Five Questions about Pawn Shop with Sean Von Gorman

 After discussing this book with writer Joey Esposito, I was surprised and thrilled to hear from his partner-in-awesomeness, Sean Von Gorman. 
Sean has been working in Indie comics pretty much since birth and has created a pretty solid portfolio of work, so read on below to see what he had to say about his experience working on Pawn Shop.

Josh: Sean, first off, I want to say thanks for talking to me about the book. I am tremendously excited by the success that projects like yours have been able to achieve on Kickstarter, and Pawn Shop itself looks like it may be one of those rare great personal stories.

Sean: I’m very excited to talk to you! Hold on! (Breaths into a bag) Okay lets go!

Josh: I have just a few questions for you, so let’s get to it!

Sean: Wait, hold on…Okay go.

Josh: Pawn Shop is a very human, reality-based story. Most of your work has been in the realm of science fiction or Lovecraftian fantasy. How is your approach different on a piece like this.

Sean: It’s definitely a softer story, but it’s all heart. Lots of strong complex emotions in this book. It’s entirely character driven. In each of the first four books you learn who each of these people are. The trick is making the mundane visually stimulating!

Josh: Your style has a very old-fashioned feel. The silhouettes remind me a bit of some early Eisner work. Do you find that you make an effort to be different from the prevalent hyper-realism in modern comics?

Sean: Thank you. I definitely try to be different in most ways. I get bored very easily so I’m always trying something new. I’m always changing and evolving, especially in the last few years as I’ve been finding my style and adapting the way I work to Monthly deadlines. (At the moment I’m attached to four books.) And I’m a very big fan of the classics. There is something to be said for doing something yourself rather than relying too heavily on computers. Not to say I don’t use Digital elements in my work, but I try to use it tastefully and above all else look different from everyone else. Alex Ross is one of my favorite artists, and I absolutely love his style, and a huge influence for me using watercolor in my work.

Josh:  What was the atmosphere that you were trying to create in this book?

Sean: Most people will only ever see New York through the pictures of Tourists who visit the city. So New York is very iconic, everyone knows what the city looks like, so I go around the city with my camera take pictures of settings in the book and create Mixed media backdrops and treat the book as more of an animation project where these characters would literally live in an idealized New York.

Josh: One of the biggest challenges for aspiring creators is finding someone with whom they can establish a fruitful partnership. For every writer with a dozen scripts and no artistic talent beyond stick figures, there’s an artist on deviantART who can’t wrap their pencils around those pesky things called “words.” How did you and Joey get together on this project?

Sean: It’s all about brining everything to the table and finding someone who is just as determined to getting things done as you are. When I came across Joey I know he had a few books out, and I had a few in the pipeline, so I knew he was a guy who knew how to get things done, and that really attracted me to working with him. Additionally he’s pretty easy on the eyes, isn’t he?

Joey had put out a call for Artists on Twitter. I sent him my portfolio and kept me in mind for another project.

Josh: What advice would you give to artists out there hoping to walk the winding road to success as a comic creator?

Sean: Be ready for rejection. Lots of it. Don’t worry; it’s not personal; it’s not about talent; nobody knows who you are yet. Keep at it! More than anything else people want to see how determined you are. Learn how to take and use criticism. And if no one wants to give you an opportunity, make your own. Put a book together, and eventually I guarantee people will be lining up to work with you! If that doesn’t work handcuff yourself to something.

Josh: And now for the BONUS ROUND!!! Who is your comic book presidential candidate?

Sean: I nominate myself! I also second the nomination! I accept the nomination! I vote for myself Infinity +1! I win the Election!

Josh: Thanks again for being willing to chat with me, and I wish you every success withPawn Shop and hope to hear more about your future endeavors!

Sean: Thank you very much! I will be back to talk about them coming soon! Secret Adventures of Houdini, and Sock It To Me Comics is coming soon! Very soon! Look out—it’s behind you!


Josh Epstein

Josh Epstein is the Publisher for the Capeless Crusader website. He’s a lifelong comic nerd, and “Superman” is the first word he ever read aloud. He is also an actor, singer, and resident of a real-world Smallville.

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