I keep forgetting the Tokyopop Manga magazine even exists until a new issue arrives. I got one yesterday. It’s cover-dated Summer 2007, so either my mailman is REALLY slow or plans got derailed, just like with the previous issue (promised February, delivered May).
It continues to shrink, with 64 stapled pages. (Previous installments were squarebound.) This issue also has ads sold to outside companies (which might explain why it came out this late instead of being canceled — paid ads mean commitments to be fulfilled), 7 pages of them including the back cover. They’re out of date now, of course. For example, the first one advertises Beck DVD Volume 1, released early July, when the fifth just came out.
The magazine gives Tokyopop URLs that no longer exist and plugs the Rising Stars of Manga competition (which has a deadline of January 11, so not much time there). All of this is a shame, because this could have been the best issue yet. It still exists only to plug Tokyopop projects, but it does work in some other topics: user artwork (even if it insists on referring to it with the online marketing buzzwords “user-generated content”), gothic Lolita fashion, and cosplaying as members of the opposite sex (a fascinating article marred by too much assumed familiarity by the author on the part of the readers and the lack of photo captions to identify the pictured characters and cosplayers).
The promotional projects pushed are Vampire Kisses, one of the HarperCollins co-productions released in September; Undertown, an OEL manga out in August written by Jim Pascoe (whom I know best for writing Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics); and War Angels, released in July. Closing the mag are 18 pages of Previews-like tiny book descriptions with exhortations to buy the books at 25% off from the Tokyopop store.