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We Did It!

Well the dust has settled and the final numbers have been tallied and people, we ROCKED this little thing called Kickstarter!

Richard sits in grim approval of our awesomeness (don't mind him, 'grim' is all he's got.)

Richard sits in grim approval of our awesomeness (don’t mind him, ‘grim’ is all he’s got).

We ended up raising $38,585 dollars — that’s 154% MORE than our original goal. Because of you guys and your support, both in pledging, but just as importantly in spreading the word, we ended up hitting a stretch goal as well. The game now has a better board than it would have without you.

And, I hear rumours, and these are JUST rumours that because we came so close to the SECOND stretch goal — that we may end up seeing that happen anyway! Plus IDW has mentioned their might be some other surprises kicking about for those of you who pledged.

Now I have been hearing a few common questions so let me answer them as best I can:

Iago's severed head has a few questions he'd like to ask...

Iago’s severed head has a few questions he’d like to ask…

Q: Conor, I totally MEANT to support the kickstarter but I was kidnapped by Bolivian revolutionaries and just got back from Sucre… What do I do? Can I still get the Game?

A: Yes. Yes, you can. The game is going to be distributed widely. IDW wants Kill Shakespeare and all the other games coming out to be easy to get. Your local comic shop can order them, as can any store that specializes in board games. We’re told that most of these stores will be able to stock Kill Shakespeare starting in June. And of course, Anthony and I will probably bring a few copies to sell to most conventions.

(Oh, and I hope you had a chance to say “hi” to Evo Morales when you were in Bolivia…)

Q: When will I get my game if I supported the Kickstarter? Before those “Hamlet-come-lately” store buyers?

A: We’re told end of May is the likely time for that. The game has been thoroughly play-tested, we were just waiting to see what kickstarter goals we hit before sending the game to printers.

Q: So, IS the game going to be even more awesome than I am currently thinking it will be?

A: Yes! Definitely! I can’t tell you what it’s going to be but IDW and Pandasaurus have already GUARANTEED that there will be bonus content shipping with your game.

This is definitely NOT a hint.

This is definitely NOT a hint.

 

Nosiree... no hints here. Not a one... Uh-uh....

Nosiree… no hints here. Not a one… Uh-uh….

Q: When can I play you and Anthony?

A: Why, we’re glad you asked that! We’re planning a couple of events, including one here in Toronto, that will give you a chance to play the game against us, see what all the fuss is about, and get copies for yourself.

And right here, right now, I’m saying if you can manage to beat me I will…. uh… sign your comic books for free!

(what can I say? I suck at games…)

Q: Is there anything else I can do to help the game out?

A: Yes, for sure. Once you have the game set up some nights for your friends, and then encourage them to go to their local store and get them to order it. The more we can pull games through the retail channels the more IDW is going to want to do expansion sets and then some of those other stretch goals we just missed out on may become a reality (Meeples anyone?)

Again, you guys are amazing. We’re the luckiest creators in the world to have friends and a fan-base like you.

Much thanks,

Conor & Anthony.

Uncertain Life and Sure Death

As the Ides of March approaches I’m kind of pondering that whole: “my thoughts be bloody or nothing worth” dilemma that Hamlet wrestles with. I mean, on one hand, murder is awful, bad, and often really messy – even if you’ve already covered the bathroom floor with a tarp and have the hack-saw and bag of quicklime on the go.

On the OTHER hand – when Shakespeare does it, murder is pretty awesome. I mean, heads get chopped off, poison is consumed, there is not one, but TWO mass stabbings, people, Shakespeare once offed two kids by BAKING THEM IN A PIE and then SERVING THAT PIE TO THEIR MOM (“Mmm, this is good! Is this veal?” “No, it’s your kids, BOOM!”).

So that got me to thinking about OTHER people who love Shakespeare like we do, and especially love the peculiar joy that comes with snuffing out some punk’s all too brief candle.

This led us to David Malki ! and Ryan North – two of the creative engines behind the most excellent Machine of Death series of books and games. (PLUG ALERT: You may also know Ryan from his Blockbuster To Be or Not To Be: That Is The Adventure Kickstarter campaign.)

Since Machine was such a HUGE success we thought it likely that it’s blend of wit, wordplay and cold-bloodedly hilarious focus on mass murder might be popular with you guys too, so David ! kindly let us design a BONUS SET OF CARDS for Machine of Death that has an all-Shakespeare flavour. You can download the card set here – these print and play beauties are ready to seamlessly fit into any Machine of Death game.

"Uncertain life, and sure death." - All's Well That Ends Well

“Uncertain life, and sure death.” – All’s Well That Ends Well

DOWNLOAD THE CARDS HERE: http://alice.idwpublishing.com/_7NERTM4cugLoZR

Bonus points (and prizes!) go to the first five people to correctly post in the comment section what play each card represents (or tweet us @IDWGAMES or @KillShakespeare). And if you know anyone who plays Machine, send’em over here – the more crossover between fans of Bardicide and fans of murder in general, the better.

(plus, it means more credible suspects to throw the cops off your trail).

Murderously yours,

Conor

We’re on Tumblr!

Last week we launched a Kill Shakespeare Tumblr page, thanks to the amazing work of our editorial assistant Keith Morris.  The Tumblr page will be updated a couple times a week and will feature detailed looks into the artistic process behind Kill Shakespeare as well as giving exclusive sneak peek previews and contests.

Tumblr Logo

So if you’re on Tumblr make sure to follow us!

Ye Olde Black Friday Sale!

Yes, everyone is off to the races this year for Black Friday in the U.S. (and even here in Canada more and more every year)… So in that spirit we figured we would get into the spirit by offering our ShakesGeare tshirts on sale for the holiday season!

Super Shakespeare Fighter Shirt!

Super Shakespeare Fighter Shirt!

Starting today all of our tshirts purchased online are 20% OFF, or now $15.99 (down from $19.99).  This sale will go for the next five weeks so take advantage of it now – they make excellent holiday gifts for the Shakespeare geek in your circle!

Click here, or on the image of our Super Shakespeare Fighter shirt to check out our online sales site.

 

Pictures from that most latin of North American cities. The one that never sleeps – the one that starts with an “M”

… Montreal.

 

I know, I know that I just got back from Miami and you want photos of Manatees and Martinis, but some of you have been bugging me for awhile about La Belle Province.

“Conor,” you say, “Where are all those photos you promised from Montreal? You took like a dozen of you and the belly dancer alone!”

And I had to confess that because I am technologically dumb I had somehow managed to save my Montreal photos in a strange directory that I could not find to upload them.

But lo and behold! While taking photos for my time at the Miami Book Fair, I managed to save THOSE photos in the same place and this time, sitting along in my hotel room with nothing but tap water and angst, I managed to CRACK THE CODE.

So here we go — a small sample of the VERY delayed Montreal photos are here, as well as a video from the show of a hoarse-voiced me trying to pitch a girl on the merits of Kill Shakespeare, but all she’s REALLY interested in is my celebrity look-alike…

For all the photos cruise over to our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152150232089131.1073741855.132288909130&type=3

The Miami photos and stories will be along in a day or so.

Hugs,

Conor

The very talented Steve Paugh has a "Trouble with Tribbles" moment.

The very talented Steve Paugh has a “Trouble with Tribbles” moment.

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I agreed to help at the booth, McCreery. Hugs cost extra.

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Vulcans say not buying Kill Shakespeare is HIGHLY “illogical.”

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When Jessica Rabbit and a Belly Dancer come by to buy your comic — well you know your marketing teams are REALLY doing their jobs.

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Cutest. Costume. Ever.

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Two siblings, each alike in lit’racy, in fair Montreal where we lay our scene…

And now the video!

Love is in the air. Kill Shakespeare-style!

Such is my love, to thee I so belong, That for thy right myself will bear all wrong. - Sonnet 88

UPDATE (May 28th, 2013): Julia Beckmann, who owns Amore Vita, saw the below post and super-kindly sent over a bunch of the most relevant Kill Shakespeare snaps. So while I would still VERY HEAVILY recommend you go over to her site (http://www.amorevitaphotos.com/) you can now look at some of those photos right here, right now!

(How’s that for service, huh?)

Iron Man and Juliet - a natural combination.

As you know, we're unrepentant Star Wars geeks, so Julia gifted us this photo as well. Oh Han, so coy...

As the wonderful Mr. Anthony Del Col so kindly noted, a year ago this day was when the love of my life, Crystal Luxmore, and I got married.

It’s been a fantastic year and I’m blessed beyond belief to have met my perfect partner.

I love you sweetie.

But enough about that… because we’ve got ANOTHER awesome couple we need to focus on.

Rico Renzi, part of the team of awesome dudes & dudettes behind Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find, one of the top comic shops in the WORLD sent this very cool e-mail to me.

It seems that Josh, one of Heroes’ regulars, decided he needed to get his love of comics into his wedding photos. That, in itself, is cool: we love all things geeky and romancing up here in Kill Shakespeare headquarters.

But what made this REALLY awesome? The bride to be, Denise? She seems to be a K.S. fan!

Check out this link for Amore Vita – if you scroll about half-way down through Julia’s pictures you’ll see Kill Shakespeare’s cameo (you’ll also see some great visual references to Superman, Star Wars and other classic components of the geek canon).

Hug someone you love!

Conor

Conor’s Con Pix Galore! (And an ANDY B. retrospective: “A Man and his Beard”)

The past few weeks have been a pretty busy time for the K.S. boys. You’ve seen Anthony jet off to exotic far-flung locales like… Ottawa and… Calgary…

But while Anthony was enjoying the high-life, poor lil’ ol me has been stuck doing AMAZING SHOWS in Chicago and right here in Toronto — TCAF 2013.

I’ve been quite the shutterbug as I learn to play with this new Galaxy Tablet and I even took a bit of video of the Kill Shakespeare stage show that played at C2E2.

I wanted to share some memories of the events and thank all the amazing fans and friends who came out and supported us in both places. I had SUCH a good time talking with all of you.

We’ve said it before, but I don’t believe that any other book has such diverse and interesting fans as K.S. does!

Now let’s see some photos!

Below are a few from the stageplay that went on at C2E2 and was put on by the amazing Strawdog Theatre. I’ve already posted a few on our Facebook account, but these are a few samples that I took of the show. The rest you can find in this album.

"Hey kid, I can make you a star!" K.S. Director Anderson Lawfer greets me at the door of Strawdog Theatre

The cast in action on the Variant Stage at C2E2

"Lusty Ladies! Falstaff is here!"

The whole cast and crew celebrate a succesful show

Of course C2E2 was more than just theatre — we also had fans and cosplay galore. To get a flavour of the delightful madness here are a few shots to whet your appetite. You can see more of C2E2 in this album.

Hey, I don't judge. Some of my best friends are wookies!

When Anthony goes to cons, kids attack him. Me? I try to turn them on each other. It's a bit less chivalrous, but much less painful.

One of these people is the official jester of Milwaukee (no, I'm not even kidding)

Shakespeare! Smash!

This past weekend was TCAF — a more “refined” comics experience. While cos-play isn’t really a “thing” at TCAF it was a great chance to see old friends and to steal a ukele

This is the shunning you get for having not read Kill Shakespeare

Our man Chris gets involved in the dreaded ukele tug-of-war.

For more TCAF click here.

And finally, for those of you who haven’t seen Andy B. for awhile you may not know that he now owns the 1,965th best beard of ALL-TIME. He just passed this guy and is closing hard on these guys.

Andy graciously agreed to pose for a series of photos so we can commerate a time when life was simpler, and all that mattered was a man, his beard, and how many birds could nest within it.

Hey Andy, Rasputin called... he wants the "Mad Monk" back.

For the entire, surely to be award-winning, collection – click here… if you dare!

Dream a little Dream with Neil.

Every once in awhile in the course of promoting Kill Shakespeare opportunities come by that see us starstruck. This past weekend was just such an occasion.

While Anthony started the weekend holding down the fort in Rochester Minnesota (and rubbing shoulders with comci superstars like Bill Willingham), I was in Orlando after being invited to the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts.

The IAFA is an academic conference that focuses on sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. Attending the conference is like going to the very smartest corner of a ComicCon, except with a swim-up bar, and no furries.

The 34th edition of the conference had five papers on The Walking Dead, two on semi-obscure Swedish Vampire flick Let the Right One In and a paper entitled Do Linguists Dream of Electric Sheep? A Study of Constructed Languages in Speculative Fiction.

I even sat in on one paper that linked changing Renaissance Fairs to Stephen Colbert’s notion of “truthiness” and what it called a growing problem in American Politics of ignoring what is true for what we want to be true (as always, blame the trolls people).

So, for a geek like me this was heaven.

But I was talking about being starstruck, and while being around so many smart interesting people was dizzying enough what REALLY made me need the shades was the chance to rub elbows not once, but twice, with a certain gentleman named…

… Neil Gaiman.

Yeah, him.

As part of the deal the IAFA offered us they said they’d pay for a night in a hotel and make sure that whichever of us came down would sit on a panel with Neil and other scholars and talk about adaptations of Shakespeare.

(the fact I got to go to this one explains why Anthony is currently sunning himself in SoCal while I hang out in lovely, but much colder, Toronto.)

But if that wasn’t enough the amazingly talented Carrie Cole, who helped put together the Kill Shakespeare stageshow when it was in Arizona had a surprise in store for me.

You see every year at the IAFA they perform three, one-act plays that were chosen as winners of a competition. This year Carrie was directing them, and knowing what a ham-bone I am she asked if I would be willing to be in one of the plays. I agreed, but because the play would be a day after I was scheduled to go to FablesCon from Orlando I was ready to beg off.

“Oh, but don’t you want to know who will be acting opposite you in the play?” she asked.

“Wellll, I guess….”

“It might be someone named… Neil Gaiman.”

So, about 45 minutes later I had my plane changed and was staying an extra day in Orlando which is how I ended up on stage on Friday night looking at one of the greatest writers of our time as he pulled a gun on me.

The play was a taut two-hander called The Sum of Your Experience and was written Trace Crawford. It involves the strange case of a man who gets robbed and the mugger who steals all his stories.

Appropriately Neil got to be the tale thief while I was the sorry son-of-a-gun who loses everything — including the memories of his children.

While I didn’t get a great chance to hang-out with Neil afterwards (he had been on his feet for three straight days) I was able to chat a little bit and passed on a couple of Kill Shakespeare t-shirts to him and his wife Amanda. He was as gracious and polite as everyone said he would be and is one of the smartest people I’ve ever meant.

Below are a few pictures from Orlando (and there may be one or two of a certain comics genius).

Neil tells me if I put all my stories in the bag then nobody gets hurt - photo courtesy David Hartwell

Theatre expert Kevin Crawford and Neil Gaiman exchange thoughts on adapting Shakespeare in other mediums - photo courtesy Carrie J. Cole

The director and her two stars!

All the actors, and playwrights, gather with director Carrie J Cole

One of the academic presentations I sat it on was on the Kill Shakespeare stage reading.

Is this the end for the intrepid Ginger?

Myself, Carrie and IAFA President (and huge Bardolater) Jim Casey get our snarl on.

Something about our "Exit Pursued by a Bard" t-shirt seems to be making Neil uncomfortable.

Kill Shakespeare hits the stage in Seattle tonight!

Tonight and tomorrow night come check out the show that had Emerald City buzzing!

Today is the day Seattle!

The Kill Shakespeare Dramatic Reading starts its two night run this evening at 8 PM at the Balagan Theatre (1524  Harvard Ave)

Tickets are available through the Balagan website and as a special gift to fans of Kill Shakespeare you can use the code ‘ECCC’ to get a $5 discount.

Or, if you were at Emerald City Comic Con, you can use your badge, or the yellow flyer we were handing out at the booth, to get your discount as well.

Enjoy the show, and let us know what you think!

Conor

Kill Shakespeare hits Toronto ComicCon this weekend

Anthony and I will be at the Toronto ComicCon this weekend.

The show is at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and starts at 11 o’clock on both Saturday and Sunday.

You can find us in Artist Alley at Table P20. Rumour has it, though it cannot be confirmed, that Anthony might get killed by a Chantler again.

Hope to see all of you there!

Conor