Picture This: The Near-sighted Monkey Book

Picture This: The Near-sighted Monkey Book

by Lynda Barry
     
 

The creative-drawing companion to the acclaimed and bestselling What It Is

Lynda Barry single-handedly created a literary genre all her own, the graphic memoir/how-to, otherwise known as the bestselling, the acclaimed, but most important, the adored and the inspirational What It Is. The R. R. Donnelley and Eisner

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Overview

The creative-drawing companion to the acclaimed and bestselling What It Is

Lynda Barry single-handedly created a literary genre all her own, the graphic memoir/how-to, otherwise known as the bestselling, the acclaimed, but most important, the adored and the inspirational What It Is. The R. R. Donnelley and Eisner Award-winning book posed, explored, and answered the question: "Do you wish you could write?" Now with Picture This, Barry asks: "Do you wish you could draw?" It features the return of Barry's most beloved character, Marlys, and introduces a new one, the Near-sighted Monkey. LikeWhat It Is, Picture This is an inspirational, take-home extension of Barry's traveling, continually sold-out, and sought-after workshop, "Writing the Unthinkable."

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Barry's follow-up to her critically and popularly acclaimed What It Is focuses on the practice and purpose of drawing. As before, this oversized, full-color book collages comics, drawings, and found images to blend memoir, fiction, and philosophy with workbook-style instruction. Picture This proceeds from the same ideas in Barry's earlier work--which regard creative activity as a necessary extension of childhood play--but may be neater in its marriage of theory and practice. By focusing on drawing as directly as the first book did on writing, this ornately visual book shows the fruits of Barry's practice on every page even as it makes her methods overtly accessible. The book is interspersed with comics narratives including moving autobiographical shorts and sequences featuring her beloved characters Marlys, Maybonne, and Arna, as well as full-page images of her new character: a self-satisfied avatar called "The Nearsighted Monkey," who represents, perhaps, a well-fed creative impulse. A pedagogical sketchbook by a wise and eccentric kindergarten teacher for adults--who is also a fully mature artist--Picture This teaches, nurtures, and encourages without sacrificing the edge that makes art a thrilling journey into the unknown. (Nov.)
From the Publisher

Praise for What It Is:
Vanity Fair ELISSA SCHAPPELL

"The collages in legendary cartoonist Lynda Barry's What It Is are a bathysphere-like odyssey through the depths of her funky subconscious."
The New York Times CAROL KINO

"Meditations, stories and images float past in a random fashion, segueing between darkness and hope, or adulthood and childhood, the way they might in dreams or memory."
Chicago Tribune JULIA KELLER

"What It Is is part diary, part showcase, part manifesto for the power of the imagination. It's bold and beautiful; angry and sad; joyful and loving and nervous."
Library Journal
Many librarians have found themselves at a loss how properly to catalog these companion volumes by renowned comic artist and author Barry. They are ultimately part memoir, part creative workbook, part comic, and part tragic, and while many kids and teens may enjoy them, much of the subject matter is quite mature. Each book deals with drawing pictures and telling stories in varying proportions, and both examine from many angles the notion of keeping visual journals. Barry has said that her goal is to inspire readers, and she succeeds.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Teens who enjoyed Barry's What It Is (Drawn & Quarterly, 2008) will find more to love in this follow-up. While more reflective than its predecessor, it maintains the earlier work's hybrid formula; it is both a work of art and a work about art, being part picture book, part creative therapy, part step-by-step instruction, and part comic memoir. In one memorable panel, Barry compares an image of a happily scribbling three-year-old to that of a teen who stares sullenly at a blank page. The author asks, "What makes us start drawing? What makes us stop?" To work toward the answers to these questions, she demonstrates how anyone can express who they are through the creation of images, even if those images are nothing more than chickens made of cotton balls. She also elaborates on the power of image-making and how it has supported her throughout her life. Longtime Barry fans will be happy to see the return of Marlys, the outspoken, guileless tween who is arguably her best-known character. Barry herself also appears in the guise of a new doppelgänger, The Near-Sighted Monkey. While the book's unusual nature and indirect messaging will no doubt confuse many, for the right person, Picture This could be a launching pad to a new level of creativity and self-exploration.—Douglas P. Davey, Halton Hills Public Library, Ontario, Canada
Jennifer B. McDonald
…taps into…the fuzzy-wuzzy part of the brain that sees elephants in clouds (or in this case, rabbits in water stains)—and asks, "Do you wish you could draw?" In more than 200 pages of riotously distinct collages made with brush and paint, notebook paper, cutouts, tape and glue (with support from the colorist Kevin Kawula and, it seems, a "golden egg"), Barry sets out to show you—no, to remind you of—the pleasures of inking, smudging and, most important, fumbling your way to inspiration.
—The New York Times

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781897299647
Publisher:
Drawn & Quarterly
Publication date:
11/09/2010
Pages:
204
Sales rank:
326,025
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 11.80(h) x 0.93(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Lynda Barry has worked as a painter, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator, and teacher, and found they are very much alike. She lives in Wisconsin.

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