Barry pairs a spirit of wise and open encouragement — that we already know how to draw since we were doing that before we could write, we’ve just forgotten or convinced ourselves otherwise — with a demand for rigor... The underlying thesis of Making Comics is that anyone can discover their own cartooning genius, if they are willing to put in the work.Salon
The idiosyncratic curriculum from a 2019 MacArthur Fellow will teach you how to draw and write your story
Hello students, meet Professor Skeletor. Be on time, don’t miss class, and turn off your phones. No time for introductions, we start drawing right away. The goal is more rock, less talk, and we communicate only through images.
For more than five years the cartoonist Lynda Barry has been an associate professor in the University of Wisconsin–Madison art department and at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, teaching students from all majors, both graduate and undergraduate, how to make comics, how to be creative, how to not think. There is no academic lecture in this classroom. Doodling is enthusiastically encouraged. Making Comics is the follow-up to barry’s bestselling Syllabus and this time she shares all of her comics-making exercises. In a new hand drawn syllabus detailing her creative curriculum, Barry has students drawing themselves as monsters and superheroes, convincing students who think they can’t draw that they can, and most important, encouraging them to understand that a daily journal can be anything so long as it is hand drawn.
Barry teaches all students and believes everyone and anyone can be creative. At the core of Making Comics is her certainty that creativity is vital to processing the world around us. In 2019, Barry received a MacArthur Genius Grant for her work as an educator and cartoonist.
Praise for Making Comics
Making Comics is more of an actual course, with instructions and a list of materials; but as in everything Barry creates, her language and art are studded with haunting allusions. (…) Clearly, she’s her own best student and has absorbed the lessons of how to tap into her unconscious. Her imagination is formidable.Publishers Weekly
"An instructional book that doubles as a work of art... These lessons from Barry, like her art, capture her own brand of magic: a synthesis of theory, practice, memory, imagination, and “a certain sort of unlearning.""Publishers Weekly
Making Comics is both a tool kit of her comics-making exercises and a tender manifesto about how anyone can create.Lit Hub
There’s a serious theoretical underpinning here, and Barry’s lighthearted and genuinely fun approach is directly in service of it: banishing your inner critic, developing a disciplined (but playful) practice, and dismantling beliefs about what constitutes a “good” comic is key to finding something organic, original, and true.Booklist, Starred Review
One of the best, most practical books ever written about creativity.Boing Boing