Stefan G. Bucher is a man of many monsters. Surprisingly, he’s also cool, calm, and collected. He recently collected lore of the Yeti into a fur-covered, slipcased, tell-all book, The Yeti Story, about the tasty beasts, sponsored by none other than Saks Fifth Avenue (see it here). Who would-a thunk it? I received a copy of the no-shed volume in the mail for Christmas. I was compelled to ask its sender, Mr. Bucher: Why?
Saks Fifth Avenue had been projecting snowflakes on the façade of their Fifth Avenue flagship store during the holiday season for years. In 2008 they asked Marian Bantjes to design a series of custom snowflakes which led the team at Saks and their partners at Pentagram to ask who makes all that beautiful snow. In 2011 they revealed that it’s a Yeti who lives on the roof. Michael Bierut knew of my Daily Monsters and suggested to Saks that I might be a good person to design a plush likeness of the elusive creature. In the process I expanded the tag with care instructions into a 16-page booklet of mental health care instructions for the Yeti, along with some background information.
Following the success of the original plush Yeti, Saks asked me to create a proper story around the Yeti, to be published as a children’s book — another of their holiday traditions. I suggested that every good superhero deserves a proper creation myth, and everything flowed from there.
Is there there some hidden meaning to The Yeti Story?
The Yeti Story chronicles one young Yeti’s journey from creatively stifling circumstances in the Old World to artistic fulfillment in America. Along the way he has quirky adventures, overcomes character-building obstacles, and makes new friends. There might be certain autobiographical elements to it, but I think it’s really just the old story of following your dreams wherever they may take you.
There are a ton of hidden details to The Yeti Story, though. Lots of nerdy in-jokes and references. There were so may that we had to add an explanatory insert, which explains many (if not all) of them. The Lord of the Rings has its Silmarillion, we have the Yetigorium.
Can Yetis live normal and happy lives?
Of course! They are born for their work, and they enjoy it tremendously. They enjoy each other’s company and have rich social lives. They love to read. (Peter Hoeg is a favorite.) They are extremely shy, which makes getting around Manhattan a bit nerve-wracking, but at the same time… it’s Manhattan. They keep their heads down, and nobody pays them much attention. They tend to summer at the poles, because they get wicked razor burn.
If you mate a Yeti and the Abominable Snowman what do you get?
Why I never! I thought the Daily Heller was a family publication!
Is that real Yeti hair on the cover?
It is not. It’s imitation Yeti fur. No Yetis were harmed. Or shorn.
Is a Yeti related to a Wild Thing?
The ’60s were a wild time, man. It’s not good to ask too many questions.
[Note: See my personal tale of self-defense against overwhelming forces of evil here.)