comics published in its Disney Adventures magazine.

Bakshi added that Disney's special magazine, brought out through a tie-up with Kingfisher Airlines, has also received positive feedback from kids.

New York-based Disney Publishing, with over 340 regular titles, sells 274 million copies of children's magazines and 120 million children's books annually across the world.

Junior Diamond, which will print and distribute the comics, is the youngest division of the Diamond Group, which has been in the publishing industry for the last 70 years. Its titles include Grihlakshmi (a woman's monthly), Cricket Today (in English and Hindi) and Sadhna Path (a magazine on ayurveda and spiritualism).

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