Teddy Bears and Monsters Under the Bed

Teddy Bears and Monsters Under the Bed

I use Facebook a lot. Too much, like most of us. But every once in a great while, the big blue time suck does produce something that sparks some interest, curiosity, or change.

This fantastic piece of art – called “Sweet Halloween Dreams” – was one such something, drawn by the oh-so-talented Alex Panagop (find him here on DeviantArt). Click on the pic for the full-size image on his DeviantArt site.

Teddy bears have been a fixture of American children’s lives since the first one was created in 1902 by Morris Michtom, an immigrant who modeled the new toy after a bear in a political cartoon featuring then-President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt. Originally called “Teddy’s bear”, the toy was wildly successful.

Read the whole wiki entry on teddy bears here.

Since those early days over a hundred years ago, the teddy bear has inspired love and peaceful slumber from millions of children the world over. They’re dragged around by the arms – often falling apart – but they mean the world to “their” children, and many a tear has been shed over their loss – real or imagined.

So when I saw this art on Facebook, with the clever caption “Teddy Bears – Protecting innocent children from monsters under the bed since 1902,” I immediately had the idea for a story.

Shocker, I know.

What if it wasn’t just this one teddy bear protecting the sleeping child? What if the legions of stuffed bears the world over weren’t “invented” at all? What if they’d been born for this? What would their story be, after more than a hundred years?

So, with those questions in mind, I came up with the beginnings of my first children’s series:

He was a good teddy bear, as such things were measured, hardly ever letting a monster-under-the-bed close enough to haunt the dreams of his child.

I’d like to collaborate with Alex on this idea. His art and my words could make a lot of children’s imaginations run wild. Stay tuned for more updates on “The Adventures of Freddy McPhane, Teddy Bear”.

19 Comments

  1. Rachel October 3, 2011 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    Red sent me. RedTash.com

  2. Red Tash October 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    Glad I’m not the only one. It’s a wonderful piece of artwork, and I hope it works out for you and the artist!

  3. Na October 11, 2011 at 4:53 pm - Reply

    I really really like how the tiny teddy bear is the only source of colour in the drawing. It is literally a beacon of light. It’s why teddy bears are one of my favourite toys and why I still have a few lying around.

    Red sent me. http://redtash.com/

  4. katrina October 27, 2011 at 11:59 pm - Reply

    This is a FANTASTIC idea! I immediately also thought that someone should create a story set from this picture. I always felt teddy bears have their own unique personality. I have a teddy collection, and they all have their own stories in my head. (I know i’m an adult, haha, but I still love them) Good luck! I want to read it when you finish!

  5. Tiffany October 29, 2011 at 7:01 am - Reply

    I can’t wait to read the book. It is a fantastic idea. My cousin Brian told me once when I was very young that the teddy bears would protect me while I sleep. Ever since than I have had a teddy bear in one way or another watching over me as I sleep. Seeing this picture brought tears to my eyes and more than anything I would love to have this picture in my home and a story to tell my own children in how the teddy bears will protect them.

  6. nancy November 9, 2011 at 11:36 pm - Reply

    This is such a great piece of art..is it available to purchase? I love teddy bears I have been collecting them now for quite sometime, I love the ones that talk to me in the thrift stores and ask me to please take them home…I do…

    • Grey Gecko Press November 10, 2011 at 2:21 pm - Reply

      Nancy,

      Not sure if it is or not. I’ve been trying to get in touch with the artist, but have thus far been unsuccessful. You might try his website (linked in the post above). Let me know if you get ahold of him and can buy it – I’d like one too!

      • Ryan January 30, 2012 at 9:08 pm - Reply

        Yes prints are available from the deviant art website, inexpensive too… $3.50 ish for an 8×10

  7. Nick Davis November 10, 2011 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    The tale of Tristan the Teddy Bear protecting his child from the Monsters under the bed by Nick Davis, with the art of Dan Nokes. This 36 page fully illustrated children’s tale is a delight for anyone who ever owned a Teddy Bear.

    • Grey Gecko Press November 10, 2011 at 7:02 pm - Reply

      Way to go Nick. I hesitated to approve your comment, for obvious reasons, but didn’t want to seem disingenuous. For those who may be wondering, until today I’d never heard of Nick or his “Teddy Bear Tales”.

      • Nick Davis November 10, 2011 at 9:16 pm - Reply

        Well stories are interesting things they are a little like buses; I didn’t learn about Alex Panagop amazing image to three months after I wrote Unconditional – A Teddy Bear Tale. By that time I was well into the campaigning over on Kickstarter to pay my artist Dan Nokes for his illustrations that would accompany the book which is coming out in early December.

        Teddy Bears though have been protecting the innocent since 1894; which was the year they appeared in a German Toy Magazine and didn’t appear in the USA until 1902.

        Me I’m enjoying seeing the Teddy Bear Tale come to like, Dan’s art is amazing me and is very evocative and I’ve also been fortunate to find a manufacture who could make me Tristan to sell.

  8. clownfoot December 15, 2011 at 4:30 am - Reply

    Looks like I’m not the only person who has been inspired by this wonderful drawing. Although I’m not sure my take on it would produce a kids book…

  9. misswondrland December 18, 2011 at 12:44 pm - Reply

    Love the idea. He has such a Ghost in the Shell quality in his work that it would appeal to children of all ages. He does some really beautiful pieces for cats as well.

  10. Torbjörn Hirsch March 18, 2012 at 1:18 pm - Reply

    I found this thread via the Facebook meme. As I have been working on a suite of pictures on the theme “Monsters at leisure and work” I couldn’t resist making my own version of the concept (http://torbjornhirsch.deviantart.com/gallery/36110027#/d4t9dbf), not with a teddy bear though but my own favourite stuffed animal during childhood… 🙂

    (Naturally I’ve credited Alex P)

  11. Doug March 19, 2012 at 1:47 am - Reply

    No need for words. The picture tells the story in its self 🙂

  12. Joe April 13, 2012 at 8:55 am - Reply

    I am a Media Arts & Animation student. I am taking a 3D animation course on character and object design this quarter. Well, I had never heard of any stories of teddy bears defending children from monsters under the bed – an idea I have begun to work on now. I am doing some research to gather any folk tales and history to use for that purpose. I want to turn this concept into an animation, and am working on a good premise. Maybe if you have a good script we could collaborate on a low budget animation for it…just a thought. I’m an animator not a script writer.

  13. Daniel bailey July 13, 2012 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    Where can I buy a print of this piece?

  14. Josh September 30, 2012 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    I too, fell in love with this piece, and am going to create a short film and animation about it. although the film is more character oriented, it will take place in a world where teddy bears have this role.

    while its always hard to hear people have the same idea that you think is so amazing, it just goes to show that this is a story worth telling. each version will give different things to different people. and i look forward to seeing them all.

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