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Badtime Bedtime Books 
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Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 6:55 pm
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This is my first post so be gentle with me! I'm thinking of making a web page or two devoted to the Bad Time Bed Time books that used to appear in Monster Fun (1975-77) but I need some advice.

First, some background:

My first ever comic was Monster Fun. I remember the exact moment it was bought for me, and I date my love of reading to that moment. I'm pretty sure it was issue 4 or 6 and it had a Bad Time Bed Time book in the middle. Like a baby bird seeing its mother for the first time, this was imprinted forever on my brain as the model for all future reading, and What Comics Should Be Like. And the BTBTB was the jewel in the crown, the pinnacle of comic perfection, the archetype of what a magazine should be.

I just did a search for references to the BTBTBs on the web, and was shocked to find almost nothing except a couple of passing references. No pictures, no retrospective, no descriptions, nothing. The fans just aren't talking about them. So unlike the early Beano, Action or 2000AD there's probably zero chance that the copyright owners will ever reissue them. But the idea that nobody will ever see these gems again, well that just seems WRONG. I'm seriously considering tracking them all down on eBay, and making placing a little tribute somewhere on the Web, but I need some advice first. But at the same time I don't want to tread on anyone's toes.


1.
First, is there any way to get copies of the Baxendale BTBTBs short of buying every issue of Monster Fun on eBay? My budget is sadly limited so it could take a while. But I am perfectly happy with reprints.

2.
Second, assuming that buying the original Monster Funs is the best way to go, does anyone know of a master list of which issues had the Baxendale BTBTBs? Some of the later ones were ghosted by other writers/artists, and some Monster Funs had no BTBTB at all. And worse, they were designed to be removed from the main comic so they are often missing, so if I save my pennies and buy the issues one by one I'll have to check with the seller each time.

3.
Third, what's considered fair play for putting this kind of thing online? Legally I'm sure the answer is "you can't use anything" but what's common practice? I'm sure I could get away with scanning a single story (each was only 4 full pages, then folded), but would I be risking treason if I put two online? Three? I don't want to annoy anyone.

3a.
On a related note, let's say (for sake of argument) that I bought and scanned ten different Bad Time Bed Time Books (4 pages each), and designed the web site so that only one was seen each week. Would the copyright owner be more likely to turn a blind eye? Four pages doesn't look like much.

Any suggestions?

PS as if this post isn't long enough already :) I also have a second motive. I'm making a computer game in my spare time that will include a lot of different stories (first version: LesMisGame.com). Long term I plan to fill it with adaptations of serious novels, but in the corners so to speak there will be fun little side adventures as well. The funnest stuff I know of was those little Bad Time Bed Time Books, and I'd love to capture the spirit of those things in my game. Not the individual stories of course (copyright and all) but the glorious sense of humour. So that's why I've decided to get serious about them right now, thirty something years on.


Last edited by tolworthy on Thu May 31, 2007 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sun May 27, 2007 10:14 pm
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First offf, welcome to the board and thanks for such an intersting first post. :lol:
tolworthy wrote:
...
1.
First, is there any way to get copies of the Baxendale BTBTBs short of buying every issue of Monster Fun on eBay? My budget is sadly limited so it could take a while. But I am perfectly happy with reprints..
Ebay, 26pigs or a general plea for scans from members of the different comic groups who have the comics in question.

tolworthy wrote:
2.
Second, assuming that buying the original Monster Funs is the best way to go, does anyone know of a master list of which issues had the Baxendale BTBTBs? Some of the later ones were ghosted by other writers/artists, and some Monster Funs had no BTBTB at all. And worse, they were designed to be removed from the main comic so they are often missing, so if I save my pennies and buy the issues one by one I'll have to check with the seller each time.
Kashgar, over to you on that one! 8)

tolworthy wrote:
3.
Third, what's considered fair play for putting this kind of thing online? Legally I'm sure the answer is "you can't use anything" but what's common practice? I'm sure I could get away with scanning a single story (each was only 4 full pages, then folded), but would I be risking treason if I put two online? Three? I don't want to annoy anyone.
Don't quote me on this, but I believe that only using one story from a comic should be OK as you are not reprinting the comic in full, but make sure that you put the disclaimer that all images are copyright of IPC or Fleetway or Egmont depending on who the relevant copyright holders are.

tolworthy wrote:
3a.
On a related note, let's say (for sake of argument) that I bought and scanned ten different Bad Time Bed Time Books (4 pages each), and designed the web site so that only one was seen each week. Would the copyright owner be more likely to turn a blind eye? Four pages doesn't look like much.

Any suggestions?
See my answer above.

tolworthy wrote:
PS as if this post isn't long enough already :) I also have a second motive. I'm making a computer game in my spare time that will include a lot of different stories (first version: LesMisGame.com). Long term I plan to fill it with adaptations of serious novels, but in the corners so to speak there will be fun little side adventures as well. The funnest stuff I know of was those little Bad Time Bed Time Books, and I'd love to capture the spirit of those things in my game. Not the individual stories of course (copyright and all) but the glorious sense of humour. So that's why I've decided to get serious about them right now, thirty something years on.
Good luck to you on that project. It sounds like a labour of love, just as my perennial listing of Victor true stories are. (See, I can get a plug in anywhere! :D ) But seriously, anything that encourages reading has got to be a good thing.

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Mon May 28, 2007 9:45 am
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Thanks for the prompt reply! I just noticed that someone is offering a large chunk of the entire run of Monster Fun on eBay. And I also just noticed that I received slightly more pay than expected this month. And I further notice that both Father's Day and my birthday are rapidly approaching. That noise you can hear is the rusty wheels turning in my head.... I wonder... should I... should I...

It's weird to see how we can be so strongly influenced by our childhoods. Looking back, those Badtime books really defined what comics should be in my mind. I expect all great stories to be loosely based on the classics, to have a whole new story each issue, to pack a whole world into a very small space, and to be full of fun details. I now realise that everything I think about literature has been based on those little pull outs. :)

Since writing the previous post I re-read the last few chapters of A Very Funny Business (Leo Baxendale's autobiography) and he gives a very detailed run down of how the first dozen BTBTBs, and it's pretty clear that his stuff ended around December 1975 (since he left IPC in October 1975). So that narrows down my search. I'll have to track down this Kashgar chappy for more details.

colcool007 wrote:
Good luck to you on that project. It sounds like a labour of love, just as my perennial listing of Victor true stories are. (See, I can get a plug in anywhere! :D )

I'll take a look! These labours of love are funny things. No matter how busy I am, no matter how important the "real" job I keep coming back to a few different comic web sites I run. I'm not a great writer, and they get almost no hits, but very occasionally I meet a like minded soul and that makes it all worthwhile. Everyone else thinks I'm mad. :)

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Mon May 28, 2007 2:00 pm
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tolworthy wrote:
I just noticed that someone is offering a large chunk of the entire run of Monster Fun on eBay

Wow. This is going to be harder than I thought. I just got feedback from this seller (with 68 Monster Fun issues on sale), and these contain ZERO badtime books. Another seller has 17 issues on sale, and between them they have just ONE badtime book.

I wonder, would it be ethical to pay a collector who already has them (or donate to their favourite charity) to scan some badtime books for me? or maybe I'm being lazy. Nobody ever said comic collecting would be easy.

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Mon May 28, 2007 4:43 pm
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kids used to pull this out of the comic to read...so very hard to find an issue intact........e.g bought number 1 Monster Fun for ?10.........later on much to my horror I noticed pages were missing......so my issue is not worth very much.... :oops: :x :( .........by then it was too late to complain.........so be careful........

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Mon May 28, 2007 11:38 pm
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I managed to pick these up on ebay. It took a while but they eventually came up, I got them cheap too, in mint condition. I have all my stuff boxed away at the moment due to building work. I'll hunt them out after its over which will be one month from now. if you haven't had any luck by then i'll send you some jpegs. they are pretty great , drawn in the same way he drew willy the kid sweeny etc.

steve


Tue May 29, 2007 1:33 am
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Two scans and a passing reference over at my place http://www.bustercomic.co.uk/pullouts.html

Have to admit when I made that page, I had very little information on them. Have learnt a lot since then....must get around to a rewrite at some time.

great idea to have a new website on the net though......I'm sure if you put out pleas for scans in enough places you'd get some.

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Tue May 29, 2007 7:57 am
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SH wrote:
I managed to pick these up on ebay. It took a while but they eventually came up, I got them cheap too, in mint condition. I have all my stuff boxed away at the moment due to building work. I'll hunt them out after its over which will be one month from now. if you haven't had any luck by then i'll send you some jpegs. they are pretty great , drawn in the same way he drew willy the kid sweeny etc.

steve

Thanks, that would be wonderful! Right now I just have two badtime books, number 7 (little boy glue) and a much later (and IMO better) one, Moby Duck. My all time favourite was Traffic Island. I'll keep haunting eBay and 26pigs, but without scans I think it will be a very slow process.

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Tue May 29, 2007 8:00 am
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Tolworthy, I've sent you a PM regarding this...

8)

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Tue May 29, 2007 10:30 am
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Hi Tolworthy, I haven't visited the group for a few days or I would have replied earlier. I've got a complete collection of Monster Fun which I bought as they were issued so if you give me a couple of days I'll let you have full details re the Bad Time Bed Time Books. Regards, Ray.


Tue May 29, 2007 11:18 am
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If you are unable to get copies of the BTBTB's (think thats right!) via the original Monster Fun comics they were also reprinted in the much cheaper. Funny Fortnightly title (or a similar title one in the IPC reprint monthlies/fortnightlies line) I have a couple in my house (of which "Silly Boy Glue" is one) if I have any others I'll let you know and you can have these (not sure how many I have all the same possibly only 2 Silly Boy Glue and another about a pirate rI think)

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Tue May 29, 2007 1:02 pm
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Kashgar wrote:
Hi Tolworthy, I haven't visited the group for a few days or I would have replied earlier. I've got a complete collection of Monster Fun which I bought as they were issued so if you give me a couple of days I'll let you have full details re the Bad Time Bed Time Books. Regards, Ray.

Thanks. That would be amazing! I'll put up a rough version of the web site fairly soon so you can see that I'm not just being lazy and trying to get others to do my work for me.

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Tue May 29, 2007 7:00 pm
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Cap Haggis wrote:
If you are unable to get copies of the BTBTB's (think thats right!) via the original Monster Fun comics they were also reprinted in the much cheaper. Funny Fortnightly title (or a similar title one in the IPC reprint monthlies/fortnightlies line) I have a couple in my house (of which "Silly Boy Glue" is one) if I have any others I'll let you know and you can have these (not sure how many I have all the same possibly only 2 Silly Boy Glue and another about a pirate rI think)
That's very generous! Little Boy Glue is one of the two books I still have (the other being Moby Duck) but I'm very interested in any others.

I would have course be happy to pay. I calculate that it would cost me around ?5 for every Badtime book I can locate (Monster Funs typically go for ?2 each including postage, Badtime books increase the value, and I would sometimes have to buy several issues to get the single one I wanted) so if I can get a scan or a reprint of a Baxendale badtime book for less than ?5 then I'm happy.

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Tue May 29, 2007 7:07 pm
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Tolworthy,
I also have an almost complete collection of MF.
The BTBT books are not all drawn by Mr B (They are all funny though).
Al kindly supplied me with an almost complete list as to which book goes with which comic cos mine had all been removed and stapled when i got them. I can list them if you like (it will take a bit of time, i've got the print out but have a new computer so i don't have the original email) i'll maybe get time this week. If you manage to do it it will be a valuable resource as some of the themes and jokes were used in his highly chortlesome Willy the Kid books, which if i'm not mistaken, he left Fleetway/IPC to persue. If you don't already have Willy book 1 I would urge you to hunt a copy down as I can't pick it up without crying with laughter!

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Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm
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Peter Gray wrote:
kids used to pull this out of the comic to read...so very hard to find an issue intact


Oddly enough this can work both ways as I found the first BTBTB mini-comic at a jumble sale without the rest of the comic. If it's any help to you Tolworthy I've scanned the first and last pages below (though according to Baxendale I don't think the series really hit its stride until the third issue!).
[img:681:515]http://uk.geocities.com/philcom55/bedtime.jpg[/img]

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Tue May 29, 2007 10:26 pm
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