TOKYOPOP: The FAQ
In which you will find many of the questions you have been asking us since we relaunched
1.) How come my favorite manga property isn’t being reprinted?
The manga market in North America has gone through significant changes over the past few years, and TOKYOPOP’s publishing business there was suspended as a result. The rights to our titles from Japan and Korea reverted to the licensors, and TOKYOPOP no longer has the rights to publish those manga titles in North America, even in the business conditions improve. As much as we would love to put out the books that WE love too, and we know YOU love, we were unable to do so. And that’s where it stands currently.
2.) Why does TOKYOPOP Germany get to publish so many great titles?
The manga market in Germany stayed solid (the main reasons include less piracy of German-language titles and no large retail bankruptcy like Borders) so we are able to continue publishing manga there. Just like in every industry, the market conditions are different around the globe.
3.) Why does TOKYOPOP still publish Global Manga titles (i.e. OEL manga)?
These titles were made as original productions financed by TOKYOPOP so we have the rights to publish them. We love them, and we want you to love them as much as we do! Some of them, like Princess Ai and Bizenghast, may be familiar. Some of them might not be. We hope you will get familiar with some of the others.
4.) Are you looking for new Global Manga (OEL) titles?
Not at the moment, but this could change in the future.
5.) Do you accept spec submissions?
Not currently, however we are considering new ways of spotlighting and featuring amateur and professional creators, so keep practicing!
6.) How do I break into Manga?
We encourage you to explore self-publishing, including self-publishing eBooks. There are free tools for turning art and text into eBooks out there. In Japan, aspiring manga-ka usually start out in doujinshi (amateur publishing) circles. If you go to anime conventions you will likely see the American equivalent of doujinshi circles exhibiting their works in the “artists’ alley” area. Also, don’t be afraid to put your works online and show the world!
7.) Are you going to ever do another Rising Stars of Manga contest?
See #4 above.
8.) Why do you sell online only now? Why not in bookstores?
We currently publish in two ways: (1) eBooks; and (2) Print On Demand books. At the present time, we do ship to bookstores.
9.) What is “Print On Demand”?
Print On Demand allows us to produce books when they are ordered, in print runs as small as a single book. The books are stored digitally on a server, then printed and bound by the same machine. This allows the economics to work where we can offer printed books. As the technology improves, prices have become more reasonable, although we hope they get lower.
10.) What’s TOKYOPOP TV on YouTube?
We are creating new videos, featuring all aspects of Asian Pop Culture. We’ve launched with two new series: PopStix, our online Asian Pop Culture countdown; and Asian Quick Bites, a tasty look at everyone’s favorite subject, food. We will be developing new series in the future, and if you have a bright idea about a new series, we’d love to hear it. We’ll also be featuring videos about Asian Pop Culture from the community as a whole, not just videos we produce. We think YouTube is a platform with lots of potential for the TOKYOPOP community.
11.) What about Anime? Will we ever see another series put out through TOKYOPOP?
Anime takes a lot of money and a lot of lead time. The whole industry is going through a major restructuring at this point as well. Needless to say, the picture is unclear. At this point, we have no specific plans, but we’re very interested at where the industry is moving.
12.) What about movies? You produced the movie Priest — will there be more movies produced through TOKYOPOP?
We hope so! Our founder Stu Levy has a passion for filmmaking and is working on a number of TOKYOPOP projects to produce movies, so it’s safe to say that you will see our Robofish on the Big Screen in the future. Learn about Priest here.
13.) I saw the “Riding Shotgun” animated short on YouTube. Is this something you’ll be doing more of in the future?
Riding Shotgun was an exciting project that involved top talent and the results are fantastic! We’re prepping now to produce more – hopefully everything will work out!
14.) Are you looking for interns?
We do accept internships for Film, TV and Web related positions, in addition to administration. However, we do not currently have an office in North America so the work would mainly be through a “virtual office.” Interns need to be students at a university that accepts internships as school credits.