Making Comics Is Not Really About Making Comics

There’s a reason Lynda Barry is the first comics artist to win a MacArthur “Genius” Award.

She loves children. Making Comics is a love letter to every child who ever picked up a crayon and started making marks with unselfconscious intensity. Those children include her college students. Like her readers, some arrive at class with artistic training and some arrive with none at all. The latter arrive having long forgotten the uninhibited style of image-making they understood instinctively as children. Finding each of those children is Barry’s mission, and she is very very good at it.

Chris Gavaler, for Pop Matters, reviews Lynda Barry’s new book, and they include a preview!

As a professor, I was delighted by the specificity of her approach, down to the minutia of her attendance policy (you’re damn right three tardies equal an absence), but such details serve a larger purpose. Readers aren’t getting graded. What they are getting is an immersion into Barry’s philosophy of art and — this is going to sound a bit grandiose but I’ll say it anyway — life. Barry teaches us how to be better people by teaching us how to see and think and draw like children again.


2 thoughts on “Making Comics Is Not Really About Making Comics

  1. Alison Bechdel won a MacArthur grant in 2014. Takes nothing away from the fabulous Lynda Barry if another comics artist has won before.

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