Great Graphic Novels: Fungus the Bogeyman, by Raymond Briggs

Last month I asked my friends to write about books they loved (you can read all the essays here). This month, I invited them to write about their favorite graphic novels, and they selected some excellent titles. I hope you enjoy them! (Read all the Great Graphic Novel essays here.) -- Mark

Fungus the Bogeyman, by Raymond Briggs

Hemet, California, Summer 1983. I was ten, my brothers and I were spending a few days with my grandparents. My grandma, in an attempt to keep us entertained against the high desert doldrums, took us to the local Pic N Save to buy a toy. I ended up in the book aisle with a remainder copy of Fungus the Bogeyman, by Raymond Briggs. Nothing could have been more foreign and alluring to my young mind.

Fungus is a green, six-fingered, triple-nippled, Bogeyman in the classic sense. He and his ilk are the things that go bump in the night, the boil engenderers, the stealers of blankets, and the cause of every other midnight nuisance. Briggs, perhaps best known for the wordless children’s book The Snowman, doesn’t just show us a day in the life of a typical Bogeyman, he describes and diagrams their subterranean physiology, customs, and culture in a way lesser artists would avoid.

The pages nearly drip with slime and muck. Even the endpapers look filthy. Upon preparing for another night of work, Fungus the Bogeyman takes a deep whiff of his disgusting trousers. Read the rest