Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 13, 2012.


Translate and publish "god of manga" Osamu Tezuka's gripping adult drama "Barbara" in English for the first time ever!

"Put simply, Barbara is the story of a man caught between artistic decadence and madness." - Osamu Tezuka

Hello again from Digital Manga. We are very excited to announce our first new book offered through Kickstarter: Osamu Tezuka's Barbara!

In partnership with Tezuka Productions in Japan, we are using Kickstarter to accelerate the publication of niche-oriented manga in the United States and offer an unprecedented level of fan participation in the production of Japanese comics. If this campaign succeeds, we will translate and produce this 430+ page book in paperback in a large size:  5 7/8" x 8 1/4", the same size as our previous Tezuka release, Swallowing the Earth.

Here is a brief plot summary:

Wandering the packed tunnels of Shinjuku Station, famous author Yosuke Mikura makes a strange discovery: a seemingly homeless drunk woman who can quote French poetry. Her name is Barbara. He takes her home for a bath and a drink, and before long Barbara has made herself into Mikura's shadow, saving him from egotistical delusions and jealous enemies. But just as Mikura is no saint, Barbara is no benevolent guardian angel, and Mikura grows obsessed with discovering her secrets, tangling with thugs, sadists, magical curses and mythical beings - all the while wondering whether he himself is still sane.

The father of modern anime and manga, Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989) is the creator of iconic characters including Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion as well as the author of many acclaimed adult manga including Buddha and Ode to Kirihito. Written in 1973 and 1974 and inspired by the classic opera "Tales of Hoffman" by Jacques Offenbach, Barbara is one of Tezuka's most psychological and personal manga, an allegorical look at the difficult choices and torturous doubts every artist must face.

And here is a brief description of Barbara written for us by the fabulous Helen McCarthy, author of "The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga":

"Why would a respectable middle-aged writer pick up a drunken, foul-smelling hippie chick out of a Shikjuku gutter? Not, as you might think, because she's half his age, not even because of her ability to cap his quotes from French poetry, but because he's bored and jaded and desperately seeking something - anything - to give meaning to his life and work. But his unpromising muse is not what he expected, and takes him far beyond his comfort zones to the dark edges of insanity and obsession. Osamu Tezuka upends our perceptions of himself, ourselves and our sophisticated global culture in this mischievous, maddening, baffling book. Like its central character, Barbara challenges all our assumptions. If you thought MW was a whole new Tezuka, you'll be astonished and delighted by Barbara."

Also check out this excellent page on Barbara from our friends at Tezuka in English!

With a new book come new rewards, and we're offering some exclusive bonuses to fans who help make this book happen. Remember, shipping is free for all rewards for backers inside the United States.

To our friends abroad: Please add $13 to the $25 or $35 rewards or $60 to any of the more expensive rewards to cover shipping.

To our friends in Canada and Mexico: Please add $9 to the $25 or $35 rewards or $31 to any of the more expensive rewards.

Rewards include:

  • All backers will have their names posted on a special thank-you page on the coming Barbara section of
  • A free subscription to the digital Astro Boy Magazine on
  • Your name in the acknowledgments of the book itself.
  • Membership in the Barbara Producers Committee, with updates on the translation and production process and the chance to weigh in on decisions including logos and the final design of the book.
  • Copies of Swallowing the Earth signed by forward author and author of The Astro Boy Essays, Frederik L. Schodt.
  • A Tezuka tribute poster screen-printed exclusively for Digital Manga by the awesome LA-based Two Rabbits Studios.
  • A Tezuka T-shirt made and designed in the USA and printed exclusively for Digital Manga by Forward Printing in Oakland, CA.
  • A digital companion to Barbara by with bonus art, commentary and an original essay by "The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga" author Helen McCarthy, available ONLY during this Kickstarter campaign.
  • More manga from DMP (see the list below).

ALSO: We are incredibly grateful to all the people who helped bring back Osamu Tezuka's Swallowing the Earth in our last Kickstarter campaign. We could not have even started this project without you. We intend to continue with our plan to reissue premium editions of older titles AND pursue new licenses, not only from Tezuka Productions but also from other artists who may be even less well known in the West. Thank you!

Still to come in future updates: Art for the T-shirt and poster, and sample pages of the book itself. Check back soon!

Bonus manga:

  • Angelic Runes Vol. 1-2 
  • Antique Bakery Vol. 2-3
  • Bambi and her Pink Gun Vol. 1
  • Café Kichijoji de Vol. 1
  • Café Kichijoji de Vol. 3
  • Crimson Cross
  • Demon City Shinjuku: The Complete Edition
  • Edu-Manga: Helen Adams Keller
  • Edu-Manga: Ludwig Van Beethoven
  • Edu-Manga: Mother Teresa
  • Enchanter Vol. 1-9
  • Fafner - Dead Aggressor manga Vol. 1-2
  • Fafner: Dead Aggressor novel
  • Flower of Life Vol. 1-3
  • Garden Dreams
  • Heroes Are Extinct!! Vol. 1-3
  • How to Pen & Ink
  • How to Read Manga - Gloom Party
  • Itazura na Kiss Vol. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • IWGP (Ikebukuro West Gate Park) Vol. 1, 3, 4
  • Kiss of Fire
  • Knights Vol. 1-2
  • Let's Draw Manga - Astro Boy
  • Let's Draw Manga - Sexy Gals
  • Lovephobia Vol. 1
  • Megami Deluxe Vol. 1
  • Moon and Blood Vol. 1-2
  • Princess Ninja Scroll Vol. 1-2
  • Princess Princess Vol. 2-5
  • Project X: 240Z
  • Project X: Seven Eleven
  • Red Angel Vol. 1-2
  • Replica Vol. 1
  • Taimashin: The Red Spider Exorcist Vol. 1-2
  • Tale of a White Night
  • Tezuka School of Animation Vol.1
  • The Beautiful Skies of Houou High Vol. 1
  • The Day of Revolution Vol. 1-2
  • Twilight of the Dark Master
  • Vampire Hunter D Vol. manga 1-6
  • Virtual Beauties
  • Worst Vol. 1, 3
  • Yashakiden: The Demon Princess Vol. 1-5

All titles are subject to availability, so message us and reserve the books you want to make sure you get them! If you would like some manga from one of our other imprints, you can probably get them - just message us!


  • Shipping (USPS Priority) to Canada or Mexico will be an additional $9 for the $25 or $35 rewards, or an additional $31 for more expensive rewards.

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    11 backers

    Six issues of the Astro Boy Magazine on (an $18 value) or $10 worth of online manga at and your name on an acknowledgments page on the DMP Platinum Web site. Thanks for supporting awesome manga!

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    104 backers

    The $5 reward plus a copy of the complete "Barbara" by Osamu Tezuka.

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    97 backers

    Barbara Plus: The $25 rewards plus a PDF copy of the DMP Platinum Digital Companion to Barbara, with bonus art and commentary on the manga. This digital companion will be available EXCLUSIVELY to backers of this project -- those who wait to buy at retail will miss out!

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    61 backers

    The Complete DMP Platinum Pack: The $35 reward plus a new copy of "Osamu Tezuka's Swallowing the Earth" and a two-volume hardcover box set of the complete Speed Racer manga.

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    8 backers

    Barbara Plus Five: The Barbara Plus reward and 5 volumes of any manga from the list to the left OR one extra volume from the list and a second copy of Barbara to share with family, friends or even your local library.

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    5 backers

    Barbara Plus T-SHIRT: The $35 reward plus an original Tezuka tribute T-shirt made and designed in the USA and printed exclusively for Digital Manga by Forward Printing in Oakland, CA!

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    36 backers

    Barbara Producer Pack: Your choice of the $60 rewards PLUS membership in the Barbara Production Committee: receive periodic updates on the production and get a chance to weigh in on the logo and cover art, and have YOUR NAME printed in the Acknowledgments section of the book!

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    11 backers

    Producer + POSTER: The Barbara Producer Pack plus a limited-edition Tezuka tribute poster screen-printed exclusively for Digital Manga at Two Rabbits Studios right here in Los Angeles (artist will be finalized soon)!

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    3 backers

    Producer Plus Eight: Either of the $70 rewards plus 8 more volumes of manga from the list to the left.

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    10 backers All gone!

    Muse Pack: One of the $110 rewards plus a copy of Swallowing the Earth SIGNED to you by forward author, respected writer and friend of Tezuka Frederick L. Schodt; a personal thank-you note from Digital Manga President Hikaru Sasahara; your name at the TOP of the acknowledgments page in the book and a tour of the Digital Manga office next time you're in LA!

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- (30 days)