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Odyssey Acquires Rights to "Hank the Cowdog"
Odyssey Acquires Rights to "Hank the Cowdog"   | amar_txbz, dal_ftw_txbz, Odyssey, Hank The Cowdog, John R. Erickson,

Texas Business reports:  DALLAS—Odyssey Pictures Corporation, a publicly traded media and entertainment company, has acquired the screenplay and feature film rights of the children's literary franchise, "Hank the Cowdog," from Rising Star Studios. 

Odyssey plans to produce the property as an animated feature film.

“Hank the Cowdog,” written by John R. Erickson, is a highly successful series of 58 humorous children's mystery novels and audios based on the adventures of Hank, the smelly, smart-aleck canine Head of Ranch Security on a Texas Panhandle cattle ranch. 

The series has sold more than 7.5 million copies, is a Book-of-the-Month selection and is the winner of a 1993 “Audie” for Outstanding Children's Series from the Audio Publisher's Association.  In fact, the franchise is the longest running popular children's audio book series to date and is especially popular with schools and libraries. 

Publishers Weekly has called the series a "grassroots publishing phenomena," and USA Today referred to it as "the best family entertainment in years."

“We are proud to be associated with such a hugely successful property,” said Odyssey's chief executive John Foster.  “We're confident that the animated feature version of 'Hank the Cowdog' will be a natural extension of the franchise and a big winner at the box office.”

“It's an exciting time for us to see the beginning of 'Hank' finally making his appearance on the big screen,” said author John R. Erickson.  “We've been approached by producers before, but Odyssey impressed us with their understanding of the genre and their solid sales and marketing strategy.”

A former cowboy and ranch manager, Mr. Erickson is gifted with a storyteller's knack for spinning a yarn. He graduated from the University of Texas in 1966 and studied for two years at Harvard Divinity School. He began to publish short stories in 1967 while working full-time as a cowboy, farmhand, and ranch manager in Texas and Oklahoma.

Hank and his sidekick, Drover, are dogs Erickson worked with on the range. This mixture of true-life experience, fun, and adventure has gained Hank a loyal following among both children and adults.  "Hank the Cowdog" series of books and audios is currently published by Maverick Books Inc., based in Perryton, Texas.

Initially an entertainment company focusing on financing and distribution of first run feature films, Odyssey has adapted its business model to become a diversified media/marketing services company.  The company's lines of business now encompass producer's representative service, branding and marketing and IPTV digital delivery technologies.  Odyssey's producer's representative service provides an extensive suite of sales and marketing services to independent filmmakers seeking to gain traction in the international distribution and rights markets.  Services include international sales, contract negotiation, marketing materials, strategic planning and completion financing.