The pulled Captain Underpants spinoff is a hot commodity on eBay, with prices skyrocketing after the news hit that Scholastic was recalling the book
The graphic novel spinoff from David "Dav" Pilkey's famous Captain Underpants series, The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, has become a hot seller on eBay after news hit that it was being pulled from the market by Pilkey and his publisher, Scholastic, due to the book containing "passive racism."
The conceit of The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, like the Captain Underpants books, is that the books are written and drawn by George Beard and Harold Hutchins, two fourth graders, and as a result, Pilkey tries to write and draw the books from that perspective. In the case of The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, the idea is that George and Harold are telling a "scientific" story based on facts that "scientists won't discover that until 2073" and thus their book is "the world's first book based on science facts".
As the cavemen travel through time, they learn kung fu from a man named Derrick Wong (they also meet his daughter, Lan Wong, who later marries Ook) in the 23rd Century. The scenes with Wong contain a number of racial stereotypes and they are why Pilkey and Scholastic have chosen to remove the book from the market. Pilkey explained that the book "contains harmful racial stereotypes” and is “wrong and harmful to my Asian readers.”
However, just like what happened when Dr. Seuss Enterprises pulled six Dr. Seuss books from the market due to racist imagery in the books (most of which were not popular at all. One of the books sold a total of two copies in the previous year), the secondary market had a feeding frenzy over the pulled book.
The Adventures of Ook and Gluk was a regular seller on eBay, as it was a fairly popular book, but copies were selling for $3 just a few days ago and once the news hit that it was pulled, the artificial lack of supply (and, again, this was a previously best-selling book, so there were obviously a lot of copies out there) led to an increased level of demand that has led to the books selling regularly for $60 and more, with some copies selling for as much as $175, with prices seemingly continuing to go up as time goes by.