Wednesday, May 25, 2011

There May Be Hope for Some of TokyoPop's Former Manga Licenses

About Manga is reporting that (per TokyoPop's facebook page) all of former TokyoPop's international manga licenses will immediately revert back to their original owners, rather than being held by the company's remaining media division until the contracts expire. Probably because they have told the license holders that no further royalty payments will be forthcoming for those series.

This will, at the very least, give other interested publishers the opportunity to license series formerly published by TokyoPop without having to wait for TP's licenses to expire.

The status of original indigenous series TokyoPop held is still a little murky. Writers like Becky Cloonan (whose East Coast Rising comic was published through Tokyopop's "Global Manga" program), blogger Johanna Draper-Carlson, and blogger and comic creator Jason Thompson, have expressed concern over the status of their series since TokyoPop technically still owns to rights to them.

Publisher Digital Manga (DMP) has said on thier Twitter account today that they are looking into the possibility of rescuing some of Tokyopop's former titles. DMP publishes mostly Shonen Ai and Yaoi manga here in the North America, and it's not clear if DMP is looking at all of TokyoPop's former licenses, or only the series formerly published under TP's BLU label.


Ben said...

I've said it before on another manga blog, but the one title I like to see license-rescued (out of the likelihood of other Tokyopop series I've followed) would be Aria. Kozue Amano's art is fantastic, the atmosphere is laid back, and the story drifts at a leisurely pace. Ironically, Tokyopop Germany released the last double-volume last month (that's right- 2-in-1; and no, that's not a typo):

Here's hoping Yen Press will be able to finish what Tokyopop (and ADV Manga before them) failed to do. (Failing that, Vertical might work- Seven Seas Manga, not so much.)

Off-topic, but other "orphaned" titles I'd like to see rescued are:

-Mamoru The Shadow Protector (a.k.a. Kage Kara Mamoru- 3/6 volumes published by DR Master)

-Ninin Ga Shinobuden (a.k.a. Ninja Nonsense- 3/4 volumes published by Infinity Studios)

-Lunar Legend Tsukihime (6/10 volumes published by DR Master)

-Those Who Hunt Elves (7/21 volumes published by ADV Manga, not counting the 2008 one-volume sequel; fat chance, I know, but I'd welcome seeing it either in print or in digital format)

Robert said...

The number of serials that are never completed in English demonstrates how tough the manga business really is over here. This news is really bitter sweet at best.

Given the existing market and the supply chain problems we're seeing from all the remaining publishers, I think all of this will be a long shot. All the remaining players - Viz, Yen, DH, Seven Seas, Vertical - seem to be having trouble maintaining their current release catalog, so the question is if there is even room in the market for anyone to significantly add any of TP's back catalog to their own schedule. More than likely players will just cherry pick TP's former list, but we'll see.

But we're keeping our fingers crossed. The biz could really use a little good news.