Last Gasp Publishing has launched a Kickstarter campaign to print 4,000 copies of Keiji Nakazawa’s Barefoot Gen manga in hardcover binding for schools and libraries. The manga is Nakazawa’s semi-autobiographical account of life during and after the 1945 Hiroshima bombing, based on his own real-life childhood experiences. August 6, 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing.
The Kickstarter campaign aims to raise US$36,000 by September 10, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. EDT. Rewards for backers include copies of Nakazawa’s I Saw It and Barefoot Gen manga. Backers can choose whether to have Last Gasp send each Barefoot Gen copy to a school or library, or to have Last Gasp mail a copy or copies to the backer so the backer can personally give them to a school or library.
Nakazawa was born in Hiroshima in 1939. At the age of six, he survived the 1945 Hiroshima bombing and the loss of most of his immediate family — his father, older sister, younger brother, and younger sister. Only he, his mother, and two brothers who were not at home survived.
He drew Barefoot Gen from 1973 to 1985, based on his experiences during the bombing and of his struggle to survive in the aftermath. The resulting 10 volumes of Barefoot Gen have since sold over 10 million copies and have been translated in English, Russian, Korean, and many other languages.