Osamu Tezuka

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Posts Tagged Kickstarter

PR: Digital Manga Inc. Launches The Tezuka Requiem Kickstarter Campaign

Digital Manga Inc. Launches in Lighting SpeedSmaller, Quicker, and Affordable—The Tezuka Requiem Kickstarter Campaign

Gardena, CA (November 26, 2014) Digital Manga Inc. (DMI), a long-time publisher of manga, launches a new Kickstarter campaign for their new Osamu Tezuka title, Ludwig B. With other successful Tezuka Kickstarter campaigns such as Barbara, Captain Ken, and Unico, DMI looks to crowd funding once again to help release a manga classic into English. The 2 volume series release date is set for July 2015.

Ludwig B [https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/digitalmanga/publish-osamu-tezukas-ludwig-b-vol1-2]

Ludwig B is a bio-manga about music prodigy, Ludwig van Beethoven. With a focus on Ludwig’s younger years, Tezuka depicts what life was like for a young, struggling artist in a time when those in a higher social class used and abused those of lower class. Born in an era of great composers, Johann (Ludwig’s alcoholic father) forces the young Ludwig to take piano lessons and often acts the dictator. Miserable from his father’s constant abuse, Ludwig hated music, but then he is taken under the tutelage of Christian Gottlob Neefe who nurtured Ludwig’s natural talents. One day, Franz Creutzstein (an aristocrat who hates anyone with the name Ludwig) canes Ludwig Beethoven in the ear which causes internal bleeding. This in turn causes Ludwig to slowly lose his hearing. From abuse by people he trusted, to the death of his parents, to the loss of his hearing, Ludwig continues to compose music because it is the only way for him to connect to people and the world.

Ludwig B [https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/digitalmanga/publish-osamu-tezukas-ludwig-b-vol1-2]

“Readers can hear a lot of valuable messages from Osamu Tezuka in this story … .”
– Hikaru Sasahara – Digital Manga Inc. – President

Check out more Q&A with the president of Digital Manga, here.


Ludwig B is one of the three last manga Tezuka had worked on while in the hospital. He connected deeply with Beethoven’s drive and passion for art which is reflected in the panels of the manga, from explosive waves of piano music to a calm melody of flowers, Tezuka pays homage to Beethoven and the beauty of art in this unfinished manga opus. Read more…

Digital Manga Launches New Kickstarter for Tezuka’s Captain Ken

Digital Manga Launches New Kickstarter for Tezuka's Captain Ken

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.

Read more…

PR: Digital Manga, Inc. To Launch Captain Ken by Osamu Tezuka Kickstarter

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.

Read more…

New Publisher Kansai Club Kicks Off With Tezuka Shorts

Kansai Club Kicks Off Publication Goals with Collection of Tezuka Shorts

This past Thursday, we received an e-mail with information on what looks to be a new manga publisher on the block. Word on the web seems sparse on this sudden newcomer, but for now with hopeful hearts we welcome, Kansai Club.

“Kansai Club Publishing L.L.C. is an American publishing company that specializes in importing and translating Japanese literature and Manga from the 1940′s to the 1970′s. Our organization is small, intimate and comprised of a close-knit group of individuals who genuinely love good Manga. Our singular goal is to expose the American public to classic, obscure, rare, visually pleasing, emotionally taxing and often archaic Japanese Manga that have never before been published in English.”

It’s great to see a new company working to bring more manga for us  in English. It’s not a cheap or easy endeavour, and I don’t even know where an individual would start negotiating with Japanese publishers to acquire content. With that in mind, some reservations about a new company are always understandable, especially when, like Kansai Club, they are described as being two people working out of a living room. Everyone needs to start somewhere, but I hope this fledgling publisher has some more confidence-building proof for its potential consumers in the near future.

Kansai Club currently has a website set-up with some more information about their company. As of now, their social media links lead to nothing but I did see they’ve created a Twitter account that has yet to be updated.

That all being said, however, the company is definitely starting off with material that’s proven it can garner some strong pre-production support. Kansai Club’s first acquisition is a collection of short stories by Osamu Tezuka, titled The Crater.

The CraterCollecting eighteen short stories, The Crater will be released as a limited edition, 2000 copy run with a hardcover finish, colour inserts and a current price of $34.95/US. Important to note is that Kansai Club does not have plans to publish this book through retailers. The only way they currently have listed to order the book is to support their yet-to-be-launched Kickstarter for the project, or attend the pop-culture con, Florida Supercon, in July, which Kansai Club is helping to sponsor.

Cynical as it may be, I’m reserving my enthusiasm on this one until I see some more substance, but the prospects are interesting as I’d love more Tezuka on my shelf and another publisher to look to for unique licenses. For now my opinion is Kansai Club has some big goals, but I think publicly launched itself prematurely without taking advantage of social media outlets, having an only partially put together website, a Kickstarter slated to begin two weeks later, and a press release e-mail that was a bit too casual to be easily taken seriously. Still, they’re someone to keep an eye on and we’ll see what Kansai Club has to offer soon enough.

Manga Minis: Done with Del Rey, No More Kingyo, Interviews for Detail, and a Kickstart for Nothing

Manga Minis: Done with Del Rey, No More Kingyo and Kickstart for Nothing

The last couple of weeks have had some great manga licenses, and sprinkled amidst them were some other tidbits of news that shouldn’t be missed:

sq Kodansha Comics has stated via their Twitter account that they would no longer be looking to continue any Del Rey’s manga series that Kodansha had not already taken over. The original question which got this answer was asking about School Rumble, while other series Del Rey had partially released that were not already picked up include Nodame Cantabile, Suzuka, and Basilisk. (via ComicsWorthReading)

sq House of 1000 Manga is one of my favourite features on AnimeNewsNetwork – Jason Thompson and occasional guest writer, Shaenon Garrity, do phenomenal jobs shining the spotlight on different series. Shaenon’s most recent article housed an interesting but sad piece of information – Viz Media has officially cancelled their release of Kingyo Used Books. The reason cited was licensing complications based on the books mentioned in the series itself. Considering how diverse the series included were, it’s no surprise Viz Media ran into big issues but it’s still disappointing. At least we have some closure on the topic now.

sq Brigid Alverson has posted two interviews well worth a read this weekend – one with Kevin Harmac, Viz’s director of publish and marketing, over the state of Viz Media’s digital manga; and the second an interview with Tokyopop’s president, Stu Levy. The latter in particular is a really interesting revisit of Tokyopop’s past, present and future straight from Stu himself. Even though much is already known or assumed, it is refreshing to read it coming directly from him.

sq And last but not least, GEN Manga has recently launched a Kickstarter to help finance a collected print edition of their series, Sorako. GEN has been serializing Sorako digitally via their GEN Manga magazine, and you can currently purchase the full version as a PDF.

I’ve been a naysayer of a manga publisher’s use of Kickstarter in the past, but GEN’s use of the crowd-sourcing system is much more in line with how I think the site can be used responsibly- offering collectors a way to finance something the company couldn’t otherwise do, but for a series readers have had the chance to already read and judge so they’re not pledging blindly. It’s a system that doesn’t rely on scanlation and Japanese readers, or simply risk-takers and faithful, to succeed. GEN is seeking $6000 for the funding.

“Sorako lives an ordinary life. And this is an ordinary story. She has friends and family, loves her dog, thinks about life, and occasionally looks for work (kinda). These are the adventures into a typical girl’s life.”

PR: GEN Manga Announces the launch of new Korean Comics Magazine, GEN Manhwa!

GEN Manga Announces the launch of new Korean Comics Magazine, GEN Manhwa!

GEN Manhwa, featuring Stone Collector, is available nationwide Feb. 2013!

NEW YORK, NY – GEN Manga Entertainment, Inc. announces the release of GEN Manhwa (GEN Manhwa, featuring Stone Collector, 54 pages, black and white) will be available Feb. 2013.

GEN Manga welcomes 2013 with exciting new publishing plans! GEN Manga will release monthly indie Korean GEN Mahnwa!

“It’s a non-stop full of action title full of monsters and zombies! Very high grade stuff!”

Stone Collector: Pieces of curse fall from the sky as if to mock the cruelty and evil of humanity. These stones create wretched beasts and the blood of these beasts turn human flesh into the undead. There is only one thing that can destroy these hellish fiends—Jade Stone. This is the story of a Stone Collector. One who wields Jade forged blades. A man whose family was murdered by these evil abominations and he has now vowed to rid the world of the foul presence. —Author: Kevin Han —Artist: Zom-J

This year GEN will also release a complete list of graphic novels. All new graphic novels with all new content along with the return of old stories with new artwork and new chapters! GEN Manga will release new content every month, this time, in the form of one-shot graphic novels, otherwise known in Japan as tankobon!

The second release 2013 in GEN Manga’s publishing schedule is the indie fan favorite Sorako!

The art of Sorako is fluid, quick, imprecise. Lines aren’t perfectly straight nor details entirely accurate, but the rough drafting style gives the frames energy and character, enhancing the impression that the artist’s goal is to tell Sorako’s story, blemishes and all. —AnimeNation

Sorako lives an ordinary life. And this is an ordinary story. She has friends and family, loves her dog, thinks about life, and occasionally looks for work (kinda). These are the adventures into a typical girl’s life.

—Author & Artist: Takayuki Fujimura

GEN Manga will also release its first Kickstarter to help promote print here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1450575711/sorako-a-manga-about-nothing?ref=live

GEN stories are published nowhere else in the world. These stories are created by the elusive doujin creators in Tokyo’s secret underground circles, otherwise known in the west as independent creators and hard core fans.

Presenting new indie manga circles from Japan, GEN, a monthly publication, will be released in the US and Japan simultaneously. Digital format and print editions for GEN are available now. Based in New York, GEN Manga Entertainment (www.genmanga.com) endeavors to publish new and unseen graphic work from Japan, being in the unique position to bring readers work first, more original and untamed manga will be sure to come!

For more information, please contact: Robert McGuire– (646) 535-0090, editor@genmanga.com

Digital Manga Stretches for the Tezuka Goal with Updated Kickstarter

Digital Manga Stretches for the Tezuka Goal with Updated Kickstarter

With over 450 backers, Digital Manga’s Unico Kickstarter surpassed it’s original funding goal last week. True to their word, the company announced a secondary license for their backers to shoot for – Osamu Tezuka’s Atom Cat:

“This is a family reboot of Astro Boy drawn by Tezuka in 1986-87, about a little boy who has a cat with Astro Boy’s powers. It’s adorable, fun, and has some great art and action!”

Even with additional thousands of dollars required for this title, the number was reached in a matter of days. Another Tezuka was added, this time a two volume series, Triton:

“It’s the story of Triton, a boy living in modern Japan who discovers he is the last survivor of the destruction of Atlantis by the god Poseidon. With his dolphin comrades by his side once again, he goes on a quest to avenge his family and, more importantly, begin to understand where he came from.”

Currently the Kickstarter is just over $30,000 with the current goal for the publication of Triton set at $47,000. Digital Manga continues to set some hefty goals indeed. I’m not sure how they’re working out their ‘pricing’ – going from approximately $20,000 to $6000 then shooting back to $20,000 – but backers seem keen on following the path regardless. Whether or not they reach the nearly fifty-grand total by July 21st remains, of course, to be seen.

Atom Cat
Paperback (B/W)
Page Counts: 200
Release Date: Unknown
Price: $12.95/US
Paperback (B/W)
Page Counts: (Vol.01) 488 | (Vol.02) 440
Release Dates: June 2013/August 2013
Price: $19.95/US

I’m always glad to have the potential for Tezuka (or manga in generally,really), especially in this instance as Atom Cat sounds like a fun spin-off of Astro Boy – this coming from someone who doesn’t like cats too. I still really wish, however, that Digital Manga would have enough faith in the material to publish it without relying on this method of repsonsbility shift. I don’t think it’ll ever sit right with me watching a for-profit company requesting these kinds of upfront funds from its audience. Kickstarter as an extras potential – such as allowing a digital-only release to go to print or bring an old book back as a reprint, such as they did with Swallowing the Earth – seemed considerably more appropriate use of the service for them. If a financially backed, for profit organization with almost a decade of publishing experience is going to use a Kickstarter, I would hope they could show the confidence to use it as that kind of bonus offer system and not a do-all-end-all crutch.  Maybe then asking your readers to shell out $45,000+ towards mostly unknown costs might go down a little easier… but who’s to say?

But I digress (surprise surprise!). Despite my previous post and podcast on the topic, I still feel I could go on rambles in regards to these Kickstarter projects for pages more so I’ll withhold myself here. I really do adore Digital Manga as a company for their taste and consistency over the years, but these Kickstarters and DM Guild activities have me really on the fence about their current direction. There’s a lot good about the intiatives, but a lot of negatives too.

Ultimately I am glad to see more Tezuka potentially hitting the market and both Atom Cat and Triton will be on my bookshelves when they’re available to actually purchase. Time will tell if it’s one or both, as Triton‘s fate in English seems to now lay squarely on an audience who could already be understandably maxed out.

Digital Manga Launches Kickstarter for Osamu Tezuka’s Unico

Digital Manga Launches Kickstarter for Tezuka's Unico

Digital Manga launched a new Kickstarter project late this week, this time for Osamu Tezuka’s Unico. The Kickstarter launched June 21st and is currently over halfway to their goal of $20,000/US.

Unico is a series Tezuka drew for children during the late 70s and it was originally published in full-colour. Digital Manga plans to release the entire thing in one omnibus collection and maintaining the colour print (hence they say the much higher pledge amount). They’ve got a couple rough sample pages on their Kickstarter project page so the curious can get a glimpse of what they’re pledging towards.

“Unico is a little unicorn who possesses the magical power to help those who love him. His story begins in the Greece of mythology, with Tezuka’s take on the story of Psyche. In his version, Unico brings great happiness to the mortal Psyche, who in return cares for him and loves him. But the goddess Venus is jealous of Psyche, tricking her and ordering Zephyrus, the West Wind, to kidnap and banish the unicorn to someplace far away after wiping his memory. Before Unico can spend too long in one place, Zephyrus returns to carry him away again.”

The book is being quoted at 441 pages and for a cost of $39.95/US once printed. In addition to pledging towards Unico, Digital Manga has stated that they’ll be including a second license in the project if the Kickstarter surpasses it’s $20,000 goal in advance of the July 21st cut-off. … what could it be?

I made no secret of my opinions towards Digital Manga’s use of Kickstarter in the past. While I’m pleased to see they’ve made some changes to the benefit of their supporters (such as preview pages),  I still won’t be supporting this project as a pledger. When/if the book is completed and out on store shelves, however, I’ll definitely be purchasing it to add to the Tezuka collection! Unico looks quite adorable.

The company’s last Kickstarter was for Osamu Tezuka’s Barbara which was successfully funded at $17,032 – three times more than the $6,500 requested. Barbara is scheduled for public release this September (Amazon CAN/US).

PR: DMP Platinum Brings Tezuka Manga for Kids to Kickstarter with “Unico”

Digital Manga, Inc.’s Platinum Manga imprint is returning to Kickstarter to publish the first ever full-color Osamu Tezuka manga in English!

Gardena, CA (June 21st, 2012) — Today Digital Manga, Inc. launched a project on crowd-funding site Kickstarter to translate and publish Unico, the children’s comic by Osamu Tezuka, in English for the first time. Until July 21, fans will be able to buy into the project to receive rewards including copies of the book and exclusive bonuses, such as T-shirts, posters, stickers and a digital companion with educational games and bonus material for young readers and their parents and teachers.

If fans pledge a total of $20,500 or more by the deadline, Unico will be released in a single volume edition in January 2013 through DMI’s Platinum Manga classics imprint. It would be the first manga released in full color in English by Tezuka, an important pioneer of manga and animation in Japan and perhaps the most prolific and acclaimed comics artist of all time. Digital Manga’s previous two successful Kickstarter campaigns were focused on two of Tezuka’s adult works, Swallowing the Earth and Barbara. In a twist, Digital Manga has announced that if the goal is met with sufficient time to spare, another Tezuka children’s license will be made available through Kickstarter immediately.

The book opens in mythological Greece, where Psyche takes care of Unico, and in return he uses his magical powers to bring her happiness. Jealous of Psyche, the goddess Venus orders the West Wind to wipe Unico’s memory and spirit him away where Psyche will never reach him. Unico’s adventures eventually take him to the Wild West, medieval Europe, and even more fantastic locales. Along the way he makes friends and turns back evil with the power of love.

“With Unico losing his memory every time he is transported to a new world, the book is not only a fun adventure for kids, it’s also a moral story, with considered spiritual themes,” said Ben Applegate, editor of the Platinum Manga imprint. “Unico already has a small fanbase in the United States thanks to the animated films, which were first released here in the ’80s and were recently re-released on DVD. However, we’re not just trying to appeal to nostalgic grown-ups like me. We’re doing the book specifically so that parents can read it with their kids. And teachers, too: We think this would make a great addition to primary school libraries and literature curricula.”

The digital companion, available exclusively through the Kickstarter campaign, will also include entertaining explanations of the Greek myths and historical locations used in the book.

The Kickstarter campaign, with promotional materials and a video, can be viewed here:

Where’s the Rush?: Kickstarter for Laura Carboni’s Roulette

Roulette - Kickstarter

Kickstarters have really taken off in recent months with creators and organizations using the crowd-sourcing service to collect the funds they need to get projects off the ground that wouldn’t otherwise be funded. I still hold my reservations towards companies using the service but I’m glad it’s worked out so well for creators getting their original works out to a wanting audience.

Just such a project has been started for Roulette, an original boys’ love style story written by Tina Anderson (Loud Snow) and drawn by Laura Carboni (Love Circles). Laura is looking to raised enough money to fund the completion and print of the book, which will be 255 pages long. Via Kickstarter’s often-used reward system, you can also get a number of extra goodies depending on how much you pledge.

“Mafia accountant Riley Leary finds himself blackmailed by an unseen party when he’s caught stealing from his boss. To make matters worse, he garnishes the interest of the dangerous hit man, Anton Colletti. Will Riley manage to get things right, or will Anton make things go from bad to worse?” (Read a preview chapter)

For those who aren’t familiar with Roulette, it was originally published in Rush, an anthology of boys’ love stories by creators around the world and published in print by Dramaqueen. When the company ceased production, so too did Rush come to an end after only a couple issues. There had been problems with DQ and it’s handling of the project practically since the get-go with subscribers and creators alike left wondering where their dues were. As someone who subscribed to the anthology, I was among those both disappointed and rather miffed when the plug was suddenly pulled. It’s unfortunate when projects like this don’t work out.

If curious about the other creators who contributed to Rush, you can see what they’re up to today via the links below (or under the cut if you’re on the main page!):

Read more…

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