The Bogie Man (aka “Francis F. Clunie”)

Created by John Wagner and Alan Grant

“Down these mean streets, a man must go, who is not himself…”
— artist Robin Smith’s dedication to The Bogie Man Collection (1998)

A limited series, and British cult favorite, featuring the comic (and comic book) misadventures of one FRANCIS F. CLUNIE, aka “BOGIE,” an escaped mental patient from a Scottish asylum who thinks he’s Humphrey Bogart, or more precisely, a private detective… just like the ones Bogart used to play.

Reminiscent of Red Diamond or Sam Marlow, perhaps, but creators (and comic legends) John Wagner and Alan Grant add enough unique touches, scads of murky, impenetrable Scottish slang, truly painful puns and plenty of wry, black humour to make this more than worth your time, as Bogie wanders the mean streets of Glasgow (City of Mystery! City of Intrigue!) in pursuit of the evil master villianess, Taiwan Lil, the “scourge of the Orient.”

Francis appeared in several adventures, in various comic books and magazines, under the series title of “The Bogie Man,” including one in which he goes global, off in search of bigger and even more nefarious fish to fry (did someone mention Dan Quayle?).

The series even spawned a 1992 one-off BBC film, featuring Robbie Coltrane playing our slightly deranged hero, maintaining a–according to some–hilarious Bogie impression throughout (Coltrane, of course, is still best known for playing Fitz in the original Granada series Cracker, which must rate as one of the most hard-boiled series ever to come out of England). But Wagner and Grant were less impressed with Coltrane’s performance, as well as their own lack of involvement in the project. The show drew meager ratings, and only aired once, with no plans (so far) to ever let it see the light of day again…

But in 1998, DC Comics’ Paradox Press published The Bogie Man, collecting two of Bogie’s full-length adventures, for the edification and enjoyment of hard-boiled detective fans on this side of the Big Pond.

Wagner and Grant are, of course, known for much bigger projects. Together and/or separately, they’ve written for Judge Dredd, Tank Girl, Batman, Lobo, and The Demon, among others.


    (1989-1993, various comic magazines)
    Writers: John Wagner and Alan Grant
    Artists: Robin Smith, Cam Kennedy
  • “The Bogie Man” (1989-90, The Bogie Man #1-4)
  • “The Bogie Man: The Chinese Syndrome” (1991, Toxic #2-9)
  • “The Bogie Man: The Manhattan Project” (1991, Toxic #11-21)
  • “Return to Casablanca” (serialized in 2005, Judge Dredd Megazine #227-233)


  • Bogie Man: Chinatoon (1993) Buy this book
    Revised and completed version of “The Chinese Syndrome”
  • The Bogie Man (1998) Buy this book


    (1992, BBC2)
    Original airdate: December 1992, BBC2
    Based on “The Bogie Man” (1989-90) by John Wagner and Alan Grant
    Written by Paul Pender
    Directed by Charles Gormley
    Starring Robbie Coltrane as FRANCIS F. CLUNIE
    Also starring Fiona Fullerton, Midge Ure, Bill Little, Craig Ferguson


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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