An anime stan who goes by 'Bigolas Dickolas' on Twitter turned a queer sci-fi novel into a bestseller with one tweet. Now, they're hoping the same good fortune can be extended to their favorite manga.
Twitter user "bigolas dickolas wolfwood" appears to have bumped up a book's sales with a viral tweet.
Bigolas told Insider that they didn't expect their tweet to go so viral.
It's also thrust their current fandom, "Trigun," into the spotlight as well.
There's a new literary giant whose word seems to carry massive sway in the book-selling world: Bigolas Dickolas Wolfwood, a.k.a. @maskofbun on Twitter.
"read this. DO NOT look up anything about it. just read it. it's only like 200 pages u can download it on audible it's only like four hours. do it right now i'm very extremely serious," the 22-year-old Twitter user's May 7 tweet reads, accompanied by an image of Amar El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone's queer science fiction novel "This is How You Lose the Time War."
"*grabs you personally by the throat* you will do this. for me," they said in a follow-up tweet. "you will go to the counter at barnes and noble. you will buy this. i will be greatly rewarded."
—bigolas dickolas woIfwood (@maskofbun) May 7, 2023
Bigolas Dickolas Wolfwood's plea — nay, command — went viral. Days later, it has over 114,800 likes and approximately 79,300 bookmarks. Those numbers aren't the only impact, however: El-Mohtar, the author and a books columnist at the New York Times, has chronicled the real-time effect of the tweet in a thread of screenshots of the book climbing up Amazon's rankings. As of Thursday morning, the novel was sitting at #3 on the Amazon Best Sellers list.
In addition to the book's virality apparently leading to actual book sales, it's also led to Bigolas Dickolas — whose identity Insider has verified but who prefers to go by their Twitter handle, maskofbun, rather than their legal name — being thrust into the spotlight along with their primary fandom: Yasuhiro Nightow's seminal manga series, "Trigun."
Maskofbun's tweet represented the rare positive viral moment
When asked if they put much time or thought into crafting the promotional tweet that El-Mohtar said in an interview with Slate had "poetry to it," maskofbun's answer was a resounding, "hell no."
"I made it at 2 a.m.," they told Insider. "I was just really excited!"
While the 22-year-old had gone viral before, it had never been to quite this extent, or with quite this positive an outcome, they said.
El-Mohtar made similar comments to Slate, telling the publication that this particular wave of virality — and the spades of people saying how much they loved her book — felt different.
"Going down the replies was so lovely, in a way that has been very unfamiliar to me on Twitter for some time," she told Slate.
The agent representing El-Mohtar and her coauthor Gladstone told Kotaku that while they didn't have solid sales figures just yet in order to measure maskofbun's impact, all they knew was that "we've consistently been climbing the ranks on the sales charts since our new friend's post."
If we're talking about Wolfwood (of the 'Bigolas Dickolas'), we have to talk about 'Trigun'
The particular news cycle around this also had a secondary effect: drawing attention to maskofbun's current fandom — "Trigun."
"Trigun," and its assorted adaptations and variations — the 1998 studio Madhouse anime series, Nightow's manga (later rebranded as "Trigun Maximum"), and a 2023 reboot ("Trigun Stampede") from studio Orange — all follow Vash the Stampede, a gunman known as the "Human Typhoon" with an obscene bounty on his head despite his pacifist nature.
Maskofbun had been aware of "Trigun" since their high school years, but really got into the series through "Stampede" before binge reading "Trigun Maximum," they told Insider. Their username has drawn some questions, but it's really quite simple — it's about Nicholas D. Wolfwood, a character from "Trigun," having a big dick.
"Another user actually inspired me," maskofbun told Insider of their username. "I made a poll titled, 'Does Wolfwood have a big dick?' and someone else responded, 'Well, they don't call him Bigolas Dickolas Wolfwood for nothing.' I thought it was hilarious and asked for their permission to use it as my handle. The rest is history."
Still, maskofbun said, the joke name is rooted in a genuine love for Wolfwood, a priest with a giant, cross-shaped gun called the "Punisher" who's a traveling companion to the series' protagonist Vash the Stampede. Maskofbun told Insider plenty of their favorite qualities in the character — his desire to protect, his killer "The Punisher" moniker, or his ability to see through Vash's affable façade.
However, they said that Wolfwood is "best experienced on your own" through "Trigun Maximum," which they hope will be reprinted by Dark Horse Comics.
While the manga is available digitally through Dark Horse, it's been out of print for years, and maskofbun hopes that it can become "accessible to as many people as possible." On Wednesday, after a few days of viral fame, they sent a very polite tweet asking Dark Horse for a reprint. That tweet has since been liked over 5,000 times — and they're not the first to voice a desire for a reprint.
"Dark Horse is very much aware of the interest in the 'Trigun' manga, and while we can't share specifics just yet, fans should stay tuned for some exciting news very soon," a representative for Dark Horse told Insider.
Ultimately, the entire affair has represented a rather heartwarming melding of worlds. El-Mohtar wrote in a blog post that "all the corporate marketing people at Simon & Shuster now know the name Bigolas Dickolas." "Trigun Stampede" producer Yoshihiro Watanabe tweeted on Wednesday that he had "bought the book" — to which El-Mohtar replied that she had "Stampede" queued up.
—Amal El-Mohtar (@tithenai) May 10, 2023
Maskofbun said that they couldn't be happier that people were being exposed to "Trigun" in the process.
"It's long overdue," they told Insider. "Trigun deserved this much attention, but acknowledging that Wolfwood has BDE is also deserved. He is the coolest dude in all the Wild Space West."
Read the original article on Insider