Mid-afternoon on the Friday of San Diego Comic-Con 2015, veterans of the manga publishing world got together to discuss what excites them and to lay down some truth on the myths surround publishing manga in North America.
Founded in 1997, TokyoPop was one of the most influential publishers of the Aughts, driving the manga boom in the US as the first publisher to print manga in its original right-to-left format, a move that helped cement its authenticity among young readers. Later on their “original English language manga” line developed an entire generation of young creators working in a manga style, including Becky Cloonan and Amy Reeder Hadley. But it all came to an end in 2011 when the company shut down except for the German office. Owner and founder Stuart Levy went on to make a documentary about the Tohoku earthquake, even amidst continuing controversy about the reversion of rights to creators However there have been flickers of life since then, with some new digital publishing, licensing OEL books like King City to Image, and a TokyoPop-branded newsletter that was part of Nerdist’s adventures in that area.
Since TokyoPop never went bankrupt, it’s entirely possible that Levy can bring it back, as promised on the company’s about page:
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A seaside town is haunted by a terrible, terrible stench—and soon much more in Junji Ito’s classic horror manga GYO. Originally published in Japan in 2001 (and in English in 2003), Viz is bringing it back in a deluxe 400-page edition in April, with a new cover design and full-color endpapers. Ito is one of […]