It’s becoming more common for artists and entertainers to turn to Patreon as a revenue stream for their work.
Patreon is a membership platform that allows creators to set up a monthly subscription that allows fans give money so the creator can continue their work. Most pages allow bonuses based on tiers, like “insider access” or exclusive bonus works.
Established creators will use Patreon to gain new fans of pre-existing works, but mangaka Motoka Murakami is attempting to bring his most popular manga to an international audience for the first time. Murakami is using Patreon as a way to create an official English version of his hit Jin manga.
Murakami has released the first two English chapters for free for everyone. Additional chapters will be localized on a weekly basis and can be accessed by $5-tier Patreon subscribers. Fans paying $10 will get access to character illustrations drawn in India ink.
It’s a risky move since Murakami is releasing localized chapters without the aid of a publisher and chapters will only be localized as long as they have enough Patreons. This model has been successful for webcomic creators, but an established mangaka has never used this avenue before.
Jin ran in Super Jump between 2000 to 2010 and follows a modern day brain surgeon who travels back in time to the Edo Period. After meeting some historical figures, Jin decides to set up a medical clinic to save people that are suffering from disease and injuries.
Jin was popular enough in Japan to warrant a two season live-action TV drama adaptation, a stage play adaptation from the world-famous Takarazuka Revue Company, and a Korean live-action TV adaptation.
You can check out Murakami’s Patreon page if you are interested in reading the first two chapters of Jin and in becoming a subscriber.