Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Short tales that deftly weave together the majesty of mythology and the inanity of modern life.
Short tales that deftly weave together the majesty of mythology and the inanity of modern life.
119 backers pledged $4,310 to help bring this project to life.

About

The Wendigo's Credit Card and Other Stories project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$4,310

119

The Wendigo’s Credit Card and Other Stories is the culmination of my heretofore unrelated lifelong obsessions with mythology and punchy, dryly amusing comic short stories. In elementary school - probably the third grade, or thereabouts - I became fascinated with D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths, a collection of often gruesome and refreshingly bleak legends and folktales that struck me as the most hard-hitting and profoundly real thing in the student library.

A few years ago - in what would probably be the 30th grade, were I still ascending one grade per year - I became swept up in the lore and mythology of the Lake Superior region, and I found myself excited by the prospect of loosely adapting these and other legends from around the world into stories that would make readers laugh - and perhaps think. But primarily laugh.

If funded by you, The Wendigo’s Credit Card and Other Stories will combine equal proportions of folkloric archetypes, crackling wit, and zany hijinks. The resulting collection of short stories and essays will dip into the wells of mythology (Greek, Norse, Ojibwe, and more), contemporary pop and tech culture, and my own ineffable flair for zippy dialogue. It will then pour forth a rich and heady brew that will intoxicate readers with … well, you get the general gist of all that.

My Bio

I’m the editor for the Heavy Table, a daily online journal of food and drink in the Upper Midwest. I’m the author of a number of books (The Master Cheesemakers of Wisconsin, Lake Superior Flavors, Saving General Washington) and my former gigs include Middle East editor at The Christian Science Monitor, a producer / researcher / booker for (now Senator) Al Franken, and video food reviewer for CHOW.com. I’ve been published in Minnesota Monthly, Culture Magazine, and the Washington Post. I don’t know that any of this qualifies me to write a book of mythology humor per se, but I don’t think it disqualifies me, either.

The Impact

Your funding of The Wendigo’s Credit Card and Other Stories will give me the opportunity to spend some (or much) of 2014 creating something for you that is fun and beautiful and highly, highly giftable. It may kick off my professional career of writing hilarious stuff, or it may simply be a weird one-off that I’ll probably forget if someone asks me about it in 2030. Either way, I’m excited to grapple with the challenge and deliver something highly interesting, novel, and amusing.

A Sample Story From the Book

“Bring it,” you say? Oh, it already got brung. Was broughten. Brought by me. Yeah… brought. Right over here. I… brang it? That can’t possibly be right.

Table of Contents*

The Wendigo’s Credit Card

Zeus Tries to Summon the Furies But Accidentally Summons the Furries Instead

How Naniboujou Outran His Student Loans

The Laundry Day of Cthulhu

The Contemporary Scandinavian Folklore of Minnesota

Spikes on the Water Barrels

Leda and the Swan and “Swans Stopping Rape”

How Skade the Ski Goddess Got Her Rental Deposit Back

Death With Wings

How the Wendigo Got Caught in the Dehumidifier

The Twelve Much Easier Labors of Hercules

Lesser-Known Beasts Slain By Thor, and Their Curricula Vitae

### BONUS STRETCH GOAL STORIES

Kvasir, the God of Knowledge, and Other Gods Who Were Created by Spitting On Things

Hey Animal: Why Are You Carrying That Heavy Item?

Sisiphus’s Day Off

### SECOND LOT OF BONUS STRETCH GOAL STORIES

Zeus, Greatest God of the Greek Pantheon, and the Difference Between Twitter and Texting

An Interview with Legion, Befouler of Pyres

The Doughnuts of the Spirit Realm Aren’t Better, But They’re Different, and They’re Still Pretty Good

*These titles may change, although the number of stories will stay constant.

Stretch Goals

Here are some stretch goals for you to ponder. If you’re funding this project, please tell friends, family members, and anyone reachable by electronic or other means about it - YOU REAP THE REWARDS. I mean, I reap the rewards most centrally, but YOU REAP THE OVERFLOW, AS MUCH AS IT CAN BE MANAGED.

Stretch Goal #1: $3,000

Commission a series of black and white illustrations to accompany the book’s text. I know a bunch of great illustrators (see: The Secret Atlas of North Coast Food), so the main challenge with this will be trying to narrow it down to one amazing artist. It’s a challenge I’d love to face.

Stretch Goal #2: $5,000

Add three more stories, for a total of 15. I’ve even written the titles for you, so that they may entice, excite, and motivate you to greater giving and talking about the project. If you’re independently wealthy, please don’t be shy about kicking in a few extra thousand to get us to the goal.

Stretch Goal #3: $7,500

Add another three stories, for a total of 18. Holy buckets! This would be amazing!

Stretch Goal #4: $12,000

Some or all illustrations printed in color. Printing illustrations in color is a massive expensive pain in the butt, so I’d sort of rather not hit this goal, but if we hit it, the book will in fact look a lot cooler, so I guess I have to say: bring it on.

Stretch Goal #5: $15,000

Commission an art print to be given to everyone who pledges $16 or more. We’re talking awesome frameable letterpress print by the illustrator of the book. Hang it! Gift it! Get me to sign it and sell it for BIG BUCKS on eBay after I’m dead, presuming my career has come to anything by that point!

FAQ

How will the money from this campaign be spent, if the goal is met?

The majority of the money raised will go to having the book printed, designed, and shipped; if we hit some of the stretch goals, printing costs will also go up as we add illustrations or even color illustrations. I’ll need to commission a designer and cover illustrator no matter what, so a good chunk of the cash will go there.

You’re a professional food writer, can you prove that you’re funny?

I can prove that I am funny to some people, but as you surely know, there are always some who are unreachable, e.g. the entire audience of Two and a Half Men.

You can read one of my humorous essays published on McSweeney’s for a taste of my style; I also had an ongoing comic food review series on YouTube that reached more than 15,000 subscribers at its peak. And this April 1 “interview” with Prince about the contents of his fridge went viral and still sparks up every now and again, confusing thousands of people.

Can you guarantee that we'll have our books in hand by Christmas/Hanukkah 2014?

Last year, I headed the Heavy Table’s Secret Atlas of North Coast Food campaign. We promised that we’d get a book with 30+ writers and illustrators into our backers’ hands by the holidays, and we did it. I feel confident that this book - with one writer and zero-to-one illustrators - will be even more likely to arrive on time.

Does this Kickstarter campaign mean that there won’t be another Heavy Table book or maybe another Secret Atlas specifically?

Not at all. It’s highly likely that we’ll do another Heavy Table book (possibly an Atlas sequel) for the holidays of 2015.

How much will this book sell for in stores?

$18.95.

Risks and challenges

Both are extremely minimal. I’m working with a printer that I’m comfortable with, and I’m an experienced professional writer who will be personally accountable to you for creating a high quality and on-time book. The main risk is that the book will turn out to be too awesome, and you will injure yourself while laughing and/or thinking about its contents, and I’ll be exposed to some kind of legal liability. But, seriously, that’s more my problem than yours.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    TECHNICALLY HELPFUL - Thanked in the book, in very small type. Legible, though. Definitely legible.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $16 or more About $16

    THE BOOK: EARLY BIRD SPECIAL - One copy of the book shipped within the US at a special price, plus a thank you in small but civilized type.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Reward no longer available 50 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    THE BOOK - One copy of the book shipped within the US, plus a thank you in small but civilized type.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    8 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    THE BOOK - SIGNED! - A copy of the book, signed and shipped within the US. Also includes a thank you in small but civilized type.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    32 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $32 or more About $32

    ONE TO KEEP, ONE TO GIFT - Two copies of the book (US shipping and handling included) and thank you in medium type, just like the big boys use.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    11 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    ONE TO KEEP, ONE TO GIFT: HER MAJESTY’S EDITION - Or, “His Majesty’s Edition,” whatever. Two copies of the book (US shipping and handling included) signed with funny inscriptions and/or drawings, requests honored within the realms of decency and grammar. Worth noting: Author cannot draw, but will try. Plus a medium type thank you.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $110 or more About $110

    BOOKS AND PHOTOS - Two lovely signed 8 ½ x 11” prints from the shores of Lake Superior, the physical inspiration for this book, by photographer Becca Dilley. Also: Two copies of the book (US shipping and handling included) signed with funny inscriptions and/or drawings, plus a medium type thank you.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    6 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $160 or more About $160

    $160 BOOKORAMA - 10 copies of the book, for the seriously optimistic and enthusiastic supporter of the project. (Booksellers: contact me for details on a in-bulk price and terms.) Plus a medium type thank you.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $160 or more About $160

    DINNER’S ON - Two seats at a 20-person dinner that I, a competent home chef, will cook for you inspired by the book and finished off with hot, fresh, homemade cinnamon and powdered sugar doughnuts. Also includes two signed copies of the book, and a thank you in large type fit for a BOOK BARON. Dinner will be held in Minneapolis. At my house. Bonus: a Lake Superior photo print by Becca Dilley.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $210 or more About $210

    THIS TIME A PROFESSIONAL IS MAKING DINNER - Two seats at a dinner inspired by the book and hosted by an actual professional chef in a restaurant, two signed copies of the book, and a thank you in large type fit for a BOOK BARON. Dinner will be held in Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area somewhere. Bonus: a Lake Superior photo print by Becca Dilley.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    LET’S TOSS SOME IDEAS AROUND - I’ll collaborate with you on a story to be published in the book - we’ll talk about characters, overall mood and tone, and other general directions and I’ll take it from there, plus four signed (and personalized) copies of the book, and a thank you in massive type fit for a DEMIGOD OF LITERACY. Bonus: a large framed Lake Superior photo print by Becca Dilley.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)