TokyoPop launches tour to promote Manga in US

Manga mania is waning in America and that is not making TokyoPop happy. The Comics Journal reports that founder and CEO Stuart Levy launched a cross-country tour to promote the Japanese art form.

Despite the setbacks, Levy remains as madcap passionate as humanly possible about his struggling business. Instead of griping behind corporate walls, he has hit the road this summer to meet and greet the audience, whose numbers continue to swell at conventions and expos across the US, and try to rescue his industry.

Levy’s self-branded “TokyoPop Tour” launched in early July at Los Angeles’s Anime Expo. When it finally winds down in Chicago at the end of August, he and his crew will have hit 28 cities in 54 days – all to get face time with fans.

For me, the move is rich with irony: the heavily Internet-invested manga/anime producer and retailer I first encountered five years ago is now using online social networking to turn back into old-fashioned traveling salespeople.