Tag Archives: Tezuka

DMP Kickstarts Tezuka’s Alabaster

AlabasterDigital Manga Publishing has announced the next Osamu Tezuka Kickstarter. It’s been a month since the last Kickstarter for Ludwig B ended. It’s another two volume series, and was featured as a stretch goal in the failed Tezuka World Kickstater; Alabaster.

The story follows former athlete James Block, now a famous villain who is out for revenge against all things “beautiful.” While in prison, he learns of a weapon, the F-Laser, that can turn any carbon based organism invisible. When he gets out, he steals it, and tries it on himself. Instead of turning invisible, only his skin is affected. He then takes on the name Alabaster, and is joined by Ami, the granddaughter of the scientist who invented the laser, who is also completely invisible thanks to experiments her grandfather did on her mother while she was pregnant. They go on a vicious revenge spree, pulling off several heists, but Ami’s innocents could be Alabaster’s downfall.

This Kickstarter is a little more than Ludwig B. Digital copies of Alabaster are $8 each. For an additional $11 you can get the digital companion. To get print copies you need to pay $36, or $18 a volume. The reason of for this higher price seems to be for better paper quality. It sounds like this came up in the survey they did after the Tezuka World Kickstarter failed. What seems odd is that this puts the print books $6 above the reported MSRP, which for both volumes is only $29.90. If you look at this tier as a pre-order, it seems DMP is making you pay for the privilege of pre-ordering or their Free Shipping is built into it.

Once again there are plenty of incentives for the higher tiers with more Tezuka goodies, including Black Jack toilet paper, an Astro Boy tote bag, and wooden coins commemorating Alabaster‘s printing. The tiers I really like though, are the ones that donate sets to a library of the backers choice. If you’re going to spread the Tezuka love, there is no better way!

There is one stretch goal on this Kickstarter. For an additional $9,800 DMP is looking to reprint Swallowing the Earth on the same better stock paper. No rewards this haven’t been announced yet other than a color wallpaper for backers. I have doubts about this stretch goal being met. The number of people who want to see Swallowing the Earth on higher grade paper probably aren’t $9800 worth. Ludwig B didn’t go very far past its initial goal, and it took to the last 4 hours to get there. These Tezuka Kickstarters seem to be about Tezuka fans getting books, not subsidizing DMP’s print runs.

After only a day, the Kickstarter is already at $8,455, with 165 backers. Both pledges and backers are up from Ludwig’s start. Most of the backers are on the pre-order print tier. But it’s kind of surprising that two of the limited tiers over $100 are already gone, but they were very limited, only needing 6 backers to get them. Still, Alabaster seems to be off to a good start. Fans really do seem to be looking forward to this series. We’ll see how consistent the backers keep pouring in.

 

DMP’s Latest Tezuka Kickstarter Succeeds

Ludwig B kickstarterIt came down to the wire again. Digital Manga Publishing, after the failure of their ambitious Kickstarter to publish 31 volumes of Osamu Tezuka’s manga, tried again with a more traditional model of a complete two-volume series. It began at the end of November, just before Black Friday, and ended the day after Christmas. A difficult time to be asking for money to be sure, as people are out preparing for the holidays and buying gifts.

It started out well, hitting 20% of their goal after only a few days. They kept the pricing in line with what fans expected to pay for books, and had several digital and print options to satisfy most desires. To keep the campaign alive, they would add new tiers, and in the last week offered a special high-end tier that included a trip to Japan for $4000. This seemed to be the spur it needed to get over the lull it had fallen into that made some declare it would fail. As is usual for most Kickstarters, it came down to the wire on the last day, but it did make its goal with $1000 to spare.

When you look at how the pledges broke down, it’s easy to see what people want from Tezuka kickstarters. They want the books; physical books. The tier with the most backers, 189, was for both volumes in print. Print and digital only got 19, while digital only got 18. DMP threw up plenty of bells and whistles any Tezuka fan would love, and they got backs on nearly every tier, but it seems the meat and bones of the fans, the ones they really need to make this work just want the print books at what they consider a reasonable price, which in this case was an MSRP of $15.95.

If DMP and/or Tezuka Productions can be a little patient, I think they can get through this. Fans of these works want the books, but those that want them ALL I think is smaller than those who want certain titles. Breaking the titles up into smaller, more individual runs will make it easier for the more casual fans to get just the specific titles they are interested in while the super fan can get them all on a budget they can justify.

Congratulations to Digital Manga Publishing for a successful Kickstarter to end the year, and a wish for more in the coming new year.

Alive and Kicking

Ludwig B kickstarterIt’s been less than a week since Digital Manga Publishing’s Tezuka’s World Release kickstarter ended, failing to meet its $380K minimum funding goal. But, like the proverbial good man, DMP is not staying down. Six days later they are back with a smaller, more modest kickstarter, and a completely different series.

Ludwig B is a two-volume series, and one of the last three series’ Tezuka worked on before his death. It is about the famous composer, Ludwig Beethoven. It looks at his younger years, as he struggles with being used and abused by aristocrats and his pushy alcoholic father. Charged with watching his younger brothers during a French war, Ludwig deals with his conflicted thoughts the only way he knows how; through his music.

The goal for this kickstarter is back in line with previous DMP Tezuka kickstarters, at $21,600. The reward tiers are also more like previous kickstarters, with digital only copies of the books starting at $15, and print copies at $32. They are also offering tiers what allow backers to get two copies of the first volume to share. There are only 20 tiers, so multiple spreadsheet are not needed to track them this time. Also included is some hard to get merchandise like trading cards and bookmarks that were only published in Japan.

After only one day, they are at 93 backers and over $5200 in pledges. That’s ~20% of the goal after only one day. A much better statistic than the 7% they got at the end of the last one. With Black Friday this week and Christmas coming up, these may not skyrocket up, but as people finish shopping, extra money may end up here. It will be interesting to see how it does on the last day, December 26. Will Christmas money end up here?

It was good to see DMP admit to being too ambitious, and that they listened to the comment and suggestions from their backers on the last campaign. It was a lofty goal to want to publish the remaining Tezuka catalog in 5-6 years, but just not one backers could or would bear. And at least they are warning that these campaigns will come out more often with only a few weeks break in between, so keep that in mind as they start rolling out, especially if you are on a budget. Looking at the tiers people are pledging at, it’s obvious that backers do still want to support getting Tezuka manga published. Several of the higher end tiers, $89 and up, have backers, so it was never about people not wanting to support the initiative. It just needed to be done in a more reasonable and sustainable manner. Hopefully, DMP has struck that balance now.

This Week in Manga 11/14-11/20/09

No Manga Love from the New York Times…Again

This week the New York Times released their holiday gift guide for graphic novels, and it should come as no surprise to anything that follows the NYT’s blog that manga doesn’t get any love from the writers in charge.  This list was no different.  David Welsh of the Precious Curmudgeon blog decided to take matters into his own hands.  He announced on Twitter that he would be doing his own holiday gift guide for manga, and invited other manga bloggers to join him.  Watch for David’s list on Thanksgiving, and other lists from Kuriostiy, Okazu and Manga Bookshelf blogs next week just to name a few.

Continue reading This Week in Manga 11/14-11/20/09