Marvel launches small screen division

Marvel Entertainment has created a small-screen division, Marvel Television. The company named award-winning comic book and TV writer Jeph Loeb at the head.

He will oversee turning Marvel's comic book characters into television shows for both live-action and animation formats.

Loeb has written comics for both DC and Marvel. He won awards for "Batman: The Long Halloween," "Batman/The Spirit" and "Superman for All Seasons."

With television, he has worked as a producer and writer on Lost, executive producer on Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Animated Series, and most recently as an executive producer for series Heroes.

Also, Marvel Studios plans to release film shorts featuring lesser known comic book characters such as Doctor Strange, Dazzler, Black Panther, and Power Pack, according to the websites Latino Review and Cinematical.

These short 10-minute films could be run before Marvel's major movies, such as Iron Man 3 and The Avengers. It is considered less risky than producing a full-length film and an inexpensive way to introduce newer characters.

These shorts will be both live-action and animated films and could also be released online.

Based on the success of Pixar's "Night and Day" film short that is running with the theatrical release of Toy Story 3, other studios may follow. Recently, Warner Brothers announced it will produce a series of new Looney Tunes shorts in 3D to be attached to upcoming feature films. Bugs Bunny is one of its best-known animated characters.

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