We were promised in February that Tokyopop’s next issue of their Manga magazine was on the way. I got mine this week. Here’s a rundown.
The cover unsurprisingly features Princess Ai. (I’m never surprised to see Tokyopop push this property since their CEO, Stu Levy, co-created and co-writes it under a pseudonym.)
The first feature defines generic: it’s horoscopes decorated with manga property clip art, mostly from OEL titles. It starts out “Is your New Year calling for a change of pace?” which makes me wonder how long this issue has been in production.
The next four pages plug tokyopop.com, followed by an Avalon High preview. I understand promoting this on the basis of notable author Meg Cabot, but I hadn’t yet seen any mention of the artist. Now that I see it’s by Jinky Coronado, I can understand why. I wouldn’t want someone best known for panty shots connected with my young-adult-friendly series either.
(This isn’t the first connection of this type, by the way: Holly G, model for (and wife to) Jim Balent, used to draw Archie’s Cheryl Blossom.)
Also included in this issue: preview of Pantheon High, news clips about Princess Ai tie-ins, bits on their novel line, a fake interview with Tina Young (lead character of Divalicious!), and a short piece on conventions that also ends up being a plug for the website.
The last third of the slim magazine is a set of product pages, showing book covers, short blurbs, and a coupon code to give the reader 25% off the list price if ordered directly from Tokyopop.
Overall, this magazine isn’t what it once was and could be. Of the two previews, I’d already seen one of the books (which was out in February). The product pages don’t tell me anything I hadn’t already seen in the Previews comic ordering catalog. I wouldn’t be surprised for this to be eliminated in favor of more website promotion; that seems to be where they’re leaning these days.