Crystal Lake Publishing and Monstrous Books Present SHAKESPEARE UNLEASHED

An All-New Horror anthology featuring brand-new, original stories by Joe R. Lansdale, Ian Doescher, Seanan McGuire, Cullen Bunn, Jonathan Maberry, and others

+ A Separate Black & White, Manga-Sized Comic

“O horror! Horror! Horror!

Tongue nor heart cannot conceive nor name thee!”

(June 21, 2022) The follow-up to CLASSIC MONSTERS UNLEASHED, the highest-funded and highest-backed prose horror anthology in Kickstarter history, SHAKESPEARE UNLEASHED doth take on the bloody bard for a unique and terrifying collection. From the blood of Macbeth and ghosts of Hamlet, to the dark fantasy of The Tempest and the twisted love of Romeo and Juliet, SHAKESPEARE UNLEASHED reimagines Shakespeare’s greatest works as short horror stories… as well as horror sonnets and a 20-page comic book.

SHAKESPEARE UNLEASHED, edited by James Aquilone, features an all-star roster of horror writers — including Joe R. Lansdale (Moon Lake) and Kasey Lansdale (Terror Is Our Business), Ian Doescher (William Shakespeare’s Star Wars and William Shakespeare’s Avengers), Cullen Bunn (Tales From Harrow County), Seanan McGuire (Every Heart a Doorway), and Jonathan Maberry (Kagen the Damned). Other contributors include Lee Murray, Gemma Files, Tim Waggoner, John Palisano, Lisa Morton, Geneve Flynn, Hailey Piper, Philip Fracassi, Linda Addison, Alessandro Manzetti, Jessica McHugh, Sara Tantlinger, Stephanie M. Wytovich, Gwendolyn Kiste, and Lucy A. Snyder. The project will also include a separate black-and-white manga-sized comic, featuring three stories:

  • “Bloody Thou Art” (Richard III) by David Avallone and Helena Masellis

  • “Romeo and Juliet: Afterlife” by James Aquilone and J.K. Woodward

  • “Exit Pursued by Bear” by James Aquilone and Zac Atkinson

SHAKESPEARE UNLEASHED features a cover and interior art by J.K. Woodward, who’s illustrated such comic books as Fallen Angel, X-men Origins: Beast, Doctor Who and Star Trek. The interior art consists of at least 4 illustrations accompanied by iconic quotes from the bard’s work.

“Shakespeare Unleashed will follow in our tradition, started with Classic Monsters Unleashed, of exploring different literary universes and giving them our unique and horrifying spin,” says editor James Aquilone.

“Shakespeare saw the human condition in all its glory and its pain,” says Joe R. Lansdale, who will write a Macbeth-inspired story in a collaboration with his daughter Kasey. “He saw the horror in the shadows, and the mystery in human loss and ambition.”

“As a horror fan and a lover of Shakespeare, I’m excited to be part of this project,” Ian Doescher says. “Like a demon being summoned, my contribution—based on the comedy Twelfth Night—will channel the Bard’s darker side and show how happily ever after can end up in terror, tears, and tragedy.”

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