Once upon a time, this story may have been reversed.
IDW Publishing and Tokyopop have announced that IDW’s international arm will be managing the Tokyopop foreign rights catalogue for non-English language markets.
IDW International oversees all international licensing of the IDW catalogue and its partners, including Archie and Oni Press. While Tokyopop foreign rights catalogue consists of over 100 manga and graphic novel IPs.
Founded in 1997 by Stu Levy, Tokyopop established a market for manga in North America, and published thousands of books, distributed anime and Asian films on home video and television, licensed merchandise to consumer goods companies, created graphic novels of major brands.
They also pissed off a lot of creators and fans towards the end of their initial publishing boom as they suddenly contracted – and issued controversial contracts – in the USA and the UK at least. They were still big in Germany.
But a lot of folk are still very annoyed… and this announcement was the perfect opportunity to some of them to remind everyone why.
I bumped into Stu Levy last year at MCM London Comic Con and he was all full of plans. I suggested he may want to do a little PR repair first and reach out to people. Maybe IDW could help him with that as well?
IDW ADDS TOKYOPOP AS INTERNATIONAL RIGHTS CLIENT Representing Non-English Rights Abroad Posted by Betsy Gomez on February 7, 2018 @ 4:48 pm CT
IDW’s international arm will be managing Tokypop’s foreign rights for non-English language markets. The catalog includes more than 100 manga and graphic novel properties. “We're excited to be working with IDW to bring Tokyopop titles to audiences worldwide,” said Tokyopop founder Stu Levy. “Manga has become an international phenomenon and as an ever-evolving pioneer in the space, we’re thrilled to reach fans across the globe.”
Tokyopop is IDW International’s latest rights client. The division launched in early 2016 to represent the non-English international rights for IDW and its imprint Top Shelf, as well as the rights of Archie Comics (see “IDW Announces New Foreign Rights Division”). IDW International added Onio Press as their second client later that same year (see “IDW Signs Second International Rights Client”).