cover image The Freddie Stories: With the Great Marlys! and Sister Maybonne

The Freddie Stories: With the Great Marlys! and Sister Maybonne

Lynda Barry. Sasquatch Books, $12.95 (128pp) ISBN 978-1-57061-106-3

Cartoonist Lynda Barry (It's So Magic) presents a another series of touching stories and drawings in her continuing portrait of the fictional and highly dysfunctional Mullen family. The cast of characters includes the browbeating mother, perpetually bored cousin Arnold, sisters Marlys and Maybonne and their sensitive and ultimately troubled brother, Freddie. Charming, very quirky and deeply introspective, Freddie is a teenage misfit (he's also subject to disturbing visions), a geeky, hypersensitive guy in a world of disdainful, conforming teens who are, in fact, often just as emotionally battered and isolated as he is. And although Freddie can be clever (Marlys praises his hipster lingo and, in ""Cooking with Freddy,"" his ""incredible"" fried baloney sandwiches), he's more often painfully inappropriate, acting out after a variety of sad incidents and disappointments until he drives people crazy. Barry has created an all-too-real world of adolescence that can be charming and funny--or despairing, frightening and downright hallucinatory. As always, her b&w drawings are stylishly raw and rendered with a keen eye for mood, character and graphic inventiveness. Like her stories, the drawings capture expertly her teenage characters as they wobble ever closer to becoming adults. (Apr.)