Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Reemergence of the Tokyopop Website with Stu Levy Part 4

Please read Part 3 of the interview before reading Part 4

Final Questions for Stu

To all the fans out there that is supportive of Tokyopop, what ways can we or the general public help the company now? Here is what Levy had to say:
I know that many fans are nostalgic and want the old TOKYOPOP. I guess it’s similar to when a musician changes up their style and many fans loved the old style – it’s hard to get used to the change. For us, we’re simply trying to adapt with the world – less resources and different opportunities. As I’ve said on various occasions, I’ve been a lover of Japan, and Asia, for most of my life (since I was exposed to Korean culture when I was 13), and I continue to find Asia a hotbed of excitement and creativity. TOKYOPOP is my alter-ego, and when I discovered manga in Japan back when there was almost no manga in America, I dedicated a significant amount of life to bringing that discovery back home to America. That led to more and more companies bringing manga over, which led to the success of scanlation and manga sites on the Web. So, I feel like I accomplished my goal of a “Manga Revolution”. But over the years I’ve published a magazine (called “TOKYOPOP”) where we featured Asian film, pop music, food and fashion, along with manga, anime and games. And that part of Asian pop culture has also expanded here in the West. I think there are even more ways to expand Asian pop culture, as well as see where the intersection of manga, anime and film, and even games, can lead. It’s an exciting time and I hope the fans keep an open mind about what TOKYOPOP means – and remember that this isn’t some large, faceless corporation. I’m the living, breathing, eating “Dad” of TOKYOPOP and while some people may think my interests jump around too much, I am passionate about many things in our world and that’s why I love my life. I feel lucky to discover things and find a way to bring them to people – if you’re into new things and have an open mind, stay a fan – and stick with me. I’ll keep working as hard as I can for you.
Some final words from the pioneer:
I want to thank the incredible support I’ve personally felt since early 2011 when I had to make the heart-breaking decision to close our North American office. The TOKYOPOP team was incredibly talented – and they all have landed on their feet in various parts of the media business and beyond, just like I knew they would. I’ve personally gone from an office with 90 people at its peak to just me, my computer, and lots of Starbucks visits (actually I prefer Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf). But I love visiting fans at conventions, seeing the funny memes online, and exploring life. I feel like a proud Dad – that so many Americans and Europeans are fans of Japanese culture, and now Asian pop culture overall. It’s like a dream come true – and I’m glad I’m living that dream with all of you.
© 2013 Linda Thai

Thank you Stuart Levy for participating in the interview! Thank you for reading!

For more information, check out the TOKYOPOP website

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