Lynda Barry

Linda BarryEducation

B.A., The Evergreen State College, 1979


The Near-Sighted Monkey


Contact via email

Biographical Note

After graduating from Evergreen Lynda Barry moved to Seattle. When she was 23, the Chicago Reader picked up her comic strip, enabling her to make a living from her comics alone.  She later moved to Chicago, Illinois.  As she described her career start:

[Editor] Bob Roth called me from the Chicago Reader as the result of an article [her college classmate] Matt [Groening] wrote about hip West Coast artists — he threw me in just because he was a buddy, right? And then Bob Roth ... called and wanted to see my comic strips, and I didn’t have any originals. I didn’t know anything about originals, that you don’t give them to newspapers because newspapers lose them. So I had to draw a whole set that night and Federal Express them. So I did, and he started printing them, and he paid $80 a week, and I could live off of that. And because he’s with this newspaper association, the other papers started picking it up. So it was luck. Sheer luck. [Matt] got into the Los Angeles Reader. For a long time the Los Angeles Reader wouldn’t print me, and the Chicago Reader wouldn’t print Matt even though they’re sister publications. So we both worked on the publishers and the editors to get each other in. It was really funny: when we got into each others’ papers, everything sort of took off for both of us.

Barry's early work was rendered with pen. In her books One! Hundred! Demons! and What It Is, she works with color and collage.

What It IsPublication Type

Comics, Fiction, Non-Fiction

Latest Publication Title

What It Is (Drawn and Quarterly 2008)

Other Publications

Girls and Boys (Real Comet Press 1981) ISBN 0-941104-00-1
Big Ideas (Real Comet Press, 1983) ISBN 0-941104-07-9)
Everything in the World (HarperCollins 1986) ISBN 978-0060961077
Down the Street (HarperCollins 1988) ISBN 978-0060963040
The Fun House (HarperCollins 1988) ISBN 0-06-096228-3
The Good Times Are Killing Me (Perennial/HarperCollins, 1988) ISBN 0-941104-22-2
Come Over, Come Over (HarperCollins 1990) ISBN 0-06-096504-5
My Perfect Life (Perennial/HarperCollins 1992) ISBN 978-0060965051
The Lynda Barry Experience (spoken word cassette tape/CD 1993) ISBN 1-882543-17-3
It's So Magic (Perennial/HarperCollins 1994) ISBN 978-0060950460
The Freddie Stories (Sasquatch Books 1999) ISBN 978-1570611063
Cruddy (Simon & Schuster hardcover 1999; paperback 2000) ISBN 978-0684838465
The Greatest of Marlys (Sasquatch Books 2000) ISBN 1-57061-260-9
One! Hundred! Demons! (Sasquatch Books 2002) ISBN 9781570613371
Picture This: The Near-Sighted Monkey Book (Drawn and Quarterly 2010) ISBN 1-897299-64-8
Blabber Blabber Blabber: Volume 1 of Everything (Drawn and Quarterly 2011) ISBN 978-1770460522

How did Evergreen help you in your career?

The main thing I have to say about Evergreen is that I'm 58 years old and I still talk about my experience there at least once a week. Sometimes more. I'm still in touch with my teacher Marilyn Frasca. I don't even like to think of what my life would have been like had I not gone to Evergreen.