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How Emmy winner Andy Riley's tweet led to action parody comic Action Dude

It started out as a tweet

Cropped panels from interior of Action Dude
Image credit: Andy Riley

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Interior pages from Action Dude
Image credit: Andy Riley

Action Dude is a graphic novel for kids who love action - and humor. And it came from a place of love for action too, as cartoonist (who also happens to be an Emmy-award winning screenwriter for Veep) Andy Riley shared with Popverse in a pretty amazing story.

Read Action Dude's origin story (per Andy Riley) here:

"Action Dude is a 9-year-old who’s watched a whole lot of Dwayne Johnson movies - and decided that he’s a real-life action hero! He’s inspired by a lifelong love on action movies on my part, as well as the comics of my childhood. The whole point about heroes is that, just for a little time, we project ourselves on to them - and like magic, we become Luke Skywalker, or Black Panther, or Moana, or whoever we happen to be watching. When Action Dude finishes the book, movie or comic, he never quite settles back into normal life. He stays as the hero of his imagination.

The character began in the lockdowns of 2020. I’m also a writer for TV and movies - so, as no TV shows or movies were being made, for the first time in a long time I had truly idle weeks to fill. While doodling, I drew a little potato-shaped figure, who I decided looked like the actor Jason Statham.

Then I wrote a tweet which went:

1 like = 1 picture of Jason Statham doing something

… and for every ‘like’, I drew a new doodle of potato-Jason doing something fun or unusual.

Within a day, the tweet had picked up more than ten thousand likes. So I thought: okay, I’ve got something here. Then, thinking further: what if this guy isn’t really Jason Statham, but a boy who wants to be him? Boom! I had Action Dude."

If you're curious about that tweet and the many Jason Statham drawings that followed, here's the link.

Still not sold on Action Dude? Read our lengthy exclusive excerpt from Action Dude in the gallery below:

Action Dude is coming to bookshops on May 7, 2024. Pre-order your copy of Action Dude on Amazon, Bookshop.org, or Barnes & Noble.