The greatest work IN English literature, now in the greatest format OF English literature: a chooseable-path adventure! Read more
This project was successfully funded on December 21, 2012.
Five great artists, plus talking up murder with a ghost
Yesterday we broke $175k and did it shortly after I was on the radio, talking to CBC's As It Happens about this project (I show up at about 11:15). It's been stunning to see how well this project has been received! I'm kinda running out of words to describe how great this experience is.
Since we broke $175k that means the book gets better, and today's surprise is there's five more awesome artists whose sweet art you'll be seeing illustrating To Be Or Not To Be. They are:
- Kris Straub (Broodhollow, Chainsawsuit, Blamimation, Starslip)
- Mike Krahulik (Penny Arcade, co-founder of Child's Play)
- Mike Maihack (Cleopatra In Space)
- Rebecca Clements (KinkoFry, Ruffle Hall)
- Zac Gorman (Magical Game Time, all the pretty pictures)
Again, I can't say how exciting it is to get to work with each of these people! This book is really turning into something special, you guys. Ahh!
So: STORY. We as Ophelia met the ghost with Hamlet, and had to decide whether to go with Option Facebook and question his identity, or go with Option Twitter and ask him why he just doesn't murder Claudius himself. We got more votes than ever this time (and way more votes that voted in rhyme) (see what I did there) and OPTION TWITTER was the clear winner! So let's do that thing we just decided to do!
But I should mention that part of the money we're raising is for editing this book, so you're seeing the PRE-EDIT ROUGH DRAFT version. Thanks for any typos you catch, but I can only edit these posts for half an hour after they're posted, so sometimes these errors are destined to remain forever and ever here but will indeed be fixed in the book!
It doesn't matter who he is, the real question is if this ghost is so big into murdering dudes why he doesn't just murder Claudius himself? Riddle him THAT.
"Excuse me," you say. The ghost pretends not to hear you. "Excuse me, Mister... Ghost?" you inquire, raising your hand.
"Sup." says the ghost.
"Hamlet tells me you want him to kill King Claudius," you say.
"Yeppers." says the ghost.
"Well, you'll pardon my rudeness, but - why does a ghost need someone else to commit a murder? Ghosts can bang pots around or whatever. Can't you just sneak up behind him and hit him over the head with one?"
Hamlet pulls you aside. "Ophelia, what are you doing?"
"I'm asking a question." you say.
"Who is this creature?" asks the ghost.
"Who am I?" you reply, incredulously. "Don't you know? Aren't you Hamlet Sr.?"
"She has her doubts." Hamlet explains to the ghost. The ghost again addresses you. "You doubt me?" he bellows.
"I seek proof." you say, standing your ground. The ghost becomes angrier, redder, almost changing shape. Lightning crackles around him.
"THEN HERE IS THE PROOF YOU SEEK!" he bellows, as a tremendous bolt of lightning flashes out to you.
Rather than electrocuting you, the lightning actually forms itself into a pleasant letter that deposits itself into your hand! In it Hamlet Sr. explains that ghosts can bang pots together, but it's hard, and something like murder is tricky enough to pull off when you're corporeal. Makes sense. The note goes on to mention some of the fun times you've had together in the past and some of your secret shared jokes too. You laugh when you read them. Oh man, this is Hamlet’s dad, that's for sure!
You have added the NICE NOTE to your inventory!
But already you know it's like a birthday card, which you'll keep for a while and then wonder when you should throw it out. The sentiment inside is still sweet, but are you going to keep a giant stack of birthday cards, growing ever larger until you're 80? No. So let's say you dropped it now! Less heartbreak that way.
You have dropped the NICE NOTE.
The only option here is "Talk about that murder thing with the ghost", so let's do that!
Talk about that murder thing with the ghost
You go over the basics of the murder plot with the ghost and Hamlet. And, surprise, you see some flaws in it that Hamlet didn't articulate.
"So Hamlet is supposed to murder Claudius," you say.
"Yes," Hamlet and the ghost reply, in unison. Then they notice they replied in unison and fist-bump each other. The ghost's fist goes through Hamlet's fist and stops a little inside it, but you can see what they were going for.
"And then Claudius will be dead and Hamlet will be king," you say.
"Yes," Hamlet and the ghost reply, in unison again. And then they fist bump each other again and it's even more off than the first time. They're not even aligned horizontally with each other. Come on, guys.
"So what's to prevent Claudius from becoming a ghost and seeking his own revenge?" you say, raising one eyebrow.
"Um," says the ghost.
"In fact, can ghosts kill each other? Because then the best case for us is that one of you ghost-kills the other and then considers himself revenged. Worst case is that you can't kill each other but instead exist as ghosts forever, which means the two of you -- each with an endless list of sins remembered from long before anyone left alive here was born -- continue to meddle in the living world, revenging yourself against each other, back and forth, for years and millennia to come."
"Oh um, I think - " the ghost begins, then coughs awkwardly. "No, - um, yeah, I think you only become a ghost under certain circumstances." says the ghost.
"Like being murdered when you still have things you want to complete on this mortal plane?" you ask.
"Oh. Right. That'd apply to Claudius too," the ghost says. "Huh."
Two options here, Ophelia!
OPTION SENSIBLE: Continue talking the ghost out of murder
OPTION KILL SOME DUDES: Make a counterargument for murder being a good idea
Also! I'm going to be out of town this weekend so there probably won't be any story posts while I'm away. VOTE BELOW AND CHOOSE WELL , FOR YOUR NEXT CHOICE MAY HAVE TO LAST YOU FOR THREE WHOLE DAYS, BUT THERE WERE TWO NODES POSTED HERE SO IT'S NOT ACTUALLY THAT BAD WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT: