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.