The! Greatest! of! Marlys!

The! Greatest! of! Marlys!

by Lynda Barry
     
 

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Lynda Barry had a bona fide hit with Cruddy, and her fans are now calling for her older comic strips, all out of print. This book answers the call as it delivers the life and times of Marlys Mullen, the most beloved character in Barry's nationally syndicated comic strip, 'Ernie Pook's Comeek.' Way back in the mid-1980s, Barry introduced the character of Marlys

Overview

Lynda Barry had a bona fide hit with Cruddy, and her fans are now calling for her older comic strips, all out of print. This book answers the call as it delivers the life and times of Marlys Mullen, the most beloved character in Barry's nationally syndicated comic strip, 'Ernie Pook's Comeek.' Way back in the mid-1980s, Barry introduced the character of Marlys Mullen, her crazy groovy teenage sister Maybonne, her sensitive and strange little brother Freddie, a mother like no other, and an array of cousins and friends from the 'hood. This oversized book presents the long strange journey through puberty and life that Marlys and company have experienced. Marlys's universe and galaxy are funny, rude, disturbing, tearful . . . in short, very, very Lynda Barry.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Charmingly illustrated and written in the voices of fictional preadolescents, Barry's comics (The Freddie Stories) alternate between delightful comedy and un-self-conscious poetry. Her comics catalogue the incremental maturation of the smart but unpopular preteen Marlys; her painfully sensitive little brother, Freddie; her big sister, Maybonne; her cousins Arna and Arnold; and occasionally the various adults in their lives. The book collects more than 200 of her syndicated four-panel strip Ernie Pook's Comeek, in which Barry deftly maps the emotional terrain of Marlys and the inevitable social traumas inherent in growing up. Alternating among the voices of the family, Barry offers stories on difficult teachers (Mr. Valotto has sideburns, wears turtleneck dickeys and "thinks he's hip"); boys (Marlys goes broke "buying Twinkies to split with Kevin Turner"); Marlys's difficult mother ("five guys asked her to marry them before she picked my father, the worst mistake of her life") and much more. While Barry can be funny presenting the silly escapades and fantasies of Marlys, Arna, Freddie and Arnold, her real talent is the very nearly poetic invocation of moments of pubescent joy and humiliation as well as of the wonder at the fast-approaching, mysterious state of being a teenager. Her black-and-white drawings are crudely drawn, yet lyrical and emotionally complex. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Tucker
[A] poignantly funny collection of her comic strips about the wildly imaginative Marlys...The book, like Marlys' life, is a small triumph.
Entertainment Weekly Editor's Choice
Dave Eggers
Lynda Barry is a writer, a very often brilliant one, and she's as good a chronicler of adolescence as we've had. Also: she draws. . . . Her ear for how kids talk . . . is flawless; and her artwork, crude as she chooses it to be, serves her agenda well . . .
New York Times Book Review
Kirkus Reviews
Barry's recent novel (Cruddy, p. 1999) proved what her comics admirers already knew: she's a splendid writer with a phenomenal ear for everyday speech. And her comics work, syndicated in dozens of newspapers, has grown with her. After collecting stories featuring her character Freddie (The Freddie Stories), Barry celebrates another of her wonderful creations, Freddie's sister Marlys. There are over two hundred Marlys-centered pieces here, some dating back to 1986, making it possible to chart Barry's growth as writer and artist. Though she still relies on a scratchy, wobbly messiness to echo her subject, Barry's lines calmed down a bit, and her frames became less busy. Barry likes to play with the borders to her mostly one-page stories, and she eventually broke out of her strict four-frame format. A number of the earlier pieces are told by Marlys cousin Maybonne, who hates her guts, partly because Marlys doesn't hesitate to remind everyone that she's a gifted child. But their childhood together is recalled with bittersweetness: their marginal social status, the absence of fathers, their tough-talking matriarchs. As the girls remember it, though, it's mostly about gross food, nasty neighborhood dogs, plastic toys, and goofy haircuts. Beneath the joyful flotsam of their youth, Barry peeks in on their desperation. She also knows the junk well: the bikes, the batons, the turtles, the caps, the candy cigarettes—she's a visual archaeologist of American childhood. The best stories are in Marlys own voice: her riff on the word "groovy"; her little lessons addressed to readers on drawing, school reports, and local news; and her hilarious "guides" to mud, Band-Aids, bugs,and"poodle poetry." Barry has a genius for remembering the odd things kids and grownups do, especially during those times that linger between meanness and joyful innocence. Beyond nostalgia, her deceptively simple art, in all its spareness, breaks your heart and makes you laugh, often at the same time. Giardino, Vittorio NO PASARÁN! Trans. by Stefano Gaudiano NBM(555 8th Ave. Ste. 1202, New York, NY 10018) (64 pp.) paperback original Nov. 2000

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781570612602
Publisher:
Sasquatch Books
Publication date:
09/28/2000
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.43(d)

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