Shakespeare World Cup 2018: The Final

IT'S OVER. 25 gamedays and 64 matches later, and we have a winner! 


Yes, in the end it was a comfortable victory for Timon, who overcame his play's narrative of abject failure and mismanagement to put in a calm, composed, and professional performance throughout the tournament. Here's a recap of the Triumph of Timon:


And so here's something I never thought I would say.... CONGRATULATIONS TIMON!

(We return to you your regular, non-sports-related Shakespeare comics on Thursday....)

Shakespeare World Cup 2018: The Semi-Finals

And now we know who will be playing each other in the Shakespeare World Cup final on Sunday! IT'S GONNA BE....


By and large I've been OK with the dramatically-arbitrary, numerically-determined character assignments for each team, but it's becoming increasingly difficult to narratively justify Timon's cruise through this tournament. He's energetic, well-disciplined, and controlled, and will probably (PROBABLY) defeat the powerful sorcerer-duke Prospero. I'm kind of dreading having to figure out how to make that work... Even Act 1 rich-and-happy Timon can't rationally be expected to defeat an actual magician with elemental spirits at his command. 

Shakespeare World Cup 2018: Days 5-7

The Shakespeare World Cup group stages keep on rolling along! Let's see what's happened in the latest round of matches:


So, by this stage every character has played at least once, and the characters in Groups A and B have played twice. In Group A, Polonius (Russia) and Leontes (Uruguay) will both be going through to the knockout stages, although they will have to play each other next week to determine who wins the group. Pandarus and Bassanio will be going home. Group B has been more competitive, with Henry V, Othello, and Helen all claiming one win apiece, and only Morocco certain to go home at this stage. 

Tune in on Tuesday for a WHOLE LOT MORE RESULTS!

Shakespeare World Cup 2018: The Charts

The Shakespeare World Cup begins on Thursday! To help you get the most out of it, I've created these handy charts for you to print and fill out as the tournament progresses, so you can keep track of how everyone is doing. 

We begin with the group stages:

And then here's where the fun REALLY starts... the knockout stages! 

Print those bad boys out, stick 'em up on your bulletin board, and get ready for a month of cut-throat Shakespearean showdowns! I'll be posting commentary and results over on Twitter (@GoodTickleBrain) as close to live as my schedule allows, but if you're not on Twitter, no worries. I'll be collecting all that material and posting it here on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as usual.

Upcoming Appearances 

The Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival is THIS WEEKEND! If you're in the SE Michigan area, stop by and say hello!

  • WHO: Me! And also at least three other Shakespeare-related authors and artists: Shaun Manning of Macbeth: The Red King, Zack Giallongo of The Stratford Zoo, and Conor McCreery of Kill Shakespeare
  • WHAT: The Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival, a two-day mini comics convention featuring all sorts of awesome comic artists. Check out the full line-up of guests and activities on their website. I will have a table in Artist Alley and will be selling my full range of comic books, t-shirts, posters, and other goodies. There might even be one or two exclusive surprises available!
  • WHERE: The downtown branch of the Ann Arbor District Library in Ann Arbor, MI. 
  • WHEN: 12:00pm-6:00pm on Saturday, June 16 and Sunday, June 17. 
  • WHY: Because A2CAF is the only comics convention I'm attending this year (as of right now, anyways).

Hope to see some of you there!

Shakespeare World Cup 2018: The Teams

The 2018 football/soccer World Cup begins next week! As you might remember from my extensive coverage of the 2014 World Cup, I am a fan (albeit at a distance) of soccer, one of the only things to rival Shakespeare's plays as far as comedy, tragedy, and melodrama are concerned. 

However, for those of my readers who aren't huge soccer fans, to help you get through the next month of omnipresent soccer media coverage I present to you the SHAKESPEARE WORLD CUP, a parallel tournament featuring Shakespearean characters, with results determined by actual World Cup results. This way, when you're trapped listening to co-workers gripe about how England were knocked out in the round of 16 by Colombia, you'll be able to consult this handy parallel Shakespeare World Cup team list and discover that King Lear was just assassinated by Macbeth. 

Speaking of which, here's this year's line-up:

If you're curious as to how character/country pairs were determined, I used the Folger Digital Texts API to find Shakespearean characters with the largest word counts. (Note: word counts, not line counts, because I couldn't figure out if the API had a line count feature, so... there you go. Also, characters who appear in multiple plays only had their highest single-play word count taken into account.)

I then matched the characters with the top 70 word counts against the top 70 countries in the FIFA World Rankings as of May 17. The characters which matched with countries that qualified for the World Cup made it to the finals. This did result in some surprise eliminations - I'm still having a hard time imagining a World Cup without Cleopatra (a.k.a. the Netherlands) and Romeo (a.k.a Italy), but there you go.

Tune in next week for a handy wallchart you can use to track your favorite characters' progress through the tournament!


The Ohio Light Opera 2018 Season in 3 Panels Each!

It's almost opening week for the Ohio Light Opera! I'm looking forward to going to Wooster later in the summer to get my annual light opera and early musical fix, but for now, here's a rundown of their entire season.... starting with Adler and Ross's classic musical about sleepwear and industrial action!


Next up is a Rodgers and Hart classic that was turned into a classic-but-totally-unrecognizable film adaptation starring Mickey & Judy, featuring free-range theatre kids attempting to PUT ON A SHOW.

Next up, a Cole Porter musical. As with most Cole Porter musicals that are not Anything Goes or Kiss Me Kate, I know lots of the songs in this one, but have never heard of it before. 


No Ohio Light Opera season would be complete without a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta.

I'm excited about OLO's first Leonard Bernstein production, especially because it's Candide. It has an AWESOME OVERTURE. 

You can almost always guarantee that an Offenbach operetta is going to be silly, but La Perichole actually seemed comparatively sedate by his standards... until it gets to Act 3.


And finally, a Lehar operetta. These are generally either moderaetly fluffy or somewhat self-importantly bittersweet and romantic. Fortunately, this is firmly in the first category. 

Looking forward to seeing all this good stuff on the stage on the Freedlander Theatre later this summer!