milky's way

Email exchange with Mr. Chuck Austen

On Jul 19, 2011, at 5:54 AM, “Austen, Charles” <> wrote:

Thanks for the quick reply, Stu. Things are actually going great with me, lately. Thanks for asking.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the ability to publish BOS myself, either, other than in a POD situation, which I would happily do, but since I can’t afford the buyout, that would mean you’d have to give it back to me, which doesn’t sound possible. And anyone interested in doing a turnaround buy-out wants all the ancillary rights, as well. So it sounds as if it’s going to die the death.

Sad for me, that a book named a top ten manga by Publisher’s Weekly that had such positive response internally and externally will never be seen. Such is the creative business.

Thanks for at least considering options. I’ll let you know if anything changes.

Best with the film.


On 7/18/11 1:52 PM, “Stu Levy” <> wrote:

Chuck – yes, I did indeed say to check back with me about now, and you’re timing is just right!  While I’m still very busy (I’m heavy in post on the Pray for Japan film), I’ve sorted out most TOKYOPOP wind-down issues and have been inching forward on “post-armageddon” business.

Re: “Boys of Summer”, it comes down to what in particularly you have in mind.  I don’t have the ability to fund or publish more volumes, so if there is another publisher – or you on your own – interested in picking up the publication, we can work out a deal that would be equitable.  Regarding ancillary rights, it’s part of the TOKYOPOP Media library.  Currently, I’m not actively producing or prepping Boys of Summer in the film/TV or gaming space (can only do so many projects at once), so if there is another producer or studio who is interested in that opportunity, we can discuss.

Just LMK what you have in mind.

Hope all is going well with you!




Stu Levy   





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From: "Austen, Charles" <>

Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2011 10:19:35 -0700

To: Stu <>

Subject: Hi Stu

Just checking back in on Boys of Summer. If I remember correctly you said to check back with you about now.

Hope everything’s going well in Japan, and with whatever new directions your life is taking you.

All the best,



On Apr 27, 2011, at 11:45 PM, Stu Levy <> wrote:

Hi Chuck!

Just a heads-up that it will probably be awhile (maybe a few months) before I’m able to dig into this.  I’m up in Tohoku, Japan volunteering and working on a documentary, while dealing with the TOKYOPOP wind-down in the States.  This is the kind of thing that takes awhile of course.  None of us will be working at TOKYOPOP as of June 1, but I’ll still do my best to answer questions and manage issues that arise, including this one.

Thanks in advance for your patience and understanding.  If you don’t hear from me by early July, please feel free to harass me then :-)




Stu Levy


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From: "Austen, Charles" <>

Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2011 13:59:22 -0400

To: Mike Kiley <>, Stu Levy <>

Cc: Tom Ogawa <>

Subject: Re: Hi Mike/Boys of Summer


Thanks, Mike!

Stu-Please let me know if there’s any interest in releasing BOS in any way. I’d love to find a way to get it into print.




On 4/26/11 10:47 AM, “Mike Kiley” <> wrote:

Chuck -

Quick update here: I’m cc’ing Stu on this msg since he is the guy to whom you should direct all rights-related questions from now on.

Very best regards,


Hey, Chuck -

Yes, it could. We’re in the process of sorting things out here; will circle back to you in a week or two with some updated info.



On 4/19/11 12:54 PM, “Austen, Charles” <> wrote:

Does this new announcement change anything?

I’m still trying to find someone who will help buy back the rights.

Hope things are going well with you guys. Too many good people up there that are losing out because of this. Hope you’re doing okay.



On 3/16/11 2:43 PM, “Mike Kiley” <> wrote:

Hi, Chuck -

Yes, we’d be happy to discuss further if that were an option.



On 3/15/11 3:12 PM, “Austen, Charles” <> wrote:

Hi guys,

Quick question:

If I COULD get someone to pony up 40 grand, would that possibility even be entertained?


On 3/15/11 3:51 PM, “Mike Kiley” <> wrote:

Hey, Chuck -

Good to hear from you!

I’m cc’ing our Biz Dev guru – Tom Ogawa – on this message, so that he can verify my view of the rights situation with BOYS OF SUMMER.

In general, our publishing deals are structured to give us rights in perpetuity, provided that we meet certain requirements to publish the work – either in print here in the U.S., via a digital edition, or in an international edition with one of our partners abroad. It’s my understanding that we have fulfilled that requirement with BOYS OF SUMMER (via an intl edition, if memory serves), and that therefore the only reversion that could take place would be one that we would negotiate with you on mutually agreeable terms.

Tom – have I correctly stated the situation here?

Chuck – we have a ton of time and money invested in BOYS OF SUMMER ($40,000 just in artist and writer fees alone, I think) and do not ordinarily consider reversion requests as a result. (The main reason for this is because since neither party has breached this agreement, the only way we would even entertain a reversion would be for us to be made whole by the creator on our direct costs to develop and produce the series.)

In any event, let me know if you have any further questions – and, Tom, pls chime in with your view, too.



On 3/15/11 2:34 PM, “Austen, Charles” <> wrote:

My name’s Chuck Austen and I’ve done some work for TokyoPop in the past.

I created a series called Boys of Summer, and I’ve been trying to understand from my contract when the rights revert back to me. Being an artist, I’m terrible at this kind of thing and I was hoping you could help me to know what the rights situation is.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Hope you’re doing well. I hear things are a bit turbulent over there.


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