Young Edna Arkins lives in a neighborhood that is rapidly changing, thanks to white flight from urban Seattle in the late 1960s. As the world changes around her, Edna is exposed to the callous racism of adults; sometimes subtle and other times blatant, but always stinging.
At the heart of The Good Times Are Killing Me is the forbidden friendship between Edna who is white and Bonna Willis who is black, and how the world around them forces them to challenge their loyalties to each other. As Barry does in her comics, she perfectly captures the awkward and earnest adolescent voice as Edna moves from childhood to middle school.
Originally published in 1988, The Good Times Are Killing Me is as relevant now as it ever was. Its influence cannot be overstated as it was adapted into an off-Broadway play and won the Washington State Governor's Award. D+Q will be publishing the novella in hardcover with a new cover and the color illustrations from the first edition.