Mike ‘Raygun’ Draper Rocks Midwest Book


The Midwest: God’s Gift to Planet Earth! flew under the radar of too many readers in 2012.

It’s not too late.

Back in 2005, Mike Draper opened RAYGUN in Des Moines, Iowa. T-shirts sloganed for Iowa subversives let him laugh himself into a business powerhouse. I became a fast fan. Why fritter away on Twitter, when the same terse humor can create walking billboards advertising your snarky brilliance?

Therefore, I was a bit dubious learning that Draper and his creative sidekicks were planning a book. Too much? Too big?

To the contrary. Raygun rocks all 240 pages of this tongue-in-cheek tribute to 11 overlooked states. With the sarcastic elegance of The Daily Show, the Raygun gang stuffed tons of Midwestern trivia and telling facts between their pokes at high fructose corn syrup and other geographical sins.

State chapter titles range from “Indiana: The Midwest’s Redneck Cousin” to Nebraska: L. Ron Hubbard Tested, Marlon Brando Approved.” Page-margin sidebars list Midwestern birthplaces of the rich and famous. Attractive cartoons give added punch to the satire.

Draper and company prove that there’s nothing funnier than the truth. Behave yourselves Midwesterners…Raygun is ready to crank out a mocking T-shirt or smart-ass sequel to expose your questionable deeds.

I can’t wait.

Best of all, the Raygunners have avoided corporate America. Instead of selling its soul to the online retailers, Raygun weaved a web of indie bookstores and supportive shops willing to peddle the paperback. (Although an e-book option is available, too.) They didn’t wait on sluggish mainstream publishers and other slow-motion snails of commerce.

These Iowan contemporaries picked themselves.

Dabble in this Midwestern mirth-making at Raygun’s website.


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