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The Heroes and Villains Con 4/4/2020❤️

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Please take the time to read our origin story after reading this campaign. Thank You SV

The 5th Heroes and Villains Con is on Saturday April, 4th 2020, and we hope to make, with this milestone of reaching #5, it the most special event yet. Not only is this comic con our 5th, it also marks our 5th year in business. It has been a struggle, and it continues to be, but along the way incredible Friends and Memories have been made. We are fighting for our Family, our Friends, and this entire Cortland, NY community. We, according to math and my health, probably should have closed up shop a year ago, but we truly believe we are fighting for something bigger than ourselves. With this in mind, and if you also read our story, I am sure you'll understand why our family's business has a Gofundme page. ALL funds donated, we know come from the heart, so they will be used to help with our convention and with keeping our family business going. Heroes and Villains the store as well as the Comic Con have become a part of this Cortland, NY community. 
     Vanessa, Myself, and our 10 year old Son Dallas, are the entire staff of Heroes and Villains. We are the creators & organizers of The Annual Heroes and Villains Cons. It gets very daunting and it takes a lot out of us. Also, we have not financially profited off of our comic con. We usually take a bit of a hit. Our Heroes and Villains con is Not about the money. Yes, this event takes place in the same amazing building as our store, and Yes, we hope that it does bring in revenue, but most of all we hope it makes ALL INVOLVED Happy, Amazed, and most importantly Inspired. 
     The Happiness, Amazement, and the Inspirations are what our comic-con is all about. Positive Forever Memories are created when these three feelings come together.  This is why we aim so high to bring in the Most Talented Guests that we can. It should be noted that we have never paid any of our Guests. We simply do not have the capital do to so. These incredible talents show up to event because they too know what its all about. This is also one of the main reasons we do not charge a cover. We do not want to take money from people as soon as they show up. Some people may show up with very little, so why would we take away their ability to purchase something they really want? We know that the hundreds of people showing up are not showing up to see Vanessa, Dallas, and Myself. If they did, they'd be at our  shop everyday. The people show up to see the Talented Guests. Another cool fact, that feels really good, our Guests have almost All returned. This means we must be doing something right. We get really nervous before and during the event because we truly want everybody to have a wonderful time.

The expenses add up to put on a comic con like this:
Table & Chair Rentals
Building Space usage 
Permits and Safety
Feeding our Guests Talents
more Advertising & Promoting
The Last second unforeseen things

We are asking for your help so that our shop can keep its doors open, and so that we can always bring big positive events to this Cortland, NY community. 
Our town has a stigma of being a meth capital. Sure, there is a drug problem in Cortland, NY, but that should NOT define this great little city. Its an unfair stigma. Picture the following scenario. A business is looking to hire some new employees and they are searching through a pile of applications. This particular person looking through the applications knows of the negative stigma that cast a cloud over Cortland. They come across an application whose applicant is from Cortland, and due to this the hiring person chooses to overlook the applicant. Apply this example to anything that requires a person to disclose where they are from. This is unfair and wrong. Most likely the person from Cortland, NY is an excellent choice, but due to something beyond their control, like where they are from, keeps them from an opportunity.  What if someday The Heroes and Villains Con shines so brightly that it takes over that negative stigma and replaces it with, "Oh, yeah, Cortland, NY. That's where they do that big Comic-Con every year." Isn't that a much better thing for a community to be known for? Positive things should always win the day. 
We Love this town, and we will continue to fight for it for as long as we possibly can. 

If you can donate to this campaign or help us get the word out, THANK YOU from our Family to You and Yours.

Thank you for your time.
Stephen, Vanessa, and Dallas
Heroes and Villains

The following is a look into a part of our comic shops origin story.

6 years ago Dallas was going to Syracuse every Tuesday to get chemotherapy. Chemo usually takes a lot out of people, and sometimes it did to Dallas as well, but most of the time he wanted to do something fun. Sometimes we'd take him to the zoo, or the mall, but most of the time we'd take him to the comic book stores. He'd run to the kid comics and pick some out. We rediscovered our love of comics.
These Tuesday trips were bitter sweet. On one hand we see our boy hooked up to tubes and the machine, as well as other kids. A tough sight to see for anybody, even Lansing's class of 96's class clown. I find humor in almost anything, I feel it's a strength, but I couldn't find it there. I saw our boy, and other kids going through something too serious for them to understand, but I did find joy. At 1st you cannot see it. You are overwhelmed with that feeling of helplessness. You notice these kids, and even though they realize they are going through something serious, playing, laughing, and for the most part, just trying to be kids. Kid joy. It's something kids do. They find something fun to do. They don't have time for bad things. They somehow know the bad thing is there, but they don't let it stop them. As adults, we can learn a lot from this. We get so consumed with the bad things we are going through that we forget to live in our moments. We loose our sight. Things pass us by. It's not a surprise that joy slips past us while we are going through bad things, because our focus is occupied by trying to fix, or deal, with the bad things.
I did say on one hand, so the following is the other...
The bitter part of the Tuesday trips for Dallas's chemotherapy did blind us from just about everything else. Its safe to say that that's understandable right? However, we had a moment of sight. That moment was one night when Vanessa and I were on the phone talking about the obvious bad things we were going through. We were discussing how things would be after chemo, how we were going to be there for Dallas, and how we were going to be able to spend more time together as a family. It was in this conversation that we decided to open up a comic book store. The how, the where, the when, and all the other questions had no answers. A LEAP OF FAITH. Reading what I've written above you can see how this came about. We opened a comic book store with bad credit, empty pockets, and faith. Struggles were bound to happen. The bad things with money problems that occur with running a small business, blind us from living in the moment. The lessons learned from seeing Dallas play with other kids during chemotherapy, slaps us across the face and says," look at these moments this leap of faith has created"!
We have been able to spend more time as a family. Most of its work related, but that's to be expected in the 1st few years.
We have met a bunch of great people.
We have met true legends and new super stars in the comic book industry.
We have kids playing games and staying out of trouble daily at our store.
We threw the Largest Comic Con in Cortland, NY's History (We will top it)(we did top it)(we will top that)
We have become a part of this community.
Dallas has new kid friends
We've begun to reintroduce comic books to Cortland, NY.
kids are reading on purpose here. Yep, we trick kids into reading.
Kids and adults are being inspired here.
this list is growing....
There are so many GOOD things happening because of this leap of faith. In our hearts and minds we know it was the right decision. This is why we are fighting so hard to keep these doors open, and this dream alive. It's become bigger than us.
Thank To those of you who have donated to our store's fight, and those of you who are thinking about it, I promise you, with all of me, that your donations will not be in vein.
Thank you for reading my ramblings


Vanessa Mielke
Cortland, NY

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