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Dav Pilkey
Pilkey at a book event in 2018
Pilkey at a book event in 2018
Born David Murray Pilkey Jr.
(1966-03-04) March 4, 1966 (age 58)
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Pen name Dav Pilkey
George Beard and Harold Hutchins
Sue Denim
  • Author
  • illustrator
  • cartoonist
Genre Children's literature, comedy.
Notable works Dragon series
Captain Underpants series
Dog Man series
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot series
Dumb Bunnies series
Years active 1987–present
Sayuri Pilkey
(m. 2005)


David Murray "Dav" Pilkey Jr. ( born March 4, 1966) is an American cartoonist, author, and illustrator of children's literature. He is best known as the author and illustrator of the children's book series, Captain Underpants, and its spin-off children's graphic novel series Dog Man, the latter published under the respective writer and illustrator pen names of George Beard and Harold Hutchins, which are also the names of the two protagonists of the Captain Underpants series.

Life and career

Dav Pilkey (48904578632)
Pilkey speaks in 2019.

Pilkey was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on March 4, 1966, to the Reverend David Pilkey, Sr. and Barbara who was the church organist. He has one older sister. Pilkey was brought up in a conservative Christian household and went to Christian schools throughout his life.

Pilkey was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia as a child. In elementary school in Elyria, Ohio, Pilkey was frequently reprimanded for his behavior in class and thus usually sat at a desk in the school hallway, where he created the Captain Underpants character. In 1987, Pilkey wrote his first book, World War Won, an allegorical fable inspired by the nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union, in a national competition for student authors and won in his age category. The book's publication in 1987 was included in the award.

The atypical spelling of his first name came when the "e" in "Dave" was left off his name tag while working at Pizza Hut.

Pilkey graduated from Kent State University. He married Sayuri Pilkey in 2005.

The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby was published in 2002 and was Pilkey's first full complete graphic novel. It appeared at No. 6 on the USA Today bestseller list for all books, both adult and children's, and was also a New York Times bestselling book for Children's Middle Grade. The first Super Diaper Baby graphic novel was published with Scholastic years before Scholastic created the Graphix imprint.

Pilkey took a break from writing for a few years to care for his terminally ill father (who died on November 13, 2008), but in 2009 agreed with Scholastic to publish four new books. The first two are graphic novels: The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Cavemen From the Future, released on August 10, 2010; and Super Diaper Baby 2: Invasion of the Potty Snatchers, released on June 28, 2011. Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Re-turn of Tippy Tinkletrousers was released on August 28, 2012, Captain Underpants and the Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers was released on January 15, 2013, Captain Underpants and the Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo Toilet 2000 was released on August 26, 2014, and Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot was released on August 25, 2015. Additionally, twelve Dog Man novels have been published since August 30, 2016.

Pilkey and his wife live on Bainbridge Island, Washington.

On March 25, 2021, Dav Pilkey announced on his YouTube channel that he and Scholastic would cease further publication of the book The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, and would remove it from retailers and libraries due to some characters in the book being stereotypes. Pilkey stated that he intended to showcase diversity, equality, and non-violent conflict resolution. He also stated that even unintentional and passive stereotypes are harmful to everyone. Pilkey will donate his entire advance, past, and future royalties from the book to organizations promoting diversity that are designed to stop violence against Asians.


Dragon series

  • Dragon Gets By (1991)
  • A Friend For Dragon (1991)
  • Dragon's Merry Christmas (1991)
  • Dragon's Fat Cat (1992)
  • Dragon's Halloween (1993)

The Dragon series was originally published with Orchard Books. Scholastic then reprinted the series in 2019. Dav Pilkey used watercolors purchased at a local grocery store to paint the illustrations in these books. The series became a stop-motion animation TV show with 78 episodes from 2004 to 2007.

Dumb Bunnies

  • The Dumb Bunnies (1994)
  • The Dumb Bunnies' Easter (1995)
  • Make Way for Dumb Bunnies (1996)
  • The Dumb Bunnies Go to the Zoo (1997)

Pilkey authored The Dumb Bunnies series using the pseudonym, Sue Denim.

Captain Underpants

Captain Underpants spin-offs

  • The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby (February 5, 2002)
  • The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future (August 10, 2010)
  • Super Diaper Baby 2: Invasion of the Potty Snatchers (June 28, 2011)

Pilkey authored the Super Diaper Baby books and Ook and Gluk under the pseudonyms George Beard and Harold Hutchins, to be authentic to the book's theme.

Dog Man

Dog Man is also a spin-off of Captain Underpants.

  • Dog Man (August 30, 2016)
  • Dog Man: Unleashed (December 27, 2016)
  • Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties (August 29, 2017)
  • Dog Man and Cat Kid (December 26, 2017)
  • Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas (August 28, 2018)
  • Dog Man: Brawl of the Wild (December 24, 2018)
  • Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls (August 13, 2019)
  • Dog Man: Guide to Making Comics in 3D (October 1, 2019)
  • Dog Man: Fetch-22 (December 10, 2019)
  • Dog Man: Grime and Punishment (September 1, 2020)
  • Dog Man: Mothering Heights (March 23, 2021)
  • Dog Man: Twenty Thousand Fleas Under The Sea (March 28th, 2023)
  • Dog Man: The Scarlet Shedder (March 19th, 2024)

Cat Kid Comic Club

  • Cat Kid Comic Club (December 1, 2020)
  • Cat Kid Comic Club: Perspectives (November 30, 2021)
  • Cat Kid Comic Club: On Purpose (April 12, 2022)
  • Cat Kid Comic Club: Collaborations (November 29, 2022)
  • Cat Kid Comic Club: Influencers (November 28, 2023)

Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot

  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot (2000)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Mutant Mosquitoes from Mercury (2000)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Voodoo Vultures from Venus (2001)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Mecha Monkeys from Mars (2002)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Jurassic Jackrabbits from Jupiter (2002)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Stupid Stinkbugs from Saturn (2003)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Uranium Unicorns from Uranus (2005)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Naughty Night Crawlers from Neptune (2016)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Un-Pleasant Penguins from Pluto (2016)
  • Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot Astro-Activity Book o' Fun (2000)

Big Dog & Little Dog

  • Big Dog and Little Dog Getting in Trouble (1997)
  • Big Dog and Little Dog Wearing Sweaters (1998)
  • Big Dog and Little Dog Making a Mistake (1999)
  • The Complete Adventures of Big Dog and Little Dog (1999)

Other books

  • World War Won (1987)
  • Don't Pop Your Cork on Mondays (1988) Illustrator only
  • 'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving (1990)
  • The Place Nobody Stopped (1991) Illustrator only
  • Julius (1993)
  • Kat Kong (1993)
  • Dogzilla (1993)
  • Dog Breath!: The Horrible Trouble With Hally Tosis (1994)
  • The Moonglow Roll-O-Rama (1995)
  • The Hallo-Wiener (1995)
  • When Cats Dream (1996)
  • God Bless the Gargoyles (1996)
  • The Paperboy (1996)
  • The Silly Gooses (1998)
  • Comics Squad: Recess! (2014) contributor as author/illustrator for this anthology
  • Guys Read: Terrifying Tales (2015) contributor as author/illustrator for this anthology
  • One Today (2015) illustrator only


  • 1986: The National Written and Illustrated by... Awards Contest for Students, ages 14–19 category, World War Won
  • 1997: Caldecott Honor Award, The Paperboy
  • 1998: California Young Reader Medal, Dog Breath!: The Horrible Trouble with Hally Tosis, published in 1994
  • 2007: Disney Adventures Kids' Choice Awards, The Captain Underpants series
  • 2016: Milner Award, The favorite children's book author,
  • 2019: Person of the Year Award from Publishers Weekly
  • 2019: Comic Industry Person of the Year

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Dav Pilkey para niños

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