Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

April 15, 2011

Tokyopop Closing North American Publishing Offices May 31


The closure of the one-time poster publisher of the translated-into-English manga movement was only a matter of "if" rather than "when" because of the ability of any publishing house in this day and age to stay alive at reduced circumstances for untold lengths of time once they've become successful. Certainly the string of recent events for the publisher -- such as changes in their distribution arrangements and staffing reductions -- makes today's announcement the last part of a sentence underlined three times with a sharpie pen as opposed to something abrupt or shocking or out of the blue. In addition to their unique role helping to popularize manga reading in North America over the last 14 years, Stuart Levy's company was at one time an outlier for the resurgent bookstore-driven success later shared in, at least to some extent, by a number of publishers. For that reason, Tokyopop's announcement makes for a moment worth noting in comics history, in addition to informing manga's North American narrative. I wish the best of luck to all remaining employees in the immediate future and hope for a clear, clean legal break in a way that allows Tokyopop's closure to best serve comics publishing and its collective creative endeavors moving forward.
posted 11:30 am PST | Permalink

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