TokyoPOP Gets A Sweet Ride From Vice Magazine

Posted by January 4, 2016 Comment

viceVice Magazine ran an article on the revival of manga and OEL publisher TokyoPOP from founder Stu Levy, sandwiched between Christmas and New Year.

While the article covered the original fall of TokyoPOP, this appeared to be couched in Levy’s terms – that it was down solely to internet piracy.

Even when Vice magazine sought out commentary from fans, that’s what they chose to represent. Linking to one r/manga comment on Reddit.

At this point, Tokyo Pop is the joke that publishes American made Manga that doesn’t sell, then blames piracy.

Without adding the rest of the sentence,

Plus, I remember hearing rumors that they don’t really pay their American creators unless a series is a hit.

Because the biggest controversy regarding the return of ToykoPOP regards business practices, paying comics creators and the details of their contracts. You can see Alex De Campi’s take from a few months agohere…

Thus, while Tokyopop was apparently at its most successful to the outside world, with manga sections in bookstores that were a dozen feet long, and Wired running a hilariously ill-timed Stu Levy cover, the company was actually in freefall. The company failed because 1) management, consciously or not, looked down on their teenage customers and did not respect them as intelligent, discerning readers; and 2) rather than doing one or two things really well, it did 25 things in half-assed, terrible ways. Those manga sections were 12 feet long because of the giant piles of crap being shoveled at audiences who were too damn smart to buy them any more.

Then (and partially due to that), the bookstore chain Borders hit the skids, everyone’s cash flow hit the floor for like six months and started to dig, and Tokyopop cancelled OEL books left right and centre, and also stopped paying creators. Oh, all our OEL books except Sophie’s are on Comixology but has anyone gotten a statement from Tokyopop about those digital sales? Anyone? Hello? Bueller?

And Jaimonster’s reaction when she raised similar concerns after the Vice article,

The point is that if Tokyopop is making a comeback, and is treating a seemingly NO ONE like this, what can we expect them from this company who not just is still holding rights to indie comic creators and on top defends this with the small fact that Indie creators had to literally pry from their cold, dead hands the rights to their earlier works? What impression this leaves?
I stand by my first tweet: Tokyopop is still doing bad practices in the business, and I alert to Young Creators to avoid this platform. Its easier to self-publish and kickstart a small print of your ideas, rather than let a company that has in the past, preyed on the young talent.



The reaction of a bunch of comic creators when the news was announced earlier in the year..

And comments on the Vice Article.



TokyoPop have been replying on Twitter to such issues.

No answer came the stern reply…


(Last Updated January 4, 2016 3:53 pm )

Send this to a friend