Lynda Barry has worked as a painter, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator, and teacher and found that they are very much alike. She lives in Wisconsin, where she is associate professor of art and Discovery Fellow at University of Wisconsin Madison. She is the inimitable creator behind the seminal comic strip Ernie Pook's Comeek, featuring the incomparable Marlys and Freddy. She is the author of The Freddie Stories; One! Hundred! Demons!; The! Greatest! of! Marlys!; Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel; The Good Times are Killing Me; and three bestselling creative how-to graphic novels, the Eisner Award and R.R. Donnelly Award-winning What It Is; Picture This; and Syllabus: Notes From an Accidental Professor.
Awarded a 2019 MacArthur Genius Grant "Eternally wise and strange."--NPR "Barry is pushing the envelope on understanding how the brain creates and responds to words and pictures -- a scholarly envelope that, in her mind, should be positively covered with illuminating doodles."--The Washington Post "Making Comics is stuffed to the gills with Barry's friendly wisdom, characteristic doodles, and mind-expanding exercises."--Paris Review "Barry pairs a spirit of wise and open encouragement with a demand for rigor... The underlying thesis of Making Comics is that anyone can discover their own cartooning genius, if they are willing to put in the work."--Salon "What's most delightful about Making Comics is its emphasis on action, on exercise, on practice--on actual making."--New Republic "Part motivational lecture, part creative writing exercise, part group therapy session, and part trippy meditation on memory and play... Barry is not only a genius herself but an encourager of genius in others."--The Nation "[Making Comics] will help anyone, adult or child, to regain the spirit of freedom, improvisation and joy.--KCRW Bookworm's Best Books of 2019 "One of the best books on unlocking creativity I've ever read: humane, interdisciplinary, fun, and in touch with something deep and mysterious."--Boing Boing Best Books of 2019 "An instructional book that doubles as a work of art... These lessons from Barry, like her art, capture her own brand of magic: a synthesis of theory, practice, memory, imagination, and "a certain sort of unlearning.--Publishers Weekly starred review "The activities, drawn from Barry's own magical classroom, are fun, flexible, and easy to follow [while] the reality that art drives and sustains us, if we let it, is present on every page... An engaging combination of how-to and why-you-must, perfect for anyone with a story itching to be told."--Library Journal, Starred Review "[Making Comics] feels like taking a class from Marlys while stuck in the living room at your cousin's house, and it's a delightful, shed-your-inhibitions-about-your-talent kind of instruction."--Chicago Reader "[Making Comics is] full of drawing exercises that help you access your creativity and silence your inner critic."--CBC Q "Making Comics is both a tool kit of her comics-making exercises and a tender manifesto about how anyone can create."--Lit Hub "There's a serious theoretical underpinning here, and Barry's lighthearted and genuinely fun approach is directly in service of it: banishing your inner critic, developing a disciplined (but playful) practice, and dismantling beliefs about what constitutes a "good" comic is key to finding something organic, original, and true."--Booklist, starred review "A sequential art legend known for her imaginative and deeply personal work... shares her comics-making exercises that detail her creative curriculum."--My Modern Met "A lesson in rekindling our inner spark...part philosophical discussion, part memoir, and part straight-into-the-vein fun."--Black Girl Nerds "I've read a lot of writing and drawing textbooks, and Barry's is the only one that has made me choke up with emotion."--Pop Matters "Delightful... [Making Comics] offers a thoughtful, clear, step-by-step approach to generating creative work in words and pictures, which is daunting when a person is staring at a blank page and wondering how they could possibly begin."--New City Lit