Will a book that I loved as a kid hold up to my grown-ass-woman standards? Admittedly, my grown-ass-woman standards are still pretty silly and goofy, but nevertheless. I have matured slightly since I was ten.
When I was a little Girl Unaffiliated, my dad would sometimes surprise me at the end of the school day with a new book, and often take me to author signings at the local bookstore. We’ve always been very close, and I have the fondest memories of waiting in long lines at Barnes and Noble with him, reading and laughing.
It was also around this time that my Greatest Ambition was to be a Voiceover Artist. (Yes, I always said it with that exact, formal phrasing.) I have no idea where I learned that this was an occupation, but I distinctly remembering telling my mother what I wanted to be when I grew up and, upon receiving her surprised response, told her, “Mom, you do know that cartoon characters aren’t real, right?” Though I would’ve settled for a job with any of my favorite cartoons, what I really wanted to do was provide a voice for what seemed to be the inevitable movie adaptation of my favorite book series, The Adventures of Captain Underpants. (I am still waiting for this seemingly inevitable movie adaptation.) So, when my dad surprised me one day by taking me to a book signing with Dav Pilkey and told the author all about my aspirations, Dav promised to call me first when Captain Underpants: The Movie needed some voiceovers.
Hilariously, this book was the number one most challenged book in 2013 for “offensive language” and “violence.” Individuals filed more reports to ban Captain Underpants than Fifty Shades of Grey, which came at number four on the list. With this baffling piece of information in mind, let’s take a look at my childhood favorite, The Adventures of Captain Underpants.
One hundred and twenty-one pages and twenty minutes later…
As it turns out, I still freaking love this stuff. That was a truly incredible read. It took less than half an hour. I laughed out loud, often hysterically, from beginning to end.
This series follows George Beard and Harold Hutchins, two mischievous but good at heart school kids who love making comics together (George writes and Harold illustrates; maybe this book an early influence as to why the creating bug bit me?). Though they have created such incredible superheroes as “Dog Man,” “Timmy the Talking Toilet,” and “The Amazing Cow Lady” (essentially me), their all-time greatest superhero is, you guessed it, “The Amazing Captain Underpants.” Trouble arises when they accidentally hypnotize their mean, evil principal Mr. Krupp with the 3-D Hypno-Ring™. Now every time someone snaps, Mr. Krupp becomes Captain Underpants, and won’t revert to his former self until someone pours water on his head. Obviously, hilarity ensues.
I’m only a little embarrassed to say that I laughed the loudest when some bystanders were guessing what that flying thing in the sky was: “’Look up in the sky. It’s a bird.’ ‘It’s a plane.’ ‘It’s a egg-salad sandwich.’” (It was none of these things.)
This series is sidesplitting, creative, intelligent, and entertaining—which is way more than I can say for Fifty Shades of Grey.
Happy fighting for truth, justice, and all that is pre-shrunk and cottony.