Once upon a time, this story may have been reversed.
IDW Publishing and Tokyopop have announced that IDW’s international arm will be managing the Tokyopop foreign rights catalogue for non-English language markets.
IDW International oversees all international licensing of the IDW catalogue and its partners, including Archie and Oni Press. While Tokyopop foreign rights catalogue consists of over 100 manga and graphic novel IPs.
Founded in 1997 by Stu Levy, Tokyopop established a market for manga in North America, and published thousands of books, distributed anime and Asian films on home video and television, licensed merchandise to consumer goods companies, created graphic novels of major brands.
They also pissed off a lot of creators and fans towards the end of their initial publishing boom as they suddenly contracted – and issued controversial contracts – in the USA and the UK at least. They were still big in Germany.
But a lot of folk are still very annoyed… and this announcement was the perfect opportunity to some of them to remind everyone why.
If they try to republish my Tokyopop book I will BLOW A FUCKING GASKET
— Sophie Campbell (@mooncalfe1) February 8, 2018
HAHAHAHA…haha…ha….wow. I hope IDW is fully aware of all the shitty stuff Tokyopop's done in the past. Like wrote up shitty contracts to young & inexperienced artists, or put an unauthorized fansub of a movie they didn't own on their monetized Youtube channel…. https://t.co/67PbXAcbGG
— Ranma 1/2 Glomp Historian™ (@bunnycartoon) February 8, 2018
IDW getting into bed with Tokyopop? Eww. No. Sorry to hear.
— Evan Dorkin (@evandorkin) February 8, 2018
Hey @IDWPublishing can you please not engage with TokyoPop. They're trash people and hurt artists.
— gdeck (@geedeck) February 9, 2018
You have made a terrible mistake. Listen to past Tokyopop clients, take the L and break your contract with TP. https://t.co/5jzYWCaYFl
— Sarah Hayes (@theseventhl) February 8, 2018
TOKYOPOP's 'vast catalogue' is mostly titles that they refuse to return the rights of back to the creators
support those artists directly instead https://t.co/d8NVRD45Hk
— Nick (@sasuganick) February 8, 2018
Yeah, the catch is that Tokyopop is basically garbage as a company. This explains why: https://t.co/3FPyGGBkKq
— Mach Dent (@Mach_Dent) February 8, 2018
IDW handling Tokyopop’s non-english language stuff (presumably because of the *other* tokyopop) definitely doesn’t feel like a horrid doorway to the potentially lucrative (and easily obtained by IDW) Back to the Future manga being handled by Stu cocking Levy AT ALL, no sir.
— Maxy Bee (@MaxyTheBee) February 8, 2018
I bumped into Stu Levy last year at MCM London Comic Con and he was all full of plans. I suggested he may want to do a little PR repair first and reach out to people. Maybe IDW could help him with that as well?