PURE PAJAMAS and BLABBER BLABBER BLABBER on CBR's 6 Most Criminally Ignored Books of 2011

“Six by 6 | The six most criminally ignored books of 2011 ” / Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources / Chris Mautner / January 6, 2012

4. Everything Vol. 1: Blabber, Blabber, Blabber by Lynda Barry (D&Q). It seems odd that a Lynda Barry book should make this list after the deserved acclaim that greeted her last two books, Picture This and What It Is. Yet aside from a review at the AV Club and a New York Times profile (which admittedly is nothing to sneeze at) I’m not sure anyone talked about this new collection of some very early work other than to acknowledge its existence. It certainly seemed to slip off a lot of people’s radar (including my own) when it came time to make a “best of” list. Yet Blabber offers a fascinating look at Barry’s early development as a cartoonist, as she moves from the delicate, oddball Ernie Pook to the rawer, more emotionally savage material of “Boys and Girls.” There’s a lot here for Barry fans, and fans of good comics in general, to chew on.

2. Pure Pajamas by Marc Bell (D&Q). I have no evidence backing this up, but I suspect Bell is an artist that confounds a number of people. He adopts a big-foot, potato-nose visual style in the best comic strip tradition, and his world is a friendly, anthropomorphic fantasia where everything, from your breakfast food on down is eager to wish you well. On the other hand, his stories lean towards the distressingly surreal, cute characters can easily come to violent ends and things can go bizarrely awry for the most absurd reasons. Myself, I find that tension between the rubbery cute and off-kilter savagery to be one of Bell’s strengths. Pure Pajamas, which collects various strips and stories Bell has done for various media over the years, is about as good an example of those strengths as you’re likely to find.

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