The Itochu Corporation, a major Japanese trading company and conglomerate, which owns subsidiaries in a wide range of business categories including textiles, aerospace, communications, chemicals, energy, machinery, metals, and food, has acquired a 10% share of Comic Book Movies, the Hollywood-based franchise-building entertainment company founded by veteran movie producer Michael Uslan (Batman) and M. Jonathan Roberts.  Itochu, which also owns the Family Mart convenience store chain in Japan, will act as a licensing and merchandising partner in Japan for CBM.


Comic Book Movies was formed to build multi-media entertainment franchises based on classic American and international comic book and graphic novel properties as well as important Japanese manga and anime properties.  Late last year CBM, Itochu, and Lotus Inc.(CBM's agent in Japan) entered into an agreement with Ishimori Entertainment Inc. to develop motion picture franchises based on the original properties created by the late Shotaro Ishinomori (see 'Live Action Cyborg 009').