This flock of feathered characters seem to have struck a chord with humans and have gathered quite a following. They came into existence after the merger of two major publishing houses, Penguin Books and Random House — an event that caught the eye of booknerds everywhere. Like pretty much everyone, Mary Laura wondered what the new company would be called: Book House? Penguin House? Random Penguin? Unlike just about everyone, Mary Laura started doodling little penguin characters and couldn’t stop. Thus, The Random Penguins tumblr (and Instagram account) was born.
In 2015, they’ll be making their literary debut as the book Penguins with People Problems from Perigee Books, an imprint of (yep) Penguin Random House.
A variety of penguin merch is available online. The penguins are also the stars of a line of stationery and greeting cards that sell in various shops around the country and were included in Saks Fifth Avenue’s special Spotlight on Art collection.