More layoffs at Tokyopop

FateEight more staffers, including editor Bryce Coleman, were laid off from Tokyopop this week, as confirmed by marketing director Marco Pavia. The other staff cuts were from around the company. The move came in response to the bad economy. “It’s one of the worst selling periods in history,” Pavia said. “We’re trying to be responsive to the new realities, and unfortunately some very talented people have been cut.”

Pavia also noted that Tokyopop’s release schedule will be adjusted, with some releases spaced out more. Details are forthcoming. According to Amazon, upcoming Tpop releases include several volumes of Aria and Hannah Montana and High School Musical cine-manga.

Despite the setbacks, he emphasized that “Tokyopop is still in business, and we are still focusing on our core business.”

Comments

  1. Benjamin Roman says

    Bryce is an amazing editor and a great guy. I’m really sad to read this news.

  2. insaneben says

    If they end up canceling Aria, then Tokyopop is dead to me.
    It’s bad enough they’ve put a number of titles on indefinite hiatus. Now they’re laying off more people? This can’t be good…

  3. says

    most of the titles that i’ve looked forward too has been with dark horse or viz. the one title that I’m watching has gotten up to a point where I dont care if it canceled.

    The only sad thing (besides the people being laid off) is the ‘world manga’ for 2009. I like some of the books so I look forward to them. If not, I’m sure I can get them some other way and find the translations for them

  4. Tim Beedle says

    Actually, two other editors were laid off yesterday. Jenna Winterberg, who oversaw Tokyopop’s novels and HarperCollins co-pubs, and Hyun Joo Kim, who edited many of their Korean books and played a substantial role in Tokyopop’s push to hire Korean artists for OEL titles. I can say that the last projects I edited for Tokyopop, including the Warcraft anthology, would never have been possible if not for Hyun.

  5. Thomas says

    Despite the setbacks, he emphasized that “Tokyopop is still in business, and we are still focusing on our core business.”

    FROM: MANAGEMENT–ENGLISH/ENGLISH-MANAGEMENT DICTIONARY

    “focusing on core business” – phrase , also refer to meaningless management terminology : usually something used in a press release, but often also coined by upper management at emergency company meetings. Comes directly before the shut-down of departments, product lines or the company itself. Never followed by a definition of the word core

    also look to “lay-off”, “clueless” and “PR release English”

  6. says

    “It’s one of the worst selling periods in history,” Pavia said. “We’re trying to be responsive to the new realities, and unfortunately some very talented people have been cut.”

    Is that really true? I thought comics in general sold very well in October-November, and I can’t see teenage buyers stopping to buy manga because they’re worried about the economy. I mean, seriously.

  7. Xenos says

    “upcoming Tpop releases include several volumes of Aria and Hannah Montana and High School Musical cine-manga. ”

    -facepalm-

    And you wonder why they’re not doing so well flooding the market with this faux cine-manga crap. Eh. Then again, all I know, kids pick up these Disney whored franchise books more than actual manga and comics. Still, screen caps of actual episodes with word bubbles and effects that look out of an outdated photo shop program are a damn waste of paper.

    Meanwhile, a roommate reads that Aria book. Still no clue on any TokyoPop books I’ve been interested in, if I even remember the titles.

  8. Tim Beedle says

    Yeah, Xenos, for better or for worse, the Hannah Montana and HSM Cine-Manga books have been selling really well. Cine-Manga in general has always sold particularly well for Tokyopop when targeted at younger readers. JM, the problem manga publishers are facing right now is that the bulk of their sales have always been through retail chains, like Borders and Barnes & Noble. Borders is facing bankruptcy and my understanding is that both chains have really cut their orders this season either out of fear of dwindling sales or to cut overall costs. I’m sure you’re right about the teenage buyers, but if the chains aren’t ordering the books, the teens aren’t buying them.

  9. The Beat says

    My understanding is that the WARRIORS books sell like gangbusters, but those seem to be more under the Harper Collins aegis than Tokyopop these days.

  10. says

    HC is the distributor (to bookstores) for T’Pop and of course they tied up the committee-known-as-Erin-Hunter at least 3 years prior to any deal they might have subsequently reached re: the manga. I don’t know who gets what for Tokyopop’s name on the cover of these books, moneywise, but my best guess is that it was a deal for editorial support and “expertise” and may have amounted to a one-time charge before the books went to press with a token payment per volume for the use of the robofish on the spine and cover

    That’s only a guess, though, and I’m talking out of my ass on this one.

    Vampire Kisses (another teenfic to manga converstion) is also doing OK but whither Avalon High: Coronation, Spy Goddess, Bad Kitty, or the Faerie Path? of those four I think I’ve seen Cabot’s in the store — are the others vaportexts?

  11. Tim Beedle says

    Hey Matt, Avalon High is out, but I don’t think it’s sold anywhere near as well as Warriors or Vampire Kisses. I can only speculate about Spy Goddess and Bad Kitty (which I believe have been released) since the limited involvement I’ve had with Tokyopop lately has been strictly on a contract basis, but my guess is that their sales were probably pretty modest since those properties are nowhere near as popular as Warriors. I was the editor on Faerie Path before I was let go, and I don’t believe it streets until January or February ’09. I’m not sure how well that property is known, however, so I don’t know how big a seller it will be.

    I’m also wondering if I’ll get a copy. =)

  12. says

    “Dramatically low sales,” that’s trash. I don’t buy anything BUT Tokyopop anymore, because that’s where my favorite stuff comes from! V*z and Y*n Pr*ss (which I bleeped as a nod to Japanese films that bleeped Versache’s and Hello Kitty’s names) don’t publish Fruits Basket, LIFE (how I miss that series!!! Where’d TP’s release of it go?), or Chobits! With Y*n Pr*ss, you have titles like With the Light and Spiral, and V*z is STILL giving us Inuyasha and Shonen Jump graphic novels– but Tokyopop has FRUITS BASKET, their BIGGEST BESTSELLER EVER–which blows any and all things manga out of the water, imho–and they’re whining about LOW SALES? I must be reading an article about ADV, with their two remaining series and the fact that they scrapped about fifteen other works within the last year and a half or more. I understand if it’s an issue of people just don’t have enough money for TP manga, but that’s no reason to axe LIFE and other great series.

  13. says

    “Dramatically low sales,” that’s trash. I don’t buy anything BUT Tokyopop anymore, because that’s where my favorite stuff comes from! V*z and Y*n Pr*ss (which I bleeped as a nod to Japanese films that bleeped Versache’s and Hello Kitty’s names) don’t publish Fruits Basket, LIFE (how I miss that series!!! Where’d TP’s release of it go?), or Chobits! With Y*n Pr*ss, you have titles like With the Light and Spiral, and V*z is STILL giving us Inuyasha and Shonen Jump graphic novels– but Tokyopop has FRUITS BASKET, their BIGGEST BESTSELLER EVER–which blows any and all things manga out of the water, imho–and they’re whining about LOW SALES? I must be reading an article about ADV, with their two remaining series and the fact that they scrapped about fifteen other works within the last year and a half or more. I understand if it’s an issue of people just don’t have enough money for TP manga, but that’s no reason to axe LIFE and other great series.

  14. says

    “Dramatically low sales,” that’s trash. I don’t buy anything BUT Tokyopop anymore, because that’s where my favorite stuff comes from! V*z and Y*n Pr*ss (which I bleeped as a nod to Japanese films that bleeped Versache’s and Hello Kitty’s names) don’t publish Fruits Basket, LIFE (how I miss that series!!! Where’d TP’s release of it go?), or Chobits! With Y*n Pr*ss, you have titles like With the Light and Spiral, and V*z is STILL giving us Inuyasha and Shonen Jump graphic novels– but Tokyopop has FRUITS BASKET, their BIGGEST BESTSELLER EVER–which blows any and all things manga out of the water, imho–and they’re whining about LOW SALES? I must be reading an article about ADV, with their two remaining series and the fact that they scrapped about fifteen other works within the last year and a half or more. I understand if it’s an issue of people just don’t have enough money for TP manga, but that’s no reason to axe LIFE and other great series.

  15. says

    Honestly, if they’re worried about sales then try to get licences for more JAPANESE TITLES not Hannah Montana and High School Musical.
    We liked it as kids, but now we’re teenagers/college students… plus most of the cine manga made by anybody is crappy, so why even try?

  16. says

    Totally agree :(
    I miss LIFE so much, and now they want to make more crappy cine manga out of Disney shows? NO THANK YOU

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