Hey Hank Fans!
Many of you probably know that Hank made his literary debut into the pages of The Cattleman magazine in the 1980s, but you might not know what an honor it was! At that time, the magazine didn't publish any fiction at that time but made an exception for Hank's hilarious antics.
Hope you enjoy reading a bit of Hank's history!
From the article:
Perhaps the most celebrated writer in the magazine’s history was J. Frank Dobie, author of the Texas classic The Longhorns. He wrote for The Cattleman from 1926 to 1960, Brisendine said. Dobie died in 1964.
The most successful writer, though, might be John Erickson, creator of the Hank the Cowdog series of books and tapes. A Harvard Divinity School-educated cowboy who wrote in his spare time, Erickson started publishing in The Cattleman in the 1970s — technical stories about ranching and cows, he said — and got his first Hank story in the magazine in the early 1980s. It was fiction, but based on a real dog he had known.
“The Cattleman did not publish fiction,” Erickson said in a recent interview. “Dale Segraves [the editor at the time] did not say a word about it.”
Hank is the self-proclaimed head of security on a ranch, a canine Inspector Clouseau with a penchant for creative wordsmithing as he narrates his misadventures. “Hank the Cowdog has never aspired to ordinarity,” Hank once said.
Three decades after the dog’s debut, there are more than 60 Hank books and a couple of dozen other books from Erickson. He said more than 8 million of his books and tapes have been sold. Hank’s adventures have been serialized in The Cattleman as well as The News and performed by theater groups in North Texas and elsewhere.
Erickson, 70, owns a ranch near Perryton and is a member of the association that publishes The Cattleman."
Read the full story in "The Dallas News"