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Making Comics

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  253 ratings  ·  46 reviews
The idiosyncratic curriculum from the Professor of Interdisciplinary Creativity will teach you how to draw and write your story

Hello students, meet Professor Skeletor. Be on time, dont miss class, and turn off your phones. No time for introductions, we start drawing right away. The goal is more rock, less talk, and we communicate only through images.

For more than five
Paperback, 200 pages
Published November 5th 2019 by Drawn and Quarterly
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Average rating 4.50  · 
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 ·  253 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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Charles Hatfield
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A trove of ideas and exercises, invaluable to teachers and students alike, and drawn and designed with Barry's expected handmade immediacy. Delightful to page through and learn from. More than simply a wonderful practical resource, this should be recognized as another installment in Barry's ongoing theorizing about the nature of storytelling and narrative drawing. She is on to something important.
M Aghazarian
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lovely. Everyone can make comics
Elizabeth A
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art, non-fiction, 2020
A treasure trove of inspiration, ideas, and creative play. I tend to love her books, so was not surprised that this one delighted me. This is the curriculum for a class she teaches, but don't be fooled by the title. It's is not just for people interested in making comics, but for anyone interested in paying deeper attention to one's daily life. I am so inspired, and might actually bump this up a star once I go back through and actually do the exercises.
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There's definitely some overlap with Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor, but Making Comics has many, many more exercises for, you guessed it, making comics.
TaraShea Nesbit
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. You might think it is about making comics, but it is also about attending to yourself and the world, about making a life and holding on to that 4 y/o self's imagination, warbly line, expression.
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is such an interesting, inspiring, insightful book. I appreciate both the specific drawing and writing exercises in it as well as Barrys own musings on and explanations of the relationships between drawing, creativity, images, and the mind. Theres great stuff here. ...more
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this and hope I can get myself to start on the exercises soon!
Fabulous. Good chance I bump this up to 5 stars after I do the exercises.

One tiny gripe: she lists some needed supplies at the beginning but not all of them. For example, she doesnt tell you to procure a non-photo-blue pencil until the exercise its needed in. Perhaps Ill update this review with a comprehensive supplies list once Ive made it.
Linda Robinson
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Superb book. Open it anywhere, and you will find an exercise to get your creative mojo bossa novaing. Drawing with your eyes closed, with both hands simultaneously. Story prompts that will launch a new adventure you didn't know you were going to have. Your drawings can meet you. The whole book is a comics practice, with supplies recommended (I need to get a Staedtler nonphoto blue pencil). In fact, the book is drawn as a composition book. Meta engaging.

The book is also a creative practice.
Tena Edlin
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I finally finished the latest Lynda Barry book, and it is full of great activities and lessons for me to use in my Cartoons, Comics, and Graphic Novels unit. She has such a great way of making everyone feel like an artist and helping everyone channel that creative, fearless child in all of us. This book made me think of how I can reintroduce journaling back into my GOAL classes, but in a different way.
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent excellent excellent. I enjoyed this so much. It's a teaching memoir; a philosophy of comics, teaching, and art; an exercise book; a classroom textbook. Barry does so many things in just 200 pages, and I found myself inspired on multiple levels. I'm looking forward to sharing this one with friends. While I am one of those people who have "given up on art," I think I'll try my hand at these exercises! At this point in my life, I give no sh*ts if something is "good" or "bad." So it should ...more
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read an earlier collection of comics by Lynda Barry that I didn't particularly enjoy. Nothing wrong with it just not my style or something I could relate to. But at the same time that I reserved that book at the library, I also reserved Making Comics, so when it came in, I decided to check it out and give it a go.

I'm glad I did because it's nothing like the other book and had content that I didn't expect.

It seems Ms. Barry teaches (or has taught) courses in cartooning for complete beginners
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read a review about this book, Making Comics, (I cant remember where the review came from!) and it said that it was perfect if you were needing a pick-me-up regarding your creativity. Or something like that...if you were stuck, get it...its good for anyone who is creative.
Lynda Barry is an art professor at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She specializes in comics. The book read like a comic but also like a syllabus, a hand-drawn one!, and a very little bit like a journal article.
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Glad to be reading this after taking one of Prof. Barry's daylong workshopsmany of these exercises are best done with other people, and the element of surprise when she teaches them is harder to reproduce when you read all of the instructions first. (For some of the exercises this doesn't matter, but for a few, not anticipating the second step is part of the fun.) A few of the exercises will also be familiar to readers of her other books, but it's interesting to see how some have evolved or how ...more
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A guide to developing ideas for stories, fiction and non-fiction, using pictures as the primary way to tell them, and based on a cartooning class she's taught for years. Aimed at people who have given up on drawing even for fun, Barry emphasizes spontaneity over draftsmanship and technique, using techniques to spur creativity, and teaches how to play with one's creations so that the methods practiced always remains fun. (Her earlier book, "100 Demons!," is about how she went about recapturing ...more
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lynda Barry has written two books (that I know of), both in comic form. The first was a syllabus she created for her Wisconsin University class. Visual Thinking is a new skill, and Barry is riding a wave of creativity, thoughtful projects, and fun. This book is a class on making comics (of serious topics, too) told in comic book form.
You don't have to read the book in order, you can open any page and do the exercises. They are inventive, creative, and fun. And they work. A book not to miss.
Dan Clark
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read and discuss a lot of comics but still find it hard to fully quantify what this is in a way that does it justice. By breaking comics down to their most rudimentary elements and gradually build in complexity it demonstrates the language as an art form.

It studies the relationship between the written word and the visual image and how this artform can strengthen both. One of the more inventive approaches to how to create and construct a comic I read this year.
Moses Shuldiner
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
The images, mostly drawn by students, are charming and moving. Barry says that many of the drawings were rescued from the trash(my favourite home decor) i.e. students judged them harshly and discarded them. Although Lynda is a widely admired artist she writes more as a guide/companion. The greatest teachers learn more from their students than they teach.

The book is organised as a series of lessons, but the learning is by self discovery.
Jane Somers
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love everything about this book, and yet I feel panicked at the thought of trying to do the exercises. Ms Barry says the people who think they can't draw do the most original work, so we'll see. I love her description of children's drawings changing from one thing into another, surprising the child doing the drawing, and her general advice to let the drawing go where it wants to go and surprise you.
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Everyone who's ever thought that they're not "good enough" to draw or write should read this book and do the exercises. It's just so cathartic to do something so innately human - to create - without feeling the pressures of being good at it. Lynda Barry is a master in guiding your inner critic to shut the hell up.
(Everyone should also read her Syllabus for similar reasons!
Francis Foster
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
While you won't get the full benefits of the book unless you go through all the exercises (which take quite a bit of organizing!), Professor Chewbacca's thoughts on drawing and storytelling are food for the artist's (and budding artist's) soul. A must-read for parents and people whose parents didn't read the book to them.
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, drawing
These are the exercises that Lynda Barry uses in teaching. They are good ways to learn to draw. It is about letting yourself go and not having preconceived notions of what you are doing. It is also about repetition, and concentration. Who ever said art would be easy?
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-books
As an educational tool, this book is awesome. The exercises are insightful and helpful. As a package, it's gorgeous, interesting a marbled notebook meticulously. As a commuter read, I gotta admit - it's dry.

If you're coming to this for the right reasons, you're going to love it though. I promise.
Lyndsey Pheister
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is an art teacher must, both for your own creativity and for helping your kids hang on to theirs. Itxs kind of like the comic book equivalent to burd by bird, except with the added benefit of having specific exercises you can do to put ideas into practice.
Well...I finished reading this, but that's not really the point. This is Lynda Barry's actual course curriculum for making comics. Did I do any of the exercises? I did not. Will report back if/when I get laid off for coronavirus reasons.
Roy Kenagy
Nov 26, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: read0
FRANKLIN ADULT GRAPHIC NOVELS NEW 741.5 :: READ0 :: EXAMINED 11/18/2019 :: Doctorow: Lynda Barry's "Making Comics" is one of the best, most practical books ever written about creativity
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An original and fun class in making comics. You actually become a student in one of Lynda Barry's classes. Using interesting techniques and assignments, Barry encourages any person who can hold a Flair Pen to give her simple drawing methods a try!
Mary Amato
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh, what can I say? I love all things Lynda Barry.
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Even though I do not draw, I love Barrys instructions. ...more
Mills College Library
741.5973 B281m 2019
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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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“It takes about two or three minutes to make a scribble monster. It takes years to put two and two together. What if your monsters had something to offer you? An unsuspected something?

At some point this monster got out of someone's pen, got out of hand, but here he is again, after being thrown away. In the bin, then out of the bin, and homeless, then in a halfway house you didn't even know existed, though it was right around the corner, literally a ten minute walk from your door, your uncle died there.

Have mercy on the unspeakable monster who has no other way to tell you it's you.”
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