Skip

The Bat Boy Archives
June 20, 2009 5:26 PM   Subscribe

In keeping with its mission to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful," Google Books presents every issue of Weekly World News from 1981 to 2007. previously via
posted by Knappster (62 comments total) 47 users marked this as a favorite

 
"information"? "useful"?
posted by Sys Rq at 5:30 PM on June 20, 2009


TITANIC ICEBERG KILLS AGAIN!
posted by Artw at 5:31 PM on June 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


The only newspaper worth reading.
posted by ornate insect at 5:32 PM on June 20, 2009


The internet has finally justified its existence!
posted by languagehat at 5:33 PM on June 20, 2009


This... this is simply amazing.

Wow.

Yes.

Wow.
posted by item at 5:37 PM on June 20, 2009


At last. At long last.
posted by junebug at 5:38 PM on June 20, 2009


Best investigative reporting on the planet. But go ahead, read the New York Times if you want. They get lucky sometimes.
posted by elfgirl at 5:38 PM on June 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Sys Rq: ""information"? "useful"?"

How many things would today's scholars like to see that weren't preserved because people at the time thought them unimportant?

The cost of storage has become so low that there's no justification for not saving everything.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:41 PM on June 20, 2009 [3 favorites]




Now to annoy the shit out of the anti-fringe brigade at Wikipedia by using it as cites on lots of things...
posted by Artw at 5:42 PM on June 20, 2009 [8 favorites]


How many things would today's scholars like to see that weren't preserved because people at the time thought them unimportant?

The cost of storage has become so low that there's no justification for not saving everything.


Plus it akes a great dip-in file for wacky story ideas.
posted by Artw at 5:43 PM on June 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


one small step for bat boy,
one giant leap towards the technological singularity
posted by sloe at 5:43 PM on June 20, 2009


"information"? "useful"?
Sys Rq, I'll bet you're completely oblivious to the dangers posed by spontaneous human combustion. No other 'news' source has the courage to report these stories.

Standing in line at the grocery store is just a chore since WWN disappeared.
posted by Killick at 5:57 PM on June 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


To hell with Elvis or Bigfoot, where the hell is Ken Lay?
posted by ornate insect at 5:59 PM on June 20, 2009


Bat Boy lives again!
posted by Captain_Science at 6:00 PM on June 20, 2009


At last the collected works of Ed Anger are available! Each one a minor masterpiece worthy of The Spectator.

Seriously, though, I wonder how many would run unnoticed, or at least un-remarked-upon, these days.
posted by MimeticHaHa at 6:03 PM on June 20, 2009


I'm with Joe Beese. Ephemera it may be, but as commentary, so interesting.

In college, I was paid to take a bunch of fairly obscure regional ninteeth century newspapers, bound, from the college library and toss them into a dumpster. Why, I have no idea.

Pained me then, pains me now.
posted by IndigoJones at 6:04 PM on June 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Thank you for posting this. This is... amazing.
posted by Gucky at 6:06 PM on June 20, 2009


Oh My God

This is why the internet was invented.
posted by peggynature at 6:11 PM on June 20, 2009


I saw a production of Bat Boy: The Musical a few years, and it was freakin' awesome.
posted by vibrotronica at 6:14 PM on June 20, 2009


Fantastic! Future scholars puzzled by a Batboy reference will finally be able to track it to the source. (And no, I'm not being facetious.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:14 PM on June 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


Did you know BatBoy was knighted? I thought he was a US citizen... The things I miss when I let my subscription lapse... >sigh<
posted by inthe80s at 6:23 PM on June 20, 2009


Ned Silhavy's Stuffing

5 snikers
4 milkey ways
2 bags of gumy bears
1/2 of a bag of mints
5 lollpops without the sticks
posted by setanor at 6:27 PM on June 20, 2009


awesome
posted by pyramid termite at 6:29 PM on June 20, 2009


This makes me so happy in some dark, freakish way.
posted by hippybear at 6:30 PM on June 20, 2009


The ads in the oldest one are so awesome.
How modern Chinese medicine helps
BURN DISEASE OUT OF YOUR BODY

...lying flat on your back, with nothing more than the palm of your hand!
posted by fleetmouse at 6:30 PM on June 20, 2009


I noticed the Original Poster linked to an issue with an article in it titled "NERD ALERT! How To Avoid Having Your Son Grow Up To Be A Dork!" (aka a MeFite).
posted by wendell at 6:39 PM on June 20, 2009 [1 favorite]




It's also worth noting that in its last few years the WWN added comics, including one for "The Adventures of Bat Boy", which, starting in January 2006, was done by "Girls With Slingshots" webcomicker Danielle Corsetto (scroll down a little).
posted by wendell at 6:45 PM on June 20, 2009


YES! YES! YES! This is the best news I've heard in a long time. I loved the WWN for years, and was saddened when it went out of print. One interesting thing is, reading the early issues, they seem a lot more like a "serious" tabloid (fluff pieces about celebrities, etc.) than the later, totally over-the-top issues with stories like "Satan Lives in my Toilet" and the various trials and tribulations of Bat Boy.
posted by DecemberBoy at 6:55 PM on June 20, 2009


I'm just glad the U.S. didn't invade Luxembourg.
posted by Mojojojo at 7:13 PM on June 20, 2009


This rules! Before the Internet, kids, this was The Onion.

Bat Boy for President!
posted by Mikey-San at 7:16 PM on June 20, 2009


yes I know the Internet has been around a long time

offa my lawn ok

posted by Mikey-San at 7:18 PM on June 20, 2009


I think the Weekly World News doomed itself with its September 6, 2004 issue, where, for the first time, it published a disclaimer at the bottom of Page 2.
posted by wendell at 7:22 PM on June 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Here's links to some infamous classics:

Space Alien Meets with Ross Perot
Bat Child Escapes!
Hillary Clinton Adopts Alien Baby
Satan's Skull Found in New Mexico
FBI Captures Bat Child
500 ft. Jesus Appears at UN

The Many Travels of Satan's Face:
Satan's Face in Hurricane Andrew
Face of Satan Appears over Waco
Face of Jesus and Satan Appear over Texas
Face of Satan Appears over Haiti

I don't think they have every issue up, because I can't find any of the ones they used to sell T-shirts of, like the original "Bat Child Found in Cave" or "12 US Senators are Space Aliens".
posted by DecemberBoy at 7:24 PM on June 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Only twelve?
posted by Crabby Appleton at 7:32 PM on June 20, 2009 [1 favorite]




Also, if you go through the archive, you'll find that same space alien meeting with every notable politician you can think of, always in the same pose (they recycled headlines a lot). I think the Ross Perot one was the first, though.
posted by DecemberBoy at 7:35 PM on June 20, 2009


A good friend of mine met a photographer for the WWN at a party. The photographer took a picture of my friend as a file photo and promised it would get used some day to illustrate an article. Sure enough, a year or so later my friend turned up as "Dr Evan Doppe" (not his real name).
posted by kcds at 7:42 PM on June 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


Jan 2000: PANIC! Second Great Depression by March
Apr 2000: PANIC! Second Great Depression by June
Sep 2000: PANIC! Second Great Depression by October
Nov 2000: TERROR! Bank Collapse, Stock Crash and Second Great Depression by January!
Jan 2001: PANIC! Second Great Depression by March!
Feb 2002: SECOND GREAT DEPRESSION is just weeks away!
May 2002: 2ND GREAT DEPRESSION Stock Market Crash by July!
Apr 2003: 2nd Great Depression can Make You Rich!

And the "second great depression" headlines seem to trail off here. Jesus, I never realized how repetitive they were. I mean, I knew Satan's face was seen somewhere a once or twice a year, but this is recycling so blatant it becomes another form of joke. The covers are even almost identical for most of them.

Bonus Crap:
Clinton Hires 3 Breasted Intern
Abraham Lincoln was a Woman (easily one of the best covers ever)
posted by DecemberBoy at 8:00 PM on June 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Holy shit! STUART WAS RIGHT!!!
posted by DecemberBoy at 8:05 PM on June 20, 2009


Oh, I know what I am doing at work for the next few weeks.
posted by sperose at 8:21 PM on June 20, 2009


I actually wrote this story. All true, too, from a legit court case. They gave me $50 for it, put some random guy's byline on it and added a lot of exclamation points and adjectives. I was too poor at the time to save the check, sadly. I would love a framed WWN paycheck.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:56 PM on June 20, 2009 [9 favorites]


It has long been (no joke) a fond dream of mine to one day pen an actual, perhaps bylined, WWN story. One can but hope I may one day join that illustrious pantheon.
posted by junebug at 9:51 PM on June 20, 2009


Charlie: Hey Mom, I find it interesting that you refer to the Weekly World News as, "The Paper." The paper contains facts.
May: This paper contains facts. And this paper has the eighth highest circulation in the whole wide world. Right? Plenty of facts. "Pregnant man gives birth." That's a fact.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:13 PM on June 20, 2009


you guys do realize that it's no longer being published, right? (although it is a section in the national enquirer, but that's not the same)

but my favorite were the personal replies of dear dotti:

"Dear Mad in Belden: I didn't say you were fat. I said you had a "two-stool" behind!"

"Dear Horrified Girl in Grand Gorge: I don't care what your boyfriend says: the bedroom is no place for plastic explosives - no matter what the shape!"

"Dear Paul in L.A.: I saw your picture and I wouldn't take you to a dog fight."

"Dear Leslie in Detroit: Bananas ARE healthful but you have to EAT them to get the benefits."
posted by pyramid termite at 10:13 PM on June 20, 2009


I wrote the letter "Dumb Frenchman Deserves to Marry Fatty" whilst drunk at the University of Chicago in 1989. The WWN was actually huge at the U of C at the time--you would see articles from it on professor's doors, and when the alumni magazine ran an article on Saul Bellow it was accompanied by a picture in which you could make out a copy of the WWN on the great man's coffee table. Anyway, a bunch of us wrote letters in a contest to see who could get something published in the paper.
posted by LarryC at 11:22 PM on June 20, 2009


How come when I do a search for "Bat Boy" I only get one result, and it's an advertisement?
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 11:46 PM on June 20, 2009


Oh, never mind. There's a "search all issues" box to click.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 11:47 PM on June 20, 2009


Aliens ate my baby.
posted by caddis at 3:56 AM on June 21, 2009




I bought a book for one of my previous libraries that analyzed tabloids like the WWN. It found that most people who bought it were serious readers, but nobody believed all of it. The Elvis-believers thought the alien stories were bunk, and vice versa. A small percentage of us were callous sophisticates, of course, who bought it for the sheer joy of it.

And yes, I had a subscription for many years. The writing went through a decline in the mid-90s, lots of repeated stories and not a lot of creativity. But there was a sharp turnaround one fall, and the lunacy soared to inspired heights.

As a subscriber, I got the issue with a superfat Princess Diana on the cover the week she was killed. It was pulled from the stores—the only time I've known the WWN to apologize—and the entire issue was reprinted the following week with some other celebrity on the cover. I wonder if they've included that in the archive?
posted by ancientgower at 5:58 AM on June 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


> I don't think they have every issue up

Clearly not; it started in 1979, and the first issue they have is Jan. 6, 1981.
posted by languagehat at 6:27 AM on June 21, 2009




My Mom, my college educated, medical professional, world traveling Mom, used to read this. Drove me crazy.
As I got older, I came to realize that people who read WWN, live in a much more interesting world than those who don't.
posted by djrock3k at 10:01 AM on June 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


The best part of the "12 US Sentaors are Space Aliens" story is that somebody actually got a quote from Phil Graham saying something like "It's true. We are aliens. I'm surprised it took this long for you to figure it out." and they ran it on the cover.

Yes, I have the t-shirt.
posted by vibrotronica at 10:09 AM on June 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I never, ever, thought I would ever see "Rome Can't Hold a Candle to Des Moines" ever again. Thank you, Google Books!!! I'm sure that Ed Anger is less pig-biting mad now that his work can be read by a whole new generation of ignorant Americans.
posted by kuppajava at 12:07 PM on June 21, 2009


Finally, a reason to live. Every "Dear Dottie" and "Ed Anger" column. At my fingertips!

I have long suspected that Rush Limbaugh simply lifted his schtick from Ed Anger.

For years and years there was a yellowing WWN headline taped to my fridge door that read "RABID FERRET TURNS BABY'S FACE TO HAMBURGER". I don't know why I thought that one was particularly funny.

Batboy endorsed Clinton, if I recall correctly.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:24 PM on June 21, 2009


The Life back issues can suck it. This is the real justification for Google Books.
posted by sparkletone at 2:31 PM on June 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Artw: "Plus it akes a great dip-in file for wacky story ideas."

Careful, that's how Harry Stephen Keeler got started.
posted by JHarris at 4:23 PM on June 21, 2009


ancientgower - any idea what the title of that book might be? sounds interesting.
posted by Artw at 4:38 PM on June 21, 2009


Thanks for the link. I'm trying to find the issues that my parents and I were in, because I lost my hard copies of them. A friend of mine used to work for WWN and put almost everyone he knew in it.
posted by srs at 1:36 PM on June 26, 2009


« Older Missing Link or Piltdown   |   Suck my exhaust, "Happy Feet"! Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post