Buddhism teaches that each person must overcome 100 demons in a lifetime. In One Hundred Demons, a collection of 20 autobiographical comic strip stories from Salon’s popular Mothers Who Think” section, Lynda Barry wrestles with some of hers in her signature quirky, irrepressible voice. From Dancing” and Hate” to Dogs” and Magic,” the tales included here are at once hilarious and heartbreaking. As she delves into the delights and sorrows of adolescence, family, identity, and love, Barry’s ear for dialogue, dead-on delivery, and painterly style showcase her considerable genius.
Lynda Barry's comic strip Ernie Pook’s Comeek appears in 20 weekly newspapers in the United States and Canada. Her work has been seen in The New York Times, Esquire, Newsweek, and many other publications. She lives in Wisconsin.From School Library Journal :
Adult/High School-Barry uses an Asian painting exercise called "One Hundred Demons" to organize and connect 17 "autobifictionalographic" stories in which she meditates on a variety of demons that include pretentious boyfriends, lost childhood friends, family relationships, and even the 2000 presidential election. The author's keen observation and honesty draw readers to these sometimes painful, often poignant moments. In "Dancing," she explains that almost everyone in her family danced with great pleasure. Then a casually cruel comment from an admired neighbor made her self-conscious enough to stop. "Resilience" explores the mistaken belief of some adults that young children who have experienced a trauma will somehow forget and move past it. Here Barry allows speech balloons to fill in the gaps to which she alludes in her main text, with heart-wrenching effect. A more lighthearted story deals with the unique smells that permeate homes. Most of each story is told in text blocks at the top of the panel, while speech balloons convey specific details and characterizations. Barry's artwork is almost childlike, and the awkwardness of her drawings works well with the emotional tone her tales evoke. In the last few pages, she demonstrates the technique used for the original exercise and encourages readers to draw from their own experiences. This is an amazing collection, and those who connect with it will come away with a deep appreciation for Barry.
Jody Sharp, Harford County Public Library, MD
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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