The Smurfs 3-in-1 Vol.1 (Contains The Smurfs Vol.1-3) - Papercutz-the Kids Graphic Novel Publisher

Comics’ Summer of Disruption continues as up and comer Mad Cave Studios just announced they have acquired pioneering kids comics imprint Papercutz.  Rob Salkowitz at Forbes had the exclusive.

Today, an unexpected player made a big power move, as Florida-based publisher Mad Cave Studios announced it has acquired Papercutz, one of the earliest and best-regarded companies specializing in the kids’ market. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Papercutz was founded by Terry Nantier, who also runs the international comics and graphic novel publisher NBM, and editor Jim Salicrup, who developed Marvel’s first early reader title Spidey’s Super Stories in the 1970s. It’s been around since 2005, long before the kids comics boom was on anyone’s radar. 

Publishing veteran Rex Ogle will come on  as Head of Editorial for Papercutz, however both Terry Nanier and Jim Salicrup will stay on board to help with the transition.

As mentioned by Forbes, Papercutz has been around in the kids comics space for a long time, forging strong bonds with European publishers, and acquiring right to such key licenses as The Smurfs, The Hardy Boys, Loud House, Geronimo Stilton, Casagrandes, and more.

Crucially, they already have access to Scholastic Book Fairs, a huge driver of sales volume for kid oriented comics material. Papercutz is distributed via Macmillan in the book channel and Diamond in comics shops.

Mad Cave and CEO Mark London are clearly poised to raise their profile in the industry, having announced their own kids imprint, Maverick, last year. But acquiring an established brand like Papercutz will vault them to the top of the most lucrative genre in comics – indeed in all of publishing. According to Salkowitz, the acquisition has more than doubled the size of Mad Cave.
That leaves the motivation of Nantier and Salicrup, industry veterans who have survived more ups and downs than a car on Space Mountain. Perhaps that very sentence provides a clue: Nantier founded NBM, his pioneering line of translated foreign comics, in 1976 and he’s got to be at an age when shortening the workday is more attractive. Ditto for Salicrup, although he is expected to stay on at the reimagined imprint for a bit longer.
At any rate, there is never a dull moment in this Summer of Comics Disruption! What shocks will the rest of the week bring? Stay tuned to the Beat!


  1. Via BookScan Mad Cave has 2021 sales of all of 850 copies total. Papercutz shows 86,497 — so I would strongly think that its way more than “just” a doubling of size.

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