The Bookseller – Rights – Scholastic unveils Dav Pilkey’s 11th Dog Man book


Scholastic has snapped up Dog Man: Twenty Thousand Fleas Under the Seathe 11th installment in graphic novelist Dav Pilkey’s bestselling series.

President of Scholastic trade Ellie Berger struck a deal for world rights with Amy Berkower at Writers House. The book will be published on 28th March 2023 simultaneously in the UK, Canada, US, Australia, New Zealand, and throughout Asia.

Twenty Thousand Fleas Under the Sea follows Mothering Heights, which was a number one UK and Ireland bestseller and was the US number one bestselling book overall in 2021, selling more than two million copies to date in the US alone, according to the publisher. In just over five years since launching, the publisher claims there are more than 50 million copies of the Dog Man books in print with translations in 42 languages. DreamWorks Animation is currently developing a movie adaptation of the series.

Pilkey, who is also the creator of series including Captain Underpants and Cat Kid Comic Club, has sold 4.8 million books for £28m in the UK through Nielsen BookScan, with The Adventures of Captain Underpants his bestseller, on 274,047 copies sold for the 2000 paperback. But Man was the top selling £1 fiction title for World Book Day in 2020, and Pilkey was the UK’s bestselling graphic novelist of 2021.

“I am humbled and grateful to do what I love for a living,” he said. “Since the pandemic began, I have been inspired to create even more stories and to learn and grow as an artist–from experimenting with various mediums to make comics using photography, poetry, and calligraphy, to building character models and sets by hand, as well as exploring different themes and storylines. My hope is that my books foster creativity and imagination, and instill a lifelong love of reading.”

In celebration of Pilkey’s success, the children’s educational publisher will be launching Dav Pilkey’s Epic Comic Club, a global online platform for children to create their own comics.

The platform opens with a message from Pilkey encouraging children to have fun making comics on a site where they can upload their stories in a moderated environment. The online hub includes free monthly downloadable activities including comic starters, customizable official membership cards, collectible character badges, previews and exclusive book news.

Captain Underpants will soon mark its 25th anniversary and Scholastic will publish a special anniversary edition of the first Captain Underpants book on 7th March 2023. The Adventures of Captain Underpants will feature a bonus 32-page new comic “mash-up” starring Dog Man and Captain Underpants in a new story.

“Dav is one of the most inspiring and creative storytellers of this generation and the anticipation and strong demand for his books has been extraordinary,” Berger said. “With the launch of Dav Pilkey’s Epic Comic Club we can’t wait to see kids’ creativity and imagination come to life in their own comics.”



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