Aaron Blabey
Born (1974-01-01) 1 January 1974 (age 48)
Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
Years active1989–2005 (actor)
2006–present (children's author)
SpouseKirstie Hutton

Aaron Blabey (born January 1, 1974) is an Australian author of children's books.

He is the creator of three best-selling children's series; Pig the Pug – a picture book series about a rude, selfish, mean-spirited little dog, The Bad Guys – a New York Times #1 bestselling graphic novel series for junior readers about a gang of scary-looking animals trying to change their bad reputations and Thelma the Unicorn – a second picture book series about a plain little pony who pretends to be a unicorn.

As of December 2021, Blabey has around 30 million books in print and his books have spent over 120 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List. The Bad Guys first reached #1 on the list on July 3 2019.

On April 22, 2022, an animated movie adaptation of The Bad Guys from DreamWorks Animation starring Sam Rockwell, Awkwafina, Marc Maron, Craig Robinson and Anthony Ramos premiered in the United States. Blabey served as an executive producer on the movie with Patrick Hughes and Etan Cohen.

In May 2019, it was announced that Netflix are developing a movie-musical adaptation of Thelma the Unicorn with Blabey again serving as executive producer.

Until 2005, Blabey was also an actor. In the field of acting, he is probably best known for his lead roles in two television dramedies, 1994's The Damnation of Harvey McHugh, for which he won an Australian Film Institute Award, and 2003's CrashBurn,[1] before retiring from performance in 2005.

Personal life

Aaron Blabey was born on January 1, 1974, in Bendigo, Australia.[2] He is married to the speech pathologist Kirstie Hutton, and they have two sons.

Blabey supports The Alannah and Madeline Foundation, who work to protect children from violence.[3]



Blabey appeared in various television and film roles throughout the 1990s and 2000s and took part in several theatrical productions.[4]

Besides his 1994 award for acting in a lead role, the Australian Film Institute also nominated him in 2000 for his guest-starring role in the series Stingers.


From the mid-2000s, Blabey turned his attention away from acting and towards painting and created six separate solo exhibitions across Australia between 2004 and 2006.[5]

Early picture books

Then in 2006, Blabey turned his focus entirely to the creation of children's picture books. The first of these, Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley, was published in July 2007. In 2008, the book received a Children's Book Council of Australia Award in the council's Early Childhood category.[6] The book was also shortlisted for the CBCA's Crichton Award (given to new illustrators), The NSW Premier's Literature Awards – The Patricia Wrightson Award, and the Children's Peace Literature Award. In 2008, the book was also included on the Notable Book list from the Smithsonian Institution.[7]

His second book, Sunday Chutney, was published in 2008 and shortlisted for the CBCA Picture Book of the Year 2009[8] and the Australian Book Industry Awards 2009.

His third book, Stanley Paste, was a CBCA Notable Book in the Picture Book category in 2010[9] as was The Ghost of Miss Annabel Spoon in 2012, which was also selected as a prestigious White Raven of 2012 by the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany. The Ghost of Miss Annabel Spoon also won the Patricia Wrightson Award in 2013 New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards and the 2013 Children's Peace Literature Award.[10] In early 2014, Nick Cave selected The Ghost of Miss Annabel Spoon to record for the Story Box Library website.

His fifth book, The Dreadful Fluff won the Best Designed Children's Cover of the Year by the Australian Publishers Association in 2013,[11] which also saw the release of his critically acclaimed sixth title, Noah Dreary.

This was followed by a picture book for adults entitled Babies Don't Suck – a guide for expectant new fathers.

Blabey's seventh children’s book, The Brothers Quibble, which deals with sibling rivalry, was chosen as the National Simultaneous Storytime Book of 2015, and was read by over 500,000 children on 27 May 2015.

Pig the Pug, Thelma the Unicorn and Piranhas Don't Eat Bananas

In 2014 Blabey signed a three-book deal with Scholastic Australia beginning with Pig the Pug, a humorous picture book about a rude, selfish, mean-spirited dog (pug), who always gets into arguments and even fights with his rival playmate, the friendly, polite-mannered, good-hearted Trevor (dachshund). The book was an immediate hit in Australia and has since been translated into many languages and published around the world. It spawned a series of Pig books including Pig the Fibber (2015), Pig the Winner (2016), Pig the Elf (2016), Pig the Star (2017), Pig the Grub (2018), Pig the Tourist (2019), Pig the Slob (Blob) (2020) and Pig the Monster (2021).

The Pig books have sold millions of copies around the world, predominantly in the USA and Australia.

The second book released from his initial three-book-deal was Thelma the Unicorn. This picture book – about a plain little pony who dreams of becoming a unicorn – has also become a bestseller. In combination with its sequel The Return of Thelma the Unicorn, it has sold millions of copies as well.

In June 2019, it was announced that Netflix is developing an animated musical movie adaptation of Thelma the Unicorn, to be directed by Jared Hess and Lynn Wang with animation provided by Mikros Image Montreal. Blabey will serve as an executive producer on the project.[12]

The Bad Guys

2015 also saw the release of the first two instalments of Blabey's best-selling graphic novel series for junior readers, The Bad Guys. The humorous series follows the adventures of a gang of scary-looking, dangerous animals – Mr. Wolf, Mr. Snake, Mr. Shark and Mr. Piranha – who attempt to change their bad reputations by performing good deeds.

In January 2018, The Bad Guys hit The New York Times Best Seller list (Children's Series) and have since remained there for many weeks. After 36 weeks on the list, The Bad Guys finally reached the number one spot on July 3 2019.

As of December 2021, there are around 16 million Bad Guys books in print around the world and the series has spent over 120 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List.

On March 9, 2018, it was announced that an animated feature film adaptation of The Bad Guys was in development at DreamWorks Animation – with a screenplay by Etan Cohen. On October 17, 2019, the project went into production with a scheduled release date September 17, 2021. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the release date was pushed back to April 22, 2022. The movie is directed by animator Pierre Perifel in his feature directorial debut and produced by Damon Ross and Rebecca Huntley and written by Etan Cohen and Hillary Winston. Blabey serves as an executive producer on the project with Etan Cohen and Patrick Hughes. It stars Sam Rockwell (Mr. Wolf), Awkwafina (Ms. Tarantula), Marc Maron (Mr. Snake), Craig Robinson (Mr. Shark) and Anthony Ramos (Mr. Piranha).

Art direction

Blabey has also worked as a staff writer at a major advertising agency and spent two years as a lecturer at a prominent Sydney design college.

Honors and awards

List of works

Author and Illustrator


Year Film Role Other notes
1989 G.P. Sean Television series
1993 Phoenix Television episode
1994 The Man from Snowy River Jimmy Wilks Television episode
Halifax f.p Tony Lobianco Television episode
The Damnation of Harvey McHugh Harvey McHugh Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Television Drama[14]
Blue Heelers Robbie Davies Television episode
1996 Turning April Leif
Twisted Tales Nick Television episode
Mr Reliable Bruce Morrison
1997 Fallen Angels Jim Phelps Television episode
Medivac Danny Haywood Television series
Wildside Warren Beckett Television series
Water Rats Gary Travis Television series
1998 Day of the Roses Dr White
Pentuphouse Dale
1999 Erskineville Kings Tunny
All Saints Scott Television episode
Water Rats Doug Porter Television series
2000 Stingers Michael Callum Nominated for Australian Film Institute Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Guest Role in a Television Drama Series
Grass Roots Sandy Maxwell Television episode
2001 Mullet Terry
2003 CrashBurn Ben Harfield Television series
2004 Human Touch David
Through My Eyes: The Lindy Chamberlain Story Kirkham
2005 MDA Luke Rodman Television series
2006 The 9:13 Thunder


  1. ^ Australian Television: Crashburn: profiles, accessed 25 November 2008
  2. ^ "Aaron Blabey" (PDF). Scholastic Australia. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  3. ^ The Alannah and Madeline Foundation, accessed 20 December 2015
  4. ^ ABC 2002, Aaron Blabey: Behind Closed Doors: MAD Archived 29 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 25 November 2008
  5. ^ Aaron BLABEY in stock at Art Nomad, accessed 25 November 2008
  6. ^ Penguin Group (Australia) – Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley by Blabey, Aaron Archived 25 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 25 November 2008
  7. ^ Penguin Books Australia – Aaron Blabey (Author), accessed 8 December 2011
  8. ^ Penguin Group (Australia) – Sunday Chutney Archived 19 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 25 November 2008
  9. ^ Picture Book Notable Books 2010[permanent dead link], accessed 8 December 2011
  10. ^ "Children's Peace Literature Award". AustLit. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  11. ^ 61st Annual Book Design Awards 2013, Australian Publishers Association Archived 13 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 25 May 2013
  12. ^ "Jared and Jerusha Hess To Adapt Acclaimed Children's Novel "Thelma the Unicorn" by Aaron Blabey Into Animated Musical Feature Film For Netflix". Netflix Media Center. 5 June 2019.
  13. ^ "Support for Literacy and Numeracy". Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  14. ^ Australian Film Institute 2008, AFI AWARD WINNERS TELEVISION CATEGORIES 1986–2007 Archived 13 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 25 November 2008