By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
New ‘Dog Man’ Releases in the Dog Days of SummerThose who thought the big author tour had gone the way of the Hardy Boys will be glad to learn that in the run-up to the mid-August release of Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls, Scholastic has announced that author and illustrator Dav Pilkey “will be appearing at arenas, military bases, ballparks, theaters, schools, libraries, book fairs and festivals—including being a featured author at the China Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair.”
This is particularly heady stuff with Netflix announcing a third season of DreamWorks’ production The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants will premiere on Friday (July 19).
The “Do Good Tour” tour in support of the seventh Dog Man graphic novel plans focus primarily on the States and Asian venues, with a start on August 17 at the Mississippi Book Festival in Jackson. By November, Pilkey will be on the way to the Shanghai show, plus stops n Hong Kong and Mumbai. Dates in 2020 are to include Australian and Canadian stops.
And the “Do Good” part involves a tour campaign that urges readers “to give back and make a positive impact in their communities.” Readers are being asked to demonstrate ways they “do good” with images and videos on social media, hashtagged #DoGood, #DogMan, and #DavPilkey.
The book is to have a simultaneous international release August 13 in the United States, Canada, the UK and Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Asia.
The prolific Pilkey has No. 8 on the way, too. Dog Man: Fetch-22 is set to release on December 10.
In a prepared statement, the author-illustrator is quoted saying, “I feel incredibly lucky and excited to have the opportunity to meet readers across the country and around the world.
“I’m humbled and grateful for the support from booksellers, parents, and educators who are spreading the important message of doing good and bringing communities together to celebrate reading.”
And Scholastic Trade president Ellie Berger says, “The Dog Man ‘Do Good’ campaign highlights the power of Dav Pilkey and his amazing ability to connect with readers. Dav’s ongoing personal mission to give all kids access to books is inspiring.”
‘Dog Man: The Musical’
All this is backgrounded by Dog Man: The Musical, which is having its world premiere run in TheaterWorksUSA’s production at the Lucille Lortel ion New York City through August 4. Jen Wineman has directed, with a book and lyrics by Kevin Del Aguila and music by Brad Alexander.
In her review of the show for The New York Times, Laurel Graeber was largely complimentary—especially because she found it to be “a family show that makes adults laugh, too, She noted as her only qualm the fact that “all the really interesting characters are male,” adding, “Although the production features women in two major roles, they’re still playing guys.”
Scholastic’s media messaging includes statistical summaries including more than 80 million copies in print for Pilkey’s Captain Underpants series, with translations into at least 25 languages.
As far as the Dog Man books are concerned, Scholastic cites more than 23 copies in print so far, comprising the first six books in the series, which is about “a lovable canine superhero who’s part dog and part policeman.”
Pilkey has more than 60 titles on the market. A part of his personal story is his second-grade diagnosis of dyslexia and “what is now widely known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD),” as the Scholastic background for members of the media describes it.
“Because of his learning and behavioral issues in school,” the press materials remind us, “he was often sent out into the hallway by his teachers. It was in an elementary school hallway where Dav created comic books about superheroes who eventually became Dog Man and Captain Underpants.”
The Dog Man material was first published on 2016 and has been translated into at least 32 languages. Dog Man: Brawl of the Wild was released on December 24 with a first press run of 5 million copies.