Funded! This project was successfully funded on March 14, 2013.

Photo-main
Play
00:00
00:00

A sci-fi/superhero novel with a 'Ready Player One', Joss Whedon-y vibe, featuring original illustrations by Marvel and DC artists.

UPDATE: $30K GOAL UNLOCKED!!!

The Arena Mode universe is expanding even further: a map will now be included in the front of the book, all character profiles will be expanded and include power ratings, AND the supplementary section in the back will be expanded even further to include weapons that are used in the Arena.

Not only is the book getting continuously awesomer, but everyone is getting a ton of free goodies along with their order:

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ENTIRE 'FREE STUFF' BLUEPRINT

If you already backed Arena Mode I want to thank you for your extreme awesomeness - you are now my BFF. If you haven’t backed it yet, you should give it a try...all the cool kids are doing it. 

And it feels good.

A SUPERHERO NOVEL WITH A TWIST

The Mark Millar endorsed, sci-fi superhero novel ARENA MODE is currently one of the most popular publishing titles on Kickstarter! Wanna know more? Read on, true believer...

YOUR TOP 5 QUESTIONS:

1. So this is what, a book?

That's right. When I was your age, television was called books. 

2. Has it got any sports in it?

Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, explosions, chases, escapes, four letter words...and it’s written by none other than Blake Northcott.

3. Doesn't sound too bad. I'll try and stay awake. So who the heck is Blake Northcott?

She’s a writer, Twitter-er, and occasional blogger. She wrote two Amazon Kindle bestsellers: 'Vs. Reality' and 'Relapse'; both debuted at #1 in the sci-fi/superheroes categories in the Unites States and the U.K.

4. Alright, so what is this book about?

You can check out the Prologue here, or read the summary below:

In the near future the government announces that superhumans are real. But unlike the iconic heroes of comic book fiction, they never put on capes and venture out to save the world; most keep to themselves in an attempt to blend in with a society that fears their abilities, and considers their very existence a terrorist threat.

One day, billionaire Cameron Frost makes a shocking announcement: the latest in his series of increasingly-violent sporting events will be a no-holds-barred fighting tournament. It will take place in a secured urban combat zone – known as The Arena – where 13 volunteers battle for the largest cash prize ever awarded.

The catch? To participate, you have to be a superhuman.

Comic book enthusiast and lifelong underachiever Matthew Moxon is excited to watch real-life superheroes clash for the first time, but a series of unforeseen circumstances find him tossed into the tournament, forced to fight the most dangerous human beings on the planet. When the game begins his only chance of survival is to outwit the competitors, all while he tries to unlock the mysteries buried within The Arena itself. 

5. That seems pretty cool...so who are these Marvel and DC Comics artists involved, and what are they gonna be doing? And are they famous and stuff?

Whoa, take it easy there bub. That’s like three questions all at once!

First of all, here are the amazing artists involved:

Plus:

They're going to be illustrating some of the characters that appear in the book; you'll be able to flip to a special section of the novel and see their designs.

Their artwork will also appear on Kickstarter-exclusive desktop wallpapers and other rewards. This is my vision to blur the line a little between traditional novels and graphic novels, and add some extra value for the reader. 

And yes, they're totes famous. 

You've probably either heard of these guys, or are familiar with their work. In case you've been living under a metaphorical rock and haven’t heard of them, check out some of their stuff below. 

Dan Panosian (Serafina the Butcher, character design for ARENA MODE)
Dan Panosian (Serafina the Butcher, character design for ARENA MODE)
Natasha Allegri (Brynja, original character design for ARENA MODE)
Natasha Allegri (Brynja, original character design for ARENA MODE)
Mark McKenna (Darth Vader vs. Aliens)
Mark McKenna (Darth Vader vs. Aliens)
Dave Johnson (Deadpool)
Dave Johnson (Deadpool)
Derek Laufman (Marvel vs. Capcom)
Derek Laufman (Marvel vs. Capcom)
Thor Mangila (Daredevil)
Thor Mangila (Daredevil)
Barry Kitson (Batman and Catwoman)
Barry Kitson (Batman and Catwoman)
Dan Panosian (X-Factor)
Dan Panosian (X-Factor)

WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK SO SPECIAL, AND WHY SHOULD I CARE?

All I can say is that so far, it’s my best work to date, and I think it’s a very unique blend of sci-fi and superheroes that has some interesting twists on a familiar genre. 

And combined with the design work of some truly amazing illustrators and their input into the characters, I believe the world of ARENA MODE will really jump off the page. If you're a fan of action, adventure, science fiction or fantasy, this might be the book for you (it has a Ready Player One, Joss Whedon-y vibe to it, if that gives you any indication...?)

WHAT IS ALL THE KICKSTARTER MONEY GOING TOWARDS?

The goal is to create the most amazing book possible; with professional typesetting, professional editing, and a professional design.

To make this happen I need your help to commission the artists who will be creating the character designs, the cover and logo designers, and the geniuses who will be creating everything visual involved in the book.

I also need a very talented (and patient) editor, who can fix the multitude of errors that will no doubt litter each and every page of my manuscript. Even with spell cheks my spelling is not good, and grammarz not goods either.

I will also be printing the book in both perfect bound paperback and deluxe hardcover versions, AND I’ll be creating some other cool items to give as rewards – like bookmarks and t-shirts.

STRETCH GOALS

Now that I've hit my goal for funding, I will start adding all kinds of bonus stuff to this book and make it even awesomer - and I'll throw in some additional bonus stuff for everyone who has already backed the project.

  • $6,500 = UNLOCKED!!! The base goal has been reached. The book, along with character illustrations from 6 Marvel and DC artists, will be included.
  • $7,500 = UNLOCKED!!! A new artist will be added, bringing the total character illustrations to 7. I will also be sending a free 'Full Contact Swordfighting Logo' sticker to everyone at the $25 level and higher! 
  • $8,500 = UNLOCKED!!! Another kick-ass guest artist and another character illustration. That's 8 so far!
  • $10,000 = UNLOCKED!!! Yet another artist, bringing the total to 9! How much more awesomeness can be packed into a single book?
  • $12,500 = UNLOCKED!!! Another free sticker - in addition to the 'Full Contact Swordfighting Logo' sticker, everyone at the $25 level and higher will receive an 'Arena Mode Logo' sticker! (You know the secret to making an awesome sticker? SWORDS.) 
  • $15,000 = UNLOCKED!!! All 13 superhumans in the book illustrated. Wow, so this is like a novel and an entire art book now...that is crazy! AND there will be a profile included with every character, including their stats, power ratings, and a look at their back story. This will add 30+ pages of additional content to the book!!!
  • $17,500 = UNLOCKED!!! A print-ready version of the stunning HD Arena Mode cover. Print your own poster in almost any size!
  • $20,000 = UNLOCKED!!! Every character illustration in the book professionally colored! Color pages will be included in all hardcover books, and HD wallpapers + digital images will be included for everyone at every pledge level (even $1!)
  • $25,000 = UNLOCKED!!! A tabletop RPG!!! A role playing game with rules, an all new combat system, 13 superheroes you can battle with, and printable sheets so you can make your own characters. This will included as a free bonus, starting at EVERYONE at the $10 pledge level or above. You will receive a digital pack containing the rule book in PDF format, including color illustrations of the characters.
  • $27,500 = UNLOCKED!!! Another character design by a special guest artist - and for everyone at the $25+ Pledge level, a copy of 'Kickstarter: Tips and Tricks for your Campaign PDF' that I will create after my campaign is over.
  • $30,000 = UNLOCKED!!! Even MORE art, and more awesomeness in the book!! A map of Manhattan in the year 2041 (post-tsunami), to go in the front of the book. Also, expanded profiles for all 13 superhuman characters, with power ratings (strength, speed, etc. all rated from 1-7) and a special weapons section, detailing some of the swords, firearms, and other nifty toys that are used in Arena Mode universe.
  • $33,500 = LOCKED. An over-sized, full-color collector card to be included with every physical order ($25+). This card will be a limited print, and include a never-before-seen superhuman that will appear in the RPG (!) - the art will also appear in the back of the book as well, expanding the supplementary section even more.
  • $38,500 = LOCKED. All new t-shirt designs, so you can support your favorite superhuman in The Arena! Order the shirt of your choice, or upgrade to a new design if you're already getting a shirt with your package. The logos, designs and artwork will appear in the back of the book as well, expanding the supplementary section even further. Whoa!
  • $45,000 = LOCKED. ???
  • $50,000 = LOCKED. ???
  • $75,000 = LOCKED. ???
  • $99,000 = LOCKED. ???

LET’S DO THIS, PEOPLES!

Backing this project will not only make you happier, healthier, and more attractive to the opposite sex, but it will give you seven years of good luck. So if you've broken a mirror or walked under a ladder recently, you’re in luck – all of that negativity will instantly be reversed!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read all of this nonsense, and if you're on the fence about backing this project, please check out the sample chapter and see if ARENA MODE is for you.

Thanks again! 

Super-sized hugs,
Blake xox

Me on Twitter
Me on Facebook
My official Website
My interviews and articles on CBS Man Cave Daily

--

REWARDS

Digital Book

A DRM-free version of the book in any format you require:

  • PDF (good for reading on PC, or for home printing)
  • Kindle (.mobi for Kindle devices and Kindle apps)
  • Epub (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others)
  • LRF (Use only for older model Sony Readers that don't support .epub)
  • Palm Doc (PDB) (for Palm reading devices)

Audio Book

A DRM-free version of the book in any format you require, including MP3, iTunes audio book and more. 



Paperback Hard Copy Book (Perfect Bound) 

Printed: Ohio, USA
Length: Approx. 250-275 pages
Size: 5.5" x 8.5"
Paper: 60# White Offset
Cover: 10 pt. C1S, printed full-color with a high-gloss UV Coating 

 Every book will be signed by Blake Northcott and numbered by hand for this limited first print run. This book will also feature a Kickstarter-exclusive wrap-around cover, showing the full futuristic NYC cityscape. 


Hard Cover Book
(Case Bound) 

Printed: Ohio, USA
Length: Approx. 250-275 pages
Size: 5.5" x 8.5"
Paper: 60# White Offset (Approx. 13 color pages included)
Cover: printed full-color on a gloss stock that is then laminated and glued to a heavy 100 pt. book board.

Every book will be signed by Blake Northcott and numbered by hand for this limited first print run. This book will also feature a Kickstarter-exclusive wrap-around cover, showing the full futuristic NYC cityscape.

Oversized Collector Cards

Printed: California, USA
Size: 4" x 6" (postcard size)
Paper: thick and durable 14 pt. stock 

Full-color, limited edition collector cards, with designs by Derek Laufman (Marvel vs. Capcom, World of Warcraft)

Oversized Poster

Printed: California, USASize: 24" x 36" (postcard size)Paper: durable HP photo paper

High-quality HD image. Suitable for framing or mounting.

Bookmarks

Printed: California, USA
Size: 2" x 7.25" 
Paper: 14 pt. cardstock gloss


Stickers

Printed: California, USA
Size: 2" x 3.5" (business card size)
Paper: Thick and Durable 70lb Adhesive Stock

Available with the 'Full Contact Swordfighting' logo, and the 'Arena Mode' logo. Printed on a thick and durable shiny UV gloss.


Comic Book Girl 19 Original Artwork

One-of-a-kind! Get it while it's still available...check out her video to learn more:

Original art by Comic Book Girl 19
Original art by Comic Book Girl 19

T-Shirts

White, with two-color 'Full Contact Swordfighting' logo. Available in all men's and women's sizes. Your size and cut will be confirmed when the Kickstarter campaign has ended and you confirm your mailing address and other details.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

I have never been so excited about a project, and I’m extremely confident about this one.

I have been through the process of digital book design, self-publishing, and creating custom merchandise before, so I’m well aware of the difficulties that lie ahead.

And coordinating character designs with very popular, very in-demand artists will no doubt be a challenge, but we've chosen fulfillment deadlines that are very reasonable for all parties involved.

I’m confident that I can keep everything on schedule, but should the project require additional time (due to a natural disaster, a fire at the printing press, or lazy artists...you know who you are) I’ll let everyone who pledged know as soon as possible, and I won’t sleep until this thing is ready to ship. I don’t care if my diet is reduced to espresso shots and Red Bull for a solid week – I’ll pull all-nighters until this book gets into your hot little hands!

FAQ

  • Scroll up and see the Free Bonus Stuff Blueprint...that says it all! (it's hard to miss...it's blue)

    Last updated:
  • Kickstarter will send you a survey when my campaign is over - you will have a chance to include whatever shipping address you like, as well as your shirt size and all that good stuff.

    Last updated:
  • Yes, due to the success of this campaign and popular demand there will be a sequel, but Arena Mode is NOT part of a series, trilogy, etc. There is a beginning, middle and an end - period. There are no cliffhangers or anything like that. Arena Mode 2 will take place far in the future with mostly a different cast of characters.

    Last updated:
  • Sure, why not? It's your space! Include a real name, fake name, website URL...whatever butters your popcorn.

    Last updated:
  • NO. It does share some similar themes (superhumans!) but it is NOT a sequel, or part of that series, nor do you need to read any of my previous work to jump into the Arena Mode universe.

    Last updated:
  • This is a novel, but there is an art section in the back - you can see illustrations, character profiles, and some of the artist's sketches and notes.

    Last updated:
948
Backers
$35,353
pledged of $6,500 goal
0
seconds to go
  • Pledge $1 or more
    You selected

    17 backers

    My eternal love and gratitude, as well as a stunning digital HD image of the Arena Mode cover (you can use it for desktop wallpaper, or even print it) PLUS a hug if I run into you!

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $10 or more
    You selected

    180 backers

    Everything above, PLUS a DRM-free digital download of the Arena Mode novel (for PDF, Kindle, Nook or Kobo).

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $19 or more
    You selected

    19 backers

    Everything above, PLUS the unabridged audio book for Arena Mode. Reading is for chumps, right? Listen to this baby on your iPod while you're jogging, cleaning the garage or fighting crime.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    350 backers All gone!

    EARLY SPECIAL - The digital book, HD images, PLUS a hardcopy paperback of Arena Mode. This is a signed, limited edition first printing, with a Kickstarter-exclusive wraparound cover! AND since you pledged $25 or more, your name will be included in the back of the book as a ‘Heroic Contributor’, because you are very, very awesome. BONUS: the first 250 people will get the audio book as well!

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    85 backers

    The digital book, HD images, PLUS a hardcopy paperback of Arena Mode. This is a signed, limited edition first printing, with a Kickstarter-exclusive wraparound cover! AND since you pledged $25 or more, your name will be included in the back of the book as a ‘Heroic Contributor’, because you are very, very awesome.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $30 or more
    You selected

    146 backers Limited (4 left of 150)

    THE SUPER SOLDIER PACKAGE - The ebook + digital HD images + the audio book + a signed paperback + your name as a 'Heroic Contributor' in the book...AND FOUR full color over-sized trading cards!!! These 4" x 6" cards will feature original art of the most bad-ass superhumans fighting in The Arena. Only a limited quantity are being printed, and then then these babies are gone. PLUS you still get two stickers since you pledged $25 or more.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $35 or more
    You selected

    23 backers

    VIGILANTE PACKAGE - Digital Book + Signed Hardcopy Paperback, PLUS a Kickstarter-exclusive Arena Mode bookmark! How are you going to mark your spot without one of these - fold the corner of the page like a troglodyte?

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $45 or more
    You selected

    18 backers

    HERO PACKAGE - Everything in the Vigilante Package, PLUS the audio book. That's right: Digital Book + Signed Hardcopy Paperback + Audio Book + Bookmark. As Keanu Reeves would say, "Whoa".

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $60 or more
    You selected

    11 backers

    SUPERHERO PACKAGE - The Digital Book + Bookmark + Audio Book + TWO Signed Hardcopy Paperbacks...seal one in Mylar and pass it down to your great, great grandchildren. Or give it as a gift...Christmas is only ten months away; why not be super-organized and get a gift ready now?

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $75 or more
    You selected

    44 backers

    THE WEB-SLINGER PREMIUM PACKAGE - The Digital Book + Bookmark + Audio Book + A limited edition hardcover copy of Arena Mode – signed and numbered by me! This is the only hardcover print run that I will EVER do...ever. Warning: your friends and family will be envious.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $99 or more
    You selected

    8 backers

    KRYPTONIAN DELUXE PACKAGE - The Digital Book + Bookmark + Audio Book + A limited edition hardcover copy of Arena Mode AND a limited-edition t-shirt! (tell me your size when you confirm your order, if/when the project is funded)

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $135 or more
    You selected

    30 backers

    ASGARDIAN WARRIOR LEGENDARY PACKAGE - Digital Book + Audio Book + Limited Edition Hardcover + paperback copy + 2 Bookmarks + the T-shirt...and a hand-written letter from me, thanking you personally for being so amazing. PLUS, I will throw in a paperback copy of my first book, VS. REALITY, that I had printed exclusively for comic con appearances and contests. This is the big one...when Donald Trump and Mark Zuckerberg inevitably back this Kickstarter project, this is the package they’ll be choosing.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $160 or more
    You selected

    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    THE DARK SIDE OF THE FORCE PACKAGE: Everything in the Asgardian Warrior Legendary Package, PLUS a full-color, 11" x 17" SIGNED print by comic book legend Mark McKenna!! The print is Darth Vader battling a horde of Aliens...you can see the picture posted on this page (look to the left with your eyeballs and check it out).

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $235 or more
    You selected

    1 backer All gone!

    THE COMIC BOOK GIRL 19 PACKAGE - Everything in the Asgardian Warrior Legendary Package, PLUS the one-of-a-kind, original illustration that Comic Book Girl 19 did for Arena Mode! (11" x 17" comic board, red pencils,signed) Scroll to the bottom of this page to see a scan of the image.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $300 or more
    You selected

    1 backer All gone!

    ONE-OF-A-KIND original artwork by comic book legend Mark McKenna. Mark has worked for both Marvel and DC on the most iconic titles ever released, including X-Men, Spider-Man, Batman, and The Justice League. There are more than 450 comics that list his name in the credits, and over 7,000 pages with his ink lines on them. This is an opportunity to own a piece of his original, signed work: his character design for 'Arena Mode'.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $350 or more
    You selected

    3 backers All gone!

    SILVER AGE IMMORTALITY PACKAGE - Everything in the Asgardian Warrior Legendary Package, PLUS you will have a very cool supporting character named after you in the book! Your character will be tangling with angry superhumans, so there is a good chance that he or she will be decapitated, disintegrated or eviscerated...or all three. Maybe not in that order.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $450 or more
    You selected

    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    TIME FLUX CAPACITOR PACKAGE - Your last chance at immortality: everything in the Asgardian Warrior Legendary Package, PLUS have a totally kick-ass superhuman named after you in ARENA MODE 2! Yes, there will be a sequel, and yes, there will be superhumans...and you can be one of them. Making two final spots available due to popular demand (since ARENA MODE's character roster is all filled up you gotta wait for another book to come out, but still...immortality and stuff awaits you). Note: your package will be shipped in June 2013, but Arena Mode 2 does not yet have a release date, but I'm guesstimating late 2013.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $500 or more
    You selected

    3 backers All gone!

    GOLDEN AGE IMMORTALITY PACKAGE - Everything in the Asgardian Warrior Legendary Package, PLUS immortality. I’m not kidding: you will have a character named after you in the book. Not just any character, mind you...a superhuman. (By the way, your character will be participating in a violent fighting tournament, so chances are that he or she will die horribly.)

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $750 or more
    You selected

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Everything in the Asgardian Warrior Legendary Package PLUS the first numbered copy of the paperback limited edition print run. That’s right, #1. First printing, first copy of the book, evaaaar (I’ll even number this baby myself). Frame it, mount it, or sell it on eBay for several million dollars and retire to a tropical island. It’s up to you!

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $1,000 or more
    You selected

    1 backer All gone!

    The package above, but with the #1 copy of the hardcover book. Mind = blown.

    Estimated delivery:
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $10,000 or more
    You selected

    0 backers

    I will hand deliver the package to you anywhere in the US or Canada! Right to your front door! Why settle for UPS or FedEx when you can have me deliver the goods myself? Before choosing this package, please ensure that you live somewhere awesome (and preferably warm). We can hang out, watch a Blu-Ray, play some XBox, and hit a bar or nightclub of your choice. I'll even spring for the limo. Just don’t ask me to sleep on your couch or have dinner at your grandma’s house because that would make things awkward.

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (30 days)