Latest Dog Man sells 903,000 copies in just four months

Dog Man: Mothering Heights
(Image credit: Graphix)

Update: Dav Pilkey's Dog Man: Mothering Heights continues to lead the way for bringing comics to the general public, as this original graphic novel has sold 903,000 copies since its March 2021 debut according to NPD Bookscan.

Dog Man: Mothering Heights was the #1 book in North America the week it came out with 236k copies sold, and continues to remain strong - sitting at the #10 spot as of July 17.

Additionally, Pilkey's other comics continue to be strong sellers with 2.1 million copies sold from his back catalog including the Dog Man series, the Captain Underpants franchise, and his earlier books.

Original story follows

Dav Pilkey's Dog Man: Mothering Heights has sold 236,000 copies in its first week of release according to a report from the NPD Group, making it the best-selling book in North America - comics or not. That's a repeat, as the previous volume, Dog Man: Grime and Punishment, was also the #1 book in North America when it was released in September 2020.

"It's undoubtedly difficult to keep a universe so sprawling feeling fresh and new, but Pilkey has managed to find a formula that keeps George and Harold's world engaging and relatable no matter what hijinks Dog Man and friends are getting up to," Newsarama's C.K. Stewart wrote about Dog Man: Mothering Heights in his review.

The reliable success of Pilkey's Dog Man series underscores a healthy booktrade market according to the NPD, with sales surges to a degree only expected during the Christmas holidays.

(Image credit: Dav Pilkey/Jose Garibaldi/Aaron Polk/Corey Barba (Scholastic Graphix))

"The U.S. book market had a very strong week, adding more than 1 million units over the previous week," NPD Group's executive editor Kristen McLean says in its report. "This rise was driven largely by juvenile sales heading into Easter week, bringing the year-to-date (YTD) increase to 26% over 2020, and 27% over 2019, on a YTD volume of 187.5M units. That's an increase of nearly 39M units over 2020."

"In some ways, 2021 is turning out to be just as volatile as 2020, but in the opposite direction," McLean continues. "Last week we saw 17M units flow through NPD BookScan. Typically, we would not see that volume until the ramp-up to holiday buying in November. This is the fourth time we have crossed 16M in weekly volume in 2021."

The perennial OGN The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy continues to do well, rising to be the ninth-best-selling book in North America this past week. 1.4m million copies of that 2019 book have been sold to date.

"It's not simply a question of coming against a challenging year — now the big questions have to do with how long we will sustain this accelerated volume, and how complex changes in channel shifting and long-term behavior will impact 2021 and 2022," adds Maclean. "In other words, maybe it's not about getting back to normal, but about understanding the "new normal" as it emerges in 2021, in books and beyond."

The previous volume, Dog Man: Grime and Punishment, sold 1.25 million copies in just four months.

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)