Funded! This project was successfully funded on December 24, 2012.

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Get our 60 page manga for a pledge of as little as $1.

THAT'S RIGHT!  Pledge as little as $1 and get this brilliant, beautiful comic book that tells the empowering story of a young woman escaping from human trafficking.  One of our generous pledgers has just offered to provide a comic book for anyone pledging at one of the lower reward levels which, until now, has not included a hard copy of the comic book.  THANK YOU to our generous sponsor...and please spread the word!  We want to get this into your hands, and into the hands of as many of your friends as possible! Broadcast this great offer far and wide...EMAIL, FACEBOOK AND TWITTER...ABOLITIONISTA! if for everyone!

ABOLITIONISTA! 

Eden wears a top hat to school and knows talent when she sees it. She’s going to make her best friend a star. But when Eden's friend disappears, this manga girl discovers she must develop the heart of a superhero, and she sets out to find her lost friend. Eden doesn’t realize that the clues she’s following are all the typical red flags of a girl being trafficked into the sex industry. ABOLITIONISTA!is a comic book about a girl trapped in the web of human trafficking and how the power of a loyal friend helps her escape. 

What happens?!  By the time Eden finds her runaway friend, Delaria, she discovers that Delaria has been lured into sexual slavery by a trafficker who promised her food, protection and love.  Eden recognizes that the predator has manipulated a bond of love in Delaria that actually enslaves her do do anything he asks her to do.  The story shows the enslavement techniques of the trafficker, offers strategies on how to escape them, and identifies the adults that our young heroines can go to for help. 

What exactly is human trafficking?  It can be a confusing term.  Perhaps the best word to describe human trafficking is slavery.  That's why we include historic slavery in our story. Our main character, Delaria finds a picture of her first ancestor brought to America as a slave. Immediately this slave ancestor becomes a character in our comic book, and in Delaria’s darkest hour--after she's been betrayed by her trafficker--this ancestor appears and tells her story of being a slave.  It’s only then that Delaria understands her own enslavement to a predator that she has thought of as a boyfriend.  In this moment of insight, Delaria is empowered to break free from her trafficker. 

The Epiphany I remember the first time I heard the phrase, "Human Trafficking." I understood immediately that it meant unthinkable suffering and that it should be stopped. In the back of my mind I also wondered what I could do about it. Then, when the idea of creating a comic book about it came up, it felt as though I was being shaken awake from a coma. I had been writing for 2 decades: novels, memoirs, screenplays, etc. Suddenly there was a fusion of something I loved doing--writing--and something I inexplicably cared so much about--putting a stop to modern-day slavery. I felt like I could expend an unlimited about of energy in creating a world free from this kind of suffering. This is what it must feel like, I thought to myself, to find one's calling.

Where did the idea for ABOLITIONISTA come from? I got the idea for this story from my friend Ruth Eichmiller Whalen who was project director of Sex Crimes Court and Juvenile Offender Court in the Bronx, NY. Ruth was doing an event with girls who--like our character Delaria--had been rescued from being trafficked, and Ruth noticed that they were all reading comic books. She thought someone should write a comic book about sex trafficking and I jumped at the chance. Ruth has taught me a lot about this issue, for instance, that there's an estimated 200,000 American born girls trafficked every year into the sex industry and the average age is 12.  Ruth has promised to take this comic book to community leaders on the local, state, and national level and try and get ABOLITIONISTA! introduced into schools.

What Makes this Campaign Different? In many comic books, there are superheroes in fictional cities that are protecting the innocent. But in this project we are giving children the tools to be like superheroes who can protect themselves and the lives of their friends. 

Awesome! I’ve Always Wanted to Be a Superhero! RIGHT?!...me too! That’s why we’ve created a way for you to protect the children in your own community. As pledge amounts to our campaign increase, they will unlock donations of ABOLITIONISTA! comic books to the local institutions that have the most pledges.  Once the campaign is successfully funded, you'll have the opportunity to give us the name of your local school, club, or community group that you'd like to receive this comic book. 

Okay, I’m IN! How does this work? With the ABOLITIONISTA! project, being a superhero is simple. Go to the top of the page and make a pledge of as little as $1.  Then spread the word in your friends and family. Use Facebook, email, Twitter, the phone... anything you can think of. As pledges exceed our funding goal, we will be able to donate comic books to the institutions with the most pledges. Once our campaign is successfully funded, you'll be able to designate your favorite local school or organization to receive copies of ABOLITIONISTA!   Do you feel that impulse to do good, Superhero? That’s your action signal. The children of your community need you! 

I Really Want to Super Charge My Impact. We do too. Jane Rodas, one of the members of our team, has created a workshop around this comic book, so that we can go into schools and to community groups to bring maximum impact to this message. Jane was the director of an anti-trafficking program in Connecticut where she rescued and assisted trafficked victims. She worked with organizations including the FBI, ICE and US Attorney’s office, and provided training for state and local law enforcement as well as countless community groups. Check out our rewards column to the right to see how you can bring this workshop to your community. 

Kickstarter Safety Valve: Not one penny of your pledge will be taken unless our project is funded and ABOLITIONISTA! becomes a reality. 

The Artist: All the artwork on this page and in the video has been created by the fabulous Delilah Buckle. This is not the same artwork that you'll see in the comic book--Delilah is working on that now. We'll be sending our supporters samples of her spectacular work on ABOLITIONISTA! as it is completed. Delilah is studying Illustration in her final year at the Art Institute of Atlanta. For more of an idea of what goes on in her glorious brain, take a look at her portfolio: http://www.wix.com/lilahday/dbillus

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

Are children really trafficked into the sex industry?  There are an estimated 200,000 American born children at risk to being trafficked into the sex industry every year according to the U.S. Department of Justice.  The FBI says that human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the world.  

Aren’t children too young for such a mature issue? Many caring people like yourself might ask that question. But the average age of an U.S.-born girl being trafficked into the sex industry is 12-years old and if we don’t discuss this issue with the age group most frequently trafficked, they'll be left even more vulnerable to traffickers. ABOLITIONISTA! tells this story in a sensitive, responsible way to satisfy the concerns of parents, teachers, and community leaders. We've also attracting the population of girls that are most at risk by using the comic book style (manga) that is the most popular among girls and young women.   

Manga? MANGA?! If you're asking yourself, "Are they still in season?," maybe I should explain. Manga (pronounced MAHN-guh) are Japanese comic books and are characterized by black and white illustration. The conventional wisdom used to be that girls didn't read comic books. Then in the 1980s the first manga for girls was translated into English, creating a huge fan base. Today, if girls and young woman are reading comic books, they're primarily reading manga. Our idea is to use the entertainment preference of 11-15 year old girls--the demographic most vulnerable to being trafficked--and use it to draw them to this issue.  

Where is my pledge going? Anything you pledge will go to produce and distribute this manga comic book to at-risk children at home and around the world. The money will also be going to create rewards that go back directly to you.

What time do you think it will be published? The estimated time of completion will be May 2013.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Our biggest challenge is getting this project link to the people who care about this story. If you know someone interested in fighting human trafficking, please forward this project to them. And if you're someone passionate about keeping children safe, join our team and email everyone in your address books about what we're trying to do. And thank you for making a difference in the world.

FAQ

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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    61 backers

    GUARDIAN: We're sending you respect, veneration and a telepathic high five...because every dollar counts and because you are making the world safer for children. Tell your friends that you've found your mission and that your superhero training has begun. You'll also get onto the roster of heroes on our website, security clearance to our ABOLITIONISTA! network with special reports of artist progress, sample pages, and an insider's access to the fascinating production process, including sketches, ink pages, color covers, etc...available only to our team of heroes.

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    36 backers

    FREEDOM SOLDIER: You've spoken, you've made your pledge known, and now you've been initiated into the ranks of Freedom Soldier. You're invited to our exclusive ABOLITIONISTA! launch party in June, 2013, where you'll mingle with other heroes, ruminate about past exploits, and speak of a future free of slavery. In addition to receiving everything that The Guardian receives (above) you'll get a PDF copy of comic book to read on your iPad, Kindle, nook, or other hi-tech crime-fighting devices.

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    13 backers

    RESCUE SQUAD CAPTAIN: you get everything above, PLUS...an ABOLITIONISTA! bracelet that identifies you as someone who knows about the hidden danger lurking in our world, and that you're here to protect the most vulnerable of our number.

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    50 backers

    PROTECTOR: Now comes our story of innocence in peril, and you get everything above, PLUS... a paperback copy of ABOLITIONISTA!, the 60-page story in our breathtaking manga format, available initially only to Kickstarter backers. (Canada please include $2.50 for shipping.)

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    9 backers

    WARRIOR: everything above, and an ABOLITIONISTA! Identification Card with the Abolitionista Safety Pledge on the back, that reminds you of your mission. PLUS...a second paperback copy of ABOLITIONISTA! to give to the children in your life whom you care about. (Canada please add $4 for shipping.)

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    7 backers

    HERO: everything above, PLUS... a third copy of the epic saga, to help safeguard another child in your life from danger. (Canada please add $4.25 for shipping.)

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    4 backers

    ARCHANGEL: everything above, PLUS... a fourth copy of our tale, to help inspire another child to live a life of courage, freedom, and safety. (Canada please add $5 for shipping.)

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    2 backers

    AVENGER: everything above, (just to remind you, that includes a telepathic high five, website acknowledgement, production blog access, bracelet, PDF copy of the manga, identification card, four paperback copies of the manga,) PLUS...an ABOLITIONISTA! t-shirt, with a picture of Eden, our manga heroine, on the front. PLUS...an additional copy, for a total of FIVE copies, of our fabulous saga to give to the friends and family. (Canada please add $6 for shipping.)

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    12 backers

    SLAVE REBEL LEADER: everything the AVENGER gets, PLUS...a total of five copies will be SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR! which will be destined to become collector’s items since the author’s signature is very rarely seen anywhere on anything. This is a fantastic gift for manga fans, and just may be one of the most important gifts that you could ever give. (Canada please add $6 for shipping.)

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    5 backers

    FREEDOM COMMANDO: everything the AVENGER gets, PLUS...recognition: you’ll be getting your name printed INSIDE the manga in the Hero section, identifying you as someone with a super human heart, someone who sheds light in the darkness, gives strength where there is weakness, plants hope where there is despair, and brings security to the frightened and the vulnerable. (Canada please add $6 for shipping.)

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    1 backer

    CHAMPION: everything the AVENGER gets, PLUS...The Teacher's Tool Chest: a class room curriculum for contemporary human trafficking that introduces it through the topic of historic slavery. It includes a study guide to the comic book, discussion questions, and group activities that will help students understand the issue, recognize exploitive situations, identify recruitment techniques of traffickers, and gives students real strategies to stay out of danger. These are proven tools of exploitation prevention that will be useful to the students for their entire life. The Teacher's Tool Chest comes with a lesson plan, enough ABOLITIONISTA! comic books for 30 students, and teachers guide. (Canada and Mexico add $35 for shipping.)

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    0 backers

    GLADIATOR: everything the AVENGER gets, PLUS...a voucher good for one top secret social engagement with ABOLITIONISTA! creator, Thomas Estler, in New York City, in which he will refer to you as “Gladiator” and introduce you to other members of your team. Food will be eaten, confetti will be thrown, instagrams will be sent, and we will bask in the rapport of a shared mission, while we resist resting on our laurels. For we cannot forget what unites us: the love of freedom and the quest to bring down the infrastructure of modern-day slavery. (Canada please add $6 for shipping.)

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    3 backers

    ANGEL: everything the AVENGER gets, PLUS...the cartoon image of you or the person of your choice will appear in a background scene in one of the panels. This is a perfect holiday gift for the comic book lover in your life. We can get you the page of the comic book that features you or the person of your choice by Christmas if you pledge by December 1st and email your picture to us. (Canada please add $6 for shipping.)

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    0 backers

    TRAFFICKING INVESTIGATOR: everything the AVENGER gets, PLUS...The School Counselor's Tool Chest: (like the Teacher's Tool Chest) includes workshop curriculum about the issue of human trafficking. It includes a study guide to the comic book, discussion questions, and group activities that will help students understand the issue, recognize exploitive situations, identify recruitment techniques of traffickers, and it gives students real strategies to stay out of danger. These are proven tools of exploration prevention that will be useful to the students for their entire life. The Counselor's Tool Chest also comes with a lesson plan, enough ABOLITIONISTA! comic books for 100 students, and a teachers guide.

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    (limit: 2 adult females; 2 adult males) TRACKER: everything the AVENGER gets, PLUS...the cartoon image of an adult of your choice will appear as one of the heroic adult characters in the manga, who have actual names and dialogue in the story. (Canada please add $6 for shipping.)

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    REVOLUTIONARY: everything that the AVENGER receives, PLUS...The ABOLITIONISTA! Workshop taught by our experts for an entire grade at a school of your choice (or the reasonable equivalent at another organization of your choice: girls/boys club, YMCA, community organization, or faith-based organization) which will introduce the subject of human trafficking, provide up to 250 students with the ABOLITIONISTA! comic book, and give children real skills to protect themselves from being trafficked.

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    ABOLITIONISTA GENERAL: We want to express our gratitude to you by putting your name on our project. You will receive everything that CHAMPION receives, PLUS...your name, or the name of your choice (within reason), will be on the cover of the Manga as our sponsor under the author and artist’s names.

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Funding period

- (40 days)