by AJ Adejare
Former manga publisher Tokyopop is now returning back to publishing. The manga company exited out of publishing in 2011 with Hetalia only coming out from a collaboration with Right Stuf. The company plans to come back in 2016 with an app called Pop Comics. For iOS and Android, the free app will be ad-revenue base with 70% of all revenue going to artists. Billed as a Youtube for comics and manga artists, the artist presumably will retain their copyright as well as creative control for their work. The app will go into close beta soon which people can register at their website. They will focus on getting “hidden gems” titles range from manga titles to art books and collectors editions with eyes on light novel titles as well. They also plan to extend to film with titles such as Knockouts which you can see at the bottom of the post.
However, there are major skepticisms from some of the bigger anime community at large:
Not to mention Anime News Network’s thread on the news
This skepticism hold merit. Comic Beat describes a slew of information where their Rising Star of Manga contract was, to be blunt horrible with a list of people very skeptical of the resurrection. Comic Worth Reading also joined in said chorus as well. Chuck Austen emphasized people moving on from these contracts because people cam come back from said bad contracts with Tokyopop.
Neglecting these criticism, right now the manga market is highly competitive. If the manga is not particularly doing well in a niche like Vertical, Digital Manga Publishing, Fakku, or Seven Seas, or producing volumes that hit like Kodansha Comics or Yen Press, they have to be blockbusters like Viz. That’s a major ask if the attempt is to get “hidden gems” for manga and light novels. Does Stu Levy have aces up his sleeve that others don’t and can he strike gold multiple times and convert them into multimedia properties fast?