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Graphic Novels for Children and Young AdultsA Collection of Critical Essays$
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Michelle Ann Abate and Gwen Athene Tarbox

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781496811677

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496811677.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Parodic Potty Humor and Superheroic Potentiality in Dav Pilkey’s The Adventures of Captain Underpants

Parodic Potty Humor and Superheroic Potentiality in Dav Pilkey’s The Adventures of Captain Underpants

Chapter:
(p.93) 6 Parodic Potty Humor and Superheroic Potentiality in Dav Pilkey’s The Adventures of Captain Underpants
Source:
Graphic Novels for Children and Young Adults
Author(s):

Joseph Michael Sommers

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496811677.003.0007

This chapter examines the first volume in Dav Pilkey's series, The Adventures of Captain Underpants. It argues that its success with contemporary children arises from a constellation of phenomena that connects comics, a child's perceived subjugation in their childhood, and the construction of a cross-generational heroism overlapping the late 1960s culture of Pilkey's childhood and the present historical moment's fascination with that era's superheroes. Viewing The Adventures of Captain Underpants through M. M. Bakhtin's theory of the carnivalesque, it can be seen that the book acts as a “prose allegorization,”, a visual, autobiographical narrative “whose eccentricities make the nature of all our inner lives more visible”, of childhood from a child's perspective.

Keywords:   Dav Pilkey, The Adventures of Captain Underpants, superheroes, comics, heroism, M. M. Bakhtin, carnivalesque, prose allegorization

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