Berkeley comics publisher Last Gasp has launched a Kickstarter in an effort to print 4,000 hardcover editions of the historic World War II manga, Barefoot Gen. The manga, originally published in the mid-70s, tells the story of six-year-old Gen Nakaoka and his interactions with other survivors of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. Gen not only struggles with the horror that followed the aftermath of the bomb, but also being the son of a father who believes Japan’s participation in the war is led by the greed of the ruling class. It’s a gripping story dealing with themes of class, warfare, and power.
Last Gasp is seeking $36,000 to publish a hardcover edition of Keiji Nakazawa’s story and distribute it to schools. According to the Kickstarter “Keiji Nakazawa’s manga illustrates the true impact of nuclear weapons when used against a civilian population. It is vital reading for people of all ages, and especially for today’s youth. By keeping this tragedy in our collective consciousness, we can strive to never repeat it and guide humanity towards a course of peace.”
One interesting component of the Last Gasp Kickstarter is backers have the option of letting the publisher ship the finished product directly to a school of choice.