Sunday, May 1, 2011
Tokyopop Closes Doors, Pigs Continue To Not Fly
Earlier this year, I wrote 5 predictions for this year in the manga industry. My second prediction claimed the fall of Tokyopop. I wrote:
The fact of the matter is, T-Pop has been publishing too much, and the only big hit they've had outside of the out of print CLAMP titles now published by Dark Horse was Fruits Basket, a title that may very well be eventually forgotten in a sea of already read that. Well, Hetalia is pretty huge, but the series is basically a ton of internet memes, and it's origins as a web comic make it ripe for scanlation. Also, let's face it, anyone who's ever bought a volume of Karakuri Odette can tell you that their marketing sucks, (Hot robot? I think not!) a bad sign when it will soon be a fight to get people interested in your titles.
Well, it seems I must be psychic, because starting May 5th, Tokyopop is dead! Confusingly, Tokyopop's German branch has not been closed, and Tokyopop Media, owning the rights to the OEL properties and in charge of a "lucrative" licensing buisness (it has produced one bad cable TV show no-one saw and one movie everyone will forget). While I will miss T-Pop's numerous good titles, I do not plan to mourn the loss of this early company. Tokyopop CEO Stu Levy, aka DJ Milky (?), is/was one of the least likable people in the industry, and I'm glad to see him go. I advise all readers to go buy any T-Pop title they may have been considering reading, finished or not, as soon, cheaply, and legally possible. Those reading a title now canceled, I advise a) looking for an anime version b) waiting patiently for the series to get picked up again (mainly for Hetalia fans) or c) use scanlates, but only if three volumes or less of the manga remain unpublished.
Now, some links:
ANN has a more or less accurate list of every Tokyopop title.
On Robot 6, Brigid Alverson tells us what Tokyopop did right...
...And Matt Blind tells us what went wrong.
Sean Gafferney lists every series you can now never finish.
Jason Thompson (Manga: The Complete Guide) weighs in on OEL.
Kate "Manga Critic" Dacey writes a link-tastic retrospective on the company.
About.com's Deb Aoki reports a somewhat mean-spirited "Garage Sale."
Notable translator and Shojo historian Matt Thorn details the dent Tokyopop's cost-cutting practices put in the industry.
And Stu Levy himself attempts a garbled excuse. Something about "winning" the "manga revolution"?