Great Graphic Novels: Fungus the Bogeyman, by Raymond Briggs


15 Responses to “Great Graphic Novels: Fungus the Bogeyman, by Raymond Briggs”

  1. fogonthetoon says:

    Man, the image on the front cover used to creep the bejesus out of me as a child. My mum still tells the story of me at a jumble sale, trying to sneak it on to our table in the hope that someone would buy it!
    That said, Raymond Briggs is a hero of mine- “When the Wind Blows” is a masterpiece.

    • Kimmo says:

      When the Wind Blows is indeed a full-blown masterpiece.

      Gentleman Jim and Fungus the Bogeyman are somewhat lesser masterpieces, but only because the subject matter isn’t so critically important. Briggs is a giant.


    • WTWB is ostensibly about nuclear war, but focuses entirely on the experiences of an elderly couple that resemble Brigg’s own parents, who are overrun by vast impersonal forces that they don’t understand, and it ends with them dying in succession, in a state of willing self-delusion.
      Later, Briggs wrote another book, ‘Ethel and Ernest’, this time the actual story of his parents’ lives. But they still die, after decades of confusion and bother, and it seems senseless, pointless.

      In many ways, the two books are just different renditions of the same story.

      It’s almost like the device of a nuclear war in the background makes it a little less depressing! At least then we have a reason to point to for why everything goes wrong. But in E&E there is nothing to point to. It’s just life playing out.

  2. Historybuff says:

    I loved Raymond Briggs stuff. Though I’ve never heard of his Snowman books. The ones I remember were his Father Christmas illustrated books.
    Merry Bloomin Christmas to you too!

  3. SamSam says:

    I loved both this and, most of all, When the Wind Blows as a child. And the latter was a book with a very adult theme (um… apocalypse by nuclear warfare during the cold war…) but completely accessible to kids.

    I also trashed my Fungus the Bogeyman “Plop-up” Book.

  4. philipb says:

    The book that introduced the term “bogey sock” into the lexicon.

  5. Ethan Taliesin Houser says:

    One of the few books from my childhood that I have no chucked

  6. bluest_one says:

    It’s a great book. I was particularly taken with Fungus’ breakfast cereal – “Flaked Corns”. 

  7. DeargDoom says:

    This book taught me to read. I loved the grotesqueness of it and used to make my Dad read it to me every night. He would slowly read it panel by panel and would frustratingly stop after a couple of pages. Eventually I was able to read parts of it and one happy day realised I didnt need him at all.

    Come to think of it, my Dad taught me to read.

  8. noah django says:

    Oh man, I haven’t thought about Fungus for at least 25 years, how exciting!  BoingBoing really is the best.

    I had this book since before I can remember.  Preschool at least.  I LOVED it.  For all the same reasons as Mr. Koford mentioned.  I now dimly remember that the reason I don’t still have it is because it fell to pieces, I read it so much (the binding was also crap, like maybe a couple squirts of Elmer’s or something.)

    I was fascinated by how Fungus’ job was to scare the bejesus out of us, but he approached it as just so much ho-hum drudgery.  Certainly my entree to British humor and their keep-calm-and-carry-on attitude (though it’s thick in my blood, too.)

  9. Jonam says:

    Paul McCartney based his song Bogey Music (from the McCartney II album) on this book.

  10. Simon Champion says:

    Mmmm scab and matter custard, snot and bogey pie, dead dog’s giblets, green cat’s eye, spread it on bread, spread it on thick, and wash it all down with a cup of cold sick :)

  11. Al Corrupt says:

    This was one of my favourites as a 7 or 8 yr old in the UK. I still have it, One of the very few I kept – it even went to Europe and back with me – instead of getting divvied up between my friends. I adored it. Truly.
    Now I can see how there was a big influence that came from Punk, and it echoes the changes from hip and arty – to the gutterpunk and feral punks that evolved as the costumes became the clothes and the fad became a longterm lifechoice
    Fungus taught me not to fear the muck and grime.
    Earth is dirt – and dirt don’t hurt!

  12. wibbled_pig says:

    Loved that book, as did my parents, and my two brothers.. memories from a while back now.

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