Fans of the comic creator Jen Lee Quick got a pleasant surprise yesterday afternoon! After years of trying to regain the rights to her original series, off*beat, from Tokyopop, she’s now confirmed that another company will be doing reprints of the first two volumes and eventually publishing the never-before-published volume three.
“So this month I will be working on new covers for books 1+2 of Off*beat. They will be reprinted with my new publishing company and match the layout, logo ect of the eventual book 3.”
Jen is also looking to add some bonus content for the reprints and is seeking her readers’ input on what they’d like to see. You can share your comments over on her tumblr post or Deviantart account. Because some loose legal threads are still being tied up, the name of the publisher can’t be shared at this time but I can assure you that news of who it is will be coming soon (sorry readers, it’s a secret for now!).
As someone who really enjoyed the first two volumes of off*beat, this news is exciting enough in itself, but also has the added bonus of showing that at least one creator has been able to regain the rights to their series after Tokyopop‘s publishing shutdown in 2011. With the company’s recent revamp and subsequent ‘relaunch’, I wonder if we’ll see more creators announcing publication plans of their own for their previously Tokyopopped books. Yes, that was intentionally made into a verb.
Other creators whose works remain in Tokyopop lingo include Becky Cloonan, whose series East Coast Rising was cancelled after only one book. Tokyopop is still offering print editions of the book via RightStuf. Though sadly there are still no plans (that we know of) for volume two to see the light of day, Becky Cloonan has posted some pages from it on her website. Christy Lijewski, creator of the three volume series Re:Play, has also expressed her difficulties in trying to get the rights to her books back and recently polled her readers on their interest in Tokyopop’s plans to re-release the books digitally.