Families: A Hero In Briefs

The zany author of the Captain Underpants books has written a new one, and tries to explain his appeal

Captain Underpants is America's most unlikely superhero, fighting for "truth, justice and all that is preshrunk and cottony." There are 12.5 million copies of the wildly popular children's books based on this character, with the newest one, Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman (Scholastic), coming out this month. TIME interviewed the captain's irreverent creator, Dav Pilkey, by e-mail.

Were you a behavior problem in school?

Yeah, but I wasn't a bad kid. I just wanted to make everybody laugh. My second-grade teacher got so upset with my class clownism that she moved a desk out into the...

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