Despite having the Tweeted support of Steve Niles, J. M. DeMatteis, Kurt Busiek, Jimmy Palmiotti, Christopher Jones, Escape Pod Comics, Jessica Boyd and Alison Berry - to say nothing of an article on Bleeding Cool - the last time around, trends showed that The GeekERIE wasn't going to get funded. I canceled the campaign and have been finding more supporters before the re-launch happens. Kickstarter 101, right? Well, better to have learned the lesson late than never. (There're also better graphics this time around.)
But enough of the past. I hope you find my project as exciting as I do, and that you choose to help bring more Geek to Erie, PA!
The GeekERIE is a pop-up Geek community center that showcases not only what's cool and creative about Our Culture but celebrates it in full-view of and with arms open to the wider Erie community, inviting all who are interested to participate in some truly unique entertainment experiences.
The Kickstarter is to fund a year's worth of events and activities for Erie and and the larger Tri-State Area (yes, that's actually a thing). There are costs I can see and some I cannot. The ones I can see are detailed below with each event.
Hero Prom will be The GeekERIE's Grand Opening event, and what a kick-off it will be! Featuring bands from the Erie area - I'm looking at you, Falling Hollywood, The Romantic Era and Geek Army, so be ready for an invitation - and a dance floor populated by heroes and villains. No one's here to fight, though; everyone just wants to get down and boogie!
Hero Prom will be paired with out first contest: Create-A-Mascot! Clever designers and eager kids can submit their sketches for what they think would be the perfect animal... er, person... er, creature to represent The GeekERIE. The winning entrant will be awarded a plushie of their superlative mascot design. Go crazy and give us your best!
24 Hour Comics Day is probably my favorite comic book event of the year, with no offense to the inimitable NYCC. I hosted the first ever (in Erie) 24HCD in 2012 at PACA 1505 and did so again this year at 24HCD alumnus Jude Shingle's Box of Light Studios. This year's event really embodies what I want The GeekERIE to be: not only a place for fun, but one that can partner with other local groups and organizations to create connections that make us and Erie all the better for them.
Food and drinks
Printing and distribution of comics
What town doesn't need a horror movie hosted by local comedians in ridiculously over-the-top costumes? In the tradition of Svengoolie, Elvira and Erie's own ridiculously camp Late Great Horror Show, Eerie Nights Theatre will combine bad movies and comedy in front of a live studio audience.
Of course, every Geek community center needs to have a creation arm. Under the banner of "The GeekERIE Presents" local talent will collaborate on the writing, drawing, inking and lettering processes of comic book creation with the final goal of BEING PUBLISHED! With two titles to begin with - an anthology of comics and one on-going series - all ages and all levels of talent can participate with lots of teaching, learning and collaborating to make engaging and original comics. The GeekERIE will take on the expenses of printing and distributing the final products.
Printing and Distribution
One of the best things I ever did while living in Austin was to audition for Weird City Theatre's Night of the Living Dead and love the experience so much that even though I live in Erie, I'm still a part of the company. Bringing the WCT tradition of Halloween horror theatre to Erie, The GeekERIE will present an eldritch Lovecraftian abomination -with skits, adaptations, and signature "haikthulhu" readings, possibly some animation) on-stage in October 2014,
Ed Brisson and Megan Gedris have already said they would come and talk about making comics and how to hustle an idea for a pitch or crowd-funding. We have so much to learn from these indy creators, and they have much to learn about Greek dogs and orange-twist soft serve. And while we're at it, The GeekERIE will work to bring in other nearby creators like Tony Moore or Chris Sprouse, or even not-so-nearby folks like Jimmy Palmiotti. They need Greek dogs and soft serve, too.
Food and drinks
With a veritable slew of comic book, horror, and sci-fi due to be released in 2014 - Captain America 2, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Ninja Turtles, Transformers 4, X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Graveyard Book, Godzilla, and Guardians of the Galaxy to name a few - it's the perfect time for kids -however old they may be- to put their favorite heroes and villains on the page to win geek-themed prizes!
Prizes for category winners
Are you too old to get your picture taken with Santa at the Mall? Are your children too dark or too rotten? The come to Krampus' Kave to sit on the old demon's knee and tell him who needs to be drowned in his lake of ink. For a couple bucks more, Krampus will visit your bad seed's window at midnight and scare the Goodness of the Holiday Season back into 'em!
The GeekERIE's End of the Year Party! What kind of Geeks would we be without one Zombie Apocalypse Live-Action Role Playing game to offer the citizenry? Taken to a remote location, The Living will be given two hours of training and a backpack, then released into the wild to not be eliminated from the game by Hungry Zombies (who have spent their morning being face-painted and arrayed in the finest grave-tatters available) that roam the countryside looking for fleshy sustenance. Weapons abound, but only a lucky few will have them in their backpacks. Everyone else has to find weapons hidden around the play area or take them from your fellow humans. Yes, human-on-human survival violence is encouraged (I mean, within the rules of the game, of course). After all, only the strong survive.
The events above will run through the generosity of you, the backers. And as more people get involved and The GeekERIE finds its place, who knows what else we could do: Animated shorts? Miniatures painting? Weekend movie making? Urban knitting? Partnering with libraries, schools, prisons, nursing homes, and community outreach programs to promote literacy through comic books (my favorite possibility)? It all seems desirable, but first things are first...
In Big Hopeful Picture terms, donating means that you would be participating in a community-building project, which makes you an agent of change. However small a thing anyone can do to make a corner of the world better in some way, that action lets others do the same, and still other and on and on and further and further outward until improvement is inevitable. By helping fund this campaign, you're helping me make my home better for my being here and for your belief in this campaign.
And that makes you amazing.
THE GeekERIE iron-on patch is perfect for your backpack or jeans jacket as a conversation starter or just to show that you support the Arts and Entertainment in Erie. We'd be proud to have you carry our name around with you! (+ $5 as an add-on if it's not in your incentive tier!)
There's never not a T-SHIRT, and I am not going to be the first to buck tradition. The first design shows our battle-cry: "GEEK out and ERIE on!" (with my nephew modeling it). The next two are more creeds or mottoes for what we do every day. The guys at Leadhead Creative have made every t-shirt I've needed since I've been in Erie and I will never go anywhere else. (+ $16 as an add-on if it's not in your incentive tier!)
One of the things I love about Erie is how surrounded by the supernatural we are. Derry, Maine could take lessons from us... Oh! Except Erie is a real place! Gypsy killers? Got 'em. Local authorities working with witches? Happened. Secret UFO base? In our backyard. Vampires? Of course! Relics of St. Teresa of Avilla? Transverberates here, baby! Could your house be build on a "lost" graveyard? Chances are really good. In honor of our co-existence with The Unexplained, The GeekERIE is offering LEGENDARY CREATURES LICENSES! (+ $10 each as an add-on if it's not in your incentive tier!)
All of the comics produced during this year will be printed and sent to you. This includes the 68-page and 88-page 24 Hour Comics Day in Erie comics (two of them!), just to get you started! (+ $35 as an add-on if it's not in your incentive tier!)
The cover to this year's 24HCD in Erie comic book. You want it.
"WHAT'S the WORST THAT COULD HAPPEN?"
I play this game with myself where I imagine the most dire ending to every choice I make during the day (Seriously. I'm being medicated for this.). With this incentive, you tell me something you did during the day and you'll get back a cartoon with a horrible, unexpected result. If you tell me, "I went to the Piggly Wiggly for cat food." You may get back "Wound up in the desert outside Taos, drunk, being eaten by a coyote."
Local artist Mark Welser makes your worst look great! (+ $40 as an add-on if it's not in your incentive tier!)
YOU as a LEGENDARY CREATURE
Drawing from local legends, your face will adorn a 16x20 image printed on Lexjet Sunset eSatin and mounted on black Gatorboard. Suitable for framing. At the higher donation level, the print will be on canvas and mounted on a frame. You can choose from
Sea Hag (shown below)
(+ $40 for a small, + $60 for a large as an add-on if it's not in your incentive tier!)
WEREWOLF PATROL BADGE
An enamel and metal (novelty) badge that identifies you as one of the brave officers who keep the Werewolf Migration on the True Paths and away from populated areas where so many tempting snacks live.
At higher levels of donation, your badge will come in a very official-looking wallet with personalized ID. (+ $80 for the badge, + $100 for the kit as an add-on if it's not in your incentive tier!)
The GeekERIE will sponsor contests a'plenty in the coming year, and you can be a judge for all of them!
Our first contest will be Create-A-Mascot, held during the Grand Opening Hero Prom (though submissions will be accepted by people not attending as well). A plush of the winning critter will be yours for admiring on a shelf or hugging after a long day at work. Local talent Squishy Productions will bring some lucky person's vision to life and give The GeekERIE its totem animal. Look at the great work they do:
(The plush will not be available as an add-on at this time.)
Since you're investing in Erie, I want to send you a piece of what you're investing in. The gift baskets will showcase the art, music, food and talent that is everywhere in my hometown. There are three sizes - small (three items), medium (seven items), and large (twelve items).
(+ $20 for a small, + $40 for a medium, + $60 for a large as an add-on if it's not in your incentive tier!)
In Practical terms, The GeekERIE's events are only Phase One of this whole endeavor. As a community, we reach out to the community and make ourselves known around Erie and develop relationships with local businesses, schools and institutions.
If The GeekERIE catches hold and roots, Phase Two will be a brick-and-mortar location, plus custom transportation and Mobile Local Comic Shop! It looks a little something like this:
And, c'mon, who doesn't want that?
Phase Three would be to franchise the idea to people who want to start their own comic book store, but find the initial overhead and financial commitments of a brick-and-mortar store daunting. I want to see this idea spread and get more Geek Culture out to the people who see it like I do: as a community.
As noted above, I excel at What's the Worst That Could Happen which in this case is, of course, that I throw a party and no one comes, that Erie can't or won't support this idea once it comes to fruition and that I will be very disappointed. However, my faith that this campaign will succeed is based on my belief that Erie is the right place to begin it, and now is the right time to do it. My hope is that others see this as well (and I've found several already). This is what I want to do with myself, for my hometown, so I am determined to see The GeekERIE become a part of the Erie community.
INNOCENT BYSTANDER LEVEL: I will dedicate a votive candle to your name and ask for the blessings of Grant Morrison to fall upon you, your household, and your action figure collection + a thank you in all of our events programs.
ALTER EGO LEVEL: You will receive all of "The GeekERIE presents" comics books starting with our 24 Hour Comics Day 2013 GN + A "GEEK out and ERIE on" t-shirt + a thank you in all of our events programs.
SUPERHERO LEVEL: You will receive a small portrait of you as a Legendary Creature + your choice of TWO Legendary Creatures licenses + your choice of t-shirt (excluding the mascot) + a thank you in all of our events programs.
SUPERHERO LEVEL: You will receive a "What's the Worst That Could Happen?" drawing + your choice of TWO Legendary Creatures licenses + your choice of t-shirt (excluding the mascot) + a thank you in all of our events programs.
CREATOR LEVEL: You will receive a Werewolf Patrol badge + your choice of FIVE Legendary Creatures licenses + all of "The GeekERIE presents" comics books starting with our 24 Hour Comics Day 2013 GN + your choice of t-shirt (excluding the mascot) + a thank you in all of our events programs.
INTERGALACTIC DICTATOR LEVEL: You will be a JUDGE in all of our contests and events + you will receive a plush of the winning entry in the Create-a-Mascot contest + you will get all of "The GeekERIE presents" comics books starting with our 24 Hour Comics Day 2013 GN + a t-shirt of the mascot you helped choose + a medium gift basket + a thank you in all of our events programs.
INTERGALACTIC DICTATOR LEVEL: You will receive a large gift basket + a "What's the Worst That Could Happen?" drawing + you will get all of "The GeekERIE presents" comics books starting with our 24 Hour Comics Day 2013 GN + your choice of t-shirt (excluding the mascot) + a thank you in all of our events programs.
CELESTIAL AVATAR LEVEL: You will receive the deluxe Werewolf Patrol Kit (badge, wallet and personalized ID) + a "What's the Worst That Could Happen?" drawing + you will get all of "The GeekERIE presents" comics books starting with our 24 Hour Comics Day 2013 GN + your choice of t-shirt (excluding the mascot) + a thank you in all of our events programs.
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF LEVEL: You will receive a full-sized portrait of you as your choice of a Legendary Creature + a mascot plush + your name and business or personal logo will appear in all of our events programs + you will be listed as a co-sponsor of one of the year's events (your choice which one) with your personal or business logo on display.
MILLIONAIRE PLAYBOY/GIRL LEVEL: Why the hell not? It could happen right? If you fund my project in its entirety, I will meet you for dinner at a restaurant of your choice (my treat) somewhere within the continental United States, and I'll bring you a one-of-a-kind gift basket that highlights the charms of my hometown (including many of the incentives listed here) which is ultimately what you're investing in. We'll talk franchising. Cool? Your name and business or personal logo will appear in all of our events programs as well as being added to our display banner as a full sponsor.