30 July 2009

Portrait of the Artist as a Cartoon | Lynda Barry

Lynda Barry is an American cartoonist and author best known for her weekly comic strip Ernie Pook's Comeek. Barry's cartoons often view family life from the perspective of pre-teen girls from the wrong side of the tracks. At The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington she met fellow cartoonist Matt Groening, who first published Ernie Pook's Comeek in the school paper without her knowledge.

While Barry's work is humorous, the undertones are usually serious. It depicts life as harsh but occasionally joyful. Her work addresses themes of intolerance and psychic pain. She has an extreme facility in reproducing the voices of children and adolescents. While unconventionally rendered, they carry an undeniable psychic charge legible in the context of her writing.

For a time, she dated Ira Glass who moved to Chicago in 1989 to be with her. She currently lives in Wisconsin and is married to a prairie restoration expert. Go Lynda!