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Unedited Feed from the Tokyopop panel at Anime Expo 2012. Transcription: bayoab
Note: ( ) is usually commenting on the panel and was not said.

19:10:29 <bay|AX|TP> (Filling the room)
19:10:37 <bay|AX|TP> (It's in that insanely small fishbowl)
19:10:55 <bay|AX|TP> Tokyopop: Past, Present & Future
19:16:07 <bay|AX|TP> (Still filling)
19:16:50 <bay|AX|TP> Away we go
19:16:54 <bay|AX|TP> How you guys doing
19:16:58 <bay|AX|TP> All right
19:17:03 <bay|AX|TP> thank you guys for coming to xgames... i mean...
19:17:04 <bay|AX|TP> (boooooooooooooo)
19:17:10 <bay|AX|TP> i meant to say AX games
19:17:23 <bay|AX|TP> thanks for.... it's past 7, i know you guys are getting hungry and you came here instead of seein danny right now
19:17:34 <bay|AX|TP> we're doing some crazy thing
19:17:45 <bay|AX|TP> we're shooting some pictures and video to tweet
19:17:49 <bay|AX|TP> awesome
19:17:50 <bay|AX|TP> thanks
19:17:56 <bay|AX|TP> we've some important stuff to talk about
19:18:04 <bay|AX|TP> before q&a
19:18:11 <bay|AX|TP> i made this fancy smanchy power point presentation
19:18:26 <bay|AX|TP> i know you know how incredible my business skills are so this is what i can do, powerpoint
19:18:33 <bay|AX|TP> so you can see it's past present and future
19:18:36 <bay|AX|TP> so part of it is a walk through the past
19:18:43 <bay|AX|TP> there are some who know and there are some who are recent
19:18:48 <bay|AX|TP> so i thought i'd get you up to speed
19:19:00 <bay|AX|TP> what is it, if we don't know where we're from, we don't know where we are going
19:19:09 <bay|AX|TP> ...first, will all the cosplayers stand up
19:19:21 <bay|AX|TP> i have to say, just to show i'm an old guy
19:19:27 <bay|AX|TP> my first ax, there was probably not a single cosplayer
19:19:33 <bay|AX|TP> we have all evolved is the point
19:19:40 <bay|AX|TP> thanks to you guys, ax is way more fun now
19:19:42 <bay|AX|TP> so today
19:19:44 <bay|AX|TP> the past: reiew
19:20:00 <bay|AX|TP> the present: special guest from trsi, manga editorial, nerdist, the future, q&A
19:20:05 <bay|AX|TP> to my left is allison roberts from TRSI
19:20:27 <bay|AX|TP> to my left is from tokyopop editorial and an infamous blogge, daniela oriewela(?)
19:20:38 <bay|AX|TP> and to my right is from tokyopop powered by nerdist we have dan casey
19:20:45 <bay|AX|TP> so then we're going to briefly talk about the future
19:20:46 <bay|AX|TP> then q&a
19:20:52 <bay|AX|TP> and then after that, we have hetalia trivia for ....
19:20:58 <bay|AX|TP> we have brand new hetalia vol 3
19:21:09 <bay|AX|TP> we have 5 as prizes
19:21:16 <bay|AX|TP> and if you didnt get stickers, come grab stickers
19:21:24 <bay|AX|TP> so with no further ado
19:21:31 <bay|AX|TP> Tokyopop the past
19:21:34 <bay|AX|TP> (With a skull)
19:21:35 <bay|AX|TP> so who am i?
19:21:39 <bay|AX|TP> My name is Stu
19:21:48 <bay|AX|TP> i'm 45
19:21:50 <bay|AX|TP> i was born in the 60s
19:21:58 <bay|AX|TP> (it's his biography on screen, seriously)
19:22:09 <bay|AX|TP> born in la (1967), old school geek cred...
19:22:35 <bay|AX|TP> i'm an old school geek... the stuff i was into is probably stuff you never heard of .... D&D, LotR
19:22:53 <bay|AX|TP> and that's why i'm a geek, because i was into that stuff as a kid
19:22:57 <bay|AX|TP> when i was older my brain went into two ways
19:23:05 <bay|AX|TP> one is graphic design and the other is law, i became a lawyer
19:23:13 <bay|AX|TP> audience: objection
19:23:15 <bay|AX|TP> that's what my parents said
19:23:21 <bay|AX|TP> when i was 21, i went to japan, and that changed my life
19:23:34 <bay|AX|TP> and at that point in time, there was no such thing as the internet, so we didn't learn anything but it's apretty cool place
19:23:40 <bay|AX|TP> and when i was there i got addicted to a show called dbz
19:23:47 <bay|AX|TP> (this is also on the screen in summary)
19:24:39 <bay|AX|TP> and i was also into jdrama and singing karaoke
19:24:50 <bay|AX|TP> and to begin my career, i tried to production
19:24:56 <bay|AX|TP> i had a company called triangle world which didn't do well
19:25:05 <bay|AX|TP> and then i got into CD-ROM
19:25:18 <bay|AX|TP> and we used to put out in stuff in japan on cd rom because it was before the web
19:25:34 <bay|AX|TP> and one of the things i was most proud of is we put out the christmas card printing software that does stuff for macross and sailor moon
19:25:48 <bay|AX|TP> and that led into me somehow convincing a company called kodansha to publishing sailor moon in the states
19:25:57 <bay|AX|TP> and they were like, you are nuts, why would anyone buy a comic about girls in america
19:26:02 <bay|AX|TP> i guess, nobody else
19:26:10 <bay|AX|TP> at the time there was dark horse and dark horse didn't want ti
19:26:12 <bay|AX|TP> and it kinda worked
19:26:15 <bay|AX|TP> so just the last thing...
19:26:37 <bay|AX|TP> as some of you know, i love movies, i'm a film maker, and it was my dream to bridge japan and us, as well as music, i'm into running, travel and design, and i'm into tech
19:26:54 <bay|AX|TP> so tokyopop, in the very beginning
19:26:59 <bay|AX|TP> the first name was Mixx
19:27:28 <bay|AX|TP> and we started with a magazine that had saillor moon and 4 other titles
19:27:32 <bay|AX|TP> in mixxzine
19:28:16 <bay|AX|TP> we did that...and we launched tokyopop.com
19:28:23 <bay|AX|TP> we were importing laser disc and all kinds of stuff
19:28:32 <bay|AX|TP> and we weren't called tokyopop but we had the domain
19:28:42 <bay|AX|TP> we had a japanese wrestling league that we brought over to the states and put out on VHS
19:29:56 <bay|AX|TP> soundtracks... does anyone remember we put out all the final fantasy soundtracks
19:30:00 <bay|AX|TP> we did others and they all lost money except ff
19:30:14 <bay|AX|TP> we went to square and said that cd is dying and said we needed internet and they were like no
19:30:28 <bay|AX|TP> two videos....
19:30:41 <bay|AX|TP> these are short little promo videos that i think we made
19:30:55 <bay|AX|TP> i was looking at my computer and i found these from like 1999
19:31:33 <bay|AX|TP> and we were kinda ahead of our time
19:31:39 <bay|AX|TP> we had the whole social media thing in 99
19:31:57 <bay|AX|TP> too bad i didn't think of facebook (not serious)
19:32:24 <bay|AX|TP> so the interesting thing about this is it was to promote the magazine and the website
19:32:34 <bay|AX|TP> and now after many years, dan is doing it for tokyopop powered by nerdist
19:32:52 <bay|AX|TP> and we had manga, but this was to show we had a lifestyle brand, but that didn't last long... anyone know how long?
19:33:16 <bay|AX|TP> anyone own all of them
19:33:20 <bay|AX|TP> so what's next
19:33:21 <bay|AX|TP> manga explosion
19:33:34 <bay|AX|TP> so the thing that really took off for us after trying all things with asian pop culture beside sailor moon
19:33:37 <bay|AX|TP> what was happening
19:33:51 <bay|AX|TP> around 2001, i went over to europe, and saw that they were publishing sailor moon and dbz in jp order
19:33:59 <bay|AX|TP> before that, we had no choice but to flip them to american style
19:34:08 <bay|AX|TP> when i saw it could work in germany, i wondered why it couldn't work ehre
19:34:25 <bay|AX|TP> japan was pressuring it to switch
19:34:34 <bay|AX|TP> book stores would only take flipped
19:34:43 <bay|AX|TP> and the japanese authors were like why is everyone left handed
19:34:48 <bay|AX|TP> and it was kinda okay for car
19:34:56 <bay|AX|TP> because in japan they are on the left and flip them and they are on the right
19:35:09 <bay|AX|TP> and so i thought, germany can do it, why not do it in the states, so why not do it the authentic way
19:35:22 <bay|AX|TP> so we were debating in the company of wehther we should go all out and do it, and others wanted to test it
19:35:32 <bay|AX|TP> my concern was that the stores would have a bias
19:35:39 <bay|AX|TP> (and wanted to go full)
19:35:48 <bay|AX|TP> so we decided to put together 9 titles and launch them all at once
19:35:57 <bay|AX|TP> and there was only us, viz and darkhorse doing 2/month proper
19:36:07 <bay|AX|TP> and so we came up with RtL authentic manga
19:36:15 <bay|AX|TP> and we standardized the size and launched it
19:36:17 <bay|AX|TP> and it worke
19:36:22 <bay|AX|TP> the fans liked it
19:36:29 <bay|AX|TP> and it created this manga boom
19:36:37 <bay|AX|TP> i remember back then there was a company called CPM
19:36:43 <bay|AX|TP> the guy who ran that company was pissed at me one day
19:37:09 <bay|AX|TP> because the stores wouldn't accept books that weren't the same size
19:37:11 <bay|AX|TP> (paraphrase)
19:37:19 <bay|AX|TP> and then it became to understand that manga isn't this weird thing
19:37:34 <bay|AX|TP> that was all stuff that i'd say was in our high growth era
19:37:37 <bay|AX|TP> you can see our hits up there
19:37:39 <bay|AX|TP> chobits
19:37:41 <bay|AX|TP> love hina
19:37:44 <bay|AX|TP> fruits basket
19:38:32 <bay|AX|TP> and...that title... was definitely our biggest ... any one time print run which was well over (missed) units
19:38:55 <bay|AX|TP> and then we had a manga magazine which we only did a few because they were expensive
19:39:04 <bay|AX|TP> expansion overseas
19:39:23 <bay|AX|TP> so all these things are things we were trying to do
19:39:33 <bay|AX|TP> so what i'll talk about soon is when things started to go south
19:39:47 <bay|AX|TP> to be honest, i was nervous ....
19:39:51 <bay|AX|TP> licenses were disappearing fast
19:39:57 <bay|AX|TP> all these companies wre jumping into manga
19:40:00 <bay|AX|TP> and it made me nervious
19:40:04 <bay|AX|TP> and we started to look and try other things
19:40:08 <bay|AX|TP> so one of the things we tried was...
19:40:11 <bay|AX|TP> i'll start with the easy stuff
19:40:17 <bay|AX|TP> cine-manga... which actually worked pretty well for a while
19:40:34 <bay|AX|TP> we licensed kid stuff basically, and like pixar and disney and we put them out, we took screenshots and turned them into filmcomics
19:40:39 <bay|AX|TP> a lot did pretty well
19:40:51 <bay|AX|TP> it would do well, and then a lot of the stores wanted more and we would put out more than (couldn't hear)
19:41:00 <bay|AX|TP> i think we overextended a little bit with the reality show cinemanga
19:41:50 <bay|AX|TP> ....was that what it was called? A simple life? what a stupid show. and somehow we had the idea to put out the cinemanga...and one i don't understand why it didn't sell... was family guy
19:42:05 <bay|AX|TP> so lemme try and speed up here
19:42:10 <bay|AX|TP> (he talks at high speed)
19:42:16 <bay|AX|TP> so goth-loli
19:42:22 <bay|AX|TP> we put out some anime like gto and intialD
19:42:34 <bay|AX|TP> and rave master..and one of the thing that awas actually tough on the company
19:42:37 <bay|AX|TP> that was something we bet a lot on
19:42:40 <bay|AX|TP> and it cost a lot of money
19:42:45 <bay|AX|TP> it didn't work
19:42:50 <bay|AX|TP> it didn't work from a business point of view
19:42:54 <bay|AX|TP> and it was important that we talk about OEL manga
19:43:11 <bay|AX|TP> one of the most impotatnt things to me was to encourage and find a way to faiciltate local aritsts
19:43:13 <bay|AX|TP> (lost)
19:43:18 <bay|AX|TP> i think we did it too agressively and too much
19:43:30 <bay|AX|TP> but the goal was to encourage it as much as possible to get a manga creation culture in america
19:43:35 <bay|AX|TP> and we did 200-300 books which was super expensive
19:43:38 <bay|AX|TP> really really pricey
19:44:01 <bay|AX|TP> .....(lost) ...talks about artist alley
19:43:55 <bay|AX|TP> to all of you mangaka, keep doing what you are doing
19:44:07 <bay|AX|TP> and the last thing about here is UK and German officfes
19:44:13 <bay|AX|TP> we opened up offices and started publishgin
19:44:17 <bay|AX|TP> the UK was just a sales office
19:44:21 <bay|AX|TP> Germany seems to be doing great
19:44:33 <bay|AX|TP> so we got our office out there and it semes to be doing great, and the market is much stronger tehre
19:44:37 <bay|AX|TP> the only catch is you have to read german
19:44:39 <bay|AX|TP> so...digital
19:44:48 <bay|AX|TP> we did various things
19:44:52 <bay|AX|TP> social media
19:44:57 <bay|AX|TP> a little ahead of our time
19:44:59 <bay|AX|TP> film and merch...
19:45:08 <bay|AX|TP> i'll just briefly say we just did a very cost effective way of experimenting
19:45:23 <bay|AX|TP> thankfully it didn't cost us much to make any of these
19:45:18 <bay|AX|TP> infact priest, we got paid by sony
19:45:27 <bay|AX|TP> von von hunter was sorta my fil m school
19:45:34 <bay|AX|TP> and it was extremely low budget as you can probably tell
19:45:42 <bay|AX|TP> and america's greatest otaku
19:45:45 <bay|AX|TP> 2 years ago we had a huge bus out there
19:45:51 <bay|AX|TP> it was 7 weeks on the road
19:46:04 <bay|AX|TP> going to every single city in america, 20 cities total, and looking for otaku cutlure
19:46:08 <bay|AX|TP> it's still on hulu
19:46:13 <bay|AX|TP> hopefully there iwll be a second season one day
19:46:15 <bay|AX|TP> so what happened
19:46:41 <bay|AX|TP> increased competition, over-supply, fan base ceiling, non-diversified business, new intitiative challenges
19:46:46 <bay|AX|TP> piracy, economic crisis, borders
19:46:57 <bay|AX|TP> me analyzing what made it tough to keep tokyopop going this is what i came up with
19:47:01 <bay|AX|TP> this is the thing i think were the big rpobelms
19:47:06 <bay|AX|TP> compteitiont, it got tough
19:47:30 <bay|AX|TP> what really got tough was the japanese publishers entering the market
19:47:26 <bay|AX|TP> oversupply, we got to the point of doing 50 books a month and viz doing 52 since they couldnt 'lose
19:47:34 <bay|AX|TP> manga isn't cheap, it was too much
19:47:43 <bay|AX|TP> fan base ceiling the fan base maxed out
19:47:50 <bay|AX|TP> my goal was to make everyone read, didn't happen, but i tried
19:47:59 <bay|AX|TP> we love manga, but there is a ceiling
19:48:07 <bay|AX|TP> non-diversified business
19:48:21 <bay|AX|TP> basicallythat was the last slide, trying to do other areas to make up for the challenges in the manga business but most didnt' work out
19:48:29 <bay|AX|TP> new initiativse would hae take mor time money
19:48:34 <bay|AX|TP> and then we get to th stuff out of my hands..
19:48:38 <bay|AX|TP> the external forces
19:48:41 <bay|AX|TP> piracy being a big one
19:48:51 <bay|AX|TP> unfortunately it'sa tough one for all parts of entertainment
19:49:14 <bay|AX|TP> sometimes i go to publisher meetings and they are like i don't understand it
19:49:25 <bay|AX|TP> and i pull out my iphone and pull it up and show them and they have no idea
19:49:31 <bay|AX|TP> and then there was a little economic crisis
19:49:33 <bay|AX|TP> and because of that
19:49:35 <bay|AX|TP> borders ...
19:49:57 <bay|AX|TP> so borders owed us a lot of money
19:49:58 <bay|AX|TP> didn't pay us
19:50:03 <bay|AX|TP> they were a 1/3rd of our business
19:50:10 <bay|AX|TP> and suddenly boom, they were gone, so that stopped
19:50:15 <bay|AX|TP> and that made it the biggset challenge of all
19:50:23 <bay|AX|TP> Tokyopop: The Present
19:50:27 <bay|AX|TP> (again witht he skulll)
19:50:35 <bay|AX|TP> let me tell you stuff..
19:50:40 <bay|AX|TP> Dan.. tokyopop powered by nerdist
19:50:50 <bay|AX|TP> newsletter...
19:51:32 <bay|AX|TP> (Asian pop culture, facebook & twitter, daily email)
19:51:47 <bay|AX|TP> it's a free newsletter you can sign up, we try to give you a nice mix of film, fashion, anime, manga...
19:51:53 <bay|AX|TP> all sorts of stuff
19:52:02 <bay|AX|TP> we have so many giveaways from many companies
19:52:11 <bay|AX|TP> and the problem is i can't enter these
19:52:26 <bay|AX|TP> and i promise i will never spam you unless we come across doreamon art made of spam
19:52:50 <bay|AX|TP> if you go to our facebook, you can see many versious of pokemon shaped cookies
19:52:52 <bay|AX|TP> next
19:53:00 <bay|AX|TP> moving into print on demand and ebooks
19:53:03 <bay|AX|TP> to explain the print on demand
19:53:05 <bay|AX|TP> allison
19:53:31 <bay|AX|TP> as you may or may not know... right stuf has teamed up with tp and gentousha and we're putting out hetalia vol 3 which you see infront of you for the first time ever
19:53:49 <bay|AX|TP> we're also doing it for bizghast and we annonuced at our panel yesterday that we're doing it for psy-com
19:54:02 <bay|AX|TP> and the impetus is we hate when you can't buy the manga you want
19:54:34 <bay|AX|TP> so check those out
19:54:38 <bay|AX|TP> (didn't copy a middle part there)
19:55:05 <bay|AX|TP> and daniela is going to speak briefly about editorial after in a sec
19:55:10 <bay|AX|TP> after i say things
19:55:22 <bay|AX|TP> we put out 1-3, ther is more hetalia... there is 4..and in a month in japan, there is hetalia 5
19:55:28 <bay|AX|TP> and i just confirmation yesterday
19:55:37 <bay|AX|TP> from gentosha
19:55:42 <bay|AX|TP> who said guess what, 4 and 5 will also come out here
19:55:54 <bay|AX|TP> we don't know the details yet
19:55:59 <bay|AX|TP> we're talking to gentosha
19:56:05 <bay|AX|TP> but 100% sure that both of those will come out, hopefully soon
19:56:27 <bay|AX|TP> and with that in mind... do you want to talk about... bizenghast...
19:56:31 <bay|AX|TP> (lost)
19:56:40 <bay|AX|TP> and i like hetalia and i'm excited that i can work on more
19:56:57 <bay|AX|TP> and i'm excited to see hetalia 3 come out in print because i worked on that in 2010
19:57:12 <bay|AX|TP> and as a script editor
19:57:33 <bay|AX|TP> the process is basically making sure everyrhing is kosher with the script and the fonts and the grammar...and i also fact check every single thing in the manga...
19:57:38 <bay|AX|TP> so i'm just going to pass it back in
19:57:51 <bay|AX|TP> ebooiks
19:57:53 <bay|AX|TP> we're prepping the files now
19:57:57 <bay|AX|TP> it will probably be a couple more weeks
19:58:06 <bay|AX|TP> and then we can have kindle, nook, itunes... through partners graphically
19:58:11 <bay|AX|TP> Tokyopop: The future
19:58:16 <bay|AX|TP> What about cancelled series?
19:58:20 <bay|AX|TP> Will other series be rbought back?
19:58:25 <bay|AX|TP> What about any new series?
19:58:32 <bay|AX|TP> so...
19:58:42 <bay|AX|TP> basically our situation is that because of everythign that happened over the past year and a half
19:58:47 <bay|AX|TP> our contracts with the licensors have expired
19:58:56 <bay|AX|TP> so basically, whether we can put something out or not, it depends on the jaapnese company
19:59:03 <bay|AX|TP> with gentosha who is really cool, we could make it happen
19:59:15 <bay|AX|TP> how many will work with us or how many will work with others...
19:59:20 <bay|AX|TP> that sort of thing will happen as well
19:59:30 <bay|AX|TP> but there will likely be someother titles that the company in japan is cool with teaming up with us to put it out
19:59:37 <bay|AX|TP> i dont' know exactly until ... until they tell me
19:59:43 <bay|AX|TP> whatever we can put out...they will do our best to do that
19:59:51 <bay|AX|TP> i wish i could sya, here are the series wi'll be putting out, but i dont' know yet
19:59:57 <bay|AX|TP> but gentosha will be able to work witht hem on other titles
20:00:06 <bay|AX|TP> i dont' know 100% ... but i'm pretty sure we can put out other gentosha titles
20:00:19 <bay|AX|TP> the other thing is that if you can email us and let us know or facebook and let us know what titles you want
20:00:23 <bay|AX|TP> google plus, we have that tooo
20:00:27 <bay|AX|TP> myspace, you can myspace us
20:00:36 <bay|AX|TP> we'll also start a request thread in the trsi forusm
20:00:37 <bay|AX|TP> as far as oel manga
20:00:47 <bay|AX|TP> that on the other hand, we will start to do all the oel titles with trsi
20:00:53 <bay|AX|TP> and if there are titles we completed, we'll put those out
20:00:58 <bay|AX|TP> those will take a little bit of time
20:01:01 <bay|AX|TP> we have to see what the market iwll buy
20:01:09 <bay|AX|TP> new series, maybe.. do you want new series?
20:01:22 <bay|AX|TP> you know what.. that enthusiasm..that won me over.. sure why not...
20:01:49 <bay|AX|TP> for new series, if we can get info on what peopel want, ...that leads...and i know other publisehrs are doing it... they are doing kickstarter
20:01:52 <bay|AX|TP> and it works...
20:02:00 <bay|AX|TP> but it's a lot of work once you get it doing
20:02:18 <bay|AX|TP> it's a decent amount of wokr but the good thing about kickstarter is you know there is a market there or not so you can do the best possible quality
20:02:25 <bay|AX|TP> so if we do a kickstarter would we support it
20:02:55 <bay|AX|TP> does anyone not know what kickstarter is?
20:02:46 <bay|AX|TP> (about 1/8th)
20:02:50 <bay|AX|TP> (explains)
20:03:09 <bay|AX|TP> but it's basically you the public deciding what happens and what doesn't happen
20:03:13 <bay|AX|TP> okay...
20:03:16 <bay|AX|TP> and other than that
20:03:22 <bay|AX|TP> there are Film and TV projects in development
20:03:29 <bay|AX|TP> a lot of the OEL, some of these are in development to turn into TV
20:03:36 <bay|AX|TP> we'll see if they get made, you know how hollywood is
20:03:44 <bay|AX|TP> whether they get made or not you'll see
20:03:52 <bay|AX|TP> web video.. is something we're looking at doing more of...
20:04:00 <bay|AX|TP> how many of you like video series on the web
20:04:04 <bay|AX|TP> and then accessories
20:04:12 <bay|AX|TP> we're thinking about doing a bunch of tshirts...and stuff
20:04:17 <bay|AX|TP> so guess what this means
20:04:27 <bay|AX|TP> Q&A.....
20:04:38 <bay|AX|TP> so if you have questions raise your hand
20:04:47 <bay|AX|TP> and they are telling us the panel is over
20:06:04 <bay|AX|TP> end
Notes: None