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$122 pledged of $20,800 goal
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$122 pledged of $20,800 goal
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About

Discourage the Beggars: 101 Disturbing International Signs is a project 16 years in the making... although I had no idea I was working on it while taking the photos.

Through luck and pluck I've had the great good fortune to travel to dozens of countries for work and pleasure over the past decade and a half.  With a series of cameras as my constant companions, I have taken tens of thousands of photos, the vast majority of them standard beauty shots of stunning architecture, colorful traditional processions and the full range of humanity proudly decked out in local costume.

Not one shot of any of that will be contained in this book.

Close-up of the Khmer Boxing Condom
Close-up of the Khmer Boxing Condom
The delicate art of Mexican newsstand political cartooning
The delicate art of Mexican newsstand political cartooning

During the same period my snarky inner child has gone to great lengths to capture a smaller number of shots of the galling typos, creepy anthropomorphic mascots, cannibalistic animal restaurant totems, awkward birth control messaging and over-the-top political statements one finds by turning away from the ancient temple and heading down an alley.  Many of the images are folk art as advertisement.  Some images are funny because the English is incorrect, while others will stay with you because the sign says exactly what it means.  It's a mix of the comic, the tragic and the tragicomic - just like life on Earth.

In a recent attempt to organize and collate my photos, I discovered I had not the few dozen of these unusual images I thought I'd collected, but rather a couple of hundred of them.  I further realized that this was a substantial body of work, arrived at however accidentally, and that it deserves its own audience.  The problem that confronts me is not filling a book, rather editing things down to the creme of the crop.

Not only have I over a hundred of these images to share with you in all their vibrant glory, but I've kept careful records of where and when these were captured, and can and will provide substantive textual explanation for what are sometimes otherwise inexplicable images should you not have experience in the host culture.

None of these photos have ever before been published in any way.  I've been off of the proverbial beaten path, and as big a fan as I am of this sort of material I have not seen any other person's photos of these same images reproduced anywhere else either.

The intended result is a full color coffee table book you might elect to keep off of the coffee table, where it would reveal your latent immaturity to neighbors and in-laws alike.

  • THRILL TO Cambodia's Boxing Condom Montage!

  • WINCE AT Guatemala's Chinese Take-Out Caricatures!

  • CHUCKLE AT Montreal's Peeping Tom Washing Machine!

  • STAGGER BACKWARD IN AWE when confronted by Nepal's Tacky Diet Pill Billboards!

  • SCRATCH YOUR HEAD attempting to figure out what any given store in Qatar sells!

  • RECOIL IN HORROR at Iceland's Monumentally Unfortunate Trash Can Typo!

  • SWELL WITH PRIDE knowing you helped finance the project!

Peru's #1 outlet for poultry of doubtful sanity
Peru's #1 outlet for poultry of doubtful sanity

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    Receive 3 signed or unsigned (your choice) copies of the book. ALSO get a day and night of the author's tour of Weird Philadelphia (his home city) for you and a guest... you pay travel and accommodations if you're visiting. Also get your name mentioned as a backer of the project in the book's preface.

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    Receive 3 signed or unsigned (your choice) copies of the book. ALSO get a personalized multiple-day tour with the author of central Guatemala - a favorite destination for the author - for you and a guest... you pay your own travel and accommodations. Also get your name mentioned as a backer of the project in the book's preface.

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    Receive 3 signed or unsigned (your choice) copies of the book. ALSO get a multiple-day tour with the author of your choice of other places he knows well - Marrakesh, Kathmandu, Paris or Doha - for you and a guest... you pay your own travel and accommodations (or else I'm losing money on this deal!). Also get your name mentioned as a backer of the project in the book's preface.

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Funding period

- (33 days)