I might have been one of the few kids that didn’t and read Harold and the Purple Crayon when I was growing up. While I may have missed something special back then, over the last few decades I more than made up for lost time once I discovered Barnaby. I first discovered the adventures of Mister O’Malley and Barnaby in an old hardcover found at a Brandeis book fair as I was hunting for copies of old Pogo books.
Before there was Timmy Turner and Cosmo and Wanda there was the original fairy godparent, the original Mr. Jackeen J O’Malley and Barnaby Baxter. The relationship between Barnaby and Mr. O’Malley made you wonder who was helping who as O’Malley wasn’t quite all there with his magical help for Barnaby. I get the same enjoyment reading Barnaby as I do when I’m rereading Sugar and Spike. The characters and their stories are just so damn good, and this is a true all-ages book.
Even though I have the old hardcover editions as well as paperbacks, this new edition of Barnaby from Fantagraphics Books will be one I can’t wait to add to my collection. I know the quality and care will be put into this edition just like they have done with Peanuts, Pogo, and other classic comic strip collections. While not exactly George Bailey and Clarence, reading Fantagraphics’ Barnaby is part of a truly wonderful life.
~ Steve Leaf