Links

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

Kill Shakespeare heads to Emerald City!

Emerald City is this weekend!

This weekend the intrepid duo of Kill Shakespeare will be forced to split up.

Anthony stays in Toronto to oversee our big gallery show at the Comic Book Lounge (587A College St.) on Saturday evening, which if you are in Toronto you REALLY need to go to, while I head out to the left coast to hit Emerald City Comic Con.

I’ve never been to the Seattle show but am excited for many reasons:

If your drummer has Wolverine-style claws, you might be in a Nerd Rock band...

1) Show founder Jim Demonakos is an amazing guy AND married to the lovely Canadian comics fanatic Andrea Demonakos (nee Ball)! So any chance to see their smiling faces is one you HAVE to take.

2) Jim, and Kyle Stevens, the dynamic duo behind the awesome Nerd Rock band, Kirby Krackle, will be performing on their home turf as part of Kracklefest 3!

The Kill Shakespeare Dramatic Reading is coming to Seattle!

3) The Kill Shakespeare Dramatic Reading is going to hit the ECCC stage on Saturday at 5 P.M. I can’t WAIT to see what the amazing people at Balagan Theatre will do with our baby when it hits hall 2AB

and

4) I get to host two different panels. One on writing at 3 PM on Friday in room #401 the other is on the business of creation on Sunday at 5 PM, also in room #401

So if you are attending Emerald City please swing by artist alley, table J-02, to say ‘hello’ and pick up your copy of Tide of Blood Issue #1!

Hugs,  Conor

WAY MORE AWESOME: TIME OUT CHICAGO PREVIEWS THE KILL SHAKESPEARE DRAMATIC READING

One of the most exciting and, for me, nerve-wracking projects for Kill Shakespeare in 2013 is the on-going roll-out of the stageshow.

It’s exciting because the stageshow allows us to reach an entirely different audience and get new people interested in stepping into the Kill Shakespeare world. It’s nerve-wracking though for that same reason: new people means new opportunities for misunderstanding the “point” of Kill Shakespeare. We’re here to praise the Bard, not to bury him, as those who’ve attended a convention with us have probably heard us say, but not everyone gets that.

Moving to the stage is also a bit intimidating because theatre audiences can have a reputation for… well, let’s put ths kindly, bone-shattering snobbery.

This is the sort of guy that sends Conor crawling for the exits.

And theatre critics? Oh, man they can be the WORST: with a glass of chardonnay in one hand, a wheel of  camembert in the other, and cheekbones that could cut glass, they scare the hell out of me by just SAYING the name Brecht.

Add to all THAT, the reality that in about a week the most ambitious undertaking of the dramatic reading EVER attempted is hitting the stage in Chicago, and you can tell why my already poor sleep habits might take a further nose dive.

Imagine my relief when Anderson Lawfer, the head-cheese over at Strawdog Theatre, the folks who are going to put Kill Shakespeare on stage for an unprecedented THREE WEEK run, called me to tell me that Time Out Chicago wanted to do an article on the show. It seems like those arbitrers of all that is cool in the Windy City think Kill Shakespeare fits the bill.

And indeed they have, and they seem quite excited about the whole thing.

Kill Shakespeare: The Dramtic Reading will hit the boards on March 4th and goes until the 26th in Strawdog’s cabaret space (the warm-and-fuzzily named Hugen Hall – grab tickets here).

You spell theatrical visionary: A-n-d-e-r-s-o-n L-a-w-f-e-r

Aside from talking up the show, Time Out goes in-depth about

Anderson and the rest of the Strawdog team and their penchant for staging some of the most interesting and innovative theatre in the city.

I certainly hope that fans of ours in and around Chicago will be able to attend the show — from what Anderson tells us it is going to be an experience unlike anything else that you have seen.

And if Ms. Snooty-critic with the killer cheekbones and the gluten-free diet doesn’t like it? Well fine… I’ll sleep soundly regardless.

(plus, I’d just show her this)

Conor

Favourite Films of 2012

Conor and I were asked this week to appear on Global TV’s The Morning Show to talk about our favourite (and least-favourite) films of 2012.  Joining us was the uber-astute moviegoer Daniel Reynolds (a really great guy – and very smart viewer) in a roundtable format.

Conor hides his head in shame while Daniel and Anthony look on

Our picks?  You can check out the clip below to watch and find out.  However, I’ll hint a couple things – we talk about Sarah Polley’s good and bad efforts, Ben Affleck’s chest, and Ridley Scott’s scripts…

Bardicide at Bus Stop!

There are tons of memories and photos to share from the Halifax ComicCon, and I promise I’ll get right on that but, first, I wanted to make sure our friends and fans in Nova Scotia know they can come and support Kill Shakespeare by attending our….

FIRST EVER PRESENTATION OF THE KILL SHAKESPEARE STAGE SHOW ON A “MAINSTREAM” STAGE!!!!

The Kill Shakespeare stage show is a 90 minute (including intermission) theatre extravaganza that takes all of Andy’s amazing art and uses it as backdrop for a team of actors to stage a radio-play style performance complete with live foley and music.

Our awesome actors at work at HalCon.

We’ve teamed up with the amazing people from Lion’s Den Theatre and Vile Passeist Theatre to put the show on for a whole week from Tuesday October 30th, to Sunday November 4th. We’d love for you to come join us. And if you can’t make it please think of sharing the news on Facebook and Twitter.

Kill Shakespeare at Bus Stop Theatre (2203 Gottingen Street, Halifax):

Tickets $20, $15 for students and anyone with a HalCon pass.

October 30th – 8 PM. Opening Night: stay for drinks and snacks with the cast, director and co-writer!

October 31st – 8 PM  Halloween Madness: Costumed guests pay student rate. Free lootbags!

November 1st - 8 PM

November 2nd - 8 PM

November 3rd – 8 PM

November 4th – 2 PM Matinee, 8 PM Closing Night/Trivia: Free K.S. swag for winners!

See you at the show!

The entire cast - cute bunch, eh?

Kill Shakespeare is coming to HalCon and the stage!

Halifax has ALWAYS been one of our, if not our absolute, favourite shows on the schedule.

Halifax is where we had our FIRST Cos-players - the amazing Ken and Alicia Robichaud.

The combination of excellent organizers, a lively and interested crowd, and the hospitality Atlantic Canada is famous for makes it a winner in our books.

This year we’re going to be doing even more at HalCon than usual — we’re bringing the Kill Shakespeare stageshow!

On Saturday at 3:45 PM Kill Shakespeare will be presented by the amazing Lion’s Den Theatre in association with Vile Passeist. The two groups have banded together and have been rehearsing the show for almost a month.

A shot of the packed house Kill Shakespeare had at the Montreal ComicCon

Yes, a MONTH. And it isn’t JUST because they’ll be putting the show on at HalCon.

Nope.

No siree.

You see THIS time around, Kill Shakespeare is going to step beyond the convention scene for THE FIRST TIME EVER.

That’s right, Kill Shakespeare is hitting the stage in downtown Halifax.

Kill Shakespeare at Bus Stop Theatre (2203 Gottingen Street, Halifax):

Tickets $20, $15 for students and anyone with their HalCon pass.

October 30th – 8 PM. Opening Night: stay for drinks and snacks with the cast, director and co-writer!

October 31st – 8 PM  Halloween Madness: Costumed guests pay student rate. Free lootbags!

November 1st - 8 PM

November 2nd - 8 PM

November 3rd – 8 PM

November 4th – 2 PM Matinee, 8 PM Closing Night/Trivia: Free K.S. swag for winners!

We hope all of our East Coast friends will be at HalCon and can catch the free show. We’d also love it if you tweet and post about the Bus Stop theatre run.

Better yet, come out with your HalCon pass and get a $5 discount and bring a friend who missed HalCon to the show.

This is our chance to prove that comic culture and Shakespeare mix like chocolate and peanut butter!

See you soon!
Conor

Andy Belanger gets the Star Treatment

Comic journalism, like comics themselves, sometimes doesn’t get the credit it deserves.

It also can see a sharp divide. Bloggers talk about the latest “capes” book while the “serious” journalists focus more on the sort of work you might see Adrian Tomine or Alison Bechdel put out.

Serious comic. Serious journalism.

So it was an extra pleasant surprise to read Keith Silva’s amazing piece on our own Andy Belanger (with a nice helping of Andy’s sweetheart Becky Cloonan) in the e-pages of Comics Bulletin. The story really embraces Andy’s love of genre as well as personal storytelling.

The feature length article takes a look at Andy’s whole career – starting with the fact that Andy’s Dad was Batman… no, seriously…

As you learn in the article Andy grew up on the mean streets of San Francisco's "Castro" district

Keith has put together a wonderfully written piece that is a real credit to journalism and also surprised me by teaching me a few new things about our fave artist and partner.

Enjoy the read!
Conor

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANTHONY!

A pensive Anthony ponders how much longer he can beliveably say he's turning 30.

Today, some thirty years ago more or less (well more, but whose REALLY counting?), Anthony Del Col came onto the scene.

Please join me in wishing him a wonderfully happy birthday and here’s hoping he survivies yet ANOTHER death defying stunt on his big day. The stout-hearted man has taken on sky-diving, bungie cord jumping, working with me, and now he’s set to take on another daredevil adventure — walking the EDGE of the CN TOWER!

For a look at what Anthony is going to face watch a few minutes of this video — I can’t wait for the photo of Anthony sitting in thin air.

Anthony, you’re a great partner, but more importantly than that you bring joy to every room you walk into and a smile to every face.

Have a great one – and here is a little birthday song for you!