Ultimate Spider-Man Animated Series

Marvel Universe Champions Literacy

Disney XD, Marvel & First Book have teamed up to encourage children's literacy!

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Disney XD, Marvel Entertainment, First Book and ABC Owned Television Stations have teamed up to champion children's literacy through the "Reading With: Marvel Comics Close-Up" initiative, it was announced today by David Levine, Vice President and General Manager, Disney XD Worldwide, and Jeph Loeb, Marvel's Executive Vice President - Head of Television. A Saturday, January 12 event at the Burbank Public Library will showcase the initiative designed to encourage reading, and includes the donation of more than 210,000 books to several communities across the country. The initiative also features a series of Disney XD interstitials, "Marvel Comics Close-Up," hosted by Marvel's Chief Creative Officer, Joe Quesada, and teen actor Dylan Riley Snyder ("Kickin' It") beginning Monday, January 21, during the second season premiere of "Ultimate Spider-Man" on Disney XD.  Further encouraging kids to read, new and classic Marvel Comics stories will be available at DisneyXD.com/comics.

Catch the first "Reading With: Marvel Comics Close-Up" intersitial during the "Ultimate Spider-Man" Season 2 premiere Jan. 21

Levine said, "By tapping in to amazing and relatable Marvel Comics stories, both classic and new, our goal is to inspire kids to become enthusiastic, lifelong readers especially when they discover a great story or engaging book itself is the ultimate reward. We're pleased to have the opportunity to join the caring community of First Book and, with the support of our sister ABC stations, make a book donation to kids across the country."

"Each week, 'Ultimate Spider-Man' encourages viewers to study hard, stay in school and constantly learn more--the same super heroic principles behind 'Marvel Comics Close-Up,'" said Loeb. "With the second season premiere of 'Ultimate Spider-Man' on January 21, we're kicking off a longterm initiative to promote literacy to our fans with the most action packed, exciting, family-friendly comics you'll find in this universe or any other."

"We are thrilled to bring the reach and community spirit of our locally owned stations to the literacy efforts of Disney XD and Marvel's 'Marvel Comics Close-Up.' The effort allows our local communities to identify worthwhile organizations to receive the free books, while also highlighting the value and impact literacy has in our society," said Rebecca Campbell, President, ABC Owned Television Stations.

On Saturday, January 12, Disney XD will take part in a "Reading With: Marvel Comics Close-Up" kick-off event at the Burbank Public Library in Burbank, California. The event will feature a donation from Disney XD, Marvel Entertainment and First Book to the Burbank Public Library and Boys & Girls Clubs of Los Angeles.

ABC Owned Television Stations in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham and Fresno are participating in the initiative and engaging communities by nominating a local organization, school or library to receive a book donation, part of Disney's donation of eight million Disney Publishing Worldwide books to First Book announced in 2011. Stations will kick off their initiatives in January and will invite communities to participate in traditional and virtual book drives, as well as register an eligible organization or school reaching low-income families ages 0-18, to receive an ongoing supply of books from First Book. Visit the ABC Owned Stations' website in these cities for more details (Los Angeles – abc7.com, New York – 7online.com, Chicago abc7chicago.com, Philadelphia – 6abc.com,  San Francisco – abc7news.com, Houston - abc13.com, Raleigh-Durham – abc11.com, Fresno – abc30.com). 

The "Marvel Comics Close-Up" interstitials dive deep into the Marvel Universe giving viewers an inside look at 10 compelling Marvel comics and will debut Monday, January 21 during the special one-hour season two premiere of Marvel's "Ultimate Spider-Man" (7:00 – 8:00 p.m.,  ET/PT) on Disney XD. Free digital Marvel comics will be available on DisneyXD.com/comics and include notable issues such as ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #7, INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #7, HULK #3, THOR #364 and MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN #16.

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