Webcartoonist Ryan North’s Kickstarter campaign has broken the all-time record for being the most funded publishing project ever. His reinvention of Shakespeare’s classic Hamlet; ‘To Be Or Not To Be‘ is a choose-your-own-adventure style story.
The illustrated book is described as “80,000 words of comedy and mayhem”, with jokes, swordfights, and ghosts. It allows readers to either choose the actual path through the book by following the choices marked by Yorick skulls or make their own decisions and find themselves in comical alternate universes.
North set a goal of $20k and asked $20 for a signed paperback copy plus a digital version. He reached his goal in just three and a half hours, and now on the last day of the project over $560k has been pledged. As more money was raised, North decided to use it to make the book even better. Extra illustrations were added, joining artwork by talented artists including Noelle Stevenson (Gingerhaze), Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant), and Meredith Gran (Octopus Pie). The book will now be released with a Creative Commons license, it has changed from black and white to color, has additional playable protagonists including Ophelia and Hamlet’s Dad, and there is a mini prequel adventure. Check out the video below to learn more: