More on ADV’s Existence, Tokyopop OEL

ADV Insists It’s Not an Ex-Publisher

At the end of May, there was some discussion as to whether ADV Manga still existed. Now, Brigid talks to Chris Oarr (link no longer available), and the answer comes back “we’re still selling books, but we’re not doing anything new (including the much-in-demand Yotsuba&! 6) and we’re not reprinting.”

Does that really count as still alive? That’s just selling off the backstock. Of course, they have to say “no, no, we’re a going concern” or people would start dumping their line. I’m thinking that I might should get the Yotsuba&! 3 I’m missing sooner rather than later. When the best a spokesperson can say is “we’re sorting everything out” and “our core business is anime”, I don’t have a lot of faith in the long haul. It’s bizarre to me that people are viewing these non-statements as proof that the company’s still in good shape.

Update: gia finds (link no longer available) that ADV is selling off a bunch of office equipment and wildly speculates. I hope she’s right, that we do hear something more after Anime Expo next weekend. Then Chris Oarr responded that it’s just an auction of surplus material. He’s very good at seeming to answer questions without actually saying much. I admire his skill.

The State of Tokyopop’s OEL Manga

Tokyopop’s had a bunch of bad news and changed plans; now Newsarama runs down the status of the existing OEL titles. Of the ones I cared about that haven’t already finished, Steady Beat won’t see print unless the creator successfully recaptures her rights, but we already knew that.

Fool’s Gold won’t have a conclusion, leaving the characters in limbo. The author sounds like she agrees with the decision not to end the series. She’s now working for DC. No one seems to know about Off*Beat, which doesn’t bode well.

Also, according to the Newsarama piece, Lindsay Cibos (Peach Fuzz) is the new penciler on Sabrina the Teenage Witch, with Tania del Rio just scripting (instead of drawing as well). I wonder what happened there?

When a few more years have passed, I wonder if OEL Manga will be remembered at all? Even the best of the line were hampered by endings that, in my opinion, weren’t as strong as they should have been. (I have hopes that Steady Beat will still prove me wrong.) The books aren’t likely to be kept in print over the long run, what with the publisher sort of bailing on the concept now. It’s been a useful stepping stone to many of the creators, but that was a side effect of the experience, not the books. I suspect they’ll be forgotten the same way DC New Talent Showcase was or early APA work in another generation.

20 Comments

  1. Actually, Johanna, he said they *are* reprinting. That’s an important point. If ADV were actually dead, they let their books go out of print and dump them at wholesale for 50 cents a copy.

    Also, this is not based on any special knowledge, but I doubt Chris would go out there and risk this kind of reaction if there was nothing left to defend. He didn’t have to take my call at all, especially since I have been a bit unkind about him in the past.

  2. Oh, I must have misunderstood his quote, “We haven’t been aggressively reprinting, and so some titles have gone out of stock”. Where’s the line between reprinting but not aggressively so?

  3. I too am wondering what’s going on with Lindsay Cibos taking over art on Sabrina. I’d heard a rumor but Archie Comics hadn’t released anything about it, so I was wondering if I misunderstood. I have no problem with Cibos taking over – she did a very nice job on the fill-in issues a few months ago. Her style is slightly rounder than Del Rio’s, but it’s not a jarring difference. I don’t think most readers will be unhappy.

    Is Del Rio working on something new, that she has to cut back at Archie? I hope they don’t lose her entirely. She’s done wonderful things with Sabrina.

  4. @Johanna I think I misread the quote too, it was a bit confusing.

    Also, ADV just sent a letter in to Anime on DVD saying that they’re just selling off surplus stuff:

    http://www.animeondvd.com/news/news.php?news_view=14320

    (My article is here: http://giapet.net/2008/06/26/followup-on-adv-auction/)

    Honestly though, this doesn’t change my speculation.

  5. “Oarr confirmed that ADV does plan to reprint some titles in the near future.” I asked specifically because of that “not aggressive” quote. I don’t know where the line is, because I didn’t ask; if it wasn’t happening at all, though, that would be pretty significant.

  6. Oh, I wish I knew about Off*Beat! That’s the only OEL title I purchase! I’ve been waiting for it for so long! The author herself said that she believed the book to be released in August 2008, but an editor at Tokyopop said it would be December 2008. So who knows?

  7. Brigid: Oh. Well, they plan to do a lot of things, but they’re now on my “believe it when you see it” list.

    Velma: I’m afraid things don’t look good, but I hope it does come out later this year.

  8. I hope so, too. D:

    It would be interesting to know if manga in Japan goes through similar obstacles. Though probably not, since major publishers know what they’re looking for and what they’re not. Tokyopop just seemed to mash everything together, all without a real target audience. It’s really unfortunate that Americans basically only have Tokyopop when it comes to making manga in English. If there are other publishers out there, they feel hidden.

    Hopefully someone can put together some sort of resource list for creators trying to pursue a career in OEL manga, so that aspiring authors don’t have to succumb to the same fate… or is such the way with all publishers? I really feel outta the loop, like every time I learn something about the comic industry, it changes. D:

  9. […] [Publishing] Gia Manry reports on the latest thing to trigger speculation over anime/manga publisher ADV’s difficulties: The sale of office furniture and supplies. ADV disaster-management officer sales/marketing manager Chris Oarr noted that the simply had extra stuff after having cut back on staff. (Hat tip: Johanna Draper Carlson.) […]

  10. […] blames “the death of ADV” for the magazine’s demise, which should fuel more of those rumors for a while. Yet more commenters use the excuse to once again gripe about the death of Newtype USA, […]

  11. velma said: “It’s really unfortunate that Americans basically only have Tokyopop when it comes to making manga in English. If there are other publishers out there, they feel hidden.”

    Dark Horse Comics. Oni Press. DC / Vertigo. Image Comics. AiT/Planet Lar. Viper Comics. SLG. Antarctic. Avatar. Boom Studios. A a ton of others. Not to mention self publishing and web comics.

    Just because they call them comics, that doesn’t mean it’s not the same damn thing. Quit closing yourself into TokyoPop’s trap.

    Go to a comic shop and flip through their Diamond order catalog to see the ton of comic publishers shipping to the direct market.

  12. […] although more than five books have been released in Japan, there are serious questions about the future of the publisher, ADV Manga, so it’s very uncertain when we might see more volumes translated. […]

  13. […] but I thought it had promise, and I really liked the characters. When I looked at what was going on with Tokyopop’s OEL manga titles at the end of June, no one knew what its future was. Now, the author has spoken: all i can […]

  14. […] In some of the coverage of the Tokyopop OEL situation, Lindsay Cibos said that she was the new artist on Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Is that the […]

  15. […] people about Tokyopop’s status — just like the PWCW article that tried to quell ADV speculation. I don’t think it’s working. Nice of PWCW to give the publishers space to speak, […]

  16. […] afraid the news isn’t good. The parent company, ADV, isn’t responding to emails on the subject. If you paid by credit card, you might be able to […]

  17. […] released through ADV Manga, whose continued existence has been speculated on for at least the last eight months. […]

  18. […] decision to cancel publication but not negotiate for return of their rights. Based on lists going around at the time, the properties listed were those where the work was completed, so there are no […]

  19. […] their work and began to regret the deals and control Tokyopop exercised. Several promising titles ended early, or not at […]

  20. […] Book 2 out late 2006. In 2008 came news that the series was on indefinite hiatus. That was after Tokyopop ended a lot of those original graphic novel series, or their creators were told they wouldn’t have […]

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