Tuesday, 16 September 2014

What It Is by Lynda Barry

I've had my eye on Lynda Barry's One Hundred Demons for a while. I don't know where I heard of her first but when I did the Amazon "look inside" thingy on it, it looked very funny. Yet it really didn't seem that my boys of then twelve and under were the right audience. I thought a teenage girl would be the perfect critic but I don't have one of those. Then I saw this in the library and took my chance to have a look.

What It Is is Lynda Barry's latest book and has garnered great reviews. Already the price of One Hundred Demons has gone up.

This is a book written in words, paint, collage and other things I don't know how to name. Its clearly the work of a huge talent and is all about how she stared to draw and paint and also a manual on how to start writing. I found it in the adults graphic novel section of our library but have not seen anything too shocking in it. (Well, she does say her parents were not at all nice, so some may find that unsuitable.)

My nine year old, who recently has taken to drawing characters he copies from comics found a few pages where Lynda describes how she did the exactly the same. It stopped me "encouraging" him to draw from his imagination, which I knew he found irritating.

There is so much in this book - about thinking and drawing ..

reading fairy tales;

having not very nice parents;

wonder if ones own work is good, or crappy;

musing on playing, and toys;

and the mean mother again..
(my kids weren't shocked by how she speaks to the young Lynda, but they were horrified by the cigarette!)

Great for teens interested in art or really anyone with eyes and some curiosity about life. Also, I don't think I mentioned, there are LOTS of funny bits; the pictures of her hula dancing are hilarious and definitely worth the library reserve fee.

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