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An indie comic + companion EP about William Shakespeare fighting crime in the style of 60's Batman. Written in iambic pentameter.
An indie comic + companion EP about William Shakespeare fighting crime in the style of 60's Batman. Written in iambic pentameter.
An indie comic + companion EP about William Shakespeare fighting crime in the style of 60's Batman. Written in iambic pentameter.
608 backers pledged $14,588 to help bring this project to life.

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New: PRINT EDITION (signed with a real feather Sharpie) ADDED! ALL BACKERS PLEDGING $35 OR MORE WILL RECEIVE IT AUTOMATICALLY! Just select Antic Face for the reward!

Print Version to be handled by Print Ninja.

Adapting Shakespeare. It’s something every community theater and big time Hollywood producer does. “King Lear, but during the Tokugawa era” or “Hamlet, but this time he’s a lion.” Not entirely bold moves, but ever since freshman English, we’ve had it drilled into us that these stories are timeless. You can set Twelfth Night or Taming of the Shrew in high school until the cows come home, but it might leave you feeling like it’s missing some of that Real Shakespeare Flavor ®. 

That’s why I thought it’s time for Ol’ Billy Shakes himself to get adapted. Now I know what you’re saying, “Shakespeare in Love won best picture in 1999, that was about Shakespeare.” Yeah, but was he a superhero? I didn’t think so. Shakespeare is timeless, but better than that, the man’s been dead for 400 years, he’s totally in the public domain. I can make him a silly masked detective for all he cares… 

No Holds Bard is a 5-Act comic about Shakespeare fighting crime in Elizabethan England, written (mostly) in iambic pentameter. Featuring some of the hottest artists working in comics today, including Erica Henderson, Logan Faerber, Cara McGee, James Callahan, and Aaron Conley, with a cover by Dave Kloc and pin-ups from Sina Grace, Bobby Rubio and Ashlyn Anstee. No Holds Bard will feed your eyes and get all four humors moving. It won’t make you dumber, but you will fail your literature test. 

The Story

Nice queen you got there. Shame if something were to happen to her.
Nice queen you got there. Shame if something were to happen to her.

While writing yet another one of his masterpieces, Shakespeare receives a call from his trusty page, Page, with most disturbing news—The Queen has been stolen! From there, the Dramatic Duo of The Bard and Page set off in a series of rollicking misadventures that lead to the highest echelons of Renaissance power. He'll cross paths with weirdos of all shapes and sizes. You might even recognize a few of them from someone's most famous plays (but then, I don't want to spoil all the fun).

Who is the shadowy figure responsible for the Queen’s disappearance? Will Will ever get rid of his pesky writer’s block? Why can nobody tell The Bard is Shakespeare? I mean clearly… 

Find out the answers to these questions and to more you didn’t even know you had when you read No Holds Bard SOON! 

Artists

No Holds Bard features illustrations from some of the top new artists working in comics today. Check it:

Erica Henderson - Act I

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead?!
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead?!

One of comics' rising stars, her credits include Marvel's Unbeatable Squirrel Girl with Ryan North and Archie Comics' Jughead with Chip Zdarsky. A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, she currently lives in Boston.

Logan Faerber - Act II

And that's for Gnomeo & Juliet!
And that's for Gnomeo & Juliet!

Logan was always a quiet child: one who kept to himself and played outside as frequently as he could. He could relate to cartoons and animals more than most people. On his 7th birthday, Logan’s brother passed down his long boxes of comics, granting access to Marvel and DC stories from the 70s onward. This imaginary landscape helped to fuel Logan’s desire to become an artist and drove him to pursue illustration and design at Montserrat College of Art. Now, as an adult, Logan still finds joy in playing games, reading books and drawing pictures, keeping himself young at heart forever.

Cara McGee - Act III

What the hell am I going to eat for lunch?
What the hell am I going to eat for lunch?

Cara McGee is an Atlanta-based comic book artist and tea connoisseur. You can find her covers on Lumberjanes and follow her wildly popular tumblr at http://areyoutryingtodeduceme.tumblr.com/.

James Callahan - Act IV

Remember when I said Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead? Well not yet they're not.
Remember when I said Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead? Well not yet they're not.

James Callahan is a writer and illustrator, working on the east coast of the U.S., often under the less innocuous moniker, Barf Comics. He has illustrated hundreds of comic pages, and worked on scores record covers, skate decks, and t-shirt designs with clients ranging from Marvel, Oni, and Image Comics to Creature Skateboards and Thrasher Magazine, to bands like Municipal Waste, Mastodon, the Hold Steady, the Black Dahlia Murder, and many more.

Aaron Conley - Act V

If it be a sin to kick lots of butts, I am the most offending soul alive.
If it be a sin to kick lots of butts, I am the most offending soul alive.

Aaron Conley is the co-creator and artist of Sabertooth Swordsman. He has worked for Marvel, Dark Horse, Image, Boom Studios and Ghost Face Killah. He is also the winner of the 2014 Russ Manning Award for Most Outstanding Newcomer. His favorite kind of dog is a Boston terrier.

Dave Kloc - Cover

Dave Kloc is an illustrator and printmaker living in Los Angeles. He has designed and hand printed a weekly poster for The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail (now in its 3rd season on Comedy Central.) Kloc has also illustrated and printed posters for comedians such as John Mulaney and Jim Gaffigan and bands like Passion Pit, La Dispute, Childish Gambino and more!

Bobby Rubio - Pin-up

Bobby Rubio worked nine years with Walt Disney Feature Animation as a traditional animator and storyboard artist on several films including “Tarzan” and “Treasure Planet.” After Disney, he worked as an assitant director/storyboard artist for Nickelodeon Animation Studios on the series “Avatar: The Last Airbender”. Currently, Bobby is a story artist for Pixar Animation Studios and has worked on feature animated movies “Up”,“Brave” and "Inside Out".

After work hours, he works on his creator-owned and independent comic series, “Alcatraz High”, “ENFORCEMEN” and “4 Gun Conclusion.” And from time to time, he has freelanced for Marvel Comics as a cover artist.

Sina Grace - Pin-up

Sina Grace is an Image Comics writer and artist, known for his memoir material (Self-Obsessed, Not My Bag), and illustration work (Li'l Depressed Boy, Burn the Orphanage, Penny Dora). On all relevant social media @SinaGrace

Ashlyn Anstee - Pin-up

Ashlyn Anstee grew up in a rainy city, moved to a snowy city, and then settled in a sunny city, where she writes and draws for animation and children's books. You can find her art and other fun stuff at www.ashlyna.com

Frank Cvetkovic - Letterer

Wait til you see this in context.
Wait til you see this in context.

Frank Cvetkovic is a comic book letterer whose work has appeared in ARTFUL DAGGERS, DRIVE, Jamal Igle’s MOLLY DANGER, and THE BIGGER BANG. He currently lives in Cleveland, OH, where the home teams never win and the rivers occasionally catch fire.

Why Shakespeare?

I love Shakespeare (the pomp of it all!), and I know for a fact STAN LEE co-creator of Spider-Man, does too. So there has to be a fair amount of overlap between Shakespeare fandom and comic fandom, right? Also, he seemed perfect for the style of campy, not-so-serious stories that you'd see in an episode of Batman '66, but with very well illustrated violence. It covers a whole Venn diagram of tastes, and hopefully it appeals to more than just me.

You don't want to know how long it took me to come up with these captions.
You don't want to know how long it took me to come up with these captions.

What is iambic pentameter?

Bill Shakespeare used this style of verse a lot.
Each line contains ten syllables, no more.
Then further split in stressed and unstressed parts.
It makes things sound much smarter than they are.

Now I'm no Shakespeare, but just like Shakespeare, I didn't use it everywhere, so that's why we're saying it's mostly in iambic pentameter. Sorry English nerds, I'm getting out in front of you. 

The Dramatic Duo Companion EP

To celebrate the launch of No Holds Bard, I've commissioned a digital-only companion EP with an original extra-jazzy theme song from Spencer Owen (Dude Bro Party Massacre III) and a super-sweet love song from Allie Goertz (Rick and Morty Concept Album), available to all backers who pledge $3 or more. It's a hell of a deal, and perfect bed music for when you're getting your thespi-on.

Why donate?

This is something I've been knocking around in my head for a long time, and I'm really passionate about it, so I'm going to need you to lend me your ears (and your wallets, har har). If this thing is ever going to get off the ground, it needs your support. I've been incredibly lucky to work with such talented artists to help realize a story I thought was worth telling. Without you, it's just a stack of "maybe someday" crowding my brainspace, but with you, it could just be your next favorite comic.

Also, there are some pretty tantalizing rewards. Just sayin'.

The Rewards

We've put together a bunch of exciting rewards for No Holds Bard, including stickers, lithographs, domino masks, t-shirts, a companion EP and even a fancy box with a REAL HUMAN SKULL inside.

Not bad for a dollar.
Not bad for a dollar.
Double your dollar and get sweet prizes.
Double your dollar and get sweet prizes.
Three dollars?! What a bargain!
Three dollars?! What a bargain!
Probably the one you want, unless you're REALLY COOL.
Probably the one you want, unless you're REALLY COOL.
Show the world you care.
Show the world you care.
Stickers for everything!
Stickers for everything!
If I see you in one of these at a convention, you get a free high five.
If I see you in one of these at a convention, you get a free high five.
You choose which lithograph you get!
You choose which lithograph you get!
Wear a face on your chest
Wear a face on your chest
All Four Lithos and a T-Shirt, and all the other stuff. A $190 value for a measly $116
All Four Lithos and a T-Shirt, and all the other stuff. A $190 value for a measly $116
Customized for each individual backer.
Customized for each individual backer.
I choose which one you get, but they're all awesome.
I choose which one you get, but they're all awesome.
REAL HUMAN SKULL IN A REAL WOODEN BOX
REAL HUMAN SKULL IN A REAL WOODEN BOX

Where is the money going?

Like many people, artists need food to live, so most of the money goes to paying our artists a professional page rate so that they may live in a modern capitalistic society. Other dollars are going toward Kickstarter for use of their infrastructure and reward fulfillment such as poster printing costs, manufacturing masks, and building that fancy skull box. Even if we reach the initial $10,000 goal, I'll be taking a hit. That's how much I want this to get made.

Artist Fees: $7750 (77.5%)
Kickstater Fees: $800 (8%)
Rewards and Shipping: $2890 (28.9%)
BackerKit ~$200 (2%)

Should I have set the goal to $11,640? Probably, but I suffer for my art.

Stretch Goals 

The more we make, the more we can make. I have 6 issues planned out already, and a lot more ideas to come. If there's interest, there's more content for you, so I hope you're feeling generous.

At $22,000, we're funding a SECOND ISSUE with more great artists and everything. 

About the Creator

Eric Gladstone is a writer and native-born son of Los Angeles. He is the Senior Dialogue Writer for Marvel Heroes 2016 and he works as a researcher, video editor and writer at Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment offices. POW! in no way endorses the comic. 

No Holds Bard marks his first public foray into the world of published narrative comics, he put a lot of work into it and thinks it’s going to be good, so you’d better like it. 

He also likes dogs, cats, rats, pigs, bad puns, professional wrestling, and riddles.

Find him on twitter @realgladstone

WHO ARE YOU?! WHERE AM I? fijfaerj8

Calm down, you've had a stroke.

Risks and challenges

Though this is my first time running a Kickstarter campaign, I have had the assistance of several successful creators and comics professionals who have helped me assess the viability of the project and will guide me through the nuances of crowdfunding. At this stage, much of the groundwork for the project has already been laid, and all of the artists have signed on.

I will communicate clearly throughout the funding and post-funding stages and backers will be notified in the event of any shipping delays. I will not consider this closed until all backers receive their promised rewards. I'm also going to be signing up for Backerkit once we meet funding to properly organize shipping and rewards.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    INSINCERE THANKS

    Hey you really "did something." Everything you contribute is "much appreciated."

    JUST KIDDING, I LOVE YOU! HAVE SOME WALLPAPERS FOR YOUR PHONE AND DESKTOP, PLUS YOU GET A BIG BLAST OF EMAILS WITH PROJECT UPDATES AND AN OFFICIAL PRINT-AT-HOME ACTIVITY KIT.

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    SINCERE THANKS

    Thank you so much. We really cannot have done this without you. With your support, No Holds Bard will break through the shackles of imagination and enter the realm of the real. You have my eternal, undying, genuine gratitude, and also an extra wallpaper for your phone and desktop and a ringtone version of Spencer Owen's theme from No Holds Bard.

    Includes the Insincere Thanks reward.

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    THE DRAMATIC DUO COMPANION EP

    A Digital-Only Double-A-Sided 7" (I'm told that's the real term, but rest assured, it's a download), featuring original songs from Dude Bro Party Massacre III's Spencer Owen and adult heartthrob Allie Goertz inspired by No Holds Bard.

    Includes the Sincere Thanks and Insincere Thanks rewards.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    DIGITAL ISSUE

    You will receive a digital, DRM-free PDF of No Holds Bard issue 1 sent straight to your preferred digital mailbox. 22-heart pounding pages of high drama, with art from some of the hottest artists in comics, plus pin-ups and more!

    Includes the Dramatic Duo Companion EP, the Sincere Thanks and Insincere Thanks rewards.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    GROUNDLING SPECIAL

    Become immortal like the works of Shakespeare with your name printed in the back page of the comic.

    Includes the Digital Issue, the Dramatic Duo Companion EP, the Sincere Thanks and Insincere Thanks rewards.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A STUCK HEART!

    You'll receive not one, but TWO DIFFERENT STICKERS to do with as you please. Stick 'em to your laptop, your locker, your bumper, or your little brother's head. They also make for excellent bookmarks.

    Includes the Groundling Special, Digital Issue, the Dramatic Duo Companion EP, the Sincere Thanks and Insincere Thanks rewards.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    ANTIC FACE

    You'll be the belle of all those masquerade balls you go to with this one-size-fits-most orange domino mask, modeled on The Bard's own disguise!

    Includes Stickers, Groundling Special, Digital Issue, the Dramatic Duo Companion EP, the Sincere Thanks and Insincere Thanks rewards.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    WORK OF ART

    A high quality 9x12 lithograph of your choice of pin-up from Dave Kloc (cover), Sina Grace, Bobby Rubio, or Ashlyn Anstee signed by the author with a real feather pen.

    Includes the Domino Mask, Stickers, Groundling Special, Digital Issue, the Dramatic Duo Companion EP, the Sincere Thanks and Insincere Thanks rewards.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    UPPER CLASS FASHION

    Dress like a king in a specially printed T-Shirt designed by our own Dave Kloc!

    Includes the Domino Mask, Stickers, Groundling Special, Digital Issue, the Dramatic Duo Companion EP, the Sincere Thanks and Insincere Thanks rewards.

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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    FINERY COMBO!
    (T-SHIRT+LITHO)

    So you're out and about wearing a beautiful No Holds Bard T-Shirt, when you catch the eye of a certain someone. Next thing you know, they're at your window reciting poetry. You invite them in, and they comment you have excellent taste in lithographs.

    THIS WILL ALL HAPPEN IF YOU CHOOSE THIS REWARD.

    Includes the Domino Mask, Stickers, Groundling Special, Digital Issue, the Dramatic Duo Companion EP, the Sincere Thanks and Insincere Thanks rewards.

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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    FINERY COMBO!
    (T-SHIRT+LITHO)

    A comedy of errors occurred with the shipping cost of the last reward, so it's been updated with FREE US SHIPPING!

    So you're out and about wearing a beautiful No Holds Bard T-Shirt, when you catch the eye of a certain someone. Next thing you know, they're at your window reciting poetry. You invite them in, and they comment you have excellent taste in lithographs.

    THIS WILL ALL HAPPEN IF YOU CHOOSE THIS REWARD.

    Includes the Domino Mask, Stickers, Groundling Special, Digital Issue, the Dramatic Duo Companion EP, the Sincere Thanks and Insincere Thanks rewards.

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    Pledge $116 or more About $116

    A MARRIAGE OF TRUE MINDS
    (T-SHIRT + ALL 4 LITHOS)

    The same thing that happened at the $80 level will happen here, except this time, that crooner might think you're a little obsessive since you have all 5 lithographs displayed proudly the same wall. Whatever happens, don't rush off to the apothecary just yet.

    Includes the Domino Mask, Stickers, Groundling Special, Digital Issue, the Dramatic Duo Companion EP, the Sincere Thanks and Insincere Thanks rewards.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    SONNET 4 U

    Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Well I will, when I write you an original sonnet. That's right, not one, not two, but three quatrains and a rhyming couplet praising your generosity. Guaranteed to make your heart go aflutter and your knees grow weak.

    Includes T-Shirt, All Four Lithographs, Domino Mask, Stickers, Groundling Special, Digital Issue, the Dramatic Duo Companion EP, the Sincere Thanks and Insincere Thanks rewards.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    ORIGINAL BARF COMICS ART

    Own a piece of history with an original bristol board with James Callahan's sequential stylings drawn all over it. That's right, this is authentic production material from one of the best artists in comics today.

    Sorry, I choose which one you get. But on the bright side, they're all great!

    Includes the T-Shirt, All Four Lithographs, Domino Mask, Stickers, Groundling Special, Digital Issue, the Dramatic Duo Companion EP, the Sincere Thanks and Insincere Thanks rewards.

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    Pledge $3,333 or more About $3,333

    ALAS, POOR YORICK!

    A fancy velour-lined wooden box designed by propmaster Sally Courtois exclusively for a generous No Holds Bard supporter. Inside the box is a bona fide HUMAN SKULL, guaranteed curse-free. Act out one of the most famous scenes in theater history with only minor ethical qualms! You'll be saying "What a deal, Horatio!"

    It is legal to possess and transfer human bones under state and federal law, except where prohibited. This particular skull was part of a teaching collection and does not fall under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

    Includes an Extra-Special Sonnet, T-Shirt, All Four Lithographs, Two Domino Masks, A Dozen Stickers, The Lord's Box Special (Your name will go above all those pesky Groundlings), Digital Issue, the Dramatic Duo Companion EP, the Sincere Thanks and Insincere Thanks rewards.

    Not eligible for shipping to Tennessee, New York, or Georgia

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Funding period

- (35 days)