For those who haven’t seen them or heard about them, the Ham4Ham shows can be anything – you have no idea what you’ll get – that the protean Lin-Manuel Miranda and the company choose to present. It could be a song, a dance, a Q & A with Lin in which he answers using only the lyrics of a favorite musical. But what it means is that those who’ve trekked to 46th Street in hope of snagging a pair of seats in the front row of the theatre for the performance two hours hence for only $10 a ticket may walk away empty handed, but they’ve gotten a little something more than suspense out of the experience.

Now it’s easy to look at this and be cynical, if you tend that way, thinking this is all about selling tickets. But while videos of the nightly event may spread out on social media (and the show’s official accounts do participate in that), the performance is first and foremost for people who haven’t bought seats, and very possibly can’t get or can’t afford tickets any other way. It is an act of generosity by Lin and the company, without a marketing message attached; indeed, it seems more an expression of gratitude to fans than anything else.

I say this as someone who has attended a dozen of these little shows, and viewed others online. I find the spirit of the crowd and of those who come out to perform to be enormously congenial and electric. I’ve seen no jostling for space, no rivalry among those competing for the same tickets, and I’ve watched the crowd spill into the street in blazing heat and humidity without complaint…

For all the reasons why Ham4Ham would be difficult to reproduce, there is something at its core that can perhaps provoke other models of engagement for other shows, for other theatres. If we can all learn from Lin-Manuel’s example and actively engage in giving something to audiences that they can’t get anywhere else, outside of the space that they need a ticket to enter, that may even stand alone and apart from what’s being offered on our stages, then perhaps we’ll find some new friends and new relationships that go far beyond just ‘how do we sell more tickets.’

Once Hamilton opens on Thursday, Ham4Ham may be less frequent, or perhaps change in format. So for everyone who has been out on 46th Street since the Ham4Ham shows began, thanks Lin, thanks Ariana, thanks Jon, thanks Renee, thanks Okieriete, thanks Karen, thanks Jon, thanks Philippa, thanks Alex – and thanks everyone I haven’t named too. The best show in town was the crowd, outside the R. Rodgers Theatre for A. Hamilton.

HOW TO SUPPORT PRINCELESS:

Princeless is relaunching in January with a brand new story.  If you want to help us, here is how you can do it:

1)  Share this post/image.  Reblog it on tumblr, retweet it on twitter, share it on facebook, post it on Instagram.  Just plain old spread the word!

2)  Go to your local comic book shop and pre-order it today.  It is in the new issue of Previews that was released 10/29 and will be valid until the end of November.  The pre-order number is NOV140910.

3)  Encourage your store to participate in our Retailer exclusive option!  If they contact me at jwhitley@actionlabcomics.com and they are willing to order 250 or more comics, they can create a version of this issue with a store exclusive variant.  Wouldn’t it be awesome if your store had a completely unique version of this comic?

Here’s the goal:  We want to make this new issue of Princeless the best selling comic that Action Lab has put out (a distinction currently held by Zombie Tramp).  That’s going to mean getting to a lot of new readers and letting retailers know that this is a comic that people care about.

We appreciate all of your help and welcome to the new adventure of Princeless!

Thanks for the quotes and art from those below:

kellysue gailsimone unassumingpumpkin tenbandits megamoth actionlabcomics racebending twentypercentcooler cbr comicsalliance 1979semifinalist mattfractionblog newsarama

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A-force #1 by G. Willow Wilson, Marguerite Bennett, & Jorge Molina

• Marvel’s Mightiest Women finally get their own explosive series!
• In a secluded corner of the Battleworld, an island nation is fiercely protected by a team of Avengers the likes of which has only ever been glimpsed before…
• Fighting to protect the small sliver of their world that’s left, the Amazing A-FORCE stands shoulder-to-shoulder, ready to take on the horde!

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Magic: the Gathering - Oath of the Gatewatch Art Preview

Some very cool / lovely / haunting images were previewed today by Daniel Tack over on Game Informer.  Wizards of the Coast had not provided any (illustration) names or artists on these stunning Oath of the Gatewatch pieces but did send along some flavour text you can let seep into your imagination and let your speculative powers take flight :

“From nothingness, sustenance.”

“We didn’t know where it came from or where it was going. All we knew was that we did not matter.”—Akiri, kor line-slinger

“Zendikar’s true gods have risen. Whether in reverence or agony, all the world will kneel.” – Ayli, high priest of the Eternal Pilgrims

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Marvel’s Iron Fist - SDCC First Look

Danny Rand fights relentlessly to regain everything he’s lost in Marvel’s Iron Fist, coming soon to Netflix.