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The sci-fi/superhero series thunders to a conclusion! With art by Marvel & DC illustrators. Includes a FREE Tabletop RPG + audio book!
The sci-fi/superhero series thunders to a conclusion! With art by Marvel & DC illustrators. Includes a FREE Tabletop RPG + audio book!
693 backers pledged $45,456 to help bring this project to life.

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FINAL EMPIRE - the Complete Arena Mode Book Series

$45,456

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Miss the Kickstarter? I've got you covered! Visit the Official Arena Mode Store to get your hands on shirts, prints and books that were available during the campaign! http://arenamode.storenvy.com

The Arena Mode books are 300+ page novels, which include illustrations by some very kick-ass comic book artists.

I have Kickstarted the previous two books in the series: ‘Arena Mode’ and ‘Assault or Attrition’, and am now completing the third and final volume of the trilogy, ‘Final Empire’.

With your help, I’ll be able to once again deliver a gorgeous, professionally printed book with art by some of the top names in the comic book industry – and provide some pretty amazing free goodies as well.

The previous books have received some incredible reviews by industry professionals, critics, and fans alike. They have more than 200 combined 5-star reviews over multiple platforms, and have caught the attention of some of the biggest names in comics.

I truly believe that ‘Final Empire’ will represent my best work to date, and will give the series a satisfying (and hopefully not too heart-wrenching!) conclusion.

‘Arena Mode’ Overview (if you’re new to the series):

In his twenty-nine years, Matthew Moxon had done virtually nothing with his record-breaking IQ and unparalleled problem solving skills. Until one morning, after a dangerous fall lands him in the emergency room, he discovers that a tumor is pressing against his brain.

Unable to afford experimental but potentially life-saving surgery, Moxon takes drastic action; he volunteers for Arena Mode: 2041’s most vicious sporting event, where thirteen superhumans fight in an urban combat zone for a multi-billion dollar prize.

Moxon is forced to battle opponents possessing ungodly speed, strength, and abilities once thought to exist only across the pages of superhero comics – and he’s armed with nothing more than his rapidly-diminishing brain cells.

With the odds stacked impossibly against him, Moxon fights to not only survive the wrath of the other competitors, but to unlock the mysteries buried within the Arena itself.

--

Want more? Check out the Prologue for 'Arena Mode', and Chapter One of 'Assault or Attrition: Book Two in the Arena Mode Saga'!

---

Read the mildly spoiler-y synopsis for ‘Final Empire: The Conclusion of the Arena Mode Saga’ (if you haven't read the first two books yet I don't recommend reading this!) 

Around the globe, superhumans are fighting to the death. One-on-one battles are routinely breaking out in every major city from Toronto to Tokyo, Stockholm to San Francisco. No one knows when or where these battles are going to occur, but the result is always the same: the loser dies, while the winner is escorted away by an unmanned aircraft, eluding authorities.

Unlike the sanctioned Arena Mode events that have occurred in the past, these melees are wreaking havoc in populated downtown areas – demolishing buildings, and leaving civilian casualties in their wake.

As the death toll rises and governments scramble to secure their cities, Matthew Moxon – now trying to live out his remaining years in relative seclusion – is unwillingly dragged back into the spotlight by the mysterious game master who is using the entire planet as his battlefield.

Meanwhile, the death of Sergei Taktarov and the collapse of his Red Army have left a vacuum. Millions of followers, fascinated with the notion of demi-gods roaming the Earth, are desperately seeking a new spiritual leader, and a dangerous force is more than willing to take up the mantle.

As the Arena Mode Saga thunders to a conclusion, battle lines will be drawn. Friendships will be torn apart. And as Mox, Peyton, Brynja and their allies face the most destructive superhuman the world has ever seen, sacrifices will have to be made – and not everyone will survive.

Have you been wasting your time with boring old books filled with nothing more than words? Those days are over, my friend.

While reading ‘Final Empire’ you’ll find illustrations by some of the biggest names in comics, animation, and the interwebz.

  • Steve McNiven (Death of Wolverine)
  • Roc Upchurch (Rat Queens)
  • Derek Laufman (Batman Black & White, Marvel vs. Capcom)
  • David 'DNA-1' Nakayama (Marvel Comics cover artist)
  • Joe Corroney (Star Wars, Star Trek)
  • John Broglia (God Complex, Unmasked)
  • Natasha Allegri (Adventure Time, Bee and Puppycat)
  • Thor Mangila (Iron Age Animation, Advent Comics)
  • Comic Book Girl 19 (The Comic Book Girl 19 Show)

Here are just a few samples of their incredible work:  

I’ve enlisted the help of Caias Ward (‘Trigger Happy’, ‘Bangers’) to create ‘Metahumans & Manticores’: a tabletop RPG with dynamic game mechanics, specifically designed for superhuman combat!

It will include a light but in-depth character creation system so you can design your own superhuman – or play as any of the existing characters from the Arena Mode Saga. Choose from an array of explosive weapons, and do battle in both new and classic Arena scenarios.

The approximately 90-page guide will include everything you need to begin your adventure, and will feature stunning artwork form the biggest names in comics.

And it’s yours for free.

Everyone who pledges to ‘Final Empire’ at just $10 and up will receive either a printable PDF copy, or a limited-edition 6”x9” perfect bound hardcopy (depending on your pledge level).

$20K UNLOCKED! Everyone will receive a 5”x8” limited edition print along with their shipped copy of Final Empire (don’t worry, digital people...you’ll get some awesome desktop wallpapers of the same art.) The print will be illustrated by the hottest cover artist in Marvel Comics (and maybe all of comics right now) ‘D.Na’ David Nakayama! 

You’ll also be receiving the final print run of my two most popular stickers: the Arena Mode Logo, and the Full Contact Swordfighting Logo. 

$25K UNLOCKED! Don’t fold down the corners of your pages like some troglodyte. Save your progress like a pro with this insanely cool two-sided bookmark!

Every printed order will receive one of these babies if I hit the $25K stretch goal.

30K UNLOCKED! The complete unabridged audio book for everyone at $10+!

$35K UNLOCKED! Destiny Nickelsen cosplays as Brynja! All pledge levels get digital pics/wallpaper, and all shipped orders receive a limited edition 5"x7" print, and at Asgardian Warrior level and above, a glossy 8"x10" print!

$45K UNLOCKED! Every physical package will contain a limited edition Arena Mode Logo Zipper Pull! The most bad-ass emblem in all of geekdom will be yours forever, adorning your jacket, backpack, gym bag, or even the fly to your jeans (hey, not judging...wherever you wanna clip these suckers, go right ahead!)

You can also clip these to your keyring and use it as a key chain.

If, for some crazy reason we reach $50K, everyone will receive temporary tattoos with the insanely cool Arena Mode Logo (but hey, if you wanna take the next step and ink yourself for real go for it!)  

Not only that, but I'll add a magnet with art by Roc Upchurch, featuring Brynja and the lovable but sometimes homicidal manticore Melvin. You'll have the sexiest refrigerator on your block!

I’m a Canadian author, Twitter-er, and Vampire Slayer (only the ones that sparkle).

I’m best known for writing the Arena Mode series, but can also be seen blogging for CBS Man Cave Daily and Comic Book Resources, as well as taking selfies wearing various t-shirts.

If you want to know more about me I’m all over the interwebs, so give me a Google. I also have a Facebook page and a website with my name on it, because I’m special. Not everyone has their name with a dot com at the end of it, you know. It’s an exclusive club.

 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!

All joking aside, whether you’re new to the Arena Mode series, or you’re coming back after reading the two previous volumes, I want to sincerely and honestly thank you for all your support. Without you, none of this would be possible, and it has truly changed my life in every way.

Thanks again, and please come by and say ‘hi’ on the Twitters and the Facebooks. I’d love to hear from you!

Super-sized smooshy hugs,
Blake xox

Me on Twitter
Me on Facebook
Me on Instagram
My official Website
My stuff on CBS Man Cave Daily
My stuff on CBR

---

REWARDS

Digital Books

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)

Book (Perfect Bound) 

Printed: Ohio, USA 
Length: Approx. 300 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 for this limited first print run. This book will also feature a Kickstarter-exclusive wrap-around cover. 

Perfect-bound book with wraparound cover (example from previous novel)
Perfect-bound book with wraparound cover (example from previous novel)
Perfect-bound book with wraparound cover (example from previous novel)
Perfect-bound book with wraparound cover (example from previous novel)

Hard Cover Book (Case Bound) 

Printed: Ohio, USA 
Length: Approx. 300 pages 
Size: 6" x 9" 
Paper: 60# White Offset (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 the hardcovers will be numbered by hand for this limited first print run. This book will also feature a Kickstarter-exclusive wrap-around cover (see example above from previous book).

 T-Shirts

Printed: New York, USA 

When you get a shirt, you'll have a choice of either the red and blue Full Contact Swordfighting logo, or the new distressed silvery-grey Arena Mode logo.

You can also choose from sizes between XS and 3XL, either mens cut or ladies cut (a more fitted babydoll style)

Risks and challenges

This is my third Kickstarter (and the 6th novel I’ve written!) so I know what to expect.

The summer of 2013 I delivered my first Kickstarter book – 'Arena Mode' – on time, as promised. The novel was completed in June of 2013 as per my original estimate, and the digital copies were sent out immediately. The physical books were in the mail at the end of June/beginning of July. In March and April of 2014 I delivered my second book, ‘Assault or Attrition’, about 4-6 weeks after the original estimate, but communicated with my backers throughout the process, and ensured everyone received their packages.

I believe that I delivered a high-quality product on both occasions, and the overwhelmingly positive feedback I received from backers has reflected that – both on Kickstarter, and across other online platforms (Amazon reviews, my personal website, and social media). If a backer received a damaged book, even through no fault of my own, I re-sent a new book and products at my own expense to replace them. The same for lost packages that were the responsibility of the postal services around the world.

This time, I promise to offer the same quality and level of customer service, and to also improve the experience at every possible turn.
For this shipment, I will be using more durable packaging: super durable box mailers will be used to ensure safe arrival of the rewards both domestically and internationally. I will also be hiring additional people: editors, beta readers and a packaging assistant. I want to ensure the process goes even smoother, and the goods are delivered quicker and more efficiently than ever before.

There was an additional, added bonus in my first Kickstarter campaign for 'Arena Mode' - a tabletop RPG add-on. As I informed my backers, this was not to be included with the physically shipped goods on the estimated delivery date as additional production time was required to complete it. The RPG is to be delivered as a digital PDF at a later date upon completion. The same went for my second campaign, ‘Assault or Attrition’, where one of the add-ons was an Audio Book, which took longer than expected to record and edit into mp3 files. Though the add-ons and stretch goals have occasionally taken longer to produce and deliver, the core components (all printed/shipped goods) have been delivered on or very close to the estimated delivery times, and the backer feedback has been outstanding.

While coordinating a project with over 20 collaborators - including artists, editors and other talented people - delays are sometimes a possibility, and the recent audio book is an example of one of these issues. This time around, I will work even harder to manage the multiple moving parts of this project, and ensure it's delivered on-time, and with the quality you’ve come to expect.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    HERO PACK – You’ll have your name included in the back of the book as a Heroic Contributor for pledging to ‘Final Empire’! Plus my eternal love and gratitude...and a free hug next time I see you.

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    WALLPAPER PACK – The Hero Pack, plus a digital pack of wallpapers by Marvel, DC and Image artists! What’s on your desktop now? A sunset? A beach? Pictures of your loved ones? Get rid of that crap and put some bad-ass superheroes up there.

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    DIGITAL BOOK – Everything above, plus an Ebook digital download of ‘Final Empire’ (in any format you want: Kindle, ePub, pdf, etc.) Get it a month earlier than the release date on Amazon! + a PDF copy of the new Arena Mode Tabletop RPG.

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    DIGITAL TRILOGY – Everything above, plus the entire Arena Mode Saga (in any format you want: Kindle, ePub, pdf, etc.) You’ll receive ‘Arena Mode’ and ‘Assault or Attrition’ when the campaign ends, and ‘Final Empire’ in February, a month earlier than the release date on Amazon.

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    COMPLETE DIGITAL AND AUDIO LIBRARY – Everything above, plus the short story ‘The Manticore Ascension’, as well as the complete audio books for both ‘Arena Mode’ and ‘Assault or Attrition’. This package's retail value is almost $60 USD!

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    (EARLY BIRD SPECIAL) SUPERHUMAN PACK – The Digital Ebook, Wallpaper and Hero Packs, plus a signed, limited edition perfect bound copy of ‘Final Empire’! AND you’ll receive a second book – a digital copy of the all new ‘Metahumans & Manticores’ Tabletop RPG! Not to mention all the stretch goals going forward.

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    Pledge US$ 29 or more About US$ 29

    SUPERHUMAN PACK – The Digital Ebook, Wallpaper and Hero Packs, plus a signed, limited edition perfect bound copy of ‘Final Empire’! AND you’ll receive a second book – a digital copy of the all new ‘Metahumans & Manticores’ Tabletop RPG! Not to mention all the stretch goals going forward.

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    HARDCOPY DYNAMIC DUO PACK – Complete your Arena Mode collection with any two perfect-bound books you’re missing from the collection (specify which two on your survey). Also includes the Digital Ebook, Wallpaper and Hero Packs.

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    HARDCOPY EPIC TRILOGY PACK – The entire Arena Mode Saga, perfect-bound, signed by yours truly (also includes the Digital Ebook, Wallpaper and Hero Packs).

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    Pledge US$ 47 or more About US$ 47

    (EARLY BIRD SPECIAL) AGE OF ULTRON HARDCOVER PACK – This is the big one: a signed, numbered, limited edition prestige hardcover of ‘Final Empire’ (includes full-color illustrations throughout!) AND, as a special bonus, a 2nd book: a perfect-bound copy of the Tabletop RPG ‘Metahumans & Manticores’ (package also includes the Digital Ebook, Wallpaper and Hero Packs).

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    Pledge US$ 57 or more About US$ 57

    AGE OF ULTRON HARDCOVER PACK – This is the big one: a signed, numbered, limited edition prestige hardcover of ‘Final Empire’ (includes full-color illustrations throughout!) AND, as a special bonus, a 2nd book: a perfect-bound copy of the Tabletop RPG ‘Metahumans & Manticores’ (package also includes the Digital Ebook, Wallpaper and Hero Packs).

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    Pledge US$ 59 or more About US$ 59

    FANTASTIC 4 PACK (EVERY BOOK) - The entire Arena Mode Saga, perfect-bound, signed by yours truly (also includes the Digital Ebook, Wallpaper and Hero Packs). PLUS a hard copy edition of the RPG, 'Metahumans & Manticores'. All four volumes will look totally epic on you bookshelf. Be the envy of your friends...plus, people will think you're totally smart and stuff because you have books on display (PS: If you want to just add a single book to any existing package, please add $15 for a novel or $12 for the RPG - then message me so I can manually add it to your order!)

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    (EARLY BIRD SPECIAL) HULKBUSTER PACK – The Age of Ultron Pack plus a limited-edition t-shirt! Your choice of either the classic ‘Full Contact Swordfighting’ tee, or the all new distressed Arena Mode logo! (scroll down to see them both) Wear these bad-ass shirts while you’re attending a comic con, to the office on casual Friday, or while you’re out fighting crime! Note: shirts are not bulletproof. (also includes the Digital, Wallpaper and Hero Packs).

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    Pledge US$ 77 or more About US$ 77

    HULKBUSTER PACK – The Age of Ultron Pack plus a limited-edition t-shirt! Your choice of either the classic ‘Full Contact Swordfighting’ tee, or the all new distressed Arena Mode logo! (scroll down to see them both) Wear these bad-ass shirts while you’re attending a comic con, to the office on casual Friday, or while you’re out fighting crime! Note: shirts are not bulletproof. (also includes the Digital, Wallpaper and Hero Packs).

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    Pledge US$ 97 or more About US$ 97

    KRYPTONIAN GUARD DELUXE PACKAGE – The Hulkbuster Pack, the Digital Library including all available audio books, plus an extra perfect-bound softcover copy of ‘Final Empire’. Now you can have one prestige hardcover copy to put on your shelf, never to be sullied with the acid-laden fignerprints of mortals, and another copy you can read, lend out to friends, and generally abuse (also includes the Digital, Wallpaper and Hero Packs).

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    Pledge US$ 127 or more About US$ 127

    ASGARDIAN WARRIOR LEGENDARY PACK – Holy Mjölnir, this is a lot of stuff: Two (2) copies of ‘Final Empire’ (a signed, limited-edition prestige hardcover and an extra perfect-bound softcover), two (2) t-shirts (your choice of sizes and styles) the Digital Library including all available audio books, PLUS an all-new signed and kissed secret photo of me (8x10 glossy), and a limited-edition Steven McNiven print (full color, 8x10 suitable for framing) ... and a hand written note. :) PLUS, your choice of a personalized video message from me, or a recording you can use on your outgoing message on your phone.

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    Pledge US$ 750 or more About US$ 750

    THE STARK TOWER PACKAGE – I’ll take you to dinner at the CN Tower’s ‘360’ Restaurant ... right where ‘Assault or Attrition’ started! In addition to bringing you a bag full of goodies (the Asgardian Warrior Legendary Pack) we can hang out for the evening, chat about anything you want, and get nerdy! (Getting yourself to and from Toronto is at the Backer’s expense)

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    Pledge US$ 995 or more About US$ 995

    THE EXCELSIOR COLLECTOR PACK – The first (#1!) printed prestige hardcover of Final Empire – hand numbered – with a certificate of authenticity. It will arrive at your doorstep in a laser-engraved wooden box (branded with the ‘AM’ logo with the sword through it, of course) suitable for display or just as a keepsake. There will be only one print run of the hard covers, and of course only one #1. Sell this baby on Ebay, hide it in your attic, save it for future generations...it’s up to you.

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    PROFESSOR X AUTHOR PACKAGE – I will be an editor on your novel. I’ll read one entire manuscript (up to 400 pages), add my notes, changes and suggestions in a Word document, and even offer advice on marketing, cover art, targeting your audience and more. You’ll also receive access to my marketing specialist, who will write a 3-5 page report that details a business plan for your project. Includes a one-hour Skype conference call as well.

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    Pledge US$ 4,995 or more About US$ 4,995

    AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. ‘GET ON THE BUS’ PERSONAL APPEARANCE PACKAGE – I will make an appearance anywhere in the USA or Canada! I’ll arrive in your town with 20 copies of the book, and do a book signing for your closest friends and family, or an audience of your choice. I'll do a reading, a Q&A session, hang out with you, and be your honored guest for the evening. Pizza is on me!

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    INFINITY GAUNTLET PACKAGE – Ever wanted to be the hero of your own story? Here is your chance. Be the protagonist in your own 15,000+ word short story that I will write for YOU! This package includes the main character designed after you (with your name, similar look, and some powers of your choice) that takes place in and around the events of Summer 2041 in the Arena Mode universe. There will also be a custom cover that will be very bad-ass. Your character might show up in future Arena Mode stories, and will definitely appear in the Arena Mode Tabletop Role-Playing Game. AND, I'll print ten (10) copies of your book and ship them to you, anywhere in the world! (You’ll also receive everything in the ASGARDIAN WARRIOR LEGENDARY PACK + a 60 minute Skype chat + exclusive updates from me)

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    Pledge US$ 195 or more About US$ 195

    THE COMIC BOOK GIRL 19 PACK – A one-of-a-kind original pencil drawing on an 11”x17” board, signed by CBG19! This will be a finished splash/pin-up character drawing - a very rare opportunity for collectors. Sorry, Robot is not available for commissions at this time :(

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    Pledge US$ 197 or more About US$ 197

    BLAKE'S SECRET STASH - The entire Arena Mode Saga (all three hardcover books - first printings of 'Arena Mode', 'Assault or Attrition', and the new 'Final Empire') plus all the bonus goodies. ** I have a few copies of the numbered, signed, limited edition prestige hardcovers from the 'Arena Mode' and 'Assault or Attrition' campaigns from 2013. They are part of my personal collection, and I'm willing to part with six of them (three each) since the demand has been so high. This is the last chance to get them because they will never be printed again! (this package is of course first come, first serve and I cannot print any more due to the extremely high per-book cost of producing prestige books at low print runs)

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    Pledge US$ 350 or more About US$ 350

    THE STEVEN McNIVEN PACK – A one-of-a-kind original pencil drawing on an 11”x17” board, signed by the man himself. This will be a finished splash/pin-up character drawing, and it’s the only non-Marvel project he’s taken on in 2014 that I'm aware of. His splash pages, pin-ups and covers sell for thousands at auction. This is a *very* rare opportunity and unfortunately, there will be only one.

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    (LAST CHANCE EVER TO BE IN AN ARENA MODE BOOK!) THE GOLDEN AGE PACK – Everything in the Asgardian Warrior Legendary Pack, 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 fighting with some other bad-ass superhumans, so chances are that he or she will die horribly.) What else is amazing about this package? You will have an illustration of yourself by one of the professional artists working on this project – and I’ll even incorporate some of your personality into the character, including physical characteristics, likes, dislikes, birthday, weird moles – it’ll all be there! OK, I might not do the mole thing, but the other stuff for sure.

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    Pledge US$ 10,000 About US$ 10,000

    NEW 52 PACKAGE – If you’re a genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist (or if you’re just super-awesome) then this is the package for you! You’ll get everything in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. AND Infinity Gauntlet Packages (see above)...which means I’ll write you your own book, hand deliver the copies to you, and then spend the weekend as your guest for appearances, hang-outs, and general nerdiness. Not only that, but you’ll also get 52 video updates from me throughout the year, detailing my progress on your book, as well as other projects. Much how the DC Universe was turned upside down by the New 52 reboot, this package will truly reboot MY universe, and help me throughout all of 2015!

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Funding period

- (29 days)