Pop Quiz Hotshot… a new Tokyopop Manga is published with the following (partial) description:
“Trina Devi is the last of the Tantric Adepts and a master of the esoteric art of Stripfighting; a tantalizing fusion of Shaolin martial arts and Tantric sensuality, where practitioners use articles of clothing as weapons to subdue and incapacitate their opponents.”
It should be marketed towards:
Don’t get me wrong guys, I know the market is in the tanks… but I’m not sure selling softcore to pre-teens is necessarily the solution.
[EDIT - I've been informed the rating is not "Older / Teens (11+)" but rather "Older Teens (16+)" and that the logo is just hard to read on the Tokyopop website... I guess I'm happier with that rating (at least without having actually read the thing. So now I have to find something else to be outraged about... like, why doesn't the ratings logo actually link to a ratings explanation page? I may (or may not) be fine with the rating, depending on how they classify their categories, but if a net-addled wonk like me can't find a definition page in two minutes of searching - that's probably not good enough for little Billy's Mom.]
[EDIT 2 - Yes I'm aware there's a viewer on the tpop website to actually read the first 50-odd pages of "Tantric Stripfighter Trina" and therefore better base my opinion. However, without a serious creative team pedigree, or a shelf full of industry accolades, or someone paying me to, I am likely never going to voluntarily read a work entitled "Tantric Stripfighter Trina"]
Last TokyoPop post for a little while… I promise.
Brigid Alverson posted an interesting question over at her MangaBlog wondering about the compare and contrast between the TokyoPop and Zudacomics contracts.
It’s way to late to do a point by point breakdown – but I did do a scan of the standard Zudacomics rights agreement, and for my money the TokyoPop one is far preferable.
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.