A few years ago, it seemed like there was a comic-con in every major city in North America. Every major city except Washington, DC, at least. So we asked around. Was there a reason nobody had put on a big comic-con in the Washington Convention Center? Nobody knew why, it just hadn't been done. We got tired of waiting for somebody else to deem DC worthy of a con, and we did it ourselves. If you were one of the 7,000+ people who came out to Awesome Con in April, I hope you felt like you were part of something truly special, because you were.
It is obvious that the District should be the home of a premier national comic-con. A comic-con worthy of the District of Columbia and the entire DC Metro Area. We could wait around for some multi-million dollar corporation to do it, or, as fans who also know a thing or two about running a convention, we can do it ourselves, with your help. We promise to run it from a fans-first perspective, with the help and support of the fan community.
Our plan is to bring you the biggest show this area has ever seen, on April 19-20, 2014. Over 100,000 square feet of exhibitors, artists, comic pros, and celebrities. More than twenty rooms of programming, and since we're not some huge corporate behemoth, we can keep ticket prices reasonable.
But we're going to need your help to do it.
At this moment, Awesome Con is in about the same place financially as it was last year when we started planning the first Awesome Con. Basically, we can afford to put on the exact same show we did last time. That's not really going to work for 2014. We sent out surveys after the con, and over 95% of them said the same thing: MAKE IT BIGGER. We can make it bigger. We will make it bigger. But making it bigger presents a few challenges.
Specifically, we need more money to rent a larger convention hall, which is probably the most pressing and most obvious issue. We will also need to hire a few employees to help manage the whole thing. This is something that will require a full year's worth of work from a team of people, or it just can't happen. So that's why we're coming to Kickstarter. Our other options are to borrow money from a bank or to find a rich investor, but neither of those options serves the fans well, and serving geekdom is priority #1. If we can run this as a project on Kickstarter, you will be guaranteed to have the most absolutely fan-friendly show that's ever happened.
This Kickstarter campaign is about creating an awesome experience for one weekend next year, and so the #1 thing we want to emphasize is that by backing us, you will be coming to the con. Every reward we offer involves admission to Awesome Con DC 2014. And you won't just be contributing money to the con, we'll take your input along the way while we're planning the con. Also, all Backers will get a swag bag with an exclusive con badge, an exclusive comic book, a show program with your name listed in the Backers' section, and an invitation to the Backers Only Panel at Awesome Con DC. This panel will probably be the greatest single fan event of all time. We've got some cool ideas for it, but they're top secret for now.
If we raise more than our goal, the extra money will go toward making the con bigger and better. We'll get more famous (and more expensive) guests. We'll do more special stuff after hours. The more you contribute to this campaign, the more you are helping to make Awesome Con even more awesome.
EDIT 7/1/13: We've added two cool new benefits for all backers.
1) Friday Preview Night. We will open the doors to the con in the late afternoon or evening for a preview of the con. All Kickstarter backers at Concerned Citizen or higher will get into Preview Night for no extra charge. We will probably put a limited number of tickets on sale for Preview NIght, but if you're a backer you get in for free. If we have enough backers (at this point it doesn't look like we will have enough), we will make it so that ONLY backers are allowed in on Preview Night. Either way, this will be a fantastic Friday to come to the con. It's a holiday weekend, traffic and parking in DC will be as good as you could possibly hope for on a weekday.
2) After the Kickstarter campaign ends, we will send out the link to our room block at the Renaissance to backers at least one week before we publish the link on our website. Our rate is $139 + tax, that's the best rate I've ever seen at that hotel. Maybe they're trying to build a relationship with us because there's a new hotel opening up next year next to the Convention Center. I don't know, but $139 per night at a downtown DC four-star hotel is amazing, and it's within walking distance to the con (it's just across the square). I know it's not a huge perk, but if you're planning to travel to the con it can save you a few hundred dollars.
These two added benefits will ONLY happen if the Kickstarter campaign is funded. The con will still happen if we aren't funded, but we may have to scale back a few things that we want to do if we have to look somewhere else for funding. It will be Awesome regardless.
The biggest question we've been asked so far is about guests. And the best answer for that question is that George Pérez will be at Awesome Con 2014. We are also talking to a lot more fantastic comics and media guests. Unfortunately, we can't announce any media guests to go along with this campaign. Due to filming schedules, most movie and TV actors won't be able to book earlier than 4-6 months before the con. We are in contact with a number of agents about a number of guests, and as their schedules permit, we will be confirming them. We are also in touch with a number of high-profile comic guests, and we can announce a few right now, and as we confirm them, we will continue to announce more. We expect a relatively large number of media guests (between 20-30), and even more comic guests.
Identity Comics Studio
The Octopus Tree House
Super Art Fight
Note: You can totally change your reward level at any time, if we've added a new one that you're interested in. Or if you're interested in more than one reward tier, let us know and we can figure out an additional amount to add to get both.
Concerned Citizen and Superhero Assist
These tiers come with the exclusive Backer Swag Bag (badge, comic book, name in the program, invitation to Backers Only Panel), plus your badge gets you admission into the con. The Concerned Citizen Badge gets you in for one day. The Superhero Assist Badge gets you in for both days. You're not only helping us out, but you're also getting a sweet deal, considering that regular admission to Awesome Con for one day will be $30 and 2 days will be $50.
EDIT: We've also added a few more variations of the Superhero Assist reward. We've got the Superhero Assist + T-Shirt for only $10 more, and also a 2-Pack and 4-Pack of the Superhero Assist + T-Shirt. Admirer of Art Superpowers is a new reward tier that's the same as Superhero Assist + T-Shirt, but you get original artwork (not a print, an original!!). You can also add the original art to any other reward tier by adding $50 to your pledge and sending us a note about it.
Concerned Citizen and Superhero Assist Early Birds
These are the same as above but if you jump on early you get free exclusive comics. Concerned Citizens get the Awesome Con Variant Regular Show #1 from BOOM! Studios, and Superhero Assistants get the Awesome Con VIP Exclusive Adventure Time #15. They ship out within 6 weeks of the end of the campaign.
If you've been splashed by radiation that left you with the Power Of Art, then you might want a table in our Artists' Alley. Backers at this tier get a 6' table at Awesome Con to sell their artwork, first dibs on table placement, and a swag bag with a Kickstarter Backer Artist badge, invitation to the Backers Only Panel, and an exclusive limited edition variant show program with a blank cover so you can design your own cover. Inside that program, you'll also see your name with a note next to it so that attendees know YOU BACKED US! You also get a second badge for an assistant.
Sidekick, Vigilante, Superhero, and Omnipotent Super-Being
These tiers are kind of like VIP passes. Except they're better. And they offer rewards never before seen at a comic-con. At the Sidekick tier, you get an extra-sweet gift bag with the entire contents of the Superhero Assist reward, plus a coupon for free photo-op & autograph from a media guest (your choice), an exclusive comic or toy, and an exclusive t-shirt. You'll also get Sidekick benefits like early entry into the con and priority panel seating. At the Vigilante tier, you get all the same rewards and benefits of a Sidekick, but you'll also be invited to a catered party after the con on Saturday, where you get free food and you schmooze with staff and maybe some guests. At the Superhero tier, things start to get serious. If you are a Superhero, you have the ability to cut the line at every panel, and you can cut the line for autographs for every media guest (once per guest). We'll also mail you out a copy of every exclusive comic we've ever done for a con up to now (Adventure Time #1, Marceline #1, Revival #1, Doctor Who #1, Fionna & Cake #1, Adventure Time #15, Regular Show #1, Candy Capers #1, and TMNT: Animated Adventures #1), and a special 2013 Awesome Con program signed by 10 guests. At the Omnipitent Super-Being tier, your life changes. We basically treat you like a celebrity. You get a hotel room, you get all your meals covered, you get first dibs on everything. You can get into the green room and drink soda and eat sandwiches with some guests and staff. If there is a panel going on, and the room is full, we will make somebody leave so that you can go in. This is the level of access you get at this tier, and that's why there's only one available. Only select this reward if you are prepared to act like an absolute diva all weekend (just kidding, but seriously, you deserve it. TREAT YO SELF).
The Crossover Event of the Century
Some people dream of a fairy tale wedding. Some people dream of a geek wedding at a comic-con. This reward is for the latter. Here are the basics: You and your fiancé will get VIP treatment at Awesome Con 2014, including all the Sidekick rewards, plus two-nights' hotel stay (separate rooms Friday night, honeymoon suite Saturday). You also get a wedding ceremony and a reception for 50 guests at the show. That includes officiant, DJ, and catering. If you want to bring your own officiant, be my guest. We can go over the little details later, this is YOUR special day so we will make sure you have input on everything like the color of tablecloths and all that. Your guests will be allowed into the ceremony/reception without Awesome Con admission. Look, your new mother in-law just isn't into comic-cons, we get it. She can still come to the wedding.
Secret Identity, Scientific Genius, Benevolent Industrial Titan, and Super-Spy Boss
These reward tiers are for exhibitors. If you'd like an exhibitor booth or booths at Awesome Con DC, you can choose from these four options. Exhibitors who back our Kickstarter get absolute first dibs on the placement of their booths. This is your chance to be one of the very first booths that attendees see as they walk into Awesome Con. These reward tiers also come with a swag bag which includes a Kickstarter Backer Exhibitor badge, invitation to the Backers Only Panel, and an exclusive limited edition variant show program with a blank cover. Inside that program, you'll also see your name with a note next to it so that attendees know YOU BACKED US! You also get two additional badges per booth. Backers get dibs on booth placement over people who purchase booths after this campaign ends (plus regular rates for booths go up $150 per booth when the campaign ends). Secret Identity is one 10'x10' interior booth. Scientific Genius is one 10'x10' corner booth. Benevolent Industrial Titan is 20'x10', one interior and one corner booth. Super-Spy Boss is a 20'x10' endcap, two corner spaces.
If you'd like more space than one or two booths, please contact us to determine the correct pledge amount for what you want.
New Reward Tiers
We added a few new reward tiers, here's some more info.
Helpful Space Alien
For people who can't make it to the con; you get a downloadable Backers Badge that looks just like our admission badges, with EXCLUSIVE ARTWORK just for this tier! You'll also get an invite to a live stream of the Backers Only Panel (or if you end up purchasing a ticket later, you can come in person!).
Former Animal Now Mutated Into Human Size With Human IntelligenceThis reward is the same as the Helpful Space Alien reward, but you also get a copy of our exclusive TMNT: New Animated Adventures SDCC Exclusive comic book. If you want any copies of the other exclusives we've got (Fionna & Cake #1, Adventure Time #15, Regular Show #1, Candy Capers #1), just add another $15 to your reward level and send us a note.
Risks and challenges
This far out, there are still a lot of unknowns and there are still a lot of important questions we can't answer. We haven't booked very many guests yet, and the show falls on a major holiday, Easter. Also, nothing of this size has ever been done in DC. But that's not a risk, that's an opportunity. We are completely qualified to make this show happen, and to make it Awesome. The challenges we faced prior to the 2013 Awesome Con were actually more daunting, and we overcame them pretty handily.
In case you're worried, we are already in touch with the representatives of dozens of guests, and we'll stay in touch, so we should have guest confirmations as soon as the potential guests know what their film schedules are like in April 2014. The guest list WILL be fantastic, don't worry about that. If you look at other major cons around the country, 4-6 months beforehand is when they really start announcing guests, and we'll also probably keep adding guests up until a few weeks before the con.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
April 19-20, 2014. That's Easter weekend, but we're calling it Easter Geekend. Sorry the dates were kind of hidden in our original posting.
This is a tough question. The actors we're talking to are very popular, and most of them are currently on very popular TV shows, so they don't have their shooting and promotional schedules for next April yet. I'm heading to San Diego for Comic-Con, and I've already scheduled meetings with four different agents to talk about celebrity guests for Awesome Con. These are mostly the same guests who are at Wizard World, Emerald City Comicon, Megacon, etc. Hopefully I can announce some voice actors after SDCC, and maybe one or two film/tv actors, but I imagine the big names will have to wait until the fall. I guarantee these guests will KICK ASS.
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