Author Topic: Bento Books uses Kickstarter to fund manga publication  (Read 95 times)

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Offline Zen

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This is a great idea! Bento Books, the English language publisher of the first novel in the Math Girls series, is using Kickstarter to fund the publication of the manga version in English!

What is Math Girls?

Here is a bit from the Kickstarter campaign page:
    So what are these Math Girls books anyway?

Hiroshi Yuki is a popular Japanese author of mostly technical books dealing with mathematics, computer programming, and cryptography. In January 2004, he posted a vignette called ?Miruka? on his web site. The story was a quirky bit of conversation between two high school students, the first ?math girl? Miruka showing an unnamed narrator how to derive the double angle formulas from vector rotations.

That post generated a lot of email from readers, so he began sporadically creating more of them.

The second math girl, Tetra, made her first appearance in an October 2005 post titled ?Miruka and the Fibonacci Numbers.? She wasn?t named there, just presented as a younger classmate, but she immediately developed a fan base. Prompted by requests from readers, in November 2005 Yuki-san posted a story called ?Tetra and the Arithmetic-Geometric Mean Inequality? with Tetra as the main character.

In 2007 (by a curious twist of fate, the 300th anniversary of Euler?s birth) the various stories were combined into the first Math Girls novel.Yuki-san and his editors at Softbank Creative were surprised at how popular a novel with so much math could be. Its readers included everyone from middle school students to university professors.

Readers begged for a sequel, so in 2008 Softbank published Math Girls: Fermat?s Last Theorem. Since then new Math Girls novels have been released almost yearly, with Math Girls: Godel?s Incompleteness Theorems coming out in 2009, Math Girls: Randomized Algorithms in 2011, and Math Girls: Galois Theory scheduled for release in May 2012. The first three books have been adapted to manga format, each featuring a different manga artist.Math Girls has developed an extensive fan base in Japan and other parts of Asia. The first Math Girls novel was soon translated into Korean and Chinese. There are Math Girls-inspired songs and animations on the popular video sharing site Nico-Nico Douga, as well as fan art of the characters scattered across the web.
Evidently the original Math Girls novel is in its 18th printing in Japan. The Bento version is self-published, with a print-on-demand system, though it is also available from Amazon for cheaper than they offer it at their own site. According to the article that I first read about it in, the campaign had reached a little over $4,000 of the $9,000 goal by 1:30 pm Thursday afternoon. By the time I donated my $10 to get a PDF version of the comic that night, it was over $5,000. It has only one week into the campaign and they are over half-way to the goal! I mostly want to get it for my kids, who are into math and science, one of whom will soon (about 2 years) be beyond me in terms of the math he has studied. The other will be there in about 4 or 5 years... Maybe 3, since she is in the advanced math program.
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