It’s the “Christmas in February” for those of you, like me, who are preternaturally obsessed with comic book retail data. Brian Hibbs 2008 “Tilting at Windmills” BookScan report is up, wherein Brian combs through the massive BookScan database to tell us what trends he sees in his crystal… excel spreadsheet.
There is some kind of book called “Watchmen”… and apparently it is still in print! Casual bookstore buyers don’t like the second volume of “Persepolis”! The Manga market is really soft! These and far more prescient insights can be yours at the link above!
Further to my last post about the TokyoPop pilot program, I’ve swapped a couple of interesting e-mails with “industry insiders” (who I have not asked for permission to quote, so I shan’t name).
It seems like alot of the ire coming up in this specific case can be traced back to the fact that some folks feel TokyoPop has a very bad track record for exploiting new talent.
Bryan Lee O’Malley has recently posted a number of objections regarding TokyoPop’s default contract for their new Manga Pilot Program.
Firstly the obligatory disclosure that I have a gigantic man-crush on Bryan. Anyone who has ever worked at The Beguiling is automatically cooler than me, but come on – “Lost at Sea”, “Hopeless Savages”, “Scott Pilgrim”!? I have lost this battle already. So I actually was going to limit my comment on this issue to an e-mail to him directly.
But since a lot of other people have started commenting on his original post, especially creators I have huge respect for
[Edit - I owe Lea an apology as this whole kerfuffle started with her post, I mis-read the timing of the posts .. worse - I mis-spelled her name (which she was too polite to point out). How bush league is that?]
(Lea Hernandez, Kris Straub, I’m looking at you) I felt it was important to get some kind of contrarian opinion out there for anyone who might be Googling.
So please take what I have to say from a place of deep respect for some of my favourite creators out there: There are bad screwjob contracts out there. TokyoPop may have a record of bad Original Property Agreements
(of which I can’t comment, having never seen one, or heard anything about one, ever) [Edit - No, their record is pretty bad. See my amended take at the bottom]. However as someone with no particular tie to TokyoPop whatsoever (other than devoting a copious amount of my bookshelf to Shojo titles which-shall-not-be-named) this particular agreement is not one of them.