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Brief this: Captain Underpants is back

The Associated Press, Wednesday, March 17, 2010, 8:01pm (PDT)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Break out the briefs and red cape, if you dare. More tales of "Captain Underpants" are coming.

Author Dav Pilkey has agreed to write four more of the multimillion-selling series that helped establish the giggly genre known as "poop fiction." The first book, "The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future," comes out in August with a worldwide printing of 1 million copies, Scholastic announced Thursday.

"I think fans of Captain Underpants will be very happy with this new book," Pilkey said in a statement Thursday. "It has all of the action, laffs and ridiculousness that kids love, plus all the unapologetic irreverence and questionable potty humor that grumpy curmudgeons love to complain about. It's got something for everybody!"

The new book is the first "Captain Underpants" in four years. In an e-mail message to The Associated Press, Pilkey said he and his wife "had to take some time off to care for my father, who had terminal cancer." (His father, David M. Pilkey, died in 2008).

The return of "Captain Underpants" may not be amusing to all. In 2002, the American Library Association ranked the "Underpants" books among those most frequently complained about by parents and educators. That year, "Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants" was removed from an elementary school in Page, N.D., after a parent objected to the book's language and "innuendos."

In 2006, a high school principal in Long Beach, N.Y., banned students from dressing up as the title character. Three 17-year-old girls wore beige leotards and nude stockings under white briefs and red capes on the school's "Superhero Day."

The "Underpants" series, which started in 1997, has more than 45 million copies in print, according to Scholastic.

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