Anime LA 2013: Tokyopop Panel

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Yes, Tokyopop is staging a comeback. Find out more in our liveblog from Anime LA 2013.

16.52

The story seems to be that #tokyopop is starting over almost from scratch. Makes sense given how much business changed.

16.40

Q: any plans to rerelease manhwa? A: they lost the licenses from the main licensor. #tokyopop #animela

16.39

Viz is different because they are an arm of the Japanese publisher. Avoid translation costs. #tokyopop #animela

16.38

The hard part of being an indie publisher is capital–and the ability to weather the storm. #tokyopop #animela

16.33

Q: light novels? A: translation costs are enormous, more than manga! Chances are small. #animela #tokyopop

16.32

Q: anything else like America’s Greatest Otaku? A: timing was bad on its original release. Maybe if it gets sponsored. #tokyopop #animela

16.28

It’s funny because there are so few Hetalia fans in the audience. Everyone’s getting the trivia wrong! #animela #tokyopop

16.22

It’s trivia time now about Hetalia for prizes. There will be q&a next. #tokyopop #animela

16.21

Stu admits that OEL didn’t really sell. But feels many of the stories were great. #animela #tokyopop

16.18

Film and tv projects: perhaps adapt OEL manga since those are what they have rights to. #animela #tokyopop

16.17

Other projects: on demand merchandise via Cafepress. Designs swapped out regularly. #tokyopop #animela

16.11

Fans tell #tokyopop what might be licensible; then tell Japanese what looks promising. Use Kickstarter to gauge monetary interest. #animela

16.09

Potential with Kickstarter: avoids the problem of taking a risk before knowing what sales are. #tokyopop #animela

16.08

“Everybody is going through soul searching” in the industry because fewer stores, fewer sales. -Stu #animela #tokyopop

16.06

Daneilla (@tokyopopmanga): Will cancelled series be brought back? New series? Staff is small, licenses have to be (re)negotiated. #tokyopop #animela

16.03

Q: plans for working with Amazon Kindle? A: A few titles like Bizenghast are available. Only supported on the Fire and Fire HD now. #animela #tokyopop

16.02

Hetalia manga volumes 4 and 5 are under negotiation with Gentosha. They “are not known to be fast moving.” #tokyopop #animela

16.01

Hetalia vol 3 is released now with POD. The last book of Bizenghast too. #tokyopop #animela

16.00

Manga plans: print on demand via Rightstuf. Japanese licensors reluctant though. Closest to the publisher of Hetalia, Gentosha #animela #tokyopop

15.57

So in 2012, “the beginning of rebuilding #Tokyopop.” The website is now hosted by Nerdist Industries. #animela

15.55

Stu decided to go to northern Japan to volunteer with the tsunami recovery and made the documentary “Pray for Japan.” #animela #tokyopop

15.53

While Stu was in Japan to tell the Japanese publishers that he couldn’t publish anymore–the earthquake hit. #animela #tokyopop

15.52

Fact: technically, #tokyopop never went bankrupt. It became a virtual company. #animela

15.51

The end of Borders was the final blow for #tokyopop in its old configuration. Stu was left to clean up. #animela

15.49

Borders owed million in unpaid bills to #tokyopop. #animela

15.48

Plan was: get Japanese to license digital editions to TP. Then the bomb dropped: Borders died. #animela #tokyopop

15.46

Scanslation makes manga more accessible, true. You just can’t run a business on it. #animela #tokyopop

15.45

“We were shedding a lot of tears on that day,” Stu says. Plus scanslations played a role, no doubt. #animela

15.44

Why did #tokyopop shut down US operations? They once had 90 staff in LA…to about 35 after economic crisis. #animela

15.40

Mission has not changed fundamentally: bringing Asian pop culture to western audiences. #animela #tokyopop

15.39

Reminiscing about the start of TP as Mixx, first licensor of Sailor Moon manga. ALso I had no idea that TP brought Japanese pro wrestlers to E3.

15.37

Stu Levy introduces himself, calls himself an “old guy” :) #animela #tokyopop

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