A choose-your-own-path Hamlet

Toronto-based comic writer Ryan North has raised nearly $150,000 online in one week to fund his latest project: a tongue-in-cheek, choose-your-own path version of Shakespeare's iconic tragedy Hamlet.

North, the creator of the popular Dinosaur Comics series, launched the project on Kickstarter on November 21. His illustrated interpretation of the Danish royal family drama, titled To Be or Not To Be, claims to be "one basically amazing book full of jokes and also swordfights and ghosts and awesome as a mass noun." He's already far surpassed his $20,000 goal, with about three weeks to go until the Dec. 21 fundraising deadline.

With dozens of potential storylines, and artwork contributed by many acclaimed comic artists including Kate Beaton and Chris Hastings, this book promises to be much more than words, words, words.

North is also teaming with charitable publisher Breadpig, which will donate the profits of book sales to the Canadian Cancer Society. It's a cause close to his heart, as his wife Jenn was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma earlier this year.

"While we've been lucky enough to have a cancer that's been responding to treatment, cancer is still a terrible, terrible disease," North wrote on his Kickstarter page. "By supporting this book, you're also supporting research for a cure. That is really cool!"

The Bard would not protest too much, wethinks.