Friday, 22 June 2012

Kickstarter: Re-print Osama Tezuka's Unico in English full colour

I have to admit I back Kickstarter projects liberally. There's been a lot of discussion (here and here) in the past couple of days about exactly what people are asking money for and the uses to which it is put, but I use it purely as a pre-order service for books I'd like to have (should the goal be reached). Additionally, I'm happy to back any project wanting to translate  Osama Tezuku's work in to English and bring it to a wider audience. Which is exactly what Digital Manga Publishing are doing. They've set up a Kickstarter to reprint Tezuka's 400+ page manga about the adventures of a magical unicorn in full colour.

'Tezuka originally drew Unico for Lyrica, a glossy magazine published by Sanrio, the company that owns Hello Kitty. That magazine was in full color, which means Unico is one of the few Tezuka manga to be created in color from the beginning. Publishing manga in color is difficult and incredibly expensive, so almost all of the editions of the Unico manga in Japan are in black and white. In fact, the color edition has been out of print in Japan for years.'

It costs $35 for a copy of the book, with free shipping within the US and $13 for shipping to the UK. DMP have put up the opening 10 pages of the manga for people to view (the first 5 of which you can see below), but as they stress 'You may notice that the images below look, well, bad. That's because they're based on quick scans of the last Japanese color edition (which is now eleven years old). Our final version will look MUCH better. This is a rough translation. The final version will be translated and adapted to read well for both adults and kids.'

The project requires $20,500 by the close date of July 22nd, of which $10,309 has currently been pledged. You can back it here.

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