I’m not sure what surprises me more these days – how many different Osamu Tezuka titles I’ve never heard of, or how many of them Digital Manga takes to Kickstarter. Really, neither facts should shock me. Osamu Tezuka created over 700 volumes worth of manga (according to Wikipedia), and Digital Manga’s previous Kickstarters, which covered five Tezuka titles, were all successful.
Earlier this week, Digital Manga announced their newest Kickstarter, this time for a print edition of Osamu Tezuka’s Captain Ken. Last year DMP announced that they’d acquired the rights to Tezuka’s entire available library.
Digital Manga is seeking $13,000/US to publish Captain Ken in two volumes, with both books scheduled for February (backers) or March (public). Each book will retail at $13.95/US with page counts averaging 230 each.
“Captain Ken takes place in the future, when Earth has already colonized Mars as the new frontier. The story opens up with a diary entry from a Martian recalling the history of how the Earthlings came to be the supreme rulers of Mars.
“It started in the year 1983, when these ‘Earthlings’ landed on our home. Our ancestors approached the strange creatures, but that was when their terror began…we didn’t know for how long this dark period would last. Then one day, he came…”
This savior is Captain Ken. He’s a mysterious, young gunslinger from Earth who travels to Mars with his trusty sidekick and gadget-horse, Arrow. Ken and his friends soon find themselves caught between the cross fires of the Martian and Earthlings as the tension between the two species escalates.”
Bonus content in this Kickstarter include a decal, bandanna, poster, trading cards, and digital editions. At the time of this post, the Kickstarter has raised 40% of its goal with 28 days left to go.
Repeat disclaimer – I’ve yet to back a Digital Manga Kickstarter myself. The nagging in my mind about a publisher this size using Kickstarter to suddenly fund books just won’t quit. Plus, you know, spending almost double for the book(s) is less than appealing too. Still, it would be nice to see another successful Tezuka Kickstarter that results in some paper prints. Digital Manga has had a good track record for delivering, but many of us are still waiting to see if Kansai Club ever will. Though I am one of those out $50+ waiting on Kansai Club, I do always remind myself and others to bear in mind the big difference between a new group like Kansai Club trying this, and a company as well established as Digital Manga.
Credit where credit’s due – books in hand are nice, so kudos to Digital Manga for continuing to provide by whatever legal means deemed necessary.