Bloomberg, Spider-Man fight New York unemployment

NEW YORK Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:40pm EST

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Spider-Man announce the creation of “Spider-Man, You’re Hired,” an all-new comic book highlighting City resources available to New Yorkers who are navigating the job market, November 17, 2010. REUTERS/Edward Reed/The City of New York

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Spider-Man announce the creation of “Spider-Man, You’re Hired,” an all-new comic book highlighting City resources available to New Yorkers who are navigating the job market, November 17, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Edward Reed/The City of New York

NEW YORK (Reuters) - What could be left to accomplish for a self-made billionaire who has bankrolled three successful runs for New York City mayor? Appearing in a Spider-Man comic book is one option.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and comic superhero Spider-Man joined forces to fight unemployment in the city in a full-color, eight-page comic titled "Spider-Man, You're Hired!"

The comic follows a jobless Peter Parker -- Spider-Man's alter ego -- as he begins job hunting in New York City on a subway train, where he encounters Bloomberg on his way to the City Hall stop in lower Manhattan.

The work from comic book publisher Marvel Entertainment promotes the city's free Workforce1 Career Centers, libraries and other services designed to help people find jobs.

It also features a flattering image of the mayor, who joked that the artists really nailed his "rugged good looks" during a promotion at a lower Manhattan comic book store on Wednesday in which Bloomberg appeared alongside a man in a "Spidey" costume.

"Marvel's proud to team up with the city of New York to help inform all New Yorkers about the free services designed to assist them in finding employment, said Marvel Entertainment Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada.

"... Even New York's most famous superhero needs a day job," Quesada said.

New York City's unemployment in September dipped to 9.3 percent compared with 9.6 percent nationwide, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

The comic was created after the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment reached out to a division of Marvel Entertainment, which is owned by Walt Disney Co.

The New York Daily News ran the eight-page pullout in Wednesday's editions. The comic is also available as a free download on Apple Inc's .

The comic aims to attract unemployed New Yorkers to one of the city's nine Workforce1 Career Centers, which provide job preparation, training and placement programs.

The comic is also available as a free download on Apple Inc.'s iTunes via the Marvel Comics application for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

(Reporting by Bernd Debusmann Jr., Editing by Daniel Trotta and Jonathan Oatis)

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