Cover image for The Freddie stories
The Freddie stories
Barry, Lynda, 1956-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Seattle : Sasquatch Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
123 pages : chiefly illustrations ; 16 x 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN6727.B359 F74 1999 Graphic Novel Central Closed Stacks
PN6727.B359 F74 1999 Graphic Novel Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Lynda Barry is known and loved for her freaky and beautiful cartoons. The Freddie Stories, featuring sisters Marlys and Maybonne and their spunky little brother Freddie, continues Barry's brilliant, raw, and original exploration of youth, coming of age, friendship, attitude and being in the world.

Author Notes

Lynda Barry's comic strips appear in many newsweeklys. Nine collections of her comics have been published, along with The Good Times Are Killing Me (See page 74). She is a painter, illustrator, and writer living in Evanston, Illinois. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Esquire, Newsweek, Mother Jones, and Time.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The first collection of Barry's cartoons in five years focuses on the younger brother of Marlys and Maybonne, the stars of Barry's comic strip "Ernie Pook's Comeek," an alternative newspaper staple. Although Freddie is, as he himself says, "warped in the brains," he is gentle and good-hearted, a friend even to flies. Unfortunately, in a hostile world, including an embittered mother and uncaring teachers, Freddie's benevolence and balminess are a dangerous combination. He reels from crisis to crisis, from being implicated in a tragic arson to being sexually molested by a classmate. Finally, he is placed in the dreaded special-ed class ("spazville"), which would be tough enough even if everybody's heads didn't appear to Freddie's disturbed mind to be flaming skulls. Most of the narrative is carried by wordy captions relaying Freddie's interior monologues, which, unfortunately, often crowd Barry's messy but expressive drawings. Freddie's peculiar troubles make these stories less universal than most of Barry's tales of adolescent trauma, but they constitute a persuasive, if extreme, view of childhood. --Gordon Flagg

Publisher's Weekly Review

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 funnyÄor 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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

YA-Barry's comic strip has been running in hip weeklies for years. Marlys, her teenaged sister Maybonne, and their sappy little brother Freddie have also been featured in previous book-length tales that have a readership among both the strip readers and those who know Barry's work only in its longer form. Both groups will appreciate The Freddie Stories, featuring the eponymous weird little brother-who isn't really so much weird as he is the unfortunate low man on the totem pole at home, school, and in his neighborhood. In the cartoonist's customary style, the artwork is quivery and stuffed with detail, while the dialogue is hyperrealistic, replete with "ums" and name-calling. Freddie's teacher and mother both show their dislike of the poor underdog who finds himself needing to foil a peer's plan to burn down the neighborhood. Subplots about Marlys and Maybonne make this a true novel rather than a long short story. Freddie's life isn't any prettier than Barry's art, but both are substantial and compelling.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.