Tokyopop Artists Comment on Rights to Their Works
posted on by Gia Manry
The Comics Journal website reported on Friday that it had spoken to several of the creators who participated in Tokyopop's "Global Manga" program, and they commented on the status of the rights to their works:
M. Alice LeGrow - Bizenghast
Bizenghast will conclude with its eighth volume in June as previously scheduled. LeGrow says that "they're most likely going to print it up through their German brand and distribute it as usual." She also stated that in her contract, if the company goes insolvent the rights revert to her. However, it is unclear if the company in question is Tokyopop Inc., the publishing division which is shutting down, or Tokyopop Media LLC, which handles new media and rights and will not shut down. (Tokyopop split into these two divisions in 2008.)
Ross Campbell - The Abandoned
Campbell says he has not heard from Tokyopop at this time, but expects that he won't see a return of the rights to his work "as long as their headquarters and other offices and media stuff is active."
Queenie Chan - The Dreaming
Chan confirms that a film based on her work is currently in development, and that she therefore expects Tokyopop to hold on to the rights. She also notes that there are numerous foreign language versions of her works licensed out.
Brandon Graham - King City
Image Publishing, a comics publisher releasing Graham's current works, is reportedly in negotiations with Tokyopop to take over the license to King City. Graham acknowledges that having a creator-owned comics publisher representing his interest in the matter puts him in a stronger position than some creators may have.
TCJ also linked to a blog post by Becky Cloonan, who created Tokyopop's East Coast Rising, in which she expresses excitement at the possibility of regaining the rights to her work and discusses her experience working with Tokyopop.
Tokyopop announced its plans to close the North American publishing division on April 15. The company has not responded to past requests for information on how it plans to handle the rights to its original works. It had also not responded to ANN's request for comment at press time.