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Barnaby. Barnaby was created by Crockett Johnson and appeared in the comic strip “Barnaby” (1942-1952, 1963).

Barnaby Baxter is a five-year-old somewhere in suburban America. Barnaby wishes for a fairy godfather and gets one, Jackeen J. O’Malley, who is an actual fairy. O’Malley can grant wishes with his magic wand, but often he is too busy smoking his cigar or expounding on his current interest (finding information on pixies, turning The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire into a screenplay, or trying to teach other children to fly) to successfully make his magic work. Barnaby’s parents don’t believe that Mr. O’Malley exists, and neither Barnaby nor Mr. O’Malley ever successfully demonstrate that he does exist, but that does not stop Barnaby and Mr. O’Malley from helping Barnaby’s father’s office baseball team win a big game, or catching Nazi spies, or successfully running for Congress (where he is put on the Useless Papers Committee). The other inhabitants of Barnaby’s world are equally fantastic: the talking dog Gorgon, the invisible leprechaun Lancelot McSnoyd (who has a Brooklyn accent), Emmy Lou Schwartz, “Licensed Witchcraft Practitioner, 98, 413,” the ghost Jacob “Jake” Marley, and the shy ghost Gus.

Sadly, when Barnaby turns six, he is told by his father that he is a big boy now, and fairy godfathers don’t appear to big boys. Mr. O’Malley looks this up in the fairy godfather’s handbook and discovers this is true, and is forced to say goodbye to Barnaby.

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