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Lynda Barry to Visit Herron February 24th

February 17, 2011 by Reader's Connection

IUPUI´s Rufus & Louise Reiberg Reading Series and the Herron School of Art & Design are welcoming author/cartoonist Lynda Barry to Indianapolis on Thursday, February 24th. She will appear at Herron, in the Basile Auditorium in Eskanazi Hall at 7:30 p.m.

Picture This (2010)

Picture ThisThe creator of the weekly Ernie Pook’s Comeek follows up What It Is (2008) with this equally inspiring and inspired guide to freeing the creative potential within even the most tightly buttoned reader. Barry introduces the Near-Sighted Monkey, who joins her beloved character Marlys in leading readers through imagination-loosening exercises in doodling and coloring as well as snippets of sly storytelling and fact revealing. At times the Near-Sighted Monkey channels Barry–presenting information about how the cartoonist approaches her own work–and also offers very monkey-centric tidbits, such as when to talk about banana peels. Marlys fans will find plenty of satisfaction here, but adults and older teens who crave the opportunity to regain the pleasures they found in childhood creativity will also be thrilled with this volume. Although this book makes a good companion for What It Is, there is no need to be familiar with that title before cracking this one. — Booklist 


What It Is (2008)

What It IsThis brilliant, beautiful, nearly uncategorizable book is a print version of Barry’s famous seminar “Writing the Unthinkable” a class about writing from “images,” recollected or imagined moments. It’s part cartooning, part handwritten text, part ornate multimedia collage (with heartbreaking pieces of decades-old school papers and words snipped out of old textbooks)–all three appear on almost every page, most of which Barry constructed by decorating every available space on ruled yellow notebook paper. The first and longest section is a bizarre and hilarious memoir of Barry’s creative impulses: how they developed when she was a child, how they flickered and faded when she started asking herself “Is this good?” and “Does this suck?” and how they returned when she learned to escape that trap. The core of the book, though, explains the “writing the unthinkable” technique; it’s narrated by a sea monster and stars a “magic cephalopod.” Finally, Barry shows us a sheaf of her note pad, the pages she fills with doodles and spare phrases while she’s working on a “real” project; they are, naturally, as vivid and radiantly eccentric as everything else here. The whole thing is overflowing with quirks, strangeness and charm, and makes palpable Barry’s affection for her students and the act of art making itself. — Publishers Weekly  


One Hundred Demons (2002)

One Hundred Demons

Cartoonist and novelist Barry (The Good Times Are Killing Me) has published several books of comics, notably those featuring the lively young Marlys, the self-proclaimed “#1 groover on life.” This oblong (10″ x 6″) book, featuring comics that first appeared on, is her first hardcover collection and her first book in color. It’s a series of 17 semi-autobiographical stories about the things from our pasts that haunt us. From “Head Lice and My Worst Boyfriend,” Barry moves on to the dark side of the hippie dream and moving stories that touch on childhood, adolescence, and loss of innocence. Barry’s text-heavy panels fit a lot of story into a few pages, and her childlike drawings seem almost designed to encourage budding artist readers. The title comes from an Asian painting exercise that inspired the book; with any luck, Barry will keep going until she reaches the magic number. — Library Journal  


The Greatest of Marlys (2000)

The Greatest of MarlysCharmingly illustrated and written in the voices of fictional preadolescents, Barry’s comics alternate between delightful comedy and un-self-conscious poetry. Her comics catalogue the incremental maturation of the smart but unpopular preteen Marlys; her painfully sensitive little brother, Freddie; her big sister, Maybonne; her cousins Arna and Arnold; and occasionally the various adults in their lives. The book collects more than 200 of her syndicated four-panel strip Ernie Pook’s Comeek, in which Barry deftly maps the emotional terrain of Marlys and the inevitable social traumas inherent in growing up. Alternating among the voices of the family, Barry offers stories on difficult teachers (Mr. Valotto has sideburns, wears turtleneck dickeys and “thinks he’s hip”); boys (Marlys goes broke “buying Twinkies to split with Kevin Turner”); Marlys’s difficult mother (“five guys asked her to marry them before she picked my father, the worst mistake of her life”) and much more. — Publishers Weekly



  1. corina says:

    Thank you, thank you! I looooove Lynda Barry.

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