LYNDA BARRY at the School of Art Institute in Chicago, Nov. 15th 2010

“Lynda Barry” / Chicago Reader / Jerome Ludwig / November 16, 2010

Lynda Barry stopped drawing her beloved strip, Ernie Pook's Comeek, in 2008, after about 30 years. But she didn't stop drawing, and her new book is an ode to the joy of putting pen (or brush) to paper. Picture This: The Near-Sighted Monkey Book (Drawn & Quarterly) is less a how-to than a why-not. While Barry offers plenty of helpful hints to get you going—like how to draw amoebas and branches—her main business is to laud the therapeutic benefits of the creative act. If there's any manifesto here, it's this: "I believe making lines and shapes and coloring them in can still help us in the way it helped us when we were kids." Barry started drawing a meditating monkey, for instance, "while crying in an airport bar en route to a funeral." "I found it helped," she writes, "and I drew it again and again. I have since painted hundreds more, maybe thousands" to get through stressful times. Barry discusses the book and signs copies as part of the School of the Art Institute's Visiting Artists Program.

School of the Art Institute, auditorium
LOOP 280 S. Columbus Dr.

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