Is Cat Kid Comic Club the New Dog Man? Exploring Dav Pilkey’s Latest Graphic Novel Series

Introducing Cat Kid Comic Club

Cat Kid Comic Club is a graphic novel series by author and illustrator Dav Pilkey, best known for his Captain Underpants and Dog Man series. The series follows a group of friends who form the Cat Kid Comic Club and create their own comic books together.

The first Cat Kid Comic Club book was published in 2021 and introduced the main characters Li’l Petey, Flippy, Molly and Melvin. Subsequent books have continued their adventures and comics creations. As of early 2023, there are four books in the Cat Kid Comic Club main series.

The graphic novels are presented as a story-within-a-story, showing both the everyday lives of the Cat Kid Comic Club members as well as excerpts from the comics they create together. The books combine Pilkey’s recognizable art style and humor with an emphasis on creativity, collaboration and the power of storytelling.

Author Dav Pilkey

dav pilkey is the author behind the cat kid comic club series

Dav Pilkey is the author and illustrator behind the Cat Kid Comic Club series. Pilkey was born in 1966 in Cleveland, Ohio. As a child, he was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia, which led to him acting out in class. His teachers had him sit in the hallway nearly every day as punishment [1]. Pilkey used his time in the hallway to draw, which sparked his passion for illustrating. He eventually created his own comic books as a child featuring a hero that had ADHD just like him. Pilkey continued honing his skills and eventually wrote and illustrated the Captain Underpants book series which propelled him into fame as a children’s book creator. He is now best known as the author behind the hugely popular Dog Man and Cat Kid Comic Club series [2].

Original Cat Kid Comic Club Book

The first book in the Cat Kid Comic Club series is simply titled Cat Kid Comic Club. It was written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey and published in 2021. The book follows second-grader Li’l Petey, whose alter-ego is Cat Kid. Lil’ Petey loves to draw and create his own comics, and he wants to share his passion with his friends the frogs. So he starts the Cat Kid Comic Club to teach the frogs how to make their own comics.

The book shows Lil’ Petey and his friends, including Flippy the Fish and Molly the Mole, teaching a group of 21 baby frogs how to create comics using their own unique strengths and talents. Each frog creates their own comic character that highlights something special about themselves. The frogs run into some challenges while learning to work together and create stories, but under the guidance of Lil’ Petey and the Comic Club they persevere.

The book has the look and feel of a graphic novel, reflecting Petey’s love of the artform. The main narrative of Petey teaching the frogs is told through comic panels. Interspersed between chapters are full-page examples of the comics created by the frogs, showing off their developing skills.

Overall the first Cat Kid Comic Club book establishes the good-natured characters, tone, and quest to nurture young artists. As Lil’ Petey says, “Comics can change the world…one smile at a time!”

the first cat kid comic club book establishes the characters and tone

Sequel Books

The original Cat Kid Comic Club book launched in 2021. Since then, Pilkey has published additional sequels in the series including Cat Kid Comic Club: Perspectives in 2022 and Cat Kid Comic Club: On Purpose also in 2022. Two more sequels are planned for 2023 – Cat Kid Comic Club: Collaborations and Cat Kid Comic Club: Influencers according to an article on Toppsta.com (https://toppsta.com/books/series/44645/cat-kid-comic-club). As of early 2023, there are 3 published books in the Cat Kid Comic Club series with 2 more slated for release later in the year.

Recurring Characters

The main recurring characters throughout the Cat Kid Comic Club series are Naomi, Melvin, Birdie, Li’l Petey, Molly and Flippy. Naomi is the founder and president of the Cat Kid Comic Club, a creative young cat who loves to draw comics. Melvin is Naomi’s best friend, a timid mouse who grows more confident through the club. Birdie is a bird who loves jokes, Li’l Petey is a curious baby alligator, Molly is a seemingly lazy but brilliant mole, and Flippy is Naomi’s fun-loving dolphin pal. Together, this diverse group of friends learns about collaboration, storytelling and believing in themselves while creating their own comics. Their friendship and creativity are at the heart of each Cat Kid Comic Club book.

Sources:

https://dog-man.fandom.com/wiki/Category:Cat_Kid_Comic_Club_characters

Graphic Novel Format

the series utilizes the popular graphic novel format

The Cat Kid Comic Club series is published in the popular graphic novel format (https://www.scholastic.com/content/site/pilkey/dav-pilkey-at-home/cat-kid-comic-club-series.html/). Graphic novels combine sequential panel art and text bubbles to tell stories in a comic book style. The illustrations are in full color and the books typically focus on a continuous story arc over multiple volumes. Graphic novels originally emerged as long-form comic books marketed to adults, but over time the format expanded to all ages.

Cat Kid Comic Club utilizes traditional graphic novel elements like panels, speech bubbles, bold colors, and dynamic layouts. This visual format supports the creativity, humor, and fun at the heart of the series. The graphic novel style helps make the books appealing and accessible to young readers, while allowing Pilkey to showcase his talents as both an author and illustrator.

Themes and Style

Common themes in the Cat Kid Comic Club series include the celebration of imagination and creativity, as well as the importance of friendship and believing in oneself. The characters deal with issues like insecurity, failure, and bullying in a positive way by supporting each other and persevering with their comic creations. According to one review, “Through the failures and successes of the young frogs, Cat Kid Comic Club demonstrates to young readers that support and validation are rewards of friendship.” (source).

The art style is described as “zany, colorful, and over-the-top” with very expressive characters and energetic visual humor (Scholastic). Author Dav Pilkey draws much of the inspiration from his own childhood and experiences with ADHD and dyslexia. As described in one review, “Dav’s stories are semi-autobiographical and explore universal themes that celebrate friendship, empathy, and the triumph of the good-hearted” (source).

Target Audience

the books target elementary school-aged children

The Cat Kid Comic Club books are primarily aimed at elementary school-aged children, approximately ages 7-10. Author Dav Pilkey has said in interviews that he wrote the series for “reluctant readers” looking for a fun, engaging story (Source). The simple language, large font, illustrations and graphic novel format appeal to young readers who may struggle with longer chapter books.

The books are popular among elementary school teachers and librarians looking for titles to motivate kids to read more. While the content is generally suitable for ages 7 and up, some parents feel the humor is more appropriate for older elementary school kids. There are occasional edgier jokes that reference violent themes like murder, which have caused concern (Source). Overall the books are considered classics that inspire kids to freely create their own stories and art.

Reviews and Reception

Cat Kid Comic Club has received very positive reviews from professional publications. Common Sense Media gave the book 4 out of 5 stars, calling it a “quick read with enough advanced vocabulary words sprinkled in to offer a challenge, and the illustrations are fast, colorful, and fun.” (source)

On Goodreads, Cat Kid Comic Club currently has an average rating of 4.32 out of 5 stars based on over 31,000 ratings. It is praised for its fun illustrations, relatable characters, and creativity. As one Goodreads reviewer wrote, “This is a great graphic novel that encourages kids to embrace their creativity.” (source)

The book also has very positive reviews from customers on Amazon, with 83% giving it 5 stars. Reviewers call it “absolutely adorable” and “hilarious,” with engaging characters and illustrations. Some parents mention their kids “couldn’t put it down.” (source)

Overall the professional reviews and user ratings indicate Cat Kid Comic Club is an entertaining, creative book that appeals to kids because of its relatable characters, fun format, and creativity-inspired message.

Verdict on Series

In conclusion, Cat Kid Comic Club is an ongoing graphic novel series created by bestselling children’s author Dav Pilkey (https://www.scholastic.com/content/site/pilkey/dav-pilkey-at-home/cat-kid-comic-club-series.html/). The first book in the series, Cat Kid Comic Club, was published in 2021 and introduces a group of friends who create their own comic books together. Since then, Pilkey has published several sequel books continuing the adventures of this lovable group of characters.

With new Cat Kid Comic Club installments being published regularly, often multiple times per year, it’s clear this is an ongoing graphic novel series. Fans can expect to see many more hilarious, creative tales from the Cat Kid Comic Club for years to come.

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