Longtime Tokyopop sales maven Alan Payne left the company last Friday, November 24th.  He will join IDW as Vice President of Sales on January 2nd. 


Payne had been with Tokyopop for over six years in a variety of positions, most recently as National Accounts Manager.  He was part of the Tokyopop sales team, led by Steve Kleckner (see 'Kleckner Out at Tokyopop'), that took manga from a tiny niche to a major section in chain bookstores in the early years of this decade.  Payne's departure follows Kleckner's by a little less than a year. 


Because of his experience in the direct market, Payne was also respectful of comics' direct market roots, and the important role that comic shops play in building a community of fans. 


Payne noted the unique time in the history of comics that marked his tenure at Tokyopop.  'I've been in the manga business for quite some time and I'm fortunate enough to have played a small role in helping nurture and expand the market for Japanese manga in North America,' he said.  'It has been a remarkable and rewarding experience and one that I will never forget.'