Barry’s singular genius is that she keeps within her the memory of what it’s like to be young and powerless and frightened.PopMatters
The trials and tribulations of troubled adolescents from barry’s acclaimed comic
The Freddie Stories traces a year in the life of Freddie, the youngest member of the dysfunctional Mullen family. These four-panel entries–each representing an episode in the life of Freddie–bring to life adolescence, pimples and all. No matter what happens, it all seems to go wrong for Freddie–he’s set up as an arsonist, mercilessly teased in school, and bossed around by classmates. With consummate skill, Lynda Barry writes about the cruelty of children at this most vulnerable age when the friends they make and the paths they choose can forever change their lives. In The Freddie Stories every word of dialogue, every piece of narration, and every dark line evokes adolescent angst.
These short, moving stories are collected from Barry’s beloved Ernie Pook’s Comeek, which was serialized across North America for two decades. Re-packaged here with a brand-new afterword from Lynda Barry, The Freddie Stories is an adult tale about just how hard it is to be a teenager–a classic Barry work alongside her cult masterpiece novel Cruddy–poignant, insightful, and true.
Praise for The Freddie Stories
Freddie’s travails are writ large, but their depiction of childhood miseries (lack of control, lack of understanding, living under the illusion of a morally-driven universe) feels true to anyone who has experienced them on a smaller scale.Paste
These are powerful accounts of some of the very difficult things of childhood that we might rather forget, but should always remember.Graphic Medicine
Despite the heavy themes and harsh challenges that Freddie faces, Barry's comic strips are always accessible and crackle with the manic energy of childhood.Cult MTL
Barry’s drawings are messily splendid while also graphically precise, able to convey personality and setting and emotional complexities with economy and depth. But her text is the real knockout component in these stories...Barry consistently achieves Faulknerian complexity and style.Barnes and Noble Review