Gardena, CA (June 3, 2014) Digital Manga, Inc. has launched a new project on crowd-funding site Kickstarter to translate and publish Osamu Tezuka’s shonen title Captain Ken volumes 1 and 2 for ages 16+ in English for the first time. From June 3 until July 3, fans will be able to pledge for publication of the books and receive Kickstarter exclusive rewards including early release copies of both volumes, the digital companion with featured translation notes, decals, bandanas, messenger bags, and a handmade plush of Captain Ken’s horse, Arrow.
If fans pledge a total of $13,000 or more by the deadline, both volumes of Captain Ken will be released simultaneously for Kickstarter backers to receive in February of 2015, before hitting bookstore shelves in March of 2014, through DMI’s Platinum Manga classics imprint. Swallowing the Earth, Barbara, Unico, Triton Vol. 1 & 2, and Atom Cat were all successfully funded in previous Kickstarter campaigns, but Captain Ken will be first young adult fiction to add to Digital Manga’s Tezuka collection.
Captain Ken takes place after Earth’s colonization of Mars, causing the uprising and civil conflict between the space cowboy colonizers and the native Martians. The story opens up with a diary entry from a Martian, recalling the history of how 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 started…we didn’t know for how long this dark period would last.
Then one day, he came…”
This savior who comes to their aid is Captain Ken. He is a mysterious vigilante from Earth who travels to Mars on a secret mission with Arrow, his noble steed who also happens to be a fully stocked armory on four legs. The arrival of this young gunslinger is the start of a chain of events which includes the unveiling of Governor Devon’s corrupted government and the retaliation against Martian slavery by rebel Martians. Ken’s first appearance on Mars also coincidentally coincides with the arrival of an Earthling girl named Kenn Minakami, who bears striking resemblance to him and thus raises further questions and speculations about Ken’s true identity and his role in this fight for Mars.
In this young adult manga, Tezuka pays homage to some of the most prominent historical moments such as the Gold Rush in the West, colonization, genocide, and nuclear warfare.
“Tezuka’s experiences during WWII really colored his perception of the possibilities of peaceful co-existence and he explores that theme again and again in works like Captain Ken, Zero Men, Adventure of Rock, and, of course, Astro Boy,” explains Greg Baker, creator and author of the fan website Tezuka in English. “I’ve long thought that Tezuka’s classic shonen adventure stories have been largely overlooked by English publishers. It’s such a big part of his library too”. Captain Ken is the first of the 250 titles in Tezuka’s manga backlist to be published in English by DMI.
About Digital Manga, Inc.
Located in Gardena, CA, Digital Manga, Inc. is one of the industry’s most unconventional and innovative companies, specializing in building corporate and cultural bridges from Japan to the Western Hemisphere – specifically through the licensing, importation and preparation of anime (Japanese animation), manga (Japanese comic books) and related merchandise for the North American mainstream and subculture markets. In this capacity, DMI serves as a catalyst for the expansion of Japanese pop culture institutions into global arenas. The company’s DMP Platinum imprint publishes classic manga from Japan, including Swallowing the Earth by Osamu Tezuka and Speed Racer: Mach Go Go Go. Backers can pledge to the Captain Ken Kickstarter here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/digitalmanga/publish-osamu-tezukas-shonen-captain-ken-vol-1-and For more information about Digital Manga Publishing, visit www.digitalmanga.com or www.dmpbooks.com.
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