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October 24, 2014

Go, Read: Series Of Posts Exploring DMP’s Latest Tezuka Kickstarter

imageThere's a really interesting series of posts from Alex Hoffman at Sequential State about a Osamu Tezuka-related crowd-funder for a bunch of Osamu Tezuka-related books. It's grown into one of those mini-debates. There's a bunch of stuff to read/see. You should probably start with the Kickstarter itself, move into the three-part Hoffman essay (1, 2, 3), go to a video that DMP's Hikaru Sasahara made about some of the issues raised in general, and end with Hoffman's response to that video and some follow-up thoughts. I would imagine like most discussions of this type it's quickly scuttered into another half-dozen places, with more to come, but those seemed like the essentials.

What fascinates me about this discussion is that it really puts the pressure on DMP to articulate a great deal more of their reasoning than is usually required by a crowd-funder, but also does so against this backdrop where these arguments almost aren't important except as a dampening agent on enthusiasm needed to see a crowd-funder to completion. We're still at the stage where a successful crowd-funder is defined solely by the financial commitment it engenders, even more than if it actually comes through on what's promised. Hoffman brings in the idea of what a crowd-funder should cover, which I think is fair because there is a social-good style argument made for these things but it's usually really broadly portrayed, and sometimes with the idea of something simply being crowd-funded as its own moral force. Another fascinating element is that Hoffman uses the idea of this crowd-funder as one in a potential series of such crowd-funders to question the idea of making an ongoing strategy out of raising money for publishing this way.

I hope there are more discussions like this. I think when you're an established company asking for money like this it puts a lot of pressure on you to justify what you're doing and how you're doing it. Sometimes that's easier for a company like this to do, because they can point to years of completing projects and employing people or however the request is phrased. And sometimes it's more difficult, like this one. I'm terribly interested to see how it plays out. I'm worried that it won't be.
posted 12:25 am PST | Permalink

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