Like a zombie it will dig itself back up again: Is TOKYOPOP returning?
Former manga publisher TOKYOPOP and the pop culture e-newsletter GeekChicDaily announced today that they’re teaming up to launch a new email newsletter, called TOKYOPOP, that will focus on “the hottest Asian pop culture news and trends.”
So, yeah … it’s a little confusing, if you only knew TOKYOPOP as the manga publisher that went under earlier this year, but TOKYOPOP founder Stu Levy explains why it isn’t completely out of left field.
“Back in 2000, TOKYOPOP magazine introduced all aspects of Asian Pop Culture to the English-speaking world,” said Levy in an open letter. “Over the past decade, the print magazine gave way to other endeavors, but I am excited that through a new partnership with our friends at GeekChicDaily, the original TOKYOPOP magazine concept can be revived and refreshed – rebooted actually – in a much more modern, exciting, and accessible format.”
Ok, so that makes sense, I guess … but what about the manga? Prior to the announcement, TOKYOPOP’s Facebook page became active again, which led to many folks thinking some of their favorite manga might be returning. As fans began asking questions and getting excited about the possibility of the company publishing again, the following appeared on their Facebook page yesterday:
Loyal Fans, we’re very thrilled by your excitement but need to clarify: unfortunately we are not re-launching the manga – those properties have reverted to their owners and are amazingly difficult to get back. We’re launching an all new editorial TOKYOPOP newsletter about all things otaku and Asian pop-culture, powered by our friends at GeekChicDaily. We think you’ll really enjoy the news we’ll be bringing and apologize for the initial misunderstanding.
Which makes it sound like they won’t be publishing manga again … unless you read this passage from Levy’s letter: “The past year has seen the heart-breaking discontinuation of TOKYOPOP’s North American manga publishing operations. It has been a tough time for me personally, for the company, and for you, the fans. I know that you’re all eager to have the same access to your favorite manga titles that we could previously provide and I promise that I am continuing to explore any and all opportunities to relaunch the manga publishing operations of TOKYOPOP’s business, as it was the original heart and soul of the company.”
Or saw that they’ve launched a separate Twitter account, TOKYOPOPmanga, or saw some of the responses on their Facebook page that seem to indicate they’re planning to publish manga again. Right now the language is purposely vague, as you can see in tweets like this one: “And we’re hoping that we’ll be able to release new manga very soon,” or this one: “We’re starting a newsletter and we’re laying the groundwork for publishing new manga again.”
So, will they or won’t they? It seems like they really want to, but probably jumped the gun and started talking about it before they were ready. They’ve gone from “not re-launching the manga” to “we’re laying the groundwork for publishing new manga again” in a day, so I guess we’ll see what tomorrow brings.