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Tuesday April 13, 2010 7:58 pm

Shaun McLaughlin and Cheapjack Shakespeare




Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials

Cheapjack Shakespeare 3My buddy Shaun McLaughlin was a producer at and responsible for some of their best Bruce Timm-related toons like Batman Beyond, Static, and various incarnations of Justice League. It adds up to over 400 episodes of prime animated entertainment, so he knows how to make something with mass market appeal.

He’s moved on to freelancing, pushing several projects through the development wormhole, including both an animated feature (with Omens Studios) and a live-action one. But when you’re in development, you get a lot of down time while you wait for people to make decisions, give notes, and update their social networks.

You could watch a lot of TV or surf the web or blog about your cat, but Shaun’s put his thumb-twiddling time to good use and come up with a nifty little project with his biz partner Gabriel Benson: Cheapjack Shakespeare.

Shaun, a one-time comic book writer best known for an acclaimed run on DC’s , says Cheapjack Shakespeare “is a college comedy set in an outdoor summer Shakespeare Festival.” This is not, however, some fancy-pants old English “thee” and “thou” kind of thing that makes tweedy literature professors squeal with schoolgirl delight. You know that when, in the first chapter, the actors leap from the stage to pound hecklers in the audience. It makes Summer Stock sound like Claremont villain and it only gets more riotous from there. Shaun calls it “Glee with booze” and I think “Superbad in tights” is also accurate.

Cheapjack Shakespeare is a 12-chapter comedy serial, in graphic novel form, with a new chapter released every three weeks or so for the Kindle (and other platforms). It can also be downloaded over at Drive-Thru Comics.

The chapters have been formatted to allow a full-page view and easy reading and you can find plenty of info at their website. If I were going to put together a graphic novel (and don’t think I won’t!), this is exactly how I’d do it – digital and funny, and Cheapjacktacular. Pip-pip! Cheerio! To be or not to be…let the downloading begin!

[Artwork: cover to Cheapjack Shakespeare #3]

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