Barnaby Vol. 4 by Crockett Johnson
Hardcover – Fantagraphics – Dec 2020 – 388 pages
The further comic strip adventures of a little boy and his fairy godfather, from the creator of Harold and the Purple Crayon.
Volume Four collects 1948–1949; the misadventures of five-year-old Barnaby Baxter and his Fairy Godfather J.J. O’Malley continue. Bumbling but endearing, Mr. O’Malley rarely gets his magic to work — even when he consults his Fairy Godfather’s Handy Pocket Guide. The true magic of Barnaby resides in its canny mix of fantasy and satire, amplified by the understated elegance of Crockett Johnson’s clean, spare art. It combines of Johnson’s sly wit and O’Malley’s amiable windbaggery, a child’s feeling of wonder and an adult’s wariness, highly literate jokes and a keen eye for the ridiculous. Designed by Daniel Clowes (Patience, Wilson), it includes scholarly material.