Just in case you wondered. Meeting her was a turning point in my creative life. And look: here’s a good portrait of her in the New York Times. Everyone go out and buy her new book next week.
F*** this: Ernie Pook’s Comeek has been dropped from alternative papers all over the country — including the Austin Chronicle. I wondered last week where it went. Only good news is that now D + Q will post them online.
We’ll have to wait a little while until Drawn and Quarterly publishes the five-volume set of the complete run of Lynda Barry’s Ernie Pook’s Comeek, but in the meantime, there are a bunch of out-of-print collections out there…if you can find them. I’d like to start the week off by showing off a couple scans from two, GIRLS AND BOYS (1981), and EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD (1986).
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BOYS + GIRLS was Lynda’s first book. Most of it is drawn in a scrawled, punky pen style — a crazy contrast to the fluid brushwork of something like ONE! HUNDRED! DEMONS! The strip was reformatted into a horizontal format, something that Chris Oliveros has emphasized will NOT be the case in the D + Q reissues.
Here I’ve restored her strip, “How To Draw Cartoons,” to its original square format:
Here’s a wacky clip of Lynda reading from the book in the the film COMIC BOOK CONFIDENTIAL:
And here’s a really cool photo of a poster advertising the book from around 1980.
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EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD is a little more refined — it was Lynda’s fourth collection, and the drawings get better and better, but the content is still nutty and hilarious. The gems from this book are these little maps that serve as chapter dividers:
Here’s the strip “What Turns Men On”:
And the strip “How to Catch a Man”:
I found this King-Cat strip from John Porcellino to be a great match for them:
Like John P’s KING-CAT CLASSIX collection, I can only think that the five-volume Ernie Pook collection is gonna be nothing short of fantastic.
Eddie Campbell’s “Honeybee” comics from his wonderful book, The Fate of the Artist:
James Kochalka gets away with a tribute to his wife that if I drew it of mine would get me killed:
David Heatley chronicles the seasons of love:
And Lynda Barry draws her family:
Sappy, I know, but sometimes I am.
Also, Chris Oliveros at D+Q posted another page of Lynda Barry’s upcoming “What It Is”:
Just in case anyone else is interested in my other favorite female cartoonists: Renee French, Julie Doucet, Hope Larson, Alison Bechdel, Roz Chast, Lilli Carré, and Jessica Abel. I probably left a ton out, but those are the ones I can think of.
Who are your favorites?
During the (still-in-progress) move, I came across these doodles that Lynda sent me as part of a letter. Everything she does inspires me to create, so I thought I’d share these.
As a cartoonist, one advantage you have over prose writers is that after you publish your book, you can sell your original artwork in a gallery show for hundreds of dollars. This works out great financially for the artists, and at the same time works out great for the fans.
Heatley’s memoir seems particularly suited to this kind of presentation — dig the home videos his father singing.
So anyways: sell your originals. Although few prose writers have taken advantage of the business model, I can see it working, especially for people who write first drafts in longhand. (Lynda Barry sells pages of her original calligraphic manuscript for Cruddy at very reasonable prices over ebay.) Who would mind this hanging on your wall?
I can’t imagine anyone ever wanting to buy my original artwork, but you never know. I better start working bigger…on better paper!
Blessings on Tom Devlin’s head for posting these previews of Lynda Barry’s WHAT IT IS on the Drawn and Quarterly blog. I’ve only seen about 15 pages worth of it from the “graphic issue” of Tin House. The (official!) cover:
A fantastic excerpt which resembles part of a talk Lynda gave at Oberlin:
And finally, the cover for the sneak-preview D+Q is releasing for FREE COMIC BOOK DAY:
I really hope I can get my hands on this next Saturday.
My other rambles about how wonderful Lynda is, here.
“I remember great pleasure in cutting out Andy Cap and Flo with manicure scissors, and then cutting little slits in a magazine picture of a big bowl of Beef-a-Roni, and fitting Andy and Flo into them so it looked like they were rising out of the Beef-a-Roni. I remember laughing my head off at that one. I still love collage and I’ve always turned to it when I get stuck writing or drawing.”
Today, obviously, I got stuck.