Barry Ween with Kate (and Dan)

Kate is once again scrounging through Dan’s shelves and stacks of comics.


D: No. We’ve gone over this before. Comics are to be handled delicately, not tossed on a metal rack to have their corners bent.

::puts on white gloves:: Now, what can I help you find, m’lady?

K: You know what the comics industry needs? More scientists.

D: Umm…you know that there is nothing but scientists in comics, right? Doc Ock in Spider-Man. The Flash. Bruce Banner. Doctor Doom.

K: ::clenches fist:: WHO, BUT DOCTOR DOOM?!

D: There are a lot of scientists, good and evil, in comics. What kind of scientist are you looking for? A “mad” one, like you?

K: Nah. I’m thinking something that will target the playground demographic. Readers who still have recess during their day. You know, elementary school kids. How are they supposed to relate to smarty-pants Tony Stark? They don’t understand the playboy lifestyle. They still think girls are smelly! Who’s thinking about the elementary school kids?

D: Yes. That is just what Marvel & DC are worried about. Making their characters relatable to readers who still worry about cooties.

K: Exactly! What are these kids supposed to read if they don’t have any good scientist role models in their comics? Who is going to inspire the next generation for greatness?

D: ::carefully looking through the shelves of comics:: I think I have just what you are looking for…um…here! I don’t know what kind of role model he is, but Barry Ween is an elementary school aged scientist. Kid’s got a big brain and a big mouth to match. Why don’t you give part one of THE ADVENTURES OF BARRY WEEN: BOY GENIUS a gander?

K: Hmmm… “Chapter 1, TIME LORD.”

K: I fucking love this book.

D: Woah, there, lady. This is a family blog.

K: Sorry. But I’m just amazed how a book with this much heart could be peppered with so much goddamn swearing and general vulgarity. I laughed my motherfucking ass off. Swear to Christ, I laughed so hard I was crying like a bitch with a skinned knee.

D: ::clutches picture of his sainted mother to his chest, says his Hail Mary’s::

K: Dude. Jews don’t say Hail Mary’s.

D: grumble

K: So, this Barry Ween. I like the cut of his jib. 10 years old, smartest kid on the planet. Best friend Jeremy is his wingman. The rest is adventure. And yeah, Barry has a mouth on him. What else is there?

D: Well, here we’ve got a case of  “Experiment Gone Wrong” when Barry runs some experimental trials in the basement…

K: … none of which had anything to do with inter-dimensional warps…

D:… that came later.

K: Then we come to my favorite panel in the book. And the one that really makes you care about Barry. Judd Winick writes and draws Barry in such a way that having a panel with just a close up of an awe-struck Barry saying one thing:

D & K: “Fuuuuuck…”

D: Yeah. You know our boy Barry didn’t expect this. He accidentally opens a portal to other dimensions and chaos ensues in his basement. That’s when he calls in his best friend Jeremy for assistance. Barry needs to figure out how to return the people and other creatures that have found their way into his house to their correct places of origin and then close the portal.

K: And he gets the job done. BOOM! Problem solver and role model for the little fuckers!

D: Again. Family. Blog.

K: Sorry. Barry uses science to fix his problem and sets an example for resourcefulness for the little…readers.

D: Winick does an excellent job doing double duty writing and drawing the book. ‘Course, he also created the book. So there’s that.

K: On second thought, I don’t think this is the right scientist for elementary school kids. You know, on account of the swearing. A positive scientist role model that is 10 years old: Awesome! A 10 year old that curses like a sailor? Not so much.

D: Please. Like we didn’t talk like that on the playground back in the day. And we sure as hell knew we were smarter than everyone else. I say give the kids a self-confidant hero they can look up to. A kid that takes care of his friends and gets things done. Give ‘em Barry Ween: Boy Genius.