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NEWS: Tokyopop's Employee Ranks Shrink This Week


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Sunday Silence



Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 2047
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:05 am Reply with quote
bglassbrook wrote:
Sunday Silence wrote:
the whole Rising Stars of Manga/OEL Manga Bullcrap....

Considering that a fair number of them (more than one or two) have moved on to other publishers and continued doing well, I think it shows that program at least had potential.


Did you buy any of them? I sure as hell didn't.
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matrixdude



Joined: 02 Sep 2009
Posts: 71
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:55 am Reply with quote
Wow, even the few editors are getting laid off. I wonder if it has any correlation with borders filling for bankruptcy.
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Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
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Location: Crackberry in hand, thumbs at the ready...
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:34 am Reply with quote
@Sunday Silence: As a matter of fact, I have read many of Tokyopop's OEL releases, and have found them enjoyable to boot. Svetlana Chmakova in particular comes to mind. She started off at Tokyopop with Dramacon, which was nicely done, and moved on to Yen with Nightschool (very good manga; currently on hiatus while she draws yet another YA adaptation for Yen...)

And then, of course, there's Felipe Smith, who started at Tokyopop with MBQ, and ended up working on manga in Japan...

In any case, I'm glad that Tokyopop brought out their talents, and encouraged many of their peers.

But for a while now I've been looking at the titles Tokyopop solicits and wondered "What are they thinking?!" News like this has me wondering if they are thinking at all. Instead of focusing on flagship titles (reprints of Fruits Basket in Ultimate Editions, Gakuen Alice, Hetalia...) they've been making videos and firing their best editors.

Stu Levy's recent Tweets have me especially worried:


Quote:
Wow #GDC2011 is blowing my mind. Why have I been stuck in such an old-school, out-of-touch industry for so long?! (yes I mean books!)


@Kaikoloren it's not that i don't personally love books. but it's a very old-school, out-of-touch industry compared to gaming.


If he thinks books are an "old-school and out-of-touch industry," why is he publishing them?
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Sunday Silence



Joined: 22 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:57 am Reply with quote
Agent355 wrote:
@Sunday Silence: As a matter of fact, I have read many of Tokyopop's OEL releases, and have found them enjoyable to boot.


But did you buy them? It's all good and well to say the artists went on to better things, but the main issue here is whether or not people bought them. If people didn't buy them, then the whole concept was a failure.
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Tamaria



Joined: 21 Oct 2007
Posts: 1512
Location: De Achterhoek
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:07 am Reply with quote
Sunday Silence wrote:
Agent355 wrote:
@Sunday Silence: As a matter of fact, I have read many of Tokyopop's OEL releases, and have found them enjoyable to boot.


But did you buy them? It's all good and well to say the artists went on to better things, but the main issue here is whether or not people bought them. If people didn't buy them, then the whole concept was a failure.


Exactly. The fact that the best artists moved on to better jobs (and better contracts!) proves that the project was a failure for Tokyopop.
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Paploo



Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1875
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:09 am Reply with quote
Sunday Silence wrote:
Agent355 wrote:
@Sunday Silence: As a matter of fact, I have read many of Tokyopop's OEL releases, and have found them enjoyable to boot.


But did you buy them? It's all good and well to say the artists went on to better things, but the main issue here is whether or not people bought them. If people didn't buy them, then the whole concept was a failure.


Silence, you need to pick up on your comics knowledge. You could be spending all this time reading all the awesome books that've come about from their creators!

I bought a number of TP's original works, and enjoyed the majority of them. Lillian handled a lot of work on these titles, and she's generally well liked by those who've worked with or submitted to TP because of this.

animenewsnetwork.com/news/2010-04-30/new-york-times-manga-best-seller-list-april-18-24 Svetlana Chmakova's Night School made the NYTimes bestseller list several time, so lots of folks were buying her series. She's a very nice person, talented, and it's well deserved. She's working on an adaptation of a James Patterson YA novel series now, and should be starting another Night School series after that.

http://www.queeniechan.com/books/ Queenie Chan's Odd is on Our Side made the top of the bestseller list for NYTimes, so her post-TP career has gone pretty well, and they also just reissued Dreaming in an omnibus [TP did this for Dramacon as well, w/bonus stories]

Amy Reeder hadley is drawing Batwoman for DC Comics with comics superstar J. H. Williams.

Studio Tavicat's Shutterbox sold pretty well, though when the company started reorganizing and cutting back on their OEL titles, Rikki and Tavisha opted to take back the rights to the works they'd licensed to TP [their contract preceded TP's subsequent ones, and gave them sole ownership of copyrights]. http://rikkisimons.livejournal.com/56384.html they're currently working on a new comic book adaptation of Peter Pan.

http://www.greenoblivion.com/ Ross Campbell's TP title The Abandoned ran into issues and didn't continue past it's first volume, but it was a cult hit, and was translated into several languages world wide. He's had far greater success with other publishers, often doing digest sized b+w comics. His Wet Moon is one of Oni Press's most successful series, currently at 5 volumes http://www.greenoblivion.com/wetmoon.html [these are the publishers of Scott Pilgrim* btw]. He had a GN published by DC Comics, and has a new graphic novel series out from SLGraphics called Shadoweyes, with a 2nd book hitting soon.

Several TP creators also had work published in the majorly popular Flight anthology, whose 8th and final volume will be coming out soon [though it will continuing the Explorer spinoff anthology]

Also, I think a couple of the Rising Stars of the UK winners have been successfully selfpublishing and packaging work for other publishers under the http://www.sweatdrop.com/ group. Their titles are now carried in Previews, so they're doing really well for a small publisher.

*And while Bryan O'Malley ended up skipping out on working with Tokyopop on his path to superstarartistdom, he's done pretty darned well, wouldn't you say? Scott Pilgim'll certainly ensure mangainspired works keep getting published for a good long while.

There's way more than just this, with stuff like http://www.vertical-inc.com/books/peepochoo.html Peepo Choo getting published by Vertical AFTER beign publishing in Morning [and a t 3 volumes, and a new series supposedly underway, it means people defenitely bought his work in the ultra competitive japanese manga system], one of Japan's most prestigious manga anthologies. And http://takeshimiyazawa.com/ breaking into the japanese manga system as well [with his OEL roots dating back to Fanboy Ent/Oni's Sidekicks and Marvel's mangastyled Mary Jane series]

There's more successes I could list if you'd like
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ZeetherKID77



Joined: 17 Jun 2007
Posts: 865
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:19 am Reply with quote
I'm saddened by the news but I'm also a bit "I told you so" about it. Tokyopop was responsible for ruining several of the series they picked up, Initial D being the most glaring example (to the point where they jokingly suggested packaging white-out and felt tip pens with the manga so fans could write in the correct names and remove the slang, and even in later volumes when they finally quit the nicknames for newer characters the original nicknames stayed like "Tak" and "Iggy"), plus I heard that Sailor Moon was so badly edited their website was hacked over it. Not to mention the Battle Royale rewrite to make it look like a reality show (what were they thinking?)

And I'm sorry, but some of their OEL series were terrible. The ones they ran in newspapers in the Sunday funnies were the worst. Peach Fuzz was just a glorified Hamtaro ripoff with medieval themes and Van Von Hunter's jokes all fell flat. The spinoff of Princess Ai was also very mediocre. I've heard that Dramacon is decent but the two I just mentioned (I don't know if the Ai spinoff was OEL or not) were just awful.

As much as I know that some people appreciate them for their shoujo series like Fruits Basket, I can't appreciate them because they've shown me that they don't seem to care for fans of series they license. I won't even buy their release of Love Hina because I know offhand it has no honorifics, something that I've gotten used to for an Akamatsu work because of Negima, and pop culture references that I'm sure are not in the original. If Kodansha USA were to release it with a better translation, possibly in omnibus form, I'd get it.

Also, to the poster expecting Kodansha USA to get them: Why would they acquire the same company that had licenses from Kodansha lapse?

Oh, and "America's Greatest Otaku" is the single worst thing I have ever heard of. I will not even watch an episode of it because I know it will cause me to bury my face in my hands and question humanity's existence at some point.

Several years ago I remember reading a column in Time or some magazine about manga where Stu Levy was quoted as saying "manga is like hip hop." The comparison made me realize he seems to have a terrible grasp on the manga industry in the US.
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Sunday Silence



Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 2047
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:17 pm Reply with quote
Paploo wrote:
wall of text.


Simple question, and your avoiding it. Like I said, it doesn't matter if the artists went on to better things, the main issue in relation to the topic at hand is if Rising Stars of Manga/OEL manga sold enough to justify the project's cost in running it (promotion, judging, printing of books, etc.).

It's bad enough we hear Stu Levy wasting money on idiotic projects like OEL, but when you couple with the fact that TOKYOPOP has been having staffing issues and other assorted rumblings usually associated with a company going under, one has to question if TOKYOPOP was run by a f***ing idiot.
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Jaymie



Joined: 18 Jun 2009
Posts: 915
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:07 pm Reply with quote
Stu's problem is the fact that he's trying to turn Tokyopop into some kind of multimedia empire.

Manga? Check. Anime? Check. OEL? Super "hip" Cine-manga? Notebooks, stickers, and pens? Music? Live action films? Reality television? Tokyopop's done it all. And it didn't go very well, to say the least.

If Tokyopop goes into video games, it'll be the death of it.
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Aura Ichadora



Joined: 25 Apr 2008
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Location: In front of my computer
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:53 pm Reply with quote
I really do like Tokyopop. They've licensed several series that I continue to enjoy and try to support when I do have the money/when the titles I want have new releases. This kind of news really disturbs me, as it makes me wonder if the titles I'm following will eventually get axed or hiatused because of a lack of workers or something like that.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 13849
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:09 pm Reply with quote
Jaymie wrote:
Stu's problem is the fact that he's trying to turn Tokyopop into some kind of multimedia empire.

Manga? Check. Anime? Check. OEL? Super "hip" Cine-manga? Notebooks, stickers, and pens? Music? Live action films? Reality television? Tokyopop's done it all. And it didn't go very well, to say the least.

If Tokyopop goes into video games, it'll be the death of it.


Haven't ya heard? There's no money to be made in anime or manga only, what with bittorrent and scanlations. Now it's all about merchandise merchandise merchandise - something they can't steal so easily! Diversify or perish! Laughing
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RAmmsoldat



Joined: 19 Oct 2005
Posts: 1261
Location: North wales coast
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:11 pm Reply with quote
[quote="enurtsol"]
Jaymie wrote:
Now it's all about merchandise merchandise merchandise


Spaceballs the colouring book, Spaceballs the lunchbox, Spaceballs the brekfast cereal, Spaceballs the FLAMETHROWER!!!

i'll make more of an effort to grab the tokyopop titles i want but i just hope that another company picks em up when tokyopop suffers its impending demise
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catandmouse



Joined: 02 Mar 2011
Posts: 142
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:38 pm Reply with quote
To be honest, I never read/bought any of the OEL titles, but I do own a lot TP manga...even though over the years I had become disappointed w/them...
I am worried though,if they go under, what will happen to Loveless (the only ongoing series I own by them) and the rest of the Trinity Blood novels?
That's my only worry....I hated how they would drop series on a whim....one of those incomplete series I own is Zig Zag.....
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TitanXL



Joined: 08 Jun 2010
Posts: 4036
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:56 pm Reply with quote
OEL doesn't interest me, so no comment on that discussion. The only Tokyopop title I pick up is Qwaser of Stigmata, so I respect Tokyopop for actually licensing that series. I figured it'd be like Kodomo no Jikan and wouldn't see a domestic release. So props to them for picking that title up. After the failure that was Dark Horse's Narutaru, extreme manga seems tenative at best here.

Then again, I haven't gotten the second volume yet, so I have no idea if they censored anything (the first volume is fine, it's the second and beyond that start to have content that Americans would probably object to i.e. lolicon)
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RestLessone



Joined: 02 Aug 2009
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Location: New York
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:06 pm Reply with quote
I bought only a little of their OEL line. Most of it either held no appeal or just wasn't that great. While some titles (Bizenghast, for instance) appeared to work out, most were canceled or forgotten. I think one problem may have been their promotion, or lack thereof. I saw a few ads, but little more unless a series became popular. Additionally, the constant use of manga to refer to them was a turn-off for many. A handful of people managed to do fine in the long run, but very few are still with TP and most we never heard from again. TP doesn't even do their Rising Stars thing anymore.

catandmouse wrote:
To be honest, I never read/bought any of the OEL titles, but I do own a lot TP manga...even though over the years I had become disappointed w/them...
I am worried though,if they go under, what will happen to Loveless (the only ongoing series I own by them) and the rest of the Trinity Blood novels?

I wouldn't worry about Loveless. The release schedule is messed up currently because of problems with Ichijinsha. It also applies to the other Ichi titles TP has licensed, such as Saiyuki and Dazzle. I believe the company is focusing on the Japanese market, to the extent where they have basically ignored the NA publishers. Of course, perhaps their relations with TP just aren't that great. In any case, Loveless is a more popular series, so I could see it being picked up. Being that Trinity Blood is a novel series, it might not, but from what I have seen, it's one of the better-selling of licensed light novels.

Personally, I'd be worried for the series TP hasn't done anything with. It usually indicates low sales (unless it's issues with the original publisher or something). Another publisher probably wont want to take that chance. Though, I suppose one thing to consider is that TP's license-in-bulk strategy meant that some titles were forgotten due to the massive release schedules. Nowadays, new releases seem to be monitored pretty heavily by readers. Though it still means The Embalmer stands no chance of being physically released again...
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