Ernie Pook’s Comeek, a comic strip by Lynda Barry that enjoyed tenure at several alternative newspapers, was where readers got to make the acquaintance of the not-so-pretty-nor-popular Marlys and her circle. Marlys embodies all that preteen angst that we like to think we have buried in the past, so we cringe along with every suffering. This book, The Greatest of Marlys, is a compilation of over 200 of these comics and provides quite a glimpse into the complications of ordinary crummy life as lived by Marlys, her teenage sister, Maybonne, and their weird brother, Freddie. Lynda Barry’s drawings are perfect for the depiction of a goofy time we often find disastrous. Funny, but also poignant.
Paperback, 224 pages. Sasquatch 2000, $10.85 at Amazon.