From her first comics published in the Evergeen State College school paper to her influential weekly comic strip, Ernie Pook’s Comeek; from her bestselling creative how-to memoir comic books, What It Is and Picture This, to her novels, graphic memoirs, plays, and awards in between, Lynda Barry has been part of the North American alternative comics scene for thirty years.
Fans around the world rejoiced at D+Q’s announcement of Blabber Blabber Blabber: Volume 1 of Everything, which collects all of the seminal Ernie Pook’s Comeek, some of which has been out of print for decades, and includes her earliest books, such as Girls and Boys and Big Ideas, and features an introduction penned by Barry, complete with photographs.
Reflective of the early 1980s before the appearance of Barry’s well-known characters Marlys and Arna, the comics in Blabber Blabber Blabber cover the more adult subjects of bad love, bad perms, being single, Prince, and miserable break-ups—resulting in one of the most oft-quoted Barry sayings: “Love is an exploding cigar which we all willingly smoke.”
Though Barry’s early drawing style is most often described as “scratchy,” her affinity for large swaths of text and narration; her fondness for exclamation marks, angular shapes, and cursive penmanship; and her uncanny ability to zero in on the very essence of life all within a few panels is as present as ever in this collection.
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