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One Hundred Demons

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  6,002 Ratings  ·  440 Reviews
In this graphic novel that's part memoir and part creativity primer, Lynda Barry serves up comics that delve into the funk and sweetness of love, family, adolescence, race, and the hood. Name that Demon!!! Freaky boyfriends! Shouting Moms! Innocence betrayed! These are some of the pickled demons you'll meet as Lynda Barry mixes the true and the un-true into something she c ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published August 30th 2005 by Sasquatch Books (first published August 13th 2002)
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Mar 05, 2009 lola rated it really liked it
In my dreams of teenage trauma prophylaxis Kathleen Hanna hands me Pussy Whipped and this book as a 13 year old, before I lose my virginity. Avenue D is playing in the background: "Shit, you know they all just want to hit it./They're just talking shit 'cos they want it," which, although nobody will prank call my house at 3am to call me a slut for a couple years, is a revelation that rings true.

I come out of adolescence unscathed.
Oct 13, 2008 Malbadeen rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Malbadeen by: sarah
how stupid am I for not reading this before?! super stupid! It was awesome.
Highlights for me:

-"Common Scents" was hilarious.

-"Hate" was gratifying.

-The line, "This ability to exist in pieces is what some adults call resilience. And I suppose in some way it is a kind of resilience that makes adults believe children forget trauma" collapsed the chest of both my childhood self as well as my parental self.

-The dialog in "Lost and Found" with the arrow pointing to one woman, reading "super dramatical
Ayun Halliday
Apr 30, 2013 Ayun Halliday rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
This book is the bomb and Lynda Barry is the bombalurina.

This book seems to be the crossroads, the point where she transformed from her perfectly incredible and delightful self, to the milk of human kindness filled, self-forgiving, fully honest role model and teacher that she is today. You can feel it.

A lot of things I'd been hunching about were confirmed herein.

The last story, about the monkey head stationery was very sweet, and made me happy for lynda.

Matt Groening may be funk lord of the uni
Jun 27, 2007 Leslie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphicnovels
I caught myself thinking about taking up a paintbrush and water colors while reading this so I could paint out my demons too. I really love the one about the aswang (a scary dog demon story that her grandma tells her interwoven with a bunch of mother-daughter stuff), Dancing---amazing amazing amazing---just think hula + suave uncles dancing the twist in the kitchen + dancing baby-madness in the morning + trying to befriend the coolest dancing girl in the world. "Sensitive nose" and "hate" and "m ...more
Peter Monn
Jan 01, 2014 Peter Monn rated it it was amazing
Sooooooooooo good! Loved it. Check out my review on my Booktube channel at
Nov 09, 2008 Lara's rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Tweens, Teens and all other tortured souls
Shelves: graphic-novels
Synopsis :NAME THAT DEMON!!! Freaky Boyfriends! Shouting Moms! Innocence betrayed! Rotten things we've done that will haunt us forever! These are some of the pickled demons Lynda Barry's storeis serve up comic-strip style, mixing the true and un-true into something she calles "autobifictionalography." Inspired by a 16th-century Zen monk's painting of a hundred demons chasing each other across a long scroll, and encouraged by a 20th-century editor, Barry's demons jump out of these pages and doub ...more
WOW!!!!!!! Je suis flabergastée.

Drôle et triste et touchant et dur et léger et TOUTTEEEE. Graphiquement dans le même genre que Julie Doucet, mais pour ce qui est du contenu, on est vraiment ailleurs. Je ne m'attendais à rien au départ puisque je n'avais pas de coup de coeur pour ses illustrations, mais après quelques pages, j'étais prise au piège. J'ai même dû retarder mon souper de veille de Noël afin de la terminer. C'est peu dire.
Hannah Messler
This is the best thing I've read in ages and I am sorely tempted to just start right back over and read the whole thing again right now.

November 2016 reread:

Joe got me this from Quimby's in late July last year when I flew out there to roadtrip back to New York with him which was our like sixth date or something maybe? Which tbpf I am not that charmed by stories of Going! Way! Romantically! Overboard! too early in the game, mainly because I tend to blow all my chunks early on as a sort of matter
It's amazing to me how well Lynda Barry has held onto the emotions and feelings that go along with being a child. Though she's 44 when she wrote this, she still evokes the magic of a kickball game so vividly, the desperate need for some kind of lovey (blankie or stuffed animal), and the awkwardness of the transition between child and adolescent. So much of this book rang true for me (I was weird and awkward, my lips were too big, I lisped, my last name always got me in trouble, I was heavier tha ...more
Drew Lerman
May 13, 2015 Drew Lerman rated it it was amazing
I resisted reading this book for a long time, I think largely because of this really messy-looking introduction that made me feel like I had to go clean my room. I think I probably have read that introduction in full, in bits and pieces, over several years, so this time around I just dived in with the first story. It was great, and I recommend this approach. These anecdotes and remembrances have an off-the-cuff feel, not like they were created quickly but like they were created without a ton of ...more
Brandi Johnson
This "autobifictionalography" comic was mentioned in a different comic I'd recently read. That author referred to it as a life-altering read. I don't know if I'll go that far, but I will say that I took screenshots of so many panels I should probably separate them into their own album on my phone. (Even though I own this book I felt so strongly with some of the panels that I must have them with me at all times.) She wrote & drew beautifully about being different and knowing from an early age ...more
Jan 16, 2016 Daniel rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I have to be honest. This style of artwork isn't for me. It just does nothing for me. No feelings rise, good or bad. It just seems amateurish and flimsy. Of course, I don't know anything about actual art of this sort, so I could be just exposing my ignorance. Fair enough. The only reason I finished it is because it's part of my project of reading the greatest graphic novels of all time.

So you can imagine my surprise when I found myself being slowly won over. One little anecdote from her childhoo
Sep 14, 2011 Martin rated it it was amazing
I first read this comic on when I was 24, which was just old enough to appreciate the tone of regret, trauma, and fragile beauty. I was crushed when the comic ended after only 17 entries. Reading it again ten years later, the writing affects me in the same way it did then. I am surprised how well I remember these stories and how I internalized them to help me make sense of the pain of growing up. The economy of Barry's storytelling is amazing. In just 18 panels she can reduce me to tea ...more
Dec 10, 2010 Cade rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 02, 2010 Brenda rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: artists working in mixed media
According to the blurb on the back cover, Barry describes her work as: "Autobifictionalography."

Her introduction poses two relevant questions: "Is it autobiography if parts of it are not true?" and "Is it fiction if parts of it are?"

Having read Barry's _What It Is_ not so long ago, I've been thinking of composing an article called "What It Isn't." But, I can't even figure out what to put on a rubric for the creative writing class I'll be teaching in a week. Maybe it's because the creative artist
Jun 30, 2009 Andrew rated it it was ok
What probably worked as a serialized comic strip on doesn't really work (for me, at least...a lot of five star reviews on this site, so I might just be weird) in book format. It took me forever to finish this because I could only bring myself to read two or three "demons" at a time. The self-consciously juvenile artwork fits the concept, but that doesn't stop it from getting distractingly ugly very, very fast. As for the stories themselves, they are occasionally quite touching and insi ...more
Jun 13, 2008 Indra rated it really liked it
I love Lynda Barry. There is no one like her. She manages to be sweet, funny and unflinchingly real at the same time without feeling heavy-handed. There aren't 100 demons in this book, but it feels like that many. I wondered if she chose that nice round number of demons because--for every demon that exists--several other potential demons could appear, and with a number like 100, in theory, there's room for everybody. I love the "How to Paint Your Demon" section. I did paint my demon once in real ...more
Matti Karjalainen
Lynda Barry kertoo sarjakuvaromaanissaan "One Hundred Demons" (Sasquatch, 2002) lapsuudestaan ja nuoruudestaan filippiiniläistaustaisessa perheessä - tai oikeammin kai pitäisi puhua häntä muistuttavan tytön lapsuudesta ja nuoruudesta. Kuten tekijä itse muistuttaa, kyseessä ei ole siis puhtaasti omaelämäkerrallinen teos.

Sarjakuva on saanut nimensä vanhasta japanilaisesta taulusta, joka innoitti myös Barrya piirtämään ja kertomaan omista demoneistaan, joita ovat muun muassa viha, tanssiminen, vaal
Rachel Fessenbecker
As a Buddhist, I really enjoyed this book. What a unique and genius take! I wish I had better words to describe it. Lynda Barry really took the graphic novel to new heights while using an Asian painting exercise in “One Hundred Demons.” Within, she covers seventeen “autobifictionalographic” stories where she observes and meditates on different “demons” that have affected her life throughout the years. Some of the demons/stories she shares are serious- like her hateful and abusive mother while ot ...more
Apr 21, 2009 Jack rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of Fun Home
Shelves: comics
Read for my comic book club and really enjoyed it! Barry has an artistic style that initially put me off but that I grew to really admire. I think I didn't like how she drew herself as a kid -- she's so awkward it's actually painful! Once I got into it and was able to see a bit of the author and the life behind the self-portraiture, I found the book to be filled with wonderful, melancholy insights into growing up and shot through with equal parts humor and anguish.

There are a few incredibly dar
Apr 12, 2008 Charlaralotte rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2008
My bro gave this book for my b-day. Yea, Ben!

I remember loving her "Marlys" comics in the LA Weekly. I thought this book was wonderful. Lots of horrible things happen to her as a young person. She's got a great way of condensing a lot of the pain of existence into one or two panels of a comic strip. I loved her Filipino grandma singing "Segie Segie baby" instead of "Shake it up baby now". I loved the story of the end of her friendship with her best friend across the street. That's what life is l
Nov 04, 2008 Ciara rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: diarists, aspiring comic artists, ira glass apologists, people with demons
the most interesting part of this book (it was in this book, wasn't it? i read a shit-ton of lynda barry all in a few days & maybe got confused) is her story about when she used to date ira glass (though she didn't specify him by name) & he was a total douche who used to call her "little ghetto girl" & generally treat her like she was dumb. this is a series of comics about fucked up shit that went on in lynda's life, or stuff that makes her life a little less than the awesomeness it ...more
Aug 31, 2011 Punk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel, memoir
Graphic Novel. Colorful artwork with often painful subjects, these are seventeen of Lynda Barry's demons. Like most of Barry's work, these stories are about her childhood, with a couple of pieces with her as an adult. She calls this autobifictionalography, as in it's mostly true, but not always.

Barry's art is bright and full of movement and includes a lot of people of color, which really makes this stand out from other graphic novels. My favorites were "The Election," "The Aswang," "Hate," and "
Nov 15, 2010 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
This is the first book of Lynda Barry's that I've read and I thought it was amazing. Her mix of comics and collage is beautiful to look at, but her stories were what I truly loved. She writes that she got the idea of drawing one hundred demons from a zen practice. Each "demon" is a chapter of memories from her childhood that capture so aptly the confusion and wonder of being a kid, all those unknownable things that happen outside your understanding and the sad guilts you continue to carry on as ...more
Molly Ferguson
Mar 23, 2014 Molly Ferguson rated it really liked it
If I read this book with more distance from the other graphic novels I've read this summer, it would surely get 5 stars. My sister would love this book (St. Julien - take note!). The illustrations for each chapter separating the demons were gorgeous, and there are some utterly perfect self-reflective moments on the author's part. It's what Barry calls "autobiofictionography," and she's a master at it. The only reason the last star slipped a bit for me is that I felt like the book was a little fo ...more
Mar 06, 2008 Summer rated it it was amazing
This book is fantastic - Lynda Barry deftly explores new artistic techniques in this slightly fictionalized autobiography. Barry is adept at capturing the emotions of childhood, the joys and the fears and the general state of being. Her stripped-down caricatures of family, friends, and neighbors are spot-on, and her stylized artwork supports her narratives, and vice versa.

Side note: Lynda Barry knitted caps for fellow cartoonists Allison Bechdel and Chris Ware, and if that's not adorable, I don'
Maureen Stanton
Feb 25, 2012 Maureen Stanton rated it it was amazing
I'm always amazed when I'm moved by "cartoons." I loved this book, the images and art, the sensibility of the author, the stories, the honesty. It's a beautiful graphic memoir (or as Barry calls this book, an "autobifictionalography"). It was nice to return to the work of Lynda Barry. I loved the Marlys character in her comics years ago, but then couldn't find her work or stopped reading it. My sister gave me this book to inspire my own writing; I was skeptical, but oddly, it did just that. The ...more
Nov 10, 2010 A.K. rated it liked it
It's funny ha-ha & it's funny throw-up. Barry's drawings I always really like--I was about to call them simple & evocative, then thought: dag, I read too many meaningless reviews--but the cluttered borders & collage work in this book are way crappy to look at. Yeah, I said it. The demon vignettes do work for me, they often move me, but I cannot not be bothered by what are to me suppurating aesthetic boo-boos.
Sep 07, 2014 Roxanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I gave it 4 stars but it's really more like 4.5. I was not initially drawn to this but as I read it I kept liking it more and more. I looked up the author and found that she knew Matt Groening in college, and that he liked her work. Duh, it's awesome. This "autobifictionalography" is filled with stories of awkward childhood memories and bad relationships, something most of us can relate to at some point in our lives. This makes me want to check out some of the authors other works.
Jan 14, 2009 lindsay rated it it was amazing
okay so i hardly ever like graphic novels and get bored and distracted when i read them but this is perfect. surprisingly, and not in way that i am surprised that i am now completely, totally in love with lynda barry, but in a way like i didn't know that i could still be so immensely touched by something in a totally new way anymore.
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Lynda Barry is an American cartoonist and author, perhaps best known for her weekly comic strip Ernie Pook's Comeek.
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“This ability to exist in pieces is what some adults call resilience. And I suppose in some way it is a kind of resilience, a horrible resilience that makes adults believe children forget trauma.” 38 likes
“The groove is so mysterious. We're born with it and we lose it and the world seems to split apart before our eyes into stupid and cool. When we get it back, the world unifies around us, and both stupid and cool fall away.
I am grateful to those who are keepers of the groove. The babies and the grandmas who hang on to it and help us remember when we forget that any kind of dancing is better than no dancing at all.”
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