Eight-year-old Marlys is indomitable. And not just in the normal way that 8-year-olds are indomitable — i.e. they can’t shut up. Marlys lives in a beaten-down home with a missing father and a mom who might as well be, but from that unpromising material she generates an endless series of games, experiments, songs, dances and general theories about life. She’s not a fantasist, she sees everything as it is — she just loves it all. Every once in a while it all comes crashing in on her, but somehow she bobs up again in the next scribbly black-and-white panel, unsinkable as ever. The Greatest of Marlys— a collection of Barry’s comic strips about Marlys and her siblings, Maybonne and Freddie, a.k.a. Skreddy 57 — is probably the greatest novel ever written, in any medium, from a child’s point of view.