For a weekend, the news has been unusually busy. I open up Thunderbird, and find that 2 Tokyopop titles are not going to be printed. Rivkah has announced on her Livejournal blog that her series Steady Beat Volume 3 will not get a published book release, but will be put up as a web comic. Bettina Kurkoski has reported on her Deviant Art page the same for her series My Cat Loki, except she’s not even getting online publishing (Wah! I liked MCL! 🙁 ).
So, what does this mean for Tokyopop’s Global manga? A lot of the purists were worried that the OEL was going to take over, but that’s not looking like the case. We’ve heard about some of the import titles that will keep going; Fruits Basket, Saiyuki, Tactics, and Rave Master will continue. So, even though we don’t hear about ALL of these, they obviously at least break even if not make a profit for Tokyopop. I wouldn’t be surprised if Rave Master started increasing in sales because of the popularity of Fairy Tail. I know I want to check it out now. (And it gets Jason Thompson’s Seal of Approval in the Manga Bible). But, we haven’t heard anything about any OELs that will survive. I think Bizenghast will make it to the end, and Levi’s baby, Princess Ai will too, of course. Otherwise, it’s become a free-for-all.
Now, I’m worried more than ever that I will not get my last volume of Dragon Voice, a title that I KNOW doesn’t get the love it deserves. TP wanted to make it an “exclusive” title a year ago. Now, with only ONE VOLUME TO GO, it will probably get the axe, and end up on Ed Chavez’s You Don’t Want Your Manga on this List. The list was previously dominated by ADV Manga, and CPM. Will Tokyopop take the top spot here?
On a lighter note, from the “I Told You So Dept.”, PiQ magazine has closed it’s doors. The July issue, currently on newsstands, is it’s last. I’m not sure what ADV was thinking, trying to put out a magazine in and already flooded market, in an economy where people may not be giving up on their mags, but will be looking very carefully at what’s out there. The folded in an audience that wasn’t interested (the hard core anime otaku) and probably expected apathy to keep people from canceling their subscriptions. This really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, considering how ADV has handled their manga division, like a poor, red-haired step-child that PiQ would get anymore respect. Even the staff of PiQ admit it in the opening sentence of their post. I am sorry for the people that did work on it, and did their best to make it a good magazine, but it was just too little, too late. You can’t throw together a magazine and expect it to survive in a difficult economy that gets harder by the minute.