Captain Underpants' creator returns with more poopypants

Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:11am EDT
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By Belinda Goldsmith

CANBERRA (Reuters) - As a superhero Captain Underpants may lack muscles but he's proven to have the power to get children reading with his creator, Dav Pilkey, hoping four new books with the same potty humor will nab more young readers.

Pilkey, 44, an author and artist based near Seattle, said he came up with the idea of Captain Underpants while at school where he was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and spent long periods in the hallway on his own, drawing and making up stories.

Since winning a writing contest at age 19 he has been penning children's books full of poopypants and wedgie jokes with Captain Underpants flying from the presses in 1997. Since then 45 million copies have been published in 19 languages.

After a few years away from writing to care for his terminally ill father, Pilkey signed a deal in March this year with Scholastic for four new books with the first released this week with a worldwide printing of 1 million copies.

This is a graphic novel called "The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Caveman from the Future" supposedly written by fourth-graders George Beard and Harold Hutchins, the pair who turned their school's principal into Captain Underpants.

Pilkey said his new book keeps the gross-out humor which has led to his genre of writing being dubbed "poop fiction."

"The potty humor exists in my books because that's the kind of thing I loved (and wrote about) when I was a kid," the publicity-shy Pilkey told Reuters in an email.

Pilkey, who also created Super Diaper Baby, Ricky Ricotta and the Dumb Bunnies, said the next three books in his contract wouldn't be centered on Ook and Gluk but he declined to say exactly what they would be about.   Continued...