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Americana Forgotten is a book compiled from photos taken over years, showing the forgotten relics of "Americana" years.
Americana Forgotten is a book compiled from photos taken over years, showing the forgotten relics of "Americana" years.
98 backers pledged $10,060 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Hey everyone! My name is Johnny Joo. I'm a photographer/photojournalist/photo-historian/cat-lover based out of Cleveland, OH. You may be familiar with my photographs taken inside Rolling Acres Mall, Randall Park Mall, Pontiac Silverdome Stadium or Mike Tyson's abandoned mansion, among many others. Hey, you might even actively follow my work on facebook or through my blog! In which case, hello there and thank you for visiting this Kickstarter project! I'm going to need your help and the combined help of an amazing community to help bring this dream to reality. But what is it exactly that I need help with?

Well, to keep it short and simple - I have finished a book! 

But...I need some help in funding to get it where it needs to be. Without enough books in print, it's difficult to reach out to other markets that might want to carry this book (such as your local book store), and this is where your amazing help can come in!

For those who may not be familiar with the project, I would love to give you a quick overview.

Over the course of the last 10 years, I have compiled photographs documenting the abandoned, forgotten pieces of our society. Through this particular collection of images, I have been able to capture rusted remains of forgotten Americana.

 


Recently, I took on this project - writing pieces, compiling, designing and editing an entire book based around this topic. While finalizing my complete edit for a very limited first edition print run, I looked into other printers to print at a higher volume of copies. The first edition was printed as an 8.5x11 size soft cover, but I aim for this next version to be full hard cover with a matte finish, and if the Kickstarter can reach a stretch goal of $15,000 then that could open up the ability for engraving on the cover. 

It has been a full day job nearly every day spent on it, but the completed piece is more than worth it. Through numerous coffee-fueled days starting at 8am and ending at 4am, I was finally able to finish a project that I am proud to call one of my creations.

 

 

The reason for this Kickstarter is that the book needs an affordable and reasonable retail price, but without the necessary funds for printing such a large quantity print run, this cannot be brought to reality. Working independently as an artist makes this a bit more challenging, so I'm asking for help from the community to help bring this project to life.


"Americana Forgotten"

When you hear the word “Americana,” what kind of scenery does your imagination draw up? For many, it’s a typical imagery of the once-revered “American dream” – you know, shiny cars, white picket fences, 5 cent candies, smoke-filled diners and an ice cream parlor blaring Chuck Berry through the jukebox speakers. Fast-forward some decades of technological advancements later, and we seem to have largely tossed much of that dream aside, along with any notion that these would somehow, some day hold importance to many. While it provides nostalgia to one, having lived through that time, and wistfulness to another, wishing to have been born in that era, to some - both young and old – these artifacts are no more than a heap of rusted trash; a “worn out and boring” history.

The first known use of the term “Americana” is found to be dated back as far as the year 1841, but today the word seems to broadly apply to much of our culture’s artifacts into the 1970s. The term could refer to anything from paintings, drawings and license plates, to entire vehicles, household objects like lamps, televisions or kitchen appliances, to public venues such as ice cream shops, diners, drive-in movies and so on. Basically, it’s safe to say that you can tie this word to any relatable object identifiable within those years; 1841-1970 – with 1880-WWI (1914) being referred to as “the good old days.” 

In today’s society, it’s easy to see that this nostalgia and wistfulness for these past time periods has lead to a revitalization of many unique designs America once loved. While parts of the older generation have been collectors for many years, the younger generation has now joined in romanticizing and sometimes glamorizing these past eras, most notably “the fifties.” For example, if you look through the many different stores around you – such as Target or Michaels - it’s seemingly becoming easier and easier to find department stores, craft stores and more carrying brand new, updated version of older designs. Sure, you’ll always have the negative opinions from any side - young or old - that can’t stand the past or may refer to it as “boring,” and this is how we are left with so many pieces rusted and forgotten. Obviously you can’t just change someone’s mind on this, and while it may be sad for those who enjoy it, you can’t just decide what someone is to like and not to like. That being said, I still can’t help but feel a bit sad and partially angry when I see something so beautiful falling into the dirt and dust. 

While 1920-1950 remains one of my personal favorite sections of our timeline, we must not forget the earlier years.

The book will be 170 pages, full of photos alongside stories and history of places that once were and some that are gone forever. The book will be hard cover with a matte finish, and as I had said above, possible engraving on covers in the stretch goal is reached. 

 

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Ireland
  • Australia
  • Canada
NOTE: There is an exception for box sets and canvas prints. I will not be able to ship these outside of the US currently.

You can also find me at any of the following, where I will respond to any questions you may have :)
Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, my blog or my website 

 

 

 

 

Risks and challenges

With any project taken on by an independent artist, there will of course be risks in ones this extent. Thankfully, I have taken on a few projects very similar over the last 2 years, and have gained a bit more knowledge from each one on what issues may arise. In this particular situation, I don't see much happening other than a possible later ship date (but I highly doubt this)

Since my book files are finished and ready for print, the project is essentially done, and now only requiring the necessary funding and support of a community.

I promise to do all in my power to make sure your book arrives to you on the time expected. If I get held up petting a kitten I'm sorry.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Thank you

    A huge, huge thank you for being the amazing person you are. Thank you for supporting this project with one more step in the right direction. I am not able to give anything physical at this amount, but can offer you a download of "Americana Forgotten" as an e-book cheaper than current Amazon price as a thank you to your contribution.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Thank you #2

    At the cost of a coffee from your favorite coffee place, you can also help this dream of a project come to life!

    A huge, huge thank you for being the amazing person you are. I am not able to give anything physical at this amount, but can provide you with a download for an e-book version of "Americana Forgotten" and a HUGE thank you!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Lower price without shipping cost

    You will receive one personally-signed copy of "Americana Forgotten" without having to pay any extra for shipping and at $5 less than the retail price. These will be limited to 25 backers.

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    Reward no longer available 25 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Regular Book price without shipping cost

    You will receive a personally-signed copy of "Americana Forgotten" at a flat retail price of $30 without having to pay extra for shipping.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    "Americana Forgotten"

    You will receive a personally-signed copy of "Americana Forgotten" with a slightly discounted shipping rate.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Prints + Book

    You will receive a signed, limited edition 16x24 print, along with a copy of the book! I added this reward as I felt that this could be a good option for those who do not want to go the more pricey route of a canvas :) These prints will be limited to only 30 so grab them while you can!

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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    First Edition Copies

    Of the first edition copies, there are still 5 remaining. If you would like to own one of the first edition copies of "Americana Forgotten" and support the project to make it a reality, then please choose this option :) This version will of course come personally-signed as well.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Box Set

    You will received a personally-signed copy of "Americana Forgotten" as a box set similar to the one offered during the first edition release.

    The book will come in a wooden box, hand-made and decorated on the inside, carrying the book. The top of the box will feature an image from the book, and the box will also come with prints from the book inside.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Book + Canvas

    You will receive a personally-signed copy of "Americana Forgotten" alongside a special signed 16x24 size canvas, which will be limited only to backers of this Kickstarter Project. The canvas will be an image from the book.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    $100 Discount

    You will receive a special, very limited edition 32x48 size canvas (normally $500) alongside a personally-signed copy of "Americana Forgotten"

    Only 10 canvases of this photograph will be produced. It will also be an image from the book.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    I am a noodle

    I will turn myself into a noodle, or possibly even an entire bucket of pasta. Oh, you would also get a whole bunch of stuff...like a 32x48 canvas, some other canvas and prints, like 10 books and some stickers, and a special 1/1 limited edition canvas.

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Funding period

- (45 days)