I Love Learning From Lynda Barry

Posted on April 26, 2021


I’ve been loving learning from Lynda Barry since I first encountered her Ernie Pook’s Comeek in The Metro Times from Detroit in the late 1980s. As a music lover, I cherish her 1988 book, The Good Times Are Killing Me. It is the first graphic memoir I ever read, and it remains a favorite. Her drawing of a Zydeco band is the featured image for this post. I was thrilled to discover that she shared my love of Cajun and Zydeco music. I own several of her books and two of them (Syllabus and The Greatest of Marlys) are on my writing desk now, as I’ve begun a practice of drawing one comic per day, and I often turn to her work as a mentor text.

I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve listened to and recommended Anne Strainchamp’s interview with Lynda on To The Best of Our Knowledge, “Lynda Barry’s Radio Drawing Lessons;” and I incorporated her Spiral Drawing exercise in the Mindfulness/Self-Care practices I taught in my high school Language Arts classes. That exercise alone has helped numerous students to calm down and learn better; I feel a deep sense of gratitude for Lynda and her contributions to the arts, education, and the well-being of all of us.

Recently I opened my Facebook page and was delighted to see the announcement that Lynda Barry is the recipient of The 2021 Stone Award for Literary Achievement, which exists

to spotlight what they see as one of OSU’s best kept secrets: the MFA Program in Creative Writing, which has a growing reputation for its emphasis on mentoring students, building community and reaching out to under-served populations – including at-risk youth and military veterans.

…Recipients of the Stone Literary Award give readings, master classes and lectures highlighting the value of creative communications in contemporary American culture. In conjunction with the prize, an ‘Everybody Reads’ program features a selected book by the writer, with events at libraries, book clubs and independent bookstores.

What a deserving honoree OSU has selected! Congratulations, Lynda! I’m so happy that she has been chosen.

I can’t wait to hear her speak on Apr 29, 2021 @ 8 PM EDT. If you register for the Webinar, you can join me, and I hope you do! See you there!

I love learning from Lynda. You can see some of what I’ve learned in my drawings:

I recently listened to the TTBOOK interview and took notes in this drawing.
Another comic inspired by Lynda: notes on a video from Therapy In A Nutshell by Emma McAdam

lisa eddy is a writer and editor for-hire, researcher, educator-for-hire, youth advocate, musician, and gardener.

On Twitter: @lisa_eddy
On email: lisagay.eddy1@gmail.com