Sporadic Sequential
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Who Writes Their Contracts? Kururu???

NOTE: This entire post was written under some flawed assumptions. See my retraction for an update. Any other ideas for a comic company we can legitimately boycott?

I was planning on writing up some thoughts on the latest volume of Sgt. Frog last night (with hilarious scans and everything!), but the latest round of shady dealings from Tokyopop has dampened my enthusiasm for their works. Like Johanna, I really don't want to be promoting a company that engages in (let's phrase this charitably) extremely questionable business practices at the expense of creators. In fact, I'll take it a step further and suggest it's time for a general boycott of Tokyopop until they get this contract mess straightened out so it's more equitable for creators:
  1. If you're a reviewer, stop reviewing their books.
  2. If you're a reader, stop buying and reading their books.
  3. If you're a fan, stop discussing Tokyopop (other than to explain why you're no longer discussing them)
  4. In any case, send Tokyopop a note to let them know why you're no longer a customer of theirs.
A Tokyopop boycott isn't really that painful for me since, with the conclusion of Dragon Head, Sgt. Frog is the only series of theirs that I'm following (and it only comes out once or twice a year) but I'd strongly encourage anyone who thinks this is an important issue to stick it to Tokyopop where it hurts and let them know why you're dropping their books.

UPDATE: Tom Spurgeon handily demolishes arguments that Tokyopop's contract is just standard operating procedure.

UPDATE #2: Heidi MacDonald weighs in and ties the recent mess into a larger discussion of Tokyopop's OEL program and its treatment of newer, younger creators.

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