Sunday, October 12, 2008

What It Is: Lynda Barry Interview

Happy news, readers! Cartoonist, novelist, playwright, and friend to collages everywhere, Lynda Barry, has agreed to an interview for the forthcoming issue of The Yalobusha Review. She's the creator behind dozens and dozens of comic strips which, in the eighties, gained her a cult following and led to the occasional appearance on "Late Night With David Letterman." Strips of her syndicated comic, Ernie Pook's Comeek, have appeared on Salon and been collected in, The Freddy Stories and The Greatest of Marlys. She's also the author of several sorts of books. The kind with pictures, like Cruddy, named one of the top ten books of the year by EW in 2000, or The Good Times Are Killing Me, winner of the Washington Governor's Writing Award, and the kind with more pictures, the "autobifictionalographic" One Hundred Demons, for example, or the combination memoir/activity book/storytelling manual/all-around paen to images, What It Is.

Lynda Barry allows her characters and drawings to be squiggly and frantic and vulnerable. Her stories are silly and serious, funny and resonant. But you don't have to take my word for it, listen to what these people say:

EW called her "America’s leading cartoon artist of childhood angst." From the San Francisco Chronicle: "Barry is not just a storyteller, she’s an evangelist who urges people to pick up a pen—or a brush . . . and look at their own lives with fresh, forgiving eyes.” And Dave Eggers, writing in the New York Times Book Review, said, "Lynda Barry has no peer," and in discussing her work, "we're approaching a word not commonly employed when talking of cartoons, oeuvre." Cartoonist as auteur, indeed.

Check out other reviews and examples of Lynda's work at Salon. Head over to myspace and learn about Lynda's traveling workshop, Writing the Unthinkable. Learn how to draw. Have fun.

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