Events & Games & Vol2 Updates 19 Mar 2013 02:45 am by David !

Card game – LAST DAY. Plus more preview stories!

Today is the LAST DAY for our card game Kickstarter! To say it has done well is to make an absurd understatement. This game has now done, in pure power points (defined as revenue per unit over time), better than anything else we have ever done. And it’s not even over yet! You can still pledge today and get a boatload of free bonus goodies.

Yes. We will bring AN ACTUAL BOAT TO YOU. Full of bonus goodies. Including the new Machine of Death Artbook — a book filled with all the art from both books, including statements from the contributors! Free to all backers in digital form, and free in physical form to all backers over $35. We were kidding about the boat but not about this book. It’s gonna be pretty great!

But perhaps you have already pledged — or have already decided that it isn’t for you! Fine. Here are a few OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS that may be of interest.

More preview stories.

Thanks to the generosity of backers, we have released four more free preview stories from This is How You Die! (The first four previews are linked in this post.) Here are stories FIVE through EIGHT:

Preview story #5 — “TETRAPOD”, by Rebecca Black
Preview story #6 — “LAZARUS REACTOR FISSION SEQUENCE”, by Tom Francis
Preview story #7 — “BLUE FEVER”, by Ada Hoffmann
Preview story #8 — “SCREAMING, CRYING, ALONE, AND AFRAID”, by Daliso Chaponda

Read them! Enjoy them! Share them! Print them out and wallpaper your room. It’s your day.

Save the date!

On SUNDAY, JUNE 2, we will be throwing a party (in the tradition of our Talent Show and Variety Show) at 826LA’s Mar Vista Time Travel Mart in West Los Angeles! 826LA is a nonprofit writing & tutoring center for kids in elementary, middle, and high school, primarily serving underprivileged communities. Since MOD wouldn’t be here without writers, we want to give back in a small way and hold a benefit event for the 826LA programs — all of which are free for the kids involved, and which rely on donations.

More information about this event will be forthcoming! In the meantime, if you’re in the Los Angeles area, SAVE THE DATE for JUNE 2.

And check out our Kickstarter on its last day! If you’re bored, read all the updates. They’re pretty interesting.

Thanks to those of you who’ve pledged! We’re very excited about the game and hope you are too!!

Games 26 Feb 2013 03:29 am by David !

Card game Kickstarter = BANANAS

We launched our Machine of Death card game Kickstarter a little while ago, and it’s been nuts! The above is a real tweet from the official Cards Against Humanity account, linking to our our pitch video (which I think came out really great!).

We’re raised over $150K so far, and have unlocked a ton of stretch goals, including free bonus cards by a variety of Webcomics Pals, as well as four — yes, four — free preview stories from THIS IS HOW YOU DIE. You can read them all right now via our Kickstarter updates:

Preview story #1“OLD AGE, SURROUNDED BY LOVED ONES”, by ’Nathan Burgoine
Preview story #2“ROCK AND ROLL”, by Toby W. Rush
Preview story #3“DROWNING BURNING FALLING FLYING”, by Grace Seybold
Preview story #4“CONFLAGRATION”, by Ian Stoner, writing as D.L.E. Roger

And there will hopefully be more to come, thanks to the kind backers who’re supporting this game! It’s a super fun (if somewhat morbid) party game that I’ve had a lot of fun developing with Kris and others. To give you a better sense of some of the mechanics of the game, here’s a video from one of our playtest sessions.

Hope you like it! I’ve been posting all the Kickstarter updates (of which there are now ten separate posts) to the Machine of Death Facebook page, as well as announcing them on Twitter, so there are ways to get INSTANT NOTIFICATION OF ALL NEWS if you so desire!

Podcast Episodes & Vol2 Updates 12 Feb 2013 03:36 am by David !

MOD2 Interview & Card Game Announcement

The time is drawing near for This is How You Die! We just returned the copy edited manuscript, and we’re having marketing conversations with the folks at Grand Central. I’m really excited for some of the stuff we have planned — if there’s anything MOD stands for, it’s doing cool stuff for the sake of it and hopefully we’ll get a chance to do some really cool stuff in service of this book.

In the fall of 2011, we held our Super-Stupendous Magic & Variety Show in Hollywood. At the close of the program, our friend and colleague Kris Straub chatted with me and Ryan about the process of choosing the stories for the book, as well as what we’re looking forward to. Here it is for your listening pleasure, and it’ll be on our podcast feed as well.

Kris Straub interviews Ryan North & David Malki ! (25 min)

Download the MP3 Subscribe on iTunes
Direct podcast feed:

Kris and I are also working together on something else — he and I have been designing an official, super-fancy Machine of Death card game. Here we are at a special shoot we just did for a promo video:

I’m really excited for the game — we’ve been working for months on making it super fun to play and neat to look at. A feast for every sense. Our pals Nika Harper (of podcast narration fame) and Jordan Morris (of Jordan Jesse GO) helped us shoot the promo video; both very funny people experiencing this incarnation of the game for the very first time, and they either really enjoyed it or lied to me very convincingly!

The game will be going up on Kickstarter this week. Kris designed dozens of original cards for the game, and we’re hoping to make it a very pretty package. More information on this to come, once it’s available for pledging! UPDATE: IT’S LIVE!

Vol2 Updates 21 Sep 2012 02:41 pm by David !

Cover Art for MOD2: “THIS IS HOW YOU DIE”

Whenever I sit down to start writing about everything that’s happened in the last few months, I get overwhelmed. I don’t know where to begin.

So here’s a list.

The sequel to Machine of Death will be released in July 2013, premiering at Comic-Con in San Diego. It will be published by Grand Central Publishing.

It will be called This is How You Die: Stories of the Inscrutable, Infallible, Inescapable Machine of Death. Here’s the cover (with a temporary blurb):

The cover was designed, once again, by Justin Van Genderen. The book will feature illustrations from a ton of artists including (besides those already mentioned): Nick Abadzis, Graham Annable, Sam Bosma, Trudy Cooper, Mike Dawson, Aaron Diaz, Alexandra Douglass, Meredith Gran, Dustin Harbin, Tyson Hesse, Braden Lamb, Les McClaine, Carla Speed McNeil, Carly Monardo, Danica Nogorodoff, Emily Partridge, Mike Peterson aka Halcyon Snow, Ramón Pérez, Greg Ruth, Chris Schweizer, and Dana Wulfekotte.

The Task Before Us

You’ll notice that up above, I called this book “the sequel to Machine of Death.” I didn’t say “the second book in the Machine of Death series.” Lots of people are assuming that we’ll just go forward and do a third book, a fourth book, etc etc. We’d love to! But we are taking this one measured step at a time. There will only ever be a third book if this second one does well.

And so, while we’d love for the book to be out now, Grand Central Publishing has asked for the necessary time to run the book through all the standard book press channels and publicity & marketing opportunities. We want to give this book — and the work of all these amazing authors and illustrators — the absolute biggest rocket-boost possible so we can send this whole project into the friggin stratosphere. And you can help too!

Our goal, between now and July, is to get as many people as possible excited about the Machine of Death idea, and reading the first book — so the second one will explode like crazy.

Here are a few things we’ve done to help make that a reality:

This is our new “Disposable Edition” of the first book. Quite simply, it’s the cheapest possible version of MOD in print. We tried to make the barrier to entry for this thing as low as possible. On the fence about buying it? Got a friend that you need to get a gift for? Want to spike your coffee shop’s free-books pile? Want to keep a copy on-hand to give away to someone about to take a long train ride? The MOD Disposable Edition is the answer.

We’ve even included a super-discounted bulk option for book clubs, classes, weird parties, etc. (Oh, and the regular trade edition is now cheaper as well.)

We’ve also put our ebooks — all flavors, all DRM-free — on a thumb drive. Again, handy for gift-giving, or maybe you just want a Bearstache Books thumb drive? You can also grab a print edition (regular or disposable) with the thumb drive at a deeper discount.

Oh, and we threw on the thumb drive for free our entire podcast series — all the stories, read by either their authors or our charismatic friends. And some performances from our Talent Show & Magic Show. So you’re basically getting an audiobook for free as well!

We’ve added two new varieties to the Death Prediction Card Sets“Set C” and “Pestilence & Plague”and hidden fan-created custom cards in random tins (of all 6 sets). If you find a custom card, you win a prize!

And in addition to the games we’ve already created for the cards, I’ve been working with some secret friends on a bigger, more elaborate tabletop-style MOD card game. It’s still in development, but all the existing card sets will be backwards-compatible with it…so in essence you’re buying expansion packs before the game even exists yet. Look at you! So smart, so savvy!!

Finally: this shirt is on clearance right now at TopatoCo for $12, and then after Sunday it disappears forever. UPDATE: It’s gone!


And of course

Our first book is still available as a 100% free PDF. Share it, send it to your friends, print it out and wallpaper a hallway with it. So many people have come up to us at cons and thanked us for making it freely available, many of whom would never have discovered it any other way. It’s still there and it’s still yours to share. Thank you so much for making all this possible!


I don’t want to be mushy about this but we love you

Podcast Episodes 21 Sep 2012 01:45 pm by David !

Podcast 34: “CASSANDRA”, by T.J. Radcliffe

“CASSANDRA”, by T.J. Radcliffe.
Read by the author. (25 min)

It was like that movie, back in the day, where the machine asks the kid, “How about a nice game of chess?” 

“No,” he types back. “Let’s play Global Thermonuclear War.” 

That’s what the slip of paper in my hand read. “Global Thermonuclear War.” 

Download the MP3 Subscribe on iTunes
Direct podcast feed:

T.J. Radcliffe is a mercenary scientist and poet who probably lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada. When not sailing or hiking he writes poetry to go with the whimsical and beautiful images created by Hilary Farmer at, with whom he has also written a illustrated serial Web novella,, and an illustrated poetic story inspired by the Doctor: He can be reached via his website: where he writes about poetry, probability, politics and physics, sometimes all in the same post.

In the book, “CASSANDRA” is illustrated by Matt Haley!

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