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$1,571 pledged of $10,000 goal
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By Paul Littell
$1,571 pledged of $10,000 goal
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About this project

Most of us have never seen laydown racers before, but they’re for real. Now you have that story: They’re more like a sock than an automobile. You sort of -- put them on.* 

Thousands of people around the world race these on tracks – at speeds over 130 mph. 

The first time I saw a laydown racer I wondered, what if you had to take this on the road? What could possibly force somebody to do that? 

… Say, you had to save the woman of your dreams – and this was the only way to get there? I began to conjure visceral chase scenes that could pique the emotions in a fresh new way. Then I asked ...

When a regular guy leaves the superhero games behind and encounters some real-life monsters, can he step up and become a real-life hero? 

That’s where our story starts. 

Why are we doing the GET CARLY project?

First, GET CARLY is a great story. It’s a rollicking action-thriller about Marco, sort of a shy techie, who's suddenly called upon to do the impossible. 

Marco’s at the Championship Auto Races in Kosovo. He tunes up the last American entry as the green flag is about to drop. 

No one would guess that he’s pursuing a mission of his own – one that’s a fitting memorial to his father.

That’s when beautiful and exotic Carly corners him. Marco falls for her big-time. 

But, by morning Carly's gone and Marco learns of an immediate threat to her life. To save his new dream woman, Marco has to dump his own commitment and intercept an Albanian smuggler’s biggest shipment. 

Bad news: Marco has to tear through battle-scarred streets and beat the smugglers with only his own 7-foot-long laydown racer to drive – a racer that’s dangerous on the track, but suicidal out on the road. 

Good news: It turns out that resourceful Carly doesn’t need a lot of saving. When Marco catches up to her, they team up for a much bigger score – one that’s an outsized tribute to his dad. 

Escapist genres are overwhelmingly popular today. But we still need to believe that the good guys stand a chance to win -- in real life.  That’s why I wrote GET CARLY. That's why our team worked together to get it done.

And did I mention, GET CARLY is also a romance story?

There’s more to GET CARLY than just the story. 

There are two other big reasons for the project. 

1. I want to experiment with new, affordable ways to tell exciting stories. 

Economics has made a lot of old-fashioned story-telling hard to do. Indie movies are almost impossible to get funded and distributed. 

I’m pretty new to comics, but I’m not so new to storytelling. In the last year, thanks to the Comics Experience Workshop, I’ve come to appreciate the unique way that good drawing and dialog can capture drama and action, up-close-and-personal and more immediately than any other medium. 

We can lead our characters through an action story. We get to jump around in time. We can tell big stories without huge budgets.

And we still get to hold a physical book in our hands. 

At the same time, new, low-cost, hybrid media are already letting creators take the process back from big publishers and studios. And, bring a new level of excitement to the 2-dimensional comic book. Witness web comics, webisodes, YouTube, etc. 

There’s a lot of experimentation and innovation going on, both in creative production and in distribution. In fact a lot of the best stuff shows up right here on Kickstarter. 

So here’s our approach with GET CARLY. We’re developing it as a graphic novel [now] that can be given additional life with animatics [soon]. Our plan is to add actors’ voices, sound effects and original music to the animated frames to yield a hybrid, low-cost way to tell a compelling story. 

Storytelling makes sense out of things and breeds empathy. On top of that, movement can draw you in and involve you, in a way that static illustration can’t. 

We want to complete GET CARLY, first on paper, then in animated form. Then we'll put it out there among other new media, get your reaction and get other people’s reaction. 

Meanwhile, please enjoy the GET CARLY story and let us know what you think. You’ll be contributing to the dialog about what kind of stories we’ll tell ourselves and our friends as we sit around tomorrow’s equivalent of the campfire.   And you’ll be casting your vote on what new, reasonably-priced methods we can enlist to tell those stories. 

2. I want to tell a good story – one that will grab you and carry you right along with Marco and Carly. But I also want to put the story in a meaningful social context – without boring you or preaching. 

Naturalistic comics and graphic novels are a very direct way to engage with the world around us. There are plenty of monsters in everyday social life. I think part of our task is to find the heroes. 

My favorite movie genre is political thrillers. But the best of them, the ones that touch real contemporary issues, are box-office disasters. Nobody comes. 

So our approach here is to develop a compelling story about characters you can love. And a plot that will keep you on the edge of your seats. Then, place the story in a social context that I hope will engage at least a few people. 

I think we’ve done that and I’m really excited about it. I’m eager to hear what you think. 

Here’s how GET CARLY looks now: 

Ferdie’s low friends in high places descend on Marco.
Ferdie’s low friends in high places descend on Marco.
But it takes more than a heat-seeker to beat him.
But it takes more than a heat-seeker to beat him.

Be sure to check back for new artwork every week. Artwork from past weeks will be at the bottom of the page.

Where are we now with the GET CARLY project? 

The 110-page GET CARLY graphic novel is substantially complete. The GET CARLY team is now finishing off the last of the lettering. It’s structured so it can also be distributed as five 22-page comics and also as an integrated 110-page novel. 

We’ve already been able to realize one of my early goals: assembling a group of up-and-coming professional artists from around the world to bring CARLY to life. Each of the five issues features a different illustrator, each working in a realist style. Then I asked a single colorist to help bring the final appearance of all 110 pages even closer together – to give it a fully consistent look. The Team Includes: 

  • Pencils and Inks: Issue 1 – Liezl Buenaventura, Roberto Castro, Chee, Travis Earls, Rommel Fabian, Novo Malgapo
  • Issue 2 – Novo Malgapo
  • Issue 3 – Chee
  • Issue 4 – Novo Malgapo
  • Issue 5 – Brownhound, Fritz Casas
  • Coloring: Digikore
  • Lettering, Prepress and General Salvation E.T. Dollman
  • Editorial Consultant: Bobby Curnow
Our creative contributors come from Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Mexico, South America, Italy and India, as well as the United States. 

I’ve tried hard to tell the story primarily through visuals. And to use dialog for characterization, not for plot. As a result, many panels have lots of details – enough to drive the artists nuts. So let me take this moment to publicly thank those artists who put up with me. 

We’ve already dummied up a few sample copies for some last-minute critiques. How did Marco get upside-down? And what's with the big tires?
We’ve already dummied up a few sample copies for some last-minute critiques. How did Marco get upside-down? And what's with the big tires?

Where are we headed, and how can you be part of it? 

First, we need to finish the lettering and print the GET CARLY graphic novel. And we need to fund the usual ancillary costs, like barcoding, ISBN #s, shipping, etc.

Fortunately I was able to borrow some money and to get some of the artists to defer fees until we were done. My promise has been to get them paid before we go out wide with GET CARLY. 

Now we’re at that stage and we’re all really excited to be there. It’s time to pay the artists! 

And, it’s time to repay some of the nice folks who helped get us this far.    

When we reach our initial $10,000 goal, we’ll get CARLY partially paid for and into print. With funding at this level, we WILL mail finished hard copies of the full 110-page GET CARLY graphic novel out to our backers.

When we’ve accomplished that goal, I’m enthusiastic that some challenging stretch goals [with some exciting awards] will get us further out of debt and also let us start some motion-ready artwork. I’m eager to tell you more about this as we go along. 

I hope we can even develop a working prototype for animating the story.

And, if your enthusiasm takes us beyond these levels, we'll actually get a head start on producing the animated version!

Why should you help to, in effect, pay the bills for an almost completed project?    

Many Kickstarter campaigns, and most Kickstarter comic or graphic novel campaigns are based on a promise to deliver. That’s great!

But frankly, this has been my first venture into graphic novels. I had not yet established the credibility to have you take such a promise seriously. So that’s why I borrowed some money and dove right in.

I found, as I suspected, that it can be difficult terrain for the uninitiated. And I’m very grateful for the high levels of professionalism I found among my GET CARLY collaborators. That’s what is getting GET CARLY done. 

I’ve been really impressed by the extraordinary amount of time the artists put in to complete 110 pages, times an average of 6 panels per page, times an average of 8-10 iterations per panel, including color and lettering – that’s over 6000 iterations!

As I mentioned above, I’m new to this, so I come cheap [try free], but the artists are up-and-coming-pros. And they need to buy groceries too.

So it’s time to pay the artists!

Your support will make GET CARLY a success in lots of ways.

I’m very grateful for the unique way Kickstarter fosters a close, personal relationship between the creators and the audiences who care the most about our work. I don’t know any other institution that does such a great job in helping us all share common dreams. 

In addition to funding assistance, we’re looking forward to enlarging the GET CARLY community. We want your friends to become our friends. Please tell them about GET CARLY and please let us know what you think of the story and of the hybrid media ideas.

As I said above, because this is my first time around with a graphic novel, I had to jump in and get it done. But I’m really enthused about using the Kickstarter format to collaborate with a core audience -- YOU. As we move forward to the motion version, there will be lots of opportunity to tweek the story. So … let’s hear you input about the story too.

If you have general feedback, bright ideas or other suggestions about how we might proceed or about potential collaborators, please let me know that also. 

As we advance to the animated portion of the project, we’re looking forward to meeting up-and-coming actors, composers, musicians, sound designers, compositors, animators, Smoke guys, etc.

And we need to come up with a name for this new medium. Any takers? 

But first, we need to raise some money. So please jump in and help. Your contributions will get a good project out there for us all to see and debate about. And it will make the artists who’ve been working very hard and waiting very patiently very happy. 

And the AWARDS will bring you right into the GET CARLY community

The awards will entertain at the same time they welcome you into the GET CARLY community. Be sure to stay tuned. We’ll be updating this section regularly with great new awards.

Early Bird Awards

Help get Carly off to a great start! Be one of the first contributors and get a big discount at each award level. There are a total of 150 Early Bird discounts available between the $5 and the $1000 award levels!

$25  [$20 - EARLY BIRD] -- Carly's Peace Belt. This belt is great for guys and women. It’s available with your choice of buckles. And it comes with a card that explains each language.** Next week we'll show you how Carly makes use of it.
$25 [$20 - EARLY BIRD] -- Carly's Peace Belt. This belt is great for guys and women. It’s available with your choice of buckles. And it comes with a card that explains each language.** Next week we'll show you how Carly makes use of it.
$500 [$400 - EARLY BIRD] -- Development Series – a rough, pencil, ink and final colored, lettered version of the same page. Each page will be full-size, printed on archival paper, mounted and matted separately, ready for framing. Photo is only a mock-up.
$500 [$400 - EARLY BIRD] -- Development Series – a rough, pencil, ink and final colored, lettered version of the same page. Each page will be full-size, printed on archival paper, mounted and matted separately, ready for framing. Photo is only a mock-up.

New Week 4 Awards

  • $60 – Get a signed and numbered copy of GET CARLY in the low number range [from #2 to #10]
  •  $200 – Your copy of GET CARLY, along with a 9x12 commission of you with any single character (from anywhere) you choose penciled and inked by Novo.
  • $1500 – CREATIVE PACKAGE #5 -- Your copy of GET CARLY, along with CREATIVE PACKAGES 1-4. PLUS you will get a copy of my early notes on the follow-up adventures of Marco and Carly. What’s next for our heros? Be the first to know!

GET CARLY is moving. Hop on.

Our team has guided GET CARLY through all the major twists and turns. We’re so close to the finish we can taste it. But to get over the line, we need your help! Many thanks in advance. Come on, hop on with us.

*Many thanks to Bill and Adam Trumbley for use of their laydown racer for this video, and to the Decuzzi family, Bob, Antoinette and Anthony, for the use of their racer. Also many thanks to Brian Grisham of Transmotion Media for the amazing live footage of enduro racing champ, Pierre Huang that we used in the video.

** Many thanks to MangoBayDesign.com for designing and crafting Carly’s peace belt.

Archive of Past Updates

Week 3 Bio: E.T. Dollman, Letterer Plus

E.T. Dollman is an Italian letterer and designer. He’s lettered for Image Comics, AC Comics, Markosia, Arcana, Moonstone Books, and Big Dog Ink. He can be reached at e.t.dollman@gmail.com and www.facebook.com/ETDollman.

But don’t let his photos fool you. Regardless of his childhood astronaut outfit and his current avatar as an alien, he’s very down-to-earth. In fact his credits on GET CARLY read, ‘Lettering, Pre-Press and General Salvation.’ GET CARLY would not have been possible without him. Be sure to watch the Updates for new Creative Packages and bios of The People Behind GET CARLY.

Week 2 Bio: Novo Malgapo, Illustrator Extraordinaire

Novo did the lively pencils and inks for issue 2. Then, when another artist dropped out at the last minute, Novo stepped in and did another great job with issue 4. He began his professional comics career in 1990 in the Philippines. He’s also worked as a 2D animation layout artist, a graphic artist, and a storyboard/directors board/concept artist. Novo is currently a penciller/inker on several U.S. comics publications and creator-owned projects. His latest published work is Zenescope's The Waking: Dreams End series (2012). You can enjoy his work at: http://novomalgapo.deviantart.com 

Artwork from Week 3:

Ferdie catches up to Marco, but …
Ferdie catches up to Marco, but …
Marco and Carly finally come clean.
Marco and Carly finally come clean.
But, to work together, they have to separate.
But, to work together, they have to separate.

Artwork from Week 2:

As promised, Carly puts her Peace Belt to work.
As promised, Carly puts her Peace Belt to work.
And she finally loses it. The belt, that is.
And she finally loses it. The belt, that is.

Artwork from Week 1:

Marco never quite settles in to Kosovo.
Marco never quite settles in to Kosovo.
Ferdie Osmani jousts with the National Guard Captain. Could these possibly be the bad guys?
Ferdie Osmani jousts with the National Guard Captain. Could these possibly be the bad guys?
Marco's impromptu helmet test.
Marco's impromptu helmet test.

Risks and challenges

There’s no question about getting GET CARLY done. We can just print it and deliver it to you – as soon as we can put in the names and photos of all of you who are contributors, patrons and producers – like, right away!

As I mentioned above, and as many of you certainly know, producing a first-time graphic novel entails lots of challenges. If I promised to go out and do that, I would expect to be met with many raised eyebrows. That's why I just went ahead and did it. Now, thanks to my collaborators, it's DONE! It's ready to send out as soon as we get your names and pictures for your roles as Producers, etc.

And, of course, the same artists and I are committed to follow through on the more personalized portraits, process pages, and every deliverable that's we've offered.

As we advance to the stretch goals [not yet listed] and hopefully some motion graphics prototypes, I'll call on the same project management skills that allowed me to put together the 110-page GET CARLY graphic novel in 1 year. I'll combine them with my film production background to source out and assemble just the right creative team -- a team that will hopefully include some of you.

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    Help GET CARLY, show the world your enthusiasm, get backer only updates, vote for story and casting alternatives, be eligible for great upgrades, add-on and stretch goal awards. AND earn our eternal gratitude for helping to build interest in GET CARLY.

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    EARLY BIRD AWARD – Digital download of the Laydown Racer Ring tone for your iPhone – piss off every last one of your friends. [We're working on the Android version too. But we don't actually have it working yet. Keep you posted.]

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    Add your name to the name of all the other GET CARLY contributors. We’ll print the names over an image of Marco and Carly jumping right out of a chapter divider page, right at us. Basic bragging rights – you can show your friends that you’re part of it all.

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    Get your own packet of GET CARLY Postcards. Celebrate snail mail. Send them to your granma, granpa and great uncles.

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    EARLY BIRD AWARD – Signed copy of printed full-color GET CARLY graphic novel.

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    EARLY BIRD AWARD – Carly’s peace belt in your size. Specially created for GET CARLY by MangoBayDesign.com, the belts will feature the word, ‘Peace’ printed in 22 languages. Even though Carly can’t always use her belt for the most peaceful purposes, the rest of us will. Plus the Laydown Racer Ring Tone and the digital download of the graphic novel.

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    Signed copy of printed full-color graphic novel.

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    EARLY BIRD AWARD – CREATIVE PACKAGE #1 -- Character profiles and sketches of Marco, Carly, Ferdie, Muhamet. Plus the Laydown Racer Ring Tone, the digital download of the graphic novel and a signed copy of the printed full-color graphic novel.

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    Carly’s peace belt in your size. Specially created for GET CARLY by MangoBayDesign.com, the belts will feature the word, ‘Peace’ printed in 22 languages. Even though Carly can’t always use her belt for the most peaceful purposes, the rest of us will. Plus the Laydown Racer Ring Tone and the digital download of the graphic novel.

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    Get the exclusive GET CARLY design T-shirt. [photo of mock-up to come very soon. I’m still doing the Hurricane Sandy cleanup.]

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    EARLY BIRD AWARD – Carly’s peace belt AND signed copy of printed full-color graphic novel. Plus the Laydown Racer Ring Tone and the digital download of the graphic novel.

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    The Marla Holiday Award: 3 signed copies of the GET CARLY graphic novel!

    For the top 3 people on your holiday list.

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    EARLY BIRD AWARD – Signed and numbered 11”x14” color print of the page of your choice, suitable for framing. [You select the page after you receive the novel.] Plus the Laydown Racer Ring Tone, the digital download of the graphic novel and a signed copy of printed full-color graphic novel. Est. delivery of the print: 4-6 weeks after your response.

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    EARLY BIRD AWARD – Signed copy of the GET CARLY graphic novel in a special Kickstarter, signed and numbered slipcase. Plus the Laydown Racer Ring Tone and the digital download of the graphic novel.

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    You’ll receive an original GET CARLY pencil sketch from issue 2 or issue 4.

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    Bring some street action to your store. 10 copies of the GET CARLY graphic novel shipped to your comic store. [This retailer incentive is for actual retailers in the CONTINENTAL US only.]

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    EARLY BIRD AWARD – You’ll be named as an “Associate Producer” on the chapter divider pages. Plus the Laydown Racer Ring Tone, the digital download of the graphic novel and a signed copy of printed full-color graphic novel.

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  30. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Your copy of GET CARLY, along with a 9x12 commission of you with any single character (from anywhere) you choose penciled and inked by Novo.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    EARLY BIRD AWARD – CREATIVE PACKAGE #2 -- Your copy of GET CARLY and a numbered, limited edition copy of the original script, signed by Paul with a personalized note.

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    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    EARLY BIRD AWARD – Your portrait will be drawn into a group portrait with “The Team” – Marco, Carly and some of the creators, suitable for framing. Plus the Laydown Racer Ring Tone, the digital download of the graphic novel and a signed copy of printed full-color graphic novel. Est. delivery of your team portrait: 4-8 weeks after your response.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    CREATIVE PACKAGE #2 -- Your copy of GET CARLY and a numbered, limited edition copy of the original script, signed by Paul with a personalized note.

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Your portrait will be drawn into a group portrait with “The Team” – Marco, Carly and some of the creators, suitable for framing. Plus the Laydown Racer Ring Tone, the digital download of the graphic novel and a signed copy of printed full-color graphic novel. Est. delivery of your team portrait: 4-8 weeks after your response.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    EARLY BIRD AWARD – A process page or ‘Development Series’ – a rough, a pencil, an ink and a final colored and lettered version of the same page. [You select the page after you receive the novel.] Each page will be full size and the four panels will be mounted and matted, ready for framing. Plus the Laydown Racer Ring Tone, the digital download of the graphic novel and a signed copy of printed full-color graphic novel. Est. delivery: 4-6 weeks after your response.

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  36. Select this reward

    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    CREATIVE PACKAGE #3 -- Your copy of GET CARLY, along with the script and the roughs in 2 separate GET CARLY binders. This way you can retrace the actual creative process.

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  37. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    A process page or ‘Development Series’ – a rough, a pencil, an ink and a final colored and lettered version of the same page. [You select the page after you receive the novel.] Each page will be full size and the four panels will be mounted and matted, ready for framing. Plus the Laydown Racer Ring Tone, the digital download of the graphic novel and a signed copy of printed full-color graphic novel. Est. delivery: 4-6 weeks after your response.

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  38. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    EARLY BIRD AWARD – Your individual or business photo in the Producers Gallery on the inside back cover. [There will be a total of 20 photos.] Plus the Laydown Racer Ring Tone, the digital download of the graphic novel and a signed copy of printed full-color graphic novel.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    CREATIVE PACKAGE #4 -- Your copy of GET CARLY, along with the story outline and 3 versions of the script. This way you can dive in, see how ideas develop and see what drives the creative process.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    The ultra-limited GET CARLY Slipcase Edition -- Your copy of GET CARLY in a custom, signed slipcase. The slipcase will have GET CARLY art on the front and will have your portrait integrated with ‘The Team’ artwork on the back.

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  41. Select this reward

    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Your individual or business photo in the Producers Gallery on the inside back cover. [There will be a total of 20 photos.] Plus the Laydown Racer Ring Tone, the digital download of the graphic novel and a signed copy of printed full-color graphic novel.

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  42. Select this reward

    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    EARLY BIRD AWARD – Your individual or business photo in the Patrons Gallery on the outside back cover. [There will be a total of 8 photos.] Plus the Laydown Racer Ring Tone, the digital download of the graphic novel and a signed copy of printed full-color graphic novel.

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  43. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Your individual or business photo in the Patrons Gallery on the outside back cover. [There will be a total of 8 photos.] Plus the Laydown Racer Ring Tone, the digital download of the graphic novel and a signed copy of printed full-color graphic novel.

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    Pledge $1,200 or more About $1,200

    CREATIVE PACKAGE #5 -- Your copy of GET CARLY, along with CREATIVE PACKAGES 1-4. PLUS you will get a copy of my early notes on the follow-up adventures of Marco and Carly. What’s next for our heros? Be the first to know!

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    I will dedicate the Kickstarter Publication of GET CARLY to you and place a written dedication prominently on the inside front cover.

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