The Greatest of Marlys! is the Lynda Barry book we've been waiting for

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I started reading Lynda Barry’s “Ernie Pook’s Comeek” in the back pages of NOW Magazine as a teenager, and it is forever linked in my mind with Matt Groening’s Life in Hell, which ran on the next page over. Today, Drawn and Quarterly publishes The Greatest of Marlys, the expanded and updated version of the giant collection that, 16 years ago, was the definitive record of one of the most extraordinary comics ever to grace newsprint.


Awesome! I’m so glad to see this back in print and expanded. I’m anxiously awaiting vol. 2 of her career-spanning “Everything” series; this will fill in the gap for the moment.

Her book-length saga of Marlys’ cousin, the young, weird, awkward Freddie, is some of the darkest and truest writing for kids I’ve read. It centers on the Jim Jimmy Jim arson story and its fallout.


That excerpt sure was haunting.

Up until now I thought her stuff was semi-autobiographical. Or does that only apply to some of her work, like One Hundred Demons? (Such a vivid image, those One Hundred Demons; I have not yet otherwise encountered it in any casual examination of Buddhism.)

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I love Lynda Barry and especially Marlys. Here’s something more cheerful:


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