Digital Manga just launched its new Kickstarter campaign seeking 29K to translate & publish the two-volume Tezuka manga mini-series Alabaster. I have a tough time envisioning how licensing, translating, and publishing only two books can possibly cost $29,200. It’s significantly more than the Kickstarter amounts required to publish DMP’s previous two-volume Tezuka manga titles Ludwig B, Captain Ken, and Triton. Furthermore, I’m even more reluctant to contribute to such a substantial publication cost when the initial supporters actually pay 38% more than full SRP to acquire print copies of the two books, and then, after initial supporters have shouldered the entire cost of getting the books to market, DMP can proceed to collect profit from the ongoing sales of the books. Part of me wants to say, “Approach the publishing effort the way any traditional publisher would. Fund it yourself, and I’ll buy it when you release it.” Then again, likely the only way this manga is ever going to see official English language publication is if obsessive fans aggressively volunteer to pay more than cover price to get these two books printed.
I’ve contributed healthily to DMP’s Triton, Unico, Atomcat, and Captain Ken publishing drives. Since Alabaster is a title that I’m actually interested in, I may decide to allow my enthusiasm to overrule my rational skepticism and contribute toward this project too.