The Iron Guy, MANLY MAN that he is, doesn't mind expressing his opinions now and then, even though everyone may not agree. Therefore, a few years ago I brought up The Great Harry Potter Controversy. Some time after that I started The Great Greg Heffley Debate and once even started a Great Dan Gutman Question but answered it right away. Today I want to tread on some potentially dangerous ground because I want to discuss a set of books by an author that all boys everywhere not only love but can't get enough of.
That guy is, of course, Dav Pilkey.
And the books are the Dog Man series.
Now every reader guy in the whole country gets excited over Dav Pilkey's books. And with good reason. They have all the goofball humor that guys love. I recommended his Ricky Ricotta series a while back. I want to read his Ook and Glook series one day. (actually, he didn't write those; he illustrated them) And, of course, there's Captain Underpants. I don't care for them much mainly because George and Harold are disrespectful and not in a good way but boys love those books. Anyway, Dav Pilkey is always a hit with guys (and girls too) and his books are great fun and they're perfect to hand out to what the grownups call "reluctant readers" (I've always said that boys aren't reluctant to read; many of them just haven't found the right things yet), so when this new series came out I snapped them up right away.
Now, the premise of these books is that George and Harold made their own comics when they were in first grade and found them several years later. The comics were about a policeman and a dog who got caught by a bomb when it exploded. The solution was to graft the dog's head onto the policeman's body---that's how we got Dog Man. He can think and act like a policeman but still behave like a dog sometimes. A weird but funny idea and full of lots of comic possibilities. Some grownups think so too. Here's what the School Library Journal said about the third book in the series:
Madcap action and general silliness abound on every page. The book is filled with laugh-out-loud situations, puns, delightful Flip-o-Rama animations, and a lot of licking and chewing on furniture-enough to keep even the most jaded young reader enthralled. VERDICT Pilkey has done it again. This latest installment is just as "supa" funny and irreverent as the first two volumes in the series. Sure to be popular, it's a great choice for elementary school graphic novel collections and of particular interest to reluctant readers and fans of the series.
I'ts not because the stories aren't funny; it's because of that six-year-old artwork. Remember, George and Harold wrote and illustrated these comics when they were in the first grade--when they were six. What were your pictures like when you were six? Yep, really, really simple. Now, it's cute when a six-year-old draws a picture. People love them and grownups put them on refrigerator doors. So, one six-year-old picture is nice but a whole graphic novel full of them? It gets old really fast. I enjoyed the first half of the first Dog Man graphic novel but had had to make myself read the second half. I couldn't finish the second Dog man gn. Now if Mr. Pilkey had done these gn's in his usual artwork, I would have have enjoyed them a lot more.
Of course, that's how I see it but the big question is--what do YOU think? Do you like these? A lot? Or do you, like me, find them boring? But listen up--this is the point at which I'd normally challenge all those who disagree with me to defend their positions. This was usually because I held an idea different from what most people think. Like with Harry Potter or Greg Heffley. (though I'm changing my mind on HP) But you know what? I haven't met anyone who held a strong opinion about the Dog Man series. So I guess can't stir up a Controversy or a Debate but maybe I could spark a Discussion. So what do you think? The DOG MAN graphic novels--are they great? Terrible? Somewhere in between? Put your thoughts in the Comments section below and I'll post them. Come on, everyone, and join in the Great Dog Man Discussion!
(btw, wasn't there a Captain Underpants movie last year? Did anyone actually see that movie?)