Monkeys, Cephalopods, and Creative Play: Lynda Barry on Picture This, an Amazon Best of 2010 Selection

Earlier this month, Picture This: The Near-Sighted Monkey Book, Lynda Barry's follow up to her stunning What It Is, made Amazon's best of 2010 graphic novels top 10 list. That prior book was one of my favorites of 2008, and made my list of the best of the decade. I wrote at the time that it was "one of those rare books that offers solace for the soul and brilliant commentary on the artistic impulse. The images by themselves would be amazing, the text by itself wise and luminous yet pragmatic. The combination of text and art provides new insight that feels three-dimensional and oddly soothing. I cannot over-emphasize the therapeutic effect." Picture This is a different type of creative play, but just as compelling and wonderful.

Barry talked to Omni about Picture This via email recently, touching on everything from the idea of creative play to, erm, how squid might serve up human calamari...

Picture this 

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Comments (3)

But the biggest change has come because of teaching my writing workshop for the last ten or so years. It’s changed my perception about people in general and the role that images play in our lives. I see people completely differently now because of it--my "audience" now is anyone who has had an urge to write a story or make a picture but is too confused about where to begin and worried about what the point of doing any of this might be.

Posted by: How to Wear Designer Dresses | Monday October 24, 2011 at 1:34 AM

Among other strengths, Self's a great satirist and the part of his reading describing a hypothetical leap from the Golden Gate Bridge during an airport walk was not just laugh-inducing but gripping, each word carefully chosen and fitting into an approach to style both modern and baroque simultaneously. All in all, it was a masterful performance--and one I had a front-row seat for, since the participants in each session sat at a table in the center of the audience.

Posted by: jinlala | Wednesday July 20, 2011 at 4:37 AM

Just reading them on a page doesn’t really have the same power. It’s like reading sheet music or hearing a song once. Those are legitimate experiences but there is something so much deeper going on if you spend time with the music.

Posted by: Party Dresses | Monday January 17, 2011 at 12:55 AM

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