update -the fate of off*beat and future plans

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wulfmune's avatar
i hate talking about myself. that's why i draw instead of keeping live journals!

okay i have a lot of news and general stuff to blabber about so i decided it would be a lot less intimidating broken down in parts.  

so...here's the first part to get off my chest.

the awful news first.

as some of you probably heard Tokyopop is doing a lot of restructuring in the company.  many of the OEL projects got affected.  Off*beat got put on "hiatus".  what does that mean exactly?  i'm not entirely certain myself.  i apologize for not sharing the news earlier but i was hoping to learn more information about the future of the project.  all i can say still at this moment is that i have expressed deep concern to my former editor that i wanted a means to finish the story and give my readers closure.  i'm trying not to say too much because i want to keep my options and relations as good as possible.  i was given a kind of vague response quite some time ago that things were still being re-organized on their end and they were looking in to options for allowing their creators to finish their stories.

**in short, tokyopop put the freeze on off*beat and there's nothing i can do about it until i hear otherwise...which maybe never.

i'm disheartened and embarrassed that i have to be the one to share this news so please don't shoot the messenger.

the (hopefully) good news

my poll earlier this month reflected my plans for the future which i have already set into full motion.  i figured the best way for me to pick myself up from this disappointing circumstance and regain some control over my work, was to look into self publishing and on demand printing.  for the rest of 2008 i will be releasing 28 page monthly comics.  each comic will be a self contained story based on a previous story idea/comic i have written or planned on writing.  i will decide on which story, if any of them, i feel i want to pursue in to a full graphic novel form, based on the outcome and hopefully reader feedback.

at the end of this year, i will have a better idea if comics will be something i can afford to do full time or part time (or worst scenario no time) and that will affect if my next project will be novels published quarterly, yearly, or sporadic self contained single issues.  i will also be giving this time to tokyopop, should off*beat have any chance of revival, i will not be caught in another long story arc.  i will post more detail about this soon.  issue one is mostly complete and should be available in mid/early september.

i had hoped to have out in august, but it will take a month or so for printing and i've run into layout/formating problems.

**in short- i'm going to put a rather big risk, give this whole comics thing one last big effort before i throw in the towel, and resign myself to a future of retail.  

my current life goal is that i'd like to have health insurance by my 30th birthday.  thank you again, words cannot express my gratitude for your interest and support in my artwork.

**related Off*beat links**

Tokyopop: www.tokyopop.com/product/1514
Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Off*beat
Fanlisting: off.beat.beautiful-beast.net/
LJ Community: community.livejournal.com/gaia…
Fanfiction: www.fanfiction.net/anime/Off_B…
© 2008 - 2021 wulfmune
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spectrosity's avatar
... I was seeing that the third volume would be released on December 2, 2008 from a number of sources. So now I'm confused and frankly, very, very angry. I understand the need for Tokyopop to do a re-structure, but to put a three-part series on 'hiatus' when there's only one volume remaining to be released? That's... really awful. I've been looking forward to reading the end for so long, and then I hear this news.

Regardless, you have talent. I've enjoyed your work for so long, and having met you, I know that you have the drive, that ambition to be an artist for a living. I have a number of extremely talented artist friends, and I realize that the field is extraordinarily competitive, but I believe in you. This circumstance may be regrettable, but I know you can rise above this and continue to pursue art as a career, not just some side hobby. You're good enough. And from what I've been seeing with your recent work (western, please?!) you've improved and managed to grab my interest thoroughly in just a single page. That, my friend, takes impressive skill.

Don't let that talent go to waste <3 I do hope that if they have no plans of publishing your last volume of Off*Beat, that they will revert the rights back to you so you may do so. You have a ton of fans who would love to read what happens to Tory and Colin, including myself :)

:heart: Much love and encouragement,
wulfmune's avatar
aawww~ thank you.
i have no idea what the future holds for me, but i hope i will be able to keep doing some kind of art. at least as a hobby. it helps me get out alot of my feelings and such. i think i am always happier when im working on comics.
spectrosity's avatar
Well you definitely have the skill, there's no lack there. And if it makes you happy, you should find a way for you to do it full time. There's nothing quite like working doing something you hate. I'm currently doing that (well, it was MUCH worse a couple of months ago and things are getting better, but still) and it's awful. Sometimes we must do what we can to make end's meet, but still. If it's something you love so much that you feel you would be withholding your voice from the world, by all means pursue it :)
midnighteve's avatar
Just the other day I went into my local comic book shop and as I was chatting with the owner, we got into a discussion about Tokyopop. I know you've said that Tokyopop put you on "hiatus", but from what I heard from the owner (and what I saw when he showed me his inventory computer) your wonderful book was on the list of "Cancelled" manga. :(

I hate to ask since it's been asked so many times already (and this journal entry is sorta old) but do you have any news about whether or not you'll be getting your rights back on at least the last unpublished volume of Off*Beat?
wulfmune's avatar
sadly when tokyopop has put off*beat on indefinite hiatus it was the equivalent of canceling it without giving me back the rights to distribute it myself. when this matter will be resolved, i have no idea. sorry for that bad news. :/ nothing within my control and at this rate i'm kind of not getting my hopes up anymore.
Parkas4Kids's avatar
Okay, so I'm TOTALLY late in reading this, but you've rekindled the fire of me wanting to punch every TokyoPop exec. in the face. I've really enjoyed reading Off*Beat, and it saddens me to hear you've considered throwing in the towel when it comes to comics. Hopefully everything'll work out, though.:)
wulfmune's avatar
i really don't blame tokyopop. i think business is tough. i just hope they let me finish off*beat on my own if they don't intend to publish it :X
Parkas4Kids's avatar
I agree. It's really shitty of them (at least in my opinion) to hold onto the right of the various books they've put on hiatus. I mean, what if they decide to NEVER let you finish? What, all that work for nothing?

otakusakura's avatar
Aw, so sorry to hear about this whole mess. I really hope things get worked out, both for your sake and so we can get to see the end of Off*Beat!

I can't wait for the new comics, though. I'll totally be supporting you with this, as long as my mom doesn't kill me for asking to use her Paypal every month, eheheheh...

Best of luck with everything! <3
wulfmune's avatar
thank you so much~
okashichan's avatar
I will totally be throwing my money at you whenever these come out~ I'm sorry to hear TP caught you like that too. A good handful of my friends (fiance included) got hiatus or straight to web which is as a whole discouraging. I hope the self publishing becomes self sustaining, but if not, I do hope you do try to hit up the other publishers later. TP's massive mess up is only opening the door for other companies. I know everyone would rather work without a company restricting their ideas, but that concept destroys a lot of artists who then end up giving up all together because they can't financially support themselves without a company backing. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is I hope you never stop being a comic artist. I would hate for TP's own inabilities in managing their company to be the ending force in your art career.
wulfmune's avatar
thank you so much for your words. i do agree i will likely have to look in to other options
at some time. T_T right now i just feel kind of lost so i'm retreating to my roots. i'm trying to use this experience to enjoy drawing comics again, instead of being stressed out by the very thought of it. i'm sure you know what i mean ^_^;;;
Amarock's avatar
Oh no! This stinks so much. D; I have been looking forward to this last book like crazy. I love this series. I hope that somehow you are able to gain some of Off*Beat's publishing rights back from Tokyopop. I mean come on. If they don't then it's basically like they are giving you no choice but to forfeit this amazing manga. *shakes fist at tokyopop's contractors*
I wish you the best of luck and just know that I am behind you one thousand percent. :hug:
mizushimo's avatar
I'm really sad to hear that Off*Beat is on Tokyopop's chopping block, but don't give up! The manga scene has been getting tougher, and I believe that Tokyopop is losing to its competition. But that doesn't mean that all opportunities for success as an OEL manga-ka are dead!

Here are two avenues that you might want to look into.

Mizi's Idea #1
An webmanga subscription site. The creators they've accepted post one page of their comic either once a week or twice a week. You would also have a great deal of control over the content, once they accept a story, you'll have free rein over the story and its characters.

The manga artists are paid a percentage of the subscription fees. I don't know how much money they make, but if you think you can complete four pages a month for extra income, then why not look into it?

Wirepop has been hanging on since 2003 so I don't think they're going to suddenly fold or have a big shakedown overnight.

Mizi's Idea #2 - Yen Press
Yen Press recently put out a monthly anthology that includes two OEL manga chapters by different artist/writer teams. This route would be more lucrative but probably more restricting than wirepop. I think you might do better as an artist in an anthology, you would get audience feedback every twenty pages or so rather then slogging through an entire graphic novel by yourself.

I hope this helps!
Chonen's avatar
Where could I find your self published things? Will you sell them on deviant? Also will they boy's love or shonen-ai? I'd love to buy more of your work, but i must admit i am a yaoi-crazed fan girl! LOL
purple-umbrella's avatar
ah dont worry we just have to take over tokyopop! mwahahaha!!!
peachramune's avatar
Oh, Tokyopop. If there is anything you are good at, it is making sure that everyone hates you.
Frikin-Chibi's avatar
Why Tokyopop, why?!

Anyway, stay strong, and looking forward to the comics xD!
AngelofMint's avatar
If Tokyo Pop really does keep Off*beat off its publishing list (or whatever they did, I really don't know) I strongly suggest you publish and sell it your self. I know that is really selfish, but...the cliffhanger. The end of manga (or comic as you call them) two really is the worst spot to end something.
Or best, if you are looking for a way to really hook your readers and have them begging for more.
Your Off*beat comics are loved and enjoyed around the world by thousands of people. If you do self publish the 3rd comic I am sure that your watchers on deviant art will help spread word about it and people will swarm to purchase it. Livejournal, Gaiaonline (not the 'gaia' from your Off*beat though~) deviant art, so many sites have sections, forums, fan art, dedicated to Off*beat. I know many people are jumping at the bit to buy it.
I don't know where I'm going with this really... Basicly, even if Tokyo Pop doesn't publish #3, please don't give up!
Or perhaps your stuck? as in you signed a contract with them that you can't back out of. (I just noticed) Someone in another post said that you already wrote #3 and Tokyo Pop just hasen't put it on the market yet...is that true? wouldn't the contract breaks if they fail to publish the comic within a certain time frame?
I know this is selfish and I know that you would have published it already if it was this easy but...when your above words hinted that Off*beat may never be finished, and with you still alive and breathing and of sane mind, I just kind of felt annoyed, sad, confused, helpless, and many other things.
I know, I know. people can say that 'its just a book', and you may think that I'm being overdramatic but...I love to read. I don't obsess over actors or singers. I would much rather read a good book or comic any day.

That being said, I am very, very excited for the monthly comic you will be putting out. I know that I for one will advertise it whenever I go to Off*beat fan sites.

I really hope being a full time comic writer workes out for you.
mini-sys's avatar
i am so sorry to hear about your current circumstances. i really wish tokyopop will get on their feet and continue supporting local non-japanese import
blwhere's avatar
o my freakin god... 2 freakin years and they do this..?! we need to know what happens...
OmiOhMy's avatar
I don't completely understand WHY exactly Off*Beat was put on hiatus but I'm very upset about it. I really hope ur able to share the ending with us. The only thing worse than a good story with a bad ending is a good story with no ending TT_TT. Off*Beat is an amazing story! I wish u the best of luck with it and with the new comic that you will be self publishing. I rlly look forward to it! :heart:
keeptrying's avatar
This is heartbreaking for the fans of course, but I can't imagine what it must feel like for you, the creator.
Thanks for the update -- it's at least nice that we're not in the dark anymore :] or, not completely.
we're thinking of you~
Majiran's avatar
I'm trying to be hopeful about Off*Beat's future and the success of your self-publishing ventures, but the most unsettling thing I got from this is that you have no health insurance. ._. My empathetic little human-bits are feeling very motherly, and the thought of you getting your hand stuck under a printing press and not being covered for expenses is kind of depressing.
Is it a matter of not being able to afford it, or have you not found an acceptable one yet? Aside from supporting your publishing enterprises, I feel like I should somehow help...
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