Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 22, 2012.

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A slice-of-life graphic novel about 4 strangers whose lives intertwine through a New York City pawn shop.

Welcome to the official Kickstarter page for the original graphic novel PAWN SHOP by Joey Esposito and Sean Von Gorman with letters by Adam Pruett, a story about four New Yorkers whose lives unknowingly intersect through -- yep, you guessed it -- a Manhattan pawn shop. 

You'll find the first 6 pages of our story below (or, if you prefer, at this link) -- please give it a read and then "like", tweet, share, and talk the heck out of this page. We need everyone's help!

Update 8/7: We're ECSTATIC to announce that we've reached our $7000 goal! As per our incentive for accomplishing that goal before 8/10, all backers at the $10 reward level or higher will receive a digital download of the Pawn Shop Script Book. We want to offer our sincerest thanks for everyone that's pledged and promoted so far. It means the world to us. Let's keep it going!

NEW STRETCH REWARDS! As we reach new milestones, brand new rewards will be unlocked for our backers:

$8,000 - PAWN SHOP VIDEO JOURNALS (backers only). -- UNLOCKED!!

$10,000 - Every $25+ backer will receive a Kickstarter Exclusive Pawn Shop art print by FOOTPRINTS artist Jonathan Moore. -- UNLOCKED!!

$13,000 - Every $50+ backer will receive a Kickstarter Exclusive Pawn Shop Photography Book, featuring a specially commissioned photography series of real New York City pawn shops. -- LOCKED

$15,000 - Every $50+ backer that's receiving the CD Mixtape will receive it with Pawn Shop Mix Tape album cover by 2000AD artist Simon Fraser. -- LOCKED

$16,000 - Every $25+ backer will get a free preview ashcan before the book's release, complete with exclusive sketches and designs not available anyplace else. -- LOCKED

$18,000 -- We’ll add a whole additional chapter to the book. -- LOCKED

$20,000 -- We'll upgrade Pawn Shop to a larger format and a sharp-lookin' hardcover. -- LOCKED

Update 8/18: We're offering some brand new rewards for you procrastinators that haven't pledged yet! Check them out!

THE STORY.

Anyone that lives in a major city knows that there are millions upon millions of people rubbing elbows with one another each and every day. But what they often fail to remember is that we're all part of the same ecosystem; everyone is inevitably connected to each other, affecting one another's lives whether they know it or not. 

And that's what Pawn Shop is about. Each chapter follows a different character in a stand-alone tale that ultimately intertwines with the others, painting a larger portrait of their lives together in New York City. 

The book is being rendered in a gorgeous mixture of watercolor and digital elements that, hopefully, gives it a unique feel that works to capture the magic diversity of New York City itself.

WHO WE ARE.

Joey Esposito is a writer who last year Kickstarted his comic Footprints (with artist Jonathan Moore). He's also the writer of Zenescope's Grimm Fairy Tales: Bad Girls and has had his work featured as a back-up story in Image Comics' Grim Leaper. You also may know him as the Comics Editor for IGN.com. He moved away from New York and has regretted it every day since. Pawn Shop is his attempt to make amends. You can find him on Twitter or visit his website.

Sean Von Gorman is an illustrator and escape artist born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Sean is co-creator of the forthcoming graphic novel series Secret Adventures of Houdini as well as the creator of Sock It To Me Comics, both with Alterna Comics. During the self-publishing run of Secret Adventures of Houdini Sean handcuffed himself outside Forbidden Planet NYC until every book was sold. He recently preformed his escape act for Amanda Palmer’s AFP Kickstarter Countdown Party at the bidding of her husband Neil Gaiman. He's such a devoted artist that he worked on some Pawn Shop pages while admitted to the ER (see below). You can find him on Twitter or visit his website.

Adam Pruett has lettered comics for Arcana, Image, Markosia, Pop Goes the Icon, Black Jack Press, and various other publishers. He also makes his own comics sometimes. You can find him on Twitter.

WHY KICKSTARTER?

Pawn Shop is a slice-of-life story. That means it's "soft." There're no monsters, no violence, no tights, and certainly no flights. There's no "genre" hook. But what there is is something even better: a story everyone can relate to. 

Pawn Shop was born out of the realization that there is nothing more fascinating, dramatic, intriguing, joyful, depressing, and outright absurd than everyday human existence. We're turning to Kickstarter out of a need to explore these ideas. We know that there's an audience out there for these kind of comics, and we think that's the beauty of Kickstarter -- people will support what they really want. 

We're looking to you to make this book happen, and we hope you'll join us for the ride. 

THE REWARDS.

We're offering a boatload of great stuff from the usual items -- digital downloads, a copy of the book, art prints, original artwork, etc. -- to the more... well, out there. We're offering things like Sean coming to your location (continental US only) to perform a straight jacket escape (yes, he really does that), CD mix tapes to supplement your reading experience, illustrated/performed poems, and we're even putting the very dedication of this book up for grabs. 

There's also opportunities to co-write a bonus story for the book and become characters in the story itself. As we reach certain goals, we'll unlock even more rewards. 

WHERE IS YOUR $$ GOING?

We're aiming for a print run of 1000 graphic novels that we will publish and distribute ourselves in comic shops and digitally. Neither creator is taking any sort of payment on this project, so all of your money will be going towards making comics 100%. 

If we happen to exceed our goal, the excess funds will go toward printing more copies of the book, or, if the excess is significant, upgrading the book to a larger format, making it a hardcover, etc. Beyond that, excess funds will go to assuring that we're out at any and every convention possible to promote Pawn Shop. 

IS SEAN FOR REAL ABOUT THE ESCAPE ACT?

Yes.

We hope you'll join us on this adventure through the lives of our four New Yorkers. Please feel free to drop us a line with any questions you might have. In the meantime, here are some cool early character designs:

FAQ

  • As of right now, the book will be 100 pages, but we're considering adding another chapter as a stretch goal should we exceed our funding.

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    5 backers

    Our undying thanks and eternal gratitude. Seriously.

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    75 backers

    A digital download of the graphic novel.

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    158 backers

    Signed print edition and digital download of the graphic novel, with your name printed in a special "Thank You" section in the back of the book. (+$10 for international)

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    30 backers

    All of the $25 rewards plus a limited edition art print, a homemade CD mix tape to accompany your reading, and a digital download of the creators' other comics, Footprints and The Secret Adventures of Houdini. (+$10 for international)

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    5 backers

    All of the $50 rewards plus an 8x10 B&W sketch of the backer's choice and your name printed in a special "Thank You" section in the back of the book.(+$10 for international)

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    All of the $50 rewards plus an 8x10 color sketch of the backer's choice with your name in an extra special "Thank You" page in the front of the book. (+$10 for international)

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    4 backers Limited (11 left of 15)

    TALKIN' SHOP SPECIAL: All of the $50 rewards and your name in an extra special "Thank You" page in the front of the book, plus a one hour Skype session with Joey to talk shop -- writing, comics, movies, cats, whatever -- he prefer it be cats. (+$10 for international)

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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    BIG APPLE SPECIAL: If you're in New York City, Sean will travel to your location -- comic shop, party, whatever -- and perform his escape act with the backer's choice of straight jacket, handcuffs, or chains. You'll also get the $50 rewards and your name will appear in an extra special "Thank You" page in the front of the book. (NYC Only, dates to be arranged by Sean and backer)

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    EDITOR’S HAT: All of the $50 rewards and your name in an extra special "Thank You" page in the front of the book, plus Joey will edit up to 22-pages of comic book script until you both agree that your story is undeniably amazing. (+$10 for international)

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    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    COMMUTER: Be drawn into the book as a commuter on the famed NYC subway and receive the original page of art featuring your likeness, plus all of the $50 rewards and your name in an extra special "Thank You" page in the front of the book. (+$10 for international)

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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    Have your portrait drawn into the book as a photograph on the wall of the coffee shop a character frequents, and receive the original 8x10 portrait to display at home -- plus all of the $50 rewards and your name in an extra special "Thank You" page in the front of the book. (+$10 for international)

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    1 backer All gone!

    Be drawn into the book as a New York City bum and receive one page of original art featuring your likeness, plus all of the $50 rewards and your name in an extra special "Thank You" page in the front of the book. (+$10 for international)

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    HIPSTER: Be drawn into the book as a Williamsburg hipster and receive the original page of art featuring your likeness, plus all of the $50 rewards and your name in an extra special "Thank You" page in the front of the book. (+$10 for international)

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    Be drawn into the book as a patron of the Pawn Shop and receive the original page of art featuring your likeness, plus all of the $50 rewards and your name in an extra special "Thank You" page in the front of the book. (+$10 for international)

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    NAMESAKE: All of the $50 rewards and your name in an extra special "Thank You" page in the front of the book, plus you can name one of the characters in the book (a REAL WORLD name -- no Skywalkers or Bagginses) and keep one original page of art featuring said character. (+$10 for international)

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    All of the $50 rewards plus an illustrated poem with original art personalized for you by the writer and artist, which they will also perform on video and post online in dedication to you. You will also receive your name in an extra special "Thank You" page in the front of the book and one page of original art of the artist's choice. (+$10 for international)

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    All of the $50 rewards plus co-write a bonus short story for the book with Joey that Sean will illustrate. You will also receive one extra print copy, an original page of art of the artist's choice, and your name listed in the extra special "Thank You" page in the front of book. (+$15 for international)

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    All of the regular $50 rewards, plus the backer can dedicate OUR book to whoever they like with a special message. Must be tasteful, of course. Marriage proposals are welcome. You will also receive an extra signed copy to give to the dedicatee along with an original page of art of the artist's choice. ($+15 for international)

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    All of the regular $50 rewards, an original page of art of the artist's choice, plus Sean will travel to any location in the continental United States to perform his escape act with backer's choice of straight jacket, handcuffs, or chains. Coordination of dates will be left to Sean and the backer. (US Only)

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