YouTube Star Toby Turner Turns Web Series Into Three-Book Deal

The comedian will take his illustrated cartoon about a child trapped in a man's body from the web to the page in an illustrated journal-style trilogy.

Most adaptations start as a book and then are brought to life in film. Zany and exuberant YouTube comedian Toby Turner will take the opposite approach.

Turner has signed a three-book deal with Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins, to turn his animated web series “Tobuscus Animated Adventures” into an illustrated journal-style series of the same name.

“I’m excited to bring my characters to life in book form,” Turner said. “Reading is what people did before YouTube, and I love retro stuff!”

The first novel will be published in hardcover next fall, with the second and third to follow in summer 2016 and winter 2017.

The Mississippi-born YouTube personality has ascended to viral fame through his comedic videos. He has racked up just more than 14 million subscribers across his three channels, with nearly six million for his revue-style channel Tobuscus, which features videos ranging from parodies of movie trailers to humorous songs to sketches that trap him in commercials.

Turner’s hit cartoon series “Tobuscus Animated Adventures” is illustrated pseudo-anime and follows two characters: the clueless but cheerful peter pan Tobuscus and his mature, long-suffering companion Gabuscus. Launched in late 2011, the eight-episode series averages 10 million viewers per episode.

In each episode, the perennially bored Tobuscus seeks an adventure. Although Tobuscus’ crazy antics go against Gabuscus’ better judgment, they always pan out -- but they wreak destruction and havoc in the process.

In the YouTube series, Tobuscus is buds with President Obama, time travels and saves the world from zombies. In the book series due out next year, fans can anticipate the protagonist’s encounters with villains, video games and new technology. Also featured in the book are the series’ recurring characters, Gryphon the shih tzu and First Fan/Hot Assistant.

The books, which will be edited by Jill Davis, also will be released in e-book and paperback.  

Catch the first episode below: