Lynda Barry

This is me and my dear friend Melodie. This photo was taken in 1980. We have known each other since we were 17 years old.

I miss her a lot. She called me at work last Sunday but it was the one day I was insanely busy and could not talk. We haven’t had a good long conversation in over a year.

I need to call her.

She’s cool. Her childhood/teenagerhood was probably more like Lynda Barry’s than mine. Mine was weird, surreal but kinda stable. Her mom, Virginia was a wild one.

My dad was a wild one but I wasn’t at his mercy. Thanks, grannies!

Even though I had discovered other cartoonists or comic artists because I had read Zap and those 60’s comics in the “free press” papers when I found Lynda Barry I was really impressed.

Here was a girl who’s drawing talents weren’t the greatest yet she worked her vision and shared her story. She just did it.

She rendered her world in the only way she could and when you do that sincerely and diligently it looks like it should look. It doesn’t matter what anybody says. Even if they “know” about art. Who gets to call it art?

That work ethic that she and Crumb share inspires me but its effect is like something stewing in a crock pot.

It has taken decades for those influential juices to flow together and simmer. They are begining to taste just right. Someday, still in the future, I’ll show it.

If you ask me to name my favorite Lynda Barry book that would be a tough question.

I love them all. The Good Time are Killing Me is Beautiful and it has the amazing portraits of early music makers in the back (another thing she has in common with Crumb). More on that tommorrow.

One of my faves is the Freddie Stories:

It’s beautiful, tender writing in Barry’s straightforward fashion about someone who is vulnerable and sensitive.


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