Posted 20 hours ago

Fungus the Bogeyman

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This could be interpreted as a comical, jovial way to show children that different people can live very diverse lives which may help them to become more aware of the world around them. She reassures him and we are shown that bogeyman, disgusting as they are potrayed in this book, still possess the strongest human emotion, love. It reads almost like a comic book with incredibly detailed illustrations in individual boxes with speech bubbles or text. Life in Bogeydom is full of snot, smells, slime, scum and other unspeakable things, and Bogeymen live under the ground revelling in allthe nastiness imaginable. Best known for his more conventional children's books such as The Snowman, Briggs, like Roald Dahl, has an uncanny sense of what really appeals to children -- gross stuff and toilet humor.

As an illustrated and handwritten book, I would give it 5 stars as the author’s creativity knows no bounds: Bogeydom is the world of the Bogeymen and everything is the opposite of where we (the drycleaners) live. We learn about Bogey houses, their family structure, what they do for fun, how they live, the essentials of their health and well-being, and more. Well, I tried re-reading this ‘comic book’ again; but very rapidly made up my mind that whatever might have once appealed to me now definitely doesn’t.The story follows one day in the life of this fabulous character, a working class Bogeyman with the mundane job of scaring human beings. His graphic novel Ethel and Ernest, which portrayed his parents' 41-year marriage, won Best Illustrated Book in the 1999 British Book Awards. Fungus lives an ordinary life, he gets up, gets prepared for work, makes the commute, does his job and wonders what is it all about? A charming first edition of this delightful pop up book, by much loved author of The Snowman, Raymond Briggs.

However, as much as I do enjoy both the concept and appreciate much of the humour, I actually remain a wee bit disappointed with and by Fungus the Bogeyman. As his day progresses, he undergoes a mild existential crisis, pondering what his seemingly pointless job of scaring surface people is really for. The book is set out into panels and large blocks of text, with Briggs' signature style of illustration. There isn’t really a storyline; the content instead strikes me as more of a lengthy encyclopaedia entry rendered in the most perfectly bilious green.

Of course being a pixie type person myself I firmly believe in the little people that live at the bottom of gardens and in enchanted woods and forests. He is a bogeyman who goes to the surface each night to cause havoc (literally: things that go bump on the night). So it's a wonderful, hilarious and elaborate pop-up book full of Slime and Muck, and if it could smell would really stink! It's the worldwind tour surrounding the various habits of Bogeyman that really makes this comic strip standout, there's so much information and enjoyable word play in various boxed out sections and various footnotes.

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