Lynda Barry (b. 1956)

Cartoonist, novelist, and teacher of writing. Born in Wisconsin, she spent most of her adolescence in Seattle, where she began supporting herself at age sixteen as a janitor. At Evergreen State College in Olympia, Barry began drawing Ernie Pook’s Comeek, the comic strip for which she is perhaps best known. Barry’s first novel Cruddy (2000) was about a teenager whose troubled family life “in the cruddiest part of town” resembled her own. Her more recent Picture This (2010)—a sequel of sorts to her Eisner Award–winning What It Is (2008)—is a graphic memoir and how-to book that instructs the reader in the therapeutic uses of art and drawing with the aid of a nearsighted monkey.