Leonsis' AOL Studios gets comic

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AOL Studios, the newly formed content development unit of America Online, inked a joint venture deal with Byron Preiss Multimedia Co. to enhance Virtual Comics, an online comic book. The new version of Virtual Comics will make its debut in the first quarter on AOL and on the Web.

AOL Studios is headed by Ted Leonsis, who shifted from president of AOL Services Co. a few weeks ago in a corporate revamp. The unit's mission is to develop content brands not only for AOL and the Web but other media as well. Virtual Comics, for example, plans to distribute books via Simon & Schuster and comic books via Diamond Comic Distributors. It also plans to license its characters.

There have been reports in recent weeks that AOL will spin off AOL Studios and its companion Greenhouse program entirely.

Copyright November 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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