After hinting at it on their Facebook page for a while, Tokyopop’s surviving member, Stuart Levy, announced a little wee return…as a licensing entity, anyway. The Right Stuff, in conjunction with Gentosha Comics, will republish three volumes of Himaruya Hidekaz‘s HETALIA: AXIS POWERS, including the first two—which came out from Toykopop before it imploded last year—and the never-before-in-English third book, which was in production when Tpop went away.
HETALIA was one of Tpop’s late hit pick-ups, a satirical look at World War II’s Axis powers as a bunch of snotty boys. The popularity of the book has led to a lot of cosplay, which looks a little alarming but isn’t really about dressing as the Gestapo.
The Tokoyopop daily mailer reveaeld more release details; although a limited number of all three books will be available—with 8 pages in color—after the initial print run, the books will be POD only, and without that color insert.
Patience is a virtue and, believe us when we say this, you guys are perhaps the most virtuous fans out there. It is with great pleasure that we're able to announce that we have partnered with Gentosha Comics and Right Stuf, Inc. to publish Hetalia Axis Powers, Vol. 3 in English-translated book form for the first time ever.
In addition, reprints of the first two volumes will be available exclusively through RightStuf.com. Volume 3's first print run, which features an exclusive eight-page color insert from the original Japanese manga, will be available in late June 2012 and is available for pre-order at a reduced price of $10.99. That translates to 30% savings for 100% brand new Hetalia, which ain't too shabby.
Despite the overwhelming demand by fans for us to bring back Hetalia, it should be noted that we have adopted a print-on-demand model for publishing this volume. As the first run will have limited quantities, pre-ordering is highly recommended or else you may find that copies have run out faster than Italy can introduce Germany's face to his palm. Plus subsequent volumes won't come with those swanky full-color pages. For those of you who can't wait til June for your Hetalia fix or need to brush up on your history, the first two volumes are available immediately for $15.99. We guarantee it's at least three times more fun than reading The Economist.
Stay tuned for more details on our publishing operations as they emerge and join the conversation on our Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus pages. Never before has history been so fun and we're happy to be a part of history in the making by bringing Hetalia, Vol. 3 to our English-speaking fans. We've got to say, it's good to be back, TOKYOPOP fam, and your patience and support means the world to us. Go ahead, say it with us now: "PASTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"
As the mailer hints, this might not be the only former Tokyopop title that we’ll see resurrected this way. It does seem like a sensible way to provide the fans who were clamoring for these books—and were left high and dry by their sudden end—a happy ending.
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.