Comics have existed as a print medium for close to 200 years, and in that time the art form has evolved as much as any other area of pop culture. However, it's arguable that no other medium has had as gargantuan an impact on the world of modern entertainment as comic books, particularly over the past 20 years. Not literature, not theater, not video games, but comics. After all, the world of superheroes is what makes up the foundations of Hollywood's past decade. What was previously considered only a geek's domain has changed the world, and that's not limited to superheroes. Comics have won the Pulitzer Prize, they've been at the forefront of fighting censorship, they've been the chosen medium of memoirists and radical truth-tellers and politicians alike. And even then, some of us still have to fight cynics who don't believe comics are real art.
That's also a battle that's proven especially hard for women. While female comics creators have been part of the historical narrative of the form since the beginning, they remain drastically outnumbered by men and face ridiculous amounts of discrimination and outright hostility, both within the industry and from more aggressively sexist parts of fandom. Still, that cannot erase their incredible and impactful contributions to the world of comics, and that is what we are here to celebrate today. So join us as we celebrate the GOAT women creators in comic history!
Lynda Barry has a surprising career, and an impressive body of work behind her after spending nearly 30 years doing weekly comic strips for alternative weeklies. Artistic experimentalism combined with deeply personal life observations and heartfelt forgiveness for the many flaws of humanity is the backbone of the enduring legacy of Lynda Barry's long career as a cartoonist. Far from separating her art from her own life, the philosophies of Barry are the basis for much of her work. Even when unstated, a clear empathy appears for all of society's many outcasts. In contrast with many underground cartoonists, Barry offers a heartbreakingly hopeful world that was full of tragedy and casual cruelty all the same. Working across mediums and perhaps best known to the world outside of comics for the theater adaptation of her book The Good Times Are Killing Me, her work as a novelist, or as a revolutionary art teacher, Lynda Barry is one of the most underrated cartoonists on the planet.