by Zac Bertschy & Justin Sevakis,
ANNCast 095 - Guy Kiley
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It's the Tokyopop show! Former Senior Vice President of the company Mike Kiley, who was with the company for over a decade and began as their merchandise guy, graciously invited us into his lovely Los Angeles home for a long discussion of his career and the company's story. We cover all of it: the early days with MixxZine and Smile, the boom years, the eventual shift into IP creation with the Rising Stars of Manga (and Princess Ai!) and the company's downfall earlier this year. Mike even takes tough questions over Twitter!
Note: we recorded this interview in Mike's backyard and were accompanied by the occasional airplane and angry crows. You'll listen anyway, and you'll like it!
You can listen to the show on our player here, direct-download the MP3 version here, or you can just use these handy links:
Also: if you like the show (or don't like the show, I guess) be sure to write us up a review over on iTunes! It'd be a big help!
NSFW Language Warning:Oh, there's some cursing all right.
ANNCast Episode 95 Breakdown
00:30 Mike Kiley introduction and his early days at UCI
07:30 The beginning of Tokyopop and Mike's role back then
11:30 Stu Levy's decision to sell unflipped manga at 9.99
17:00 Getting the best of 20 years of manga creation inside 3 years
21:00 The Rising Stars of Manga era
35:00 Working with the bookstores during the boom era
41:30 The notion that Fruits Basket was the only thing keeping the lights on
48:00 Business decisions, good or bad, and Tokyopop's guiding corporate philosophy, good or bad
1:00:00 Couldn't they have just scaled the company back and kept the doors open?
01:08:00 You knew it had to come up: America's Greatest Otaku
01:14:00 Uncharacteristically tough Twitter Time: giving OEL creators their content rights back, the perceived total lack of caution at the company, and much more.
And that's it! See you next week!
Theme Song: "Bucharest" by The New Division. Check them out on iTunes!
Special thanks to Phillip Harrington for designing and creating the ANNCast logo.
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