Friday, March 29, 2013

The Reemergence of the Tokyopop Website with Stu Levy Part 3

Please read Part 2 of the interview before reading Part 3

The Objectives

When I saw that Tokyopop has relaunched their website with a brand new design, my conclusion was that the company wants to get back in to the publishing business. However, I do remember Levy’s passion for the film and TV industry. I wanted to understand the importance of this reemergence of the publishing business and why would Levy not stick solely to film and TV.

“Personally, I think visual storytelling is going through an evolution, maybe even a revolution,” said Levy. He believes that for the past century, manga and comics overall have been a “vibrant and imaginative part of visual storytelling.” Although film and television have incorporated visual effects and other technologies into an “imaginative storytelling,” an artist’s creativity has no limit. “That’s a type of visual storytelling that all of us love, which is why we’ve read so many manga in our lives.” He is not attached to the printed page. Rather, he is passionate about an artist’s ability to visualize what they have imagined.
“Finding a way to facilitate that artist’s career and helping that artist reach an audience is exciting and important. Maybe the Internet has allowed for that connection to occur without people like me assisting. I’m not sure yet, but if that is the case, then I can proudly say “my work here is done”. But if there is still a need for the value I bring, then I’m happy to do it."
So with the book industry changing and technology advancing, what is Levy’s ultimate goal in re-launching the publishing side of Tokyopop USA? Does he want it to go back to its former glory of having an abundance of Japanese licensed manga or is it going to be more than that?
“…speaking about licensed manga – I don’t know frankly speaking if there’s a role for us in that area nowadays. The main companies all have offices in the USA now, and Yen Press is doing a great job of publishing the rest. And of course there are still numerous scanlation sites which offer every title published. I don’t know if the market has room for TOKYOPOP on the licensed side. The question is whether or not we can financially afford to bring original content to market, which is where I believe we can add value.”
© 2013 Linda Thai

Stay tune for Part 4 of the Stu Levy interview.

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