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Overview

A legendary comic strip finally given the Fantagraphics treatment.

Before authoring one of the most beloved children’s book series of all time — Harold and the Purple Crayon —cartoonist Crockett Johnson created the comic strip Barnaby for over ten years (1942 to 1952). Its subtle ironies and playful allusions never won a broad following, but the adventures of 5-year-old Barnaby Baxter and his fairy godfather Jackeen J. O’Malley was and is a critical favorite.

Fantagraphics will introduce the wonders of Barnaby to a new generation of children and parents alike. Co-edited by Johnson biographer Philip Nel (Dr. Seuss: American Icon) and Fantagraphics Associate Publisher Eric Reynolds, with art direction by graphic novelist Daniel Clowes (Ghost World), this five-volume Barnaby series will collect the entirety of the original newspaper strips from 1942-1952. The first volume will collect all the strips from 1942 and 1943.

Barnaby revolved around a precocious five-year-old named Barnaby Baxter and his fairly godfather Jackeen J. O’Malley. Yet O’Malley, a cigar-chomping, bumbling con-artist and fast-talker, was not your typical protector. His grasp of magic was usually specious at best, limited to occasional flashes, often aided and abetted by his fellow members in The Elves, Leprechauns, Gnomes, and Little Men’s Chowder & Marching Society.

Barnaby’s deft balance of fantasy, political commentary, sophisticated wit, and elegantly spare images expanded our sense of what comic strips can do. With subtlety and economy, Barnaby proved that comics need not condescend to readers. Its small but influential readership took that message to heart.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781606995228
Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
Publication date: 06/15/2013
Series: Barnaby
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.80(w) x 10.80(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Crockett Johnson was the pen name of cartoonist and children’s book illustrator David Johnson Leisk (October 20,1906–July 11, 1975). He is best known for the Harold series of books, which began with Harold and the Purple Crayon, and for the comic strip Barnaby. He was married to the children’s book author Ruth Krauss, with whom he collaborated on several books, including The Carrot Seed.

Daniel Clowes (b. 1961, Chicago, Illinois) is an American cartoonist. He is a multi-Harvey, Eisner, and Ignatz Award Winner, and his papers have been acquired by the University of Chicago library. His most recent book, Patience, has been translated into nineteen languages, and his books and comics have won numerous awards, including a PEN America Literary Award and over a dozen Harvey and Eisner Awards. As a screenwriter, he has been nominated for an Academy Award and written the films Ghost World (with Terry Zwigoff), Art School Confidential, and Wilson. A retrospective of his work, Modern Cartoonist, debuted in 2012, appearing at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Oakland Museum, and the Wexner Center. His illustrations have been featured on a wide-ranging array of posters, album covers, and magazines, including many covers for The New Yorker. He lives in Oakland, California, with his wife and son.

Eric Reynolds is the VP/Associate Publisher of Fantagraphics Books. He has curated well over 4,000 pages of comics anthologies, between ten volumes of Now, 22 volumes of Mome from 2005-2010, and several Free Comic Book Day anthologies for Fantagraphics. He lives in Seattle, WA, with his wife and daughter.

What People are Saying About This

Dorothy Parker

I think, and I’m trying to talk calmly, that Barnaby and his friends and oppressors are the most important additions to American arts and letters in Lord knows how many years.

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