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Unfortunate news for manga fans in the US, as Tokyopop, which opened up manga for a sizable American audience, has announced that it will shut its doors late in May. The company made its name in the early 2000's translating and publishing some of the most popular manga titles in the US in its original right-to-left page format, which helped popularized manga in the American bookstore market, reaching teen and tween readers that American comic book publishers struggle to find. They eventually got into the business of publishing Original English Manga (OEL) titles by a variety of creators from around the world.
However, the company had run into a lot of problems lately, and according to The Beat, laid off all but six employees in their Los Angeles office. A statement from Tokyopop reads:
For nearly 15 years, TOKYOPOP, led by Stu Levy, its founder, CEO and Chief Creative Officer, has pioneered the English-language manga movement and touched the hearts, minds and souls of enthusiasts worldwide.Today, we are sad to inform our loyal community of manga fans, our passionate creators of manga content, our business and retail partners, and other stakeholders who have supported us through the years that as of May 31, 2011, TOKYOPOP is closing its Los Angeles-based North American publishing operations.TOKYOPOP film and television projects and European operations, including the German publishing program, will not be affected by the Los Angeles office closure. In addition, TOKYOPOP will continue its global rights sales via its office in Hamburg, Germany.
Source: The Beat
Written or Contributed by: LOLtron