Tuesday, June 6, 2017

An (Epic) Interview with Captain Underpants Creator - NEA Today

An (Epic) Interview with Captain Underpants Creator - NEA Today:

An (Epic) Interview with Captain Underpants Creator

From the banned books list to a major motion picture, the Captain Underpants series has had its share of adventures almost as epic as those of pranksters George and Harold and their unwitting superhero himself, their principal Mr. Krupp, aka Captain Underpants. NEA Today talked to creator Dav Pilkey about his popular comic series, how to encourage kids to read, and the Captain Underpants movie.
What qualities do superheroes share?
It seems like most superheroes are born of adversity.  Superman, Batman, and Spiderman each found their purpose after the deaths of parents or guardians.  Dog Man (the hero from my new graphic novel series) is also brought to life after a tragedy.  I think this is what makes superheroes so relatable.  When times get tough, we must all dig deep and find our own superpowers.
Why does each book in your Captain Underpants series contain a mini-comic?
I made mini-comics when I was a child, and I really wanted to inspire my readers to start making their own comics.  The mini-comics in Captain Underpants look like they were made by children— the drawing style is very primitive, and the spelling had many mistakes in the early books.  My hope was that kids would see these very imperfect creations and feel like making comics was something they could do— and it didn’t matter if they made mistakes.
The spelling and artwork in these mini-comics has gradually improved as the series has progressed (by book 12, there are no spelling errors).  I did this to subtly show that although creativity doesn’t have to be perfect, we should always try to improve and grow.
George and Harold receive an assignment to write 100 pages on “good citizenship” – how would you define good citizenship for students today?
I think putting yourself before others is a good start.  Empathy doesn’t always come naturally, but just like any skill, the more you practice the better you get.  In the An (Epic) Interview with Captain Underpants Creator - NEA Today: