Stories For Ways and Means Ft. Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Frank Black, Jim James, Kathleen Hanna + More

Ten years ago, Jeff Antebi, the founder of Waxploitation, had the idea to ask his favorite musical artists and contemporary painters to come together and collaborate on original children’s stories to benefit literacy programs, and an unprecedented literary mixtape was born. Today, thirty of those pairings have been compiled into a 350+ page book called Stories for Ways & Means.


Stories for Ways & Means includes original, never-before-seen stories by Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Frank Black, Justin Vernon, Laura Marling, Devendra Banhart, Alison Mosshart and Kathleen Hanna, as well as exclusive artwork from painters/illustrators like Anthony Lister, Dan Baldwin, Swoon, Will Barras, James Jean, Ronzo, Kai & Sunny and more.

Is Stories for Ways & Means truly a children’s book? Yes, if those children are over 17 years of age. It features outré art, strange images, graphic displays of nasty stuff, and cuss words.

In addition to the physical book, there will also be an suite of incredible animations that bring the stories to life in vivid, wonderous fashion. The animations bring together even more well-known collaborators, featuring Danny DeVito, Zach Galifianakis, Nick Offerman, Phil LaMarr, King Krule, Joey Bada$$, and Lauren Lapkus as narrators. Today, the animated story “Oslo and Plum”, written by Jim James of My Morning Jacket, read by Phil Lamar, and illustrated by Jacob Escobedo, can be viewed via Pitchfork.

Stories for Ways & Means will be available as a limited edition, hand numbered, gorgeous hard cover book. The first edition is available on a first come, first serve basis and can be preordered now at

Proceeds from sales of the book will benefit Room to Read and Pencils for Promise, two non-profits working to build schools in some of the poorest regions of the world in order to teach children to read and write. Help us empower the next generation of creatives by spreading the word of this amazing, once in a lifetime project!


Stories for Ways & Means Table of Contents

“Doug the Bug”
written by Frank Black, illustrated by Kai & Sunny, narrated by Danny DeVito

“The Old Oak Tree”
written by Laura Marling, illustrated by Maria Rivans, narrated by Lauren Lapkus

“Fishing with Music”
written by Amadou Bagayoko, illustrated by Will Barras

“Watch How You Talk to People”
written by Del the Funky Homosapien, illustrated by Ronzo, narrated by Phil LaMarr

“Right on Rosie”
written by Spencer Krug, illustrated by Sepe, narrated by Spencer Krug

“Penelope and the Succulent”
written by John Vanderslice, illustrated by James Jean

“The Next Big Thing”
written by Gibby Haynes, illustrated by Daniel Anum Jasper, narrated by Zach Galifianakis

“The Cliff”
written by Alec Empire, illustrated by Lidia de Pedro, narrated by Alec Empire

“The Girls Running Club”
written by Kathleen Hanna, illustrated by Clare Rojas

“La BaNerita”
written by Devendra Banhart, illustrated by Daniel Mun-Oz “San”, narrated by Lizzo

“Trickster and Warrior”
written by Eugene Hutz, illustrated by Candice Tripp

“The Tiny Trumpet Player from Melody”
written by Manuel “Guajiro” Mirabal, illustrated by Herakut

“Me and Matt’s Golden Husks”
written by Justin Vernon, illustrated by Sage Vaughn, narrated by Nick Offerman

“A Boy Named Tim”
written by Elliphant, illustrated by Carlin Diaz, narrated by Elliphant

“How to Escape from a Wasp”
written by Micachu, illustrated by Kirsty Whiten, narrated by King Krule

“The Lonely Giant”
written by Nick Cave, illustrated by Anthony Lister, narrated by Andre Royo

“Oslo and Plum”
written by Jim James, illustrated by Jacob Escobedo, narrated by Phil LaMarr

“Snow Cap Mountain”
written by Song Yuzhe, illustrated by Asha Zero

“Wishing Well Fountain”
written by Alison Mosshart, illustrated by Dan Baldwin, narrated by Alison Mosshart

“Little Hollywood”
written by Satomi Matsuzaki (Deerhoof), illustrated by Kyotaro, narrated by Satomi Matsuzaki

“The Chickadees of Highway 3”
written by Jason Lytle, illustrated by Heisuke Kitazawa (“PCP”), narrated by Jason Lytle

“Marglytta (Jellyfish)”
written by Örvar Smarason, illustrated by Loa Hjalmtysdottir, narrated by Örvar Smarason

“Death to Boys”
written by Will Oldham, illustrated by Swoon, narrated by Vivian Bang

“Merle is a Fat Orange Cat”
written by Sera Cahoone, illustrated by David Bray, narrated by Sera Cahoone

“The Very Tall Tree”
written by Gary Numan, illustrated by Cinta Vidal, narrated by Gary Numan

“Never Give Up”
written by Earnest Ranglin, illustrated by Dave Kinsey

written by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, illustrated by Joe Coleman, narrated by Joey Bada$$

“Two Bears”
written by Matthew and Jennifer Dear, illustrated by Josie Morway, narrated by Matthew Dear

“The Little Boy and the Glowing Globe”
written by Anna and Maria von Hausswolff, illustrated by Alessia Iannetti, narrated by Anna von Hausswolff

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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