Monday, September 22, 2008


This past Thursday was a real treat for me. I went with my buddies Jenn and Pegs to hear a talk and reading by the unmatchable and infatigable Lynda Barry!

(This pic by Peggy, thanks!)

The event was held at The Booksmith in San Francisco, one stop on a book tour supporting her autobiographical self-help collage tome, WHAT IT IS. I had the pleasure of meeting Lynda for the first time at MoCCA earlier this year, but hearing her talk about her work and writing in person is a whole different experience. Inspirational, in a word. Also, hilarious and delightful and goofy and refreshing.

I pored over the beautiful pages and writing guides included in What It Is, and love her strips. But the thing that put me over the top as a fan was her novel, Cruddy (which she talked a little bit about). Uplifting creator-goddess Lynda is a blast, but Cruddy blue-collar hell is other family members Lynda is the one closest to my heart.

At the reading, we huddled on the floor near the front. This was rough on the ankles but provided a great vantage point for some photos and video. Please enjoy!

VIDEO #1: A 9 minute video of Lynda reading from the autobiographical sections of WHAT IT IS (while presenting a slideshow off camera)

VIDEO #2: A shorter clip of Lynda reading from WHAT IT IS about the death of youthful ambition and a life with meaning.

VIDEO #3: A short clip from the end of her talk, discussing her decision to write the novel Cruddy by hand... with a paintbrush!


Sophia Foster-Dimino said...

I just started reading One Hundred Demons... I really love it so far. I definitely want to check out more of her stuff. Thanks for this!

Anonymous said...

She is truly awesome.

Ryan S said...

@sheisept: Glad you enjoyed it and are getting in to her. She is so great. There is a strip in One Hundred Demons (i believe) about a friend passing away that totally destroyed me (in a good way).

@anonymous: You are correct, sir/madam

Anonymous said...

oh wow oh wow, I don't know of her, I really have to check out her stuff she seems so awesome. that part where she was talking about cringing about things she said when she was 9, man, it's so true...

Anonymous said...

she was at my school today!!! i saw her this morning, because i'm in the illustration dept and she was ahead of me at the office. i was like oh shit it's lynda barry. and she said i had cool hair. AWESOME. i had a class duirng her lecture though :/ wtf risd seriously.