The biggest graphic novel of 2024 was just announced: Dog Man: Big Jim Begins, the 13th volume in Dav Pilkey’s record shattering series will release on December 3rd, with the Dog Man animated feature to follow in January.

Dog Man: Big Jim Begins will reveal the origin story of the cast, Pilkey says. “With this new book, I wanted to share the origin story of my characters, as readers get to know more about Big Jim—a character who is playful, kind, overly optimistic and often misunderstood, and who sometimes gets into trouble despite having the best intentions. Since the pandemic, I’ve been writing and illustrating books in the Dog Man and Cat Kid Comic Club series which has been a satisfying yet solitary experience. I’m grateful to all my readers—kids and their families as well as educators–who have sent me letters and messages of encouragement. Their support and enthusiasm have inspired me to keep making books. I am truly humbled and honored.”

Dog Man #12, Dog Man: The Scarlet Shedder, cam out in March, has been one of the biggest books of the year already, with more than 735,162 copies sold already, according to Circana Bookscan. Scarlet Shredder presented some sharp commentary on AI and social media and debuted at #1 – and it went on to spend five weeks as the bestselling book overall (adult and children’s books combined) in North America and topped bestseller lists around the world.

More than 60 million Dog Man books are in print, and the popular pooch has been translated into 47 languages.

“For nearly four decades, Dav Pilkey has been delighting kids with books that ignited their passion for reading,” said Ellie Berger, President of Scholastic Trade. “With Dog Man, Dav has created a vast universe featuring characters that kids can relate to and stories that make them laugh and clamor for more. There isn’t anything in the industry that has reached this level of success and fandom that Dog Man has achieved in seven short years. The massive impact of Dav Pilkey’s books cannot be overstated, and we couldn’t be more proud to be his publisher and help bring these books to the hands of kids everywhere.”

And with great success comes an animated film: The Dog Man animated film has been in the works for a while, opening in January. Says director Peter Hastings (Kung Fu Panda, Animaniacs, The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants)  “What I found so compelling about Dog Man is that it transcends culture and language, connecting and uniting kids and families everywhere with stories about friendship, love, bravery, empathy, epic adventures…and of course, a lot of humor. All of us at DreamWorks Animation are thrilled to once again be partnering with the incredibly talented Dav Pilkey and the team at Scholastic to bring Dog Man to the big screen–an iconic character known all over the world.”

And here’s some fast facts about the Dog Man cast: