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Posts Tagged The Crater

Kansai Club Publishing Launches Kickstarter for Tezuka’s The Crater

Kansai Club Publishing Launches Kickstarter for Tezuka's The Crater

Kansai Club Publishing launched their Kickstarter for Osamu Tezuka’s The Crater today. News of the launch initially went out via their Twitter account, while we first heard about this upcoming project when they sent out PR in April.

The new publisher is seeking $3500 for the printing of this collection of Tezuka short stories which it plans to release as 2000 limited edition hardcovers. Each book will also come with special art prints, and other goodies depending on the level of support backing given through the duration of the Kickstarter. The goal is to have the books published by July.

Considering the quality Kansai Club is boosting, two thousand copies, and the strength of Tezuka’s fanbase, I’m actually surprised their fundraising goal is as low as it is. Not to mention the fact that in their Kickstarter write-up, the company rep explains how they were required to pay the licensing fees upfront which has already put them $25000 in the red. Compare this to Digital Manga’s fundraising goals which spanned from $20000 to $47000 and you have some confusing numbers.

If Kansai Club sells each of the 2000 books at the listed $35, that equals $70000, which does seem to cover all their bases nicely, financially speaking. Still, why make the Kickstarter goal so low? At the time of this article, the fundraising is almost halfway there. It seems very likely this will be funded within a couple of days minimum, but how far does $3500 really get them? Are the books already printed? Is Kickstarter simply being used as an ordering system? Promotion method? They do say that regardless of the Kickstarter’s success, this book will happen so I get the feeling the Kickstarter is more a matter of them crossing their fingers and hoping for whatever they can get, as opposed to a set goal. The company is even promising free t-shirts to every backer if the fundraiser sells 1000 books, adding another really big cost to a project that already seems to be operating on some really thin overhead.

Kudos to Kansai Club if they can do it, of course. It’s interesting seeing all these numbers and methods when compared to previous Tezuka Kickstarters where the combination of high fundraising numbers from a long-established company left me skeptical, to say the least. I’ve already supported this project by pledging for the first book.

Along with putting forward your own pledge and seeing what’s available through the tier system, you can learn more details about this edition of The Crater and read preview pages on the Kickstarter page.

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.

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