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Profiled: Jeff Kinney and the impact of Wimpy Kid

Parade Magazine put “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” creator Jeff Kinney on the cover of Parade Magazine and profiled inside yesterday’s edition.

Kinney visited this same store four years ago to sign copies of the first Diary of a Wimpy Kid. At the time, no one knew whether a book based on a Web comic strip-written and drawn to look like the work of a middle-schooler whose mind-set is more Beavis and Butt-head than Hardy Boys-would find an audience. The publisher, Abrams, printed a modest 15,000 copies. At the signing, only 23 people showed up-all relatives from Kinney’s home state of Maryland.

Low turnouts are a thing of the past for Kinney. Thanks to word of mouth among young readers, his cartoon novel is now in its 71st printing and has spawned four sequels, two films (the second, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, opens March 25), and ancillary products such as games, puzzles, action figures, and pajamas. Over 47 million copies of the books are in print in the U.S. alone, and the volumes have been translated into 30 languages, including Spanish, Japanese, Greek, Hebrew, Thai, and German (in which the title is I’m Surrounded by Idiots, since there’s no German word for “wimpy”). A Wimpy Kid balloon even debuted in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade last year. “That was a real moment of joy, along with a feeling of ‘It can’t possibly get any bigger than this,'” Kinney says of watching a giant Greg sail over his and his family’s heads. “My life vacillates between absolutely ordinary and absolutely surreal.”

Community Comments

#1 daniemata
April/28/2011
@ 9:53 am

you are cool

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