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1001 Stories Collection

Fungus the Bogeyman

1001 Fungusthe Bogeyman
Added on 06th August 2020

Author and Illustrator Raymond Briggs
First published 1977
Publisher Hamish Hamilton (now part of Penguin Random House)

A day in the life of Fungus the Bogeyman.

Story

Fungus is a working Bogeyman and this is a typical working day. We see him at home with his family – relishing the smells and slime, slowness and silence - and then at work ‘Up Top’ among the distressingly clean, noisy and fast-moving humans, known as Dry Cleaners. It’s Fungus’s job to spread boils, wake babies and make things go bump in the night. But he often wonders why.

Why we chose it

Sometimes described as a masterpiece, Fungus the Bogeyman is a sophisticated cartoon strip that brilliantly blends imaginative world building, inventive word play, a complex character and a lot of enjoyably disgusting detail. The story is simple but the puns are inventive and the upside down underworld is so ingenious and entertaining that the book is loved by older children and adults.

Created as an antidote to prissy niceness, Fungus is an intriguing mix of folklore bogey and sensitive family man, who questions his scary role. Briggs’ intricate illustrations in sludgy colours embed witty cultural references with creative yuckiness.

Where it came from

Raymond Briggs is a much-loved illustrator, famous for creating iconic characters like Fungus, Father Christmas and The Snowman. After winning the Kate Greenaway award for Mother Goose, Briggs began illustrating an alphabet where every letter stood for something revolting. (This appears on the bedroom wall of Fungus’s son, Mould.) He started to imagine the alternative world of a bogeyman and, after three months of mining the dictionary for puns and two years of illustration, a best-seller was born.

Where it went next

Fungus was adapted into a ‘Plop Up’ book, stage play and two television series and inspired a song, ‘Bogey Music’, by Paul McCartney.

Briggs started planning four sequels.

Associated stories

Other picture books by Raymond Briggs include Father Christmas, The Snowman, The Man, Ethel & Ernest and The Bear.

Added on 06th August 2020

Author and Illustrator Raymond Briggs
First published 1977
Publisher Hamish Hamilton (now part of Penguin Random House)