The New York Times looks at Jeff Kinney’s “Wimpy Kid” blockbuster status:

The franchise has been a sleeper hit for Amulet Books, an imprint of Harry N. Abrams, and for the author, Jeff Kinney, who started it as a series of online cartoons on the Web site FunBrain.com. The first book, published in 2007 and billed as a “novel in cartoons,” has spent 89 weeks on The New York Times’s children’s best-seller list and has been translated into 28 languages. According to the publisher, there are 10 million copies in print of the first two books and a third title, a do-it-yourself version that lets children write their own story. A “Wimpy Kid” movie is being cast. The latest book, “The Last Straw,” is being introduced Jan. 13 with a printing of a million copies.

Published on lined paper in the form of journal entries, the books tell in pitch-perfect voice of Greg’s hilarious and mortifying adventures at home and school. Greg, who is finely attuned to social pecking orders, writes that he is “around 52nd or 53rd most popular this year.” He is also lazy and manipulative, always choosing to do what is expedient rather than what is right — qualities that place him somewhere on the continuum between Dennis the Menace and Bart Simpson, and make him so appealing to readers 8 to 12 years old, especially boys.

1 COMMENT

  1. This is truly an amazing story. This is good news for all. If you have a parody of Wimpy Kid on Mad, you have made it. You don’t always need sex and gore to sell books. The simple things in life sell better. It’s always better to write about what you know and then what you don’t. I am really happy for Jeff. Kudos to all involved. This is a perfect example of Internet content making a big impact as printed material. A good business plan if you have the right formula.

  2. yes, kudos to jeff for these amazingly fun books and the same to abram’s honcho charlie kochman, who i understand discovered jeff at the new york comic con!

  3. Congrats to Charlie Kochman former editor at DC Comics, who was under appreciated there but scored BIG at Abrams with a category that has been completely elusive for DC Comics. Revenge of the Nerd more ways than one.

    Wimpy Kid books are great by the way!

  4. Wimpy Kid is HUGE in libraries and in schools. The first two books completely sold out at last year’s book fair in my school, and I’m looking forward to having ALL the Wimpy Kid books (4, including the DIY) in this year’s book fair, which I’m holding next month. I say thanks to Charlie Kochman for realizing Jeff Kinney’s stuff had great potential. And I can vouch for Jeff Kinney being a terrific, fun conversation partner; he can work on his laptop, keep up a conversation, and pay attention to everyone around him PLUS eat his lunch!

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