Cartoonist Lynda Barry: Drawing 'Has To Come Out Of Your Body'
Added 11-27-19 07:06:03am EST - “Comic artist Lynda Barry has a new book, Making Comics, and a MacArthur Genius Grant (though she says she hung up on the MacArthur folks repeatedly because she thought it was a robocall).” - Npr.org
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Lynda Barry says artistically talented kids follow the movements of their own hands, rather than setting an intention for a drawing. Images courtesy of Drawn & Quarterly hide caption
It's always a surprise to see who the MacArthur Foundation selects to receive its annual fellowships — the six-figure awards known as Genius Grants — but one of this year's picks was particularly exhilarating: comic artist Lynda Barry. For anyone who read alternative weeklies from the '80s through the '00s, she was the eternally wise and strange mind behind Ernie Pook's Comeek. She's also penned several graphic novels and three books about the creative process, adapted an award-winning off-Broadway play and taught art, most recently at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her most recent book is Making Comics, out this month. I spoke to her about the drawing process and how we learn — and unlearn — it.
Congratulations, first of all, on winning a MacArthur Fellowship! What did you do when you found out?
But in my case, I hardly ever use the phone. So I kept getting these calls. I think I hung up on them around seven times because I thought it was a robocall. And then I just turned off my phone because I was really irritated — "Who keeps trying to call me?" ... I found out a while later, from somebody who I know very well, that somebody really needed me to call them.
It's kind of funny that the award is known as the Genius Grant, considering that in your new book, you tell people they don't need to be artistic geniuses to create great comics.
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