Shakespeare Unleashed is an anthology of prose horror stories inspired by the work of William Shakespeare. The book, published by Monstrous Books and Crystal Lake Publishing, is currently being funded on Kickstarter, where it has nearly quintupled its original goal in less than a week. Since the project’s launch they have since added a comic book anthology component, and today The Beat has an exclusive first look at a pair of pages from the Shakespeare Unleashed comic.

The Shakespeare Unleashed comic currently features a trio of stories:

  • “Bloody Thou Art” (based on Richard III) by David Avallone, Helena Masellis, & Tom Napolitano
  • “Romeo and Juliet: Afterlife” by James Aquilone, J.K. Woodward & Tom Napolitano
  • “Exit Pursued by Bear” (based on Shakespeare’s most infamous stage direction) by James Aquilone, Zac Atkinson & Tom Napolitano

The pages previewed below come from “Bloody Thou Art” by Avallone, Masellis, and Napolitano. The Kickstarter notes that more stories may be added as stretch goals, which seems like a decent possibility given the success of the campaign already.

Cover to the prose anthology, by J.K. Woodward

Speaking to The Beat about the story, writer David Avallone described his inspiration for contributing to the Shakespeare Unleashed project:

“If you write in English — Hell, even if you speak it — you’re influenced by Shakespeare, whether you like it or not. I fall strongly in the ‘like it’ side of that equation. Love it, in fact. So naturally, I jumped at the chance to write a horror story in the Shakespearean mode (with a touch of Tom Stoppard.) My tale concerns an incident from RICHARD III, Act Five, Scene Four, which the Queen must have instructed the Bard to delete, in order that dreadful secrets about the Royal Family be kept secret. Now it can be told!”

Check out the pair of preview pages for “Bloody Thou Art” below. The Kickstarter campaign for Shakespeare Unleashed is set to run until Thursday, July 21st.