Kore wa TokyoPop-Zombie Desu ka?

Kore wa TokyoPop-Zombie Desu ka?

On Wednesday, October 12th, the manga Twitter world began to buzz as nineteen days before Halloween, what appears to be the corpse of the once giant manga publishing company, TokyoPop, burst through the ground and started shuffling around.  Naturally, this might be some sort of zombie-troll and so a challenge was issued by writer Deb Aoki.  Others were convinced that though once a corpse, TokyoPop’s manga division was very much alive again, much in the manner of Lazarus (only without Divine influence).

I fall into the skeptics camp and am waiting to see more proof.  While there’s no doubt that whomever is posting on this new TP Twitter account also has control over TokyoPop’s Facebook account, a hacker could easily gain control over all of TP’s former web assets and troll for fun.  There is a page from GeekChic that is what TokyoPop is supposedly using to publish a newsletter.  That too could be the work of trolls.  Adding to this notion is that while there has been a fairly decent-sized splash at TokyoPop’s return to life, there’s no real information being provided.  Everything stated by these “official” sources is vague, generalities that anyone could say and cause people to wonder.  Heck, even the supposed letter from Stu Levy is vague.

However, for the sake of discussion, what if TokyoPop has come back to life and does plan to slowly regain all of their old licenses?  What does this truly mean for us manga fans

Stu LevySpeaking SOLELY for myself, the first thing this would mean is that Stu Levy is a complete and total…a word has yet to be invented to describe what he is, but he is one, and a complete and total one at that! (1)

Seriously, the man has always had an ego so large, he has to buy two plane tickets whenever he flies anyplace.

I’m starting to believe that things may have gone down like this (and this is TOTAL conjecture on my part).

Kodansha decided to cut out the middle-men and direct-license their titles with an American division (Kodansha Comics).  As a result, TokyoPop lost a great number of licenses.  I’m sure this irritated the great Stu Levy.  Further, TokyoPop’s whole OEL push wasn’t really gaining traction.  That’s pretty much a slap in Stu’s face. Stu’s ego needs constant feeding and fan complaints were equivalent to taking food right out of his mouth.

So Stu said (Cartman style), “Screw you guys, I’m going home.”  TokyoPop closes its doors, several people lose their jobs, TP’s manga licenses revert to their original owners, and Stu films a documentary in Japan.

Time passes and the documentary work is over.  Stu has nothing to do and nothing to feed that ego.  So, he decides, “I’ll restart TokyoPop again and fans will LOVE me!”

OK, so that may not be how things went, but you have to admit, it FEELS like this could have been exactly what transpired.

The thing I keep thinking is, “If TokyoPop is going to reopen its doors so quickly after closing them, what was the purpose of putting people out of work, especially when the current economy is so horrible?”

I think that’s that part that galls me most and why I can’t help but think that Stu’s massive ego is responsible for this whole mess.  I feel bad for those who lost their job at TokyoPop but if the company is coming back into the manga publishing world, then it seems like those former employees were just thrown under the bus (even if they get picked up again).

As I look over the “new” TokyoPop, basically I feel ill and hope that this is some terrible, practical joke.  While I would like to be able to purchase Sgt. Frog and Gakuen Alice again (in book form ’cause I’m old school, y’all, but I’d want to see them in digital form as well), even from TokyoPop, I completely loathe this further attempt to be hip by TokyoPop (as seen in their supposed new site).  However, it fits with Stu’s swollen ego.  He so fancies himself to be cooler than anything you’ve ever conceived and despite being 44, wants people to see him as maybe 24.  He does TV! He’s DJ Milky-Milk on the ultra fly tip, yo! Word! Tru dat! Innit! He writes! He gives to charities (which I have no problem with)!  He goes to Japan and knows the lingo. He knows the law! (sings) “He is smart, much smarter than you, bastards!” (2)

If TokyoPop’s emergence from the grave does turn out to be true, with the bloated ego still around, combined with the desperate attempt to be hip, I cannot trust them at all.  Instead of trying to be au courant, why not focus on having a HIGH QUALITY RELEASE OF MANGA PRODUCTS!  Get the quality products out, promote them, and don’t add an air of du jour to it with your faux hipness.  If you do that, then maybe I’ll support you.  Maybe.

(1) Credit to one of my favorite BritCom series, Red Dwarf, for the basis of that line. ^_^
(2) Credit to classic The Simpsons there. ^_^

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4 Responses to “Kore wa TokyoPop-Zombie Desu ka?”

  1. junior says:

    What’s the probability that someone else got control of the company?

  2. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Well, if it is true that they are back, they may have a partnership. TokyoPop never declared bankruptcy so it can easily come back with Stu in charge (and indeed, TP’s other stuff kept going as normal).

  3. Anonymous says:

    Stu Levy can kiss my fat, hairy ass. I’m not buying anything that jackass has to sell. Did you see how they’ve now clarified that they aren’t doing manga but are just doing that stupid newsletter? What an asshole Stu is.

  4. Anonymous says:

    For some odd reason, the part where you mentioned Stu Levy being 44 and acting like he’s 24 reminded me of an old skit from The Kids In The Hall entitled “He’s Hip, He’s Cool, He’s 45”.

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