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The greatest work IN English literature, now in the greatest format OF English literature: a chooseable-path adventure!
The greatest work IN English literature, now in the greatest format OF English literature: a chooseable-path adventure!
15,352 backers pledged $580,905 to help bring this project to life.

In this update, my head explodes.

Posted by Ryan North (Creator)

Before we get to the explodey stuff:

  • most all of the art for To Be Or Not To Be is in, and 100% of it is gorgeous.
  • content editing is done, a final copy-editing pass has begun
  • the first Yorick Skull prototype has arrived, some corrections are being made, and a second prototype should be coming soon!

NOW THE EXPLODEY STUFF. I had a fun time yesterday afternoon, and you can read all about it in this Wired story titled Makers Help Cartoonist Keep His Kickstarter Promise to Explode

"Honestly when I made the promise, breaking $500,000 seemed really unlikely so I was willing to play fast and loose with what I would have to deliver," says North, "Saying ‘I will literally explode’ seemed like a fun way to end the paragraph, you know?"

The head was at about 80% life-size. 

Alas, poor me! I knew me, me. A fellow of infinite me.

We loaded it up with dry ice, something that reminded me a lot of the plutonium scene in Back to the Future, actually:

Then all you need to add is hot water to melt the frozen gasses, and a tight seal on the lid so the gas has nowhere to go, and my friend, your exploding head is READY TO GO.

Here's an image of the aftermath. In the foreground: all we could recover of my face. In the background: the exploded remains of my head.

Go read the story; there's video! There's an animated gif!

The article covers it all really well, and all I'd add is that meeting all the people at Site 3 was amazing: the whole building is incredible.  There's a fire toilet, which is exactly what it sounds like.  Site 3 has an open house every Thursday night and if you're in Toronto, you should totally check it out! 

They were nice enough to give me the extra dry ice, and I brought it home.  Did you know that if you add two pellets of dry ice to a shot of Baileys Irish cream you can produce some instant, delicious, carbonated ice cream?  Because you CAN, and I CAN'T STOP EATING IT.  Every mad scientist's kitchen needs some frozen gasses; that's what I say.

Finally, I just wanted to point out how there is an unbroken line of causality between Shakespeare writing Hamlet and my head exploding yesterday, and we're all involved in it.  I think that is super rad extreme.


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    1. Sn Cn on

      All Jennifer said, plus maybe an emoticon on the edge of its seat.

    2. Missing avatar

      Jennifer Graves on

      It amazes me that no matter how many articles I read about how this crazy Canadian cartoonist guy, Ryan North, has made this CYOA Hamlet, I never get tired of reading them. Probably 1/4 of each article (at minimum) is dedicated to restating the basics of what To Be Or Not To Be is, and still every time - COMPLETELY FASCINATING.

      I'm so excited waiting for the book! It's the best kind of anticipation.

    3. Suemitraa Thiagarajan on

      I've decided to ship the books to Malaysia instead of USA. Where can I give you the additional 15$? Via paypal? Thanks :)

    4. Roxane Tourigny on

      To the question "To boom or not to boom?", the answer is obvious. Great explosion!

    5. Missing avatar

      Gendy on

      That was a very satisfying explosion! I just keep watching it again and again and again :)

    6. Eddie Roosenmaallen on

      That was excellent! I've watched the video three times now, with my 3 year old. "Ka-blam! That was a good one guys, that was a really good one! Let's watch it again, daddy!"

    7. Missing avatar


      That was awesome. Though it could have used a bit more fire. ^^

    8. Chris I-B

      Huzzah! And a satisfying explosion t'was.