About this project
The Littlest Shoggoth is a children’s story written and illustrated by longtime game industry veteran, Stan! It was originally released for free on the website StoryTimeWithStan.com and was subsequently published in a very limited print run by Super Genius Games. Since that edition went out of print, the book has been unavailable (though the story can still be read online).
For a long time we’ve wanted to bring the book back into print in a premium edition, and now with your help, we hope to do just that.
If we can raise just $5,000 in pledges, we can bring The Littlest Shoggoth back into print with a high-quality print run that will allow it to reach a broader audience and become the quirky holiday tradition that it deserves to be.
ABOUT THE BOOK
The Littlest Shoggoth is a 50-page story that tells the tale of Squammy, the smallest of all the Mythos creatures living around the lost and sunken city of R’lyeh. Tired of being picked, Squammy decides to explore the world above the waves. To put it mildly, things do not go well. But with some help from Santa Claus, maybe things can turn out right for Squammy after all.
Inspired by the tales of Dr. Seuss, Edward Gorey, and (of course) H.P. Lovecraft, the Littlest Shoggoth is equally cute and disturbing. It will be a surefire hit with fans of quirky family entertainment like The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Addams Family, Coraline, Emily the Strange, and Scary Godmother.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stan! has been publishing comics, games, and fiction for more than 30 years, and has been nominated for major awards in all three disciplines. His work has appeared in products supporting popular series including Dungeons & Dragons, Dragonlance, Star Wars, Marvel Super Heroes, Pokémon, and Legend of Zelda.
Stan! has also been a strong supporter of Kickstarter over the last couple of years, pledging to more than 35 different campaigns using his personal account.
ABOUT THE PUBLISHER
Although this account is new, Super Genius Games has run two previous Kickstarter campaigns using the personal account of one of our founders, Hyrum Savage.
Super Genius Games is the publisher of best-selling third-party tabletop RPG products for games such as the Pathfinder RPG, Call of Cthulhu, and Savage Worlds. They have released at least one PDF product every week since November of 2009, as well as a handful of printed products (including the original publication of The Littlest Shoggoth).
ABOUT THIS PROJECT
The initial publication of The Littlest Shoggoth was a critical success. Below are some review quotes based on that original edition.
“Cute, evil, vicious, and brilliant. God help us, everyone.” —John Kovalic, Dork Tower
“There is nothing I don’t like about this book. Pure, concentrated awesome.” —Wil Wheaton, WilWheaton.net
“The perfect holiday tale for any fan of the Cthulhu Mythos.” —Matt Forbeck, author of the Monster Academy triolgy
“It combines delightful art, can-do optimism, and inevitable doom as only Stan! can.” —Kenneth Hite, Cthulhu 101
“Stan! is a genius when it comes to Cthuhlu.” —Wolfgang Baur, Kobold Quarterly
“A beautifully bizarre holiday tale.” —Brad Guigar, Evil, Inc.
“The stars are right to read The Littlest Shoggoth.” —John Tynes, The Unspeakable Oath
That original printing faced several obstacles, though. It was done on a tight budget, and the quality of the printing was not as high as we’d have liked. As a result, it didn’t get the attention from distributors or retailers that we think it deserved.
The new version would be done using standard printing processes, as opposed to the print-on-demand process that was used last time. The book would still be 5.5” x 8.5” in size and 56 pages in length, but this time it would have a square perfect binding, not the folded and side-stapled binding the original had.
Most importantly, since we’re using Kickstarter, we’re skipping past the middlemen and gatekeepers to bring the book straight to you—the audience we know will love and want to support The Littlest Shoggoth, and make it a part of your own library of Lovecraftian tales and holiday favorites.
The pledge drive is going incredibly well, so now it's time to look at what the plans are if we can raise a significant amount of extra funding. Here are a few stretch goals that we all can enjoy if the project continues to get new backers.
If the pledge total reaches $7.5k, all backers at the CULTIST level and above will receive a Littlest Shoggoth themed post card, hand signed by Stan! Given how late in the year the drive is scheduled to wrap up, it may not be possible to get these to you in time for the holidays, but we will try our best to make it happen.
If the pledge total reaches $10k, The Littlest Shoggoth will be printed in full color, and the size of the pages will be increased to 6" x 9" (as opposed to the original 5.5" x 8.5"). For no additional cost, all backers from the INITIATE level up will have their books upgraded to this new format.
If the total number of backers reaches 300, Stan! will create a new, original piece of art showing Squammy devouring New York City. (This art will be created in the first quarter of 2013.) When completed, all backers will be given the chance to download the image in a file suitable for use as desktop wallpaper.
For every fifty additional backers beyond that (350, 400, 450, etc.), Stan! will create another original piece of art showing Squammy devouring a different city or landmark. When completed, these images will also be made available to all backers as wallpaper.
If the pledge total reaches $11,500, The Littlest Shoggoth will be printed as a hardcover book. For no additional cost, all backers from the INITIATE level up will have their books upgraded to this new format.
If the pledge total reaches $20k, we'll get a professional voice actor to record The Littlest Shoggoth. For no additional cost, all backers from the FANATIC level up will be sent a link so that they can download this "audio-book" in electronic format. In addition, that audio track will be used to create an animated short film, made with the art from the book.
These are extra shoggoth-related paraphernalia and regalia that can be added to your pledge. Just add the cost of the add-on (including any additional shipping charges) to your pledge. We'll get the details from you through a questionnaire once the pledge drive has ended.
Note that you MUST have pledged at least at the INITIATE level in order to request any of these add-ons.
A 1.5"-wide, die struck, soft enamel, full-color lapel pin featuring the smiling face of Squammy wearing his holiday hat. Take the littlest shoggoth with you and show your Mythos-adoring ways wherever you go. (Backers from outside the U.S., please add +$5 for shipping—sorry.)
A squamous-green t-shirt featuring Squammy wearing his holiday hat. Available in sizes S thru 3XL. Perfect attire for karaoke night at the cult retreat, or anywhere clothes are worn. (Backers from outside the U.S., please add +$5 for shipping—sorry.)
Maybe just a single copy of The Littlest Shoggoth isn't enough for you. You can get an extra copy to stash in your secret occult library, or give it away to another potential cultist. (If you want to add on two or more extra books, please also include an additional +$5 for shipping—for backers from outside the U.S., that is an additional +$10—sorry.)
This is very similar to the pledge level of the same name. You get four (4) extra copies of The Littlest Shoggoth, to disburse as you see fit. (Backers from outside the U.S., please add +$20 for shipping—sorry.)
Risks and challenges
The story and art are already complete. We still have the files from the original print run, ready to be updated and sent to the printer just as soon as the project funds.
On the other hand, because of the quality issues we faced with the previous edition, we’re planning to take this job to a new printer, and that always presents the possibility of logistical problems. We’ve factored those into the schedule, and come up with projected delivery dates that are quite conservative. We have left time to assure the highest quality production values, and every likelihood that we will meet or beat our estimated delivery dates, but we know that unexpected factors can crop up at any time.
The other logistical challenge will be shipping and preparing the signed and sketched versions for backers who choose those options. Again, we factored the time required into our schedule, and Stan! has already blocked out several chunks of his spring schedule to allow him time to make sure that the personalization process is not rushed, and all the signatures and sketches are done with care.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The initial $5,000 target will only allow us to print the book in black & white (as it appears on http://StoryTimeWithStan.com). However, we've now set stretch goals that will allow us to print the book in color and with a hardcover. If we reach those stretch goals, the entire print run will be upgraded, and all existing patrons WILL receive color and/or hardcover editions WITHOUT having to increase their pledge levels.
After the initial funding level is reached, we will create the ability for patrons to have an "add-on" of extra copies of the book. Price details have not been set yet, but we hope to have that information soon. In addition, we have added a new Shoggoth Sect Starter Kit level that will allow you to get four copies of the book.
We will be adding information about the initial add-on offerings soon. Check back in the next few days for details.
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