As we’ve been noting, of late the ashes of Tokyopop have been stirring, and several volumes that were thought lost are actually coming out in one shape or another. BIZENGHAST #8 by M. Alice “Marty” LeGrow is the latest book to find a new life as a print-to-order book via The Right Stuf and digitally through Graphicly. BIZENGHAST was one of the most successful of all Tokyopop’s homegrown manga (as making it to volume 8 would indicate) and it’s been spun off into an art book, coloring book, novelization, animated shorts, merchandise, and a tabletop role-playing game, according to ICv2.
At ICv2, some of thebusiness particulars of this deal are discussed, including the fact that LeGrow will have a similar compensation package to the original:
“I DO receive royalties from this book just like all the others,” LeGrow said. “I was paid in full for the entire volume before Tokyopop stopped publishing, and in fact have been offered (and completed) extra work to do ancillary art and the book layout, for which I was very generously compensated by Tokyopop… Tokyopop has always dealt fairly with me in their contracts and there’s no reason to think they won’t continue to do so.” LeGrow created new art for the splash page and art for the postcard that’s free with purchase.
In a less pointed interview with Nerdist News’s Tokyopop newsletter, LeGrow has more about the project, including her thoughts on the whole “OEL” manga movement:
M. Alice LeGrow: I never really thought of myself as "the vanguard," really…I think American-made manga style comics are really in more of a resurgence now, since titles like GoldDigger and the like have been around so much longer. It was early manga-influenced comics like that that really encouraged me when I was young, and made me want to become a comic artist myself. As for the debate on "Japanese/non-Japanese," I can only speak for myself and say that I never really felt my work was truly trying to be manga, per se. I feel that I was heavily influenced by it, especially when I was younger, but now I'm settling on a style that is a hybrid of many different influences. For everyone else involved in that argument, I say just draw your comics, throw 'em into stores and let the world sort it out.
LeGrow’s next project is THE ELEPHANT BOOK, which was funded through Kickstarter and tells the story of two youngsters named Williams and Fairfax who get caught in a conspiracy while living in Philadelphia.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.