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Making Comics

4.47  ·  Rating details ·  557 ratings  ·  99 reviews
The bestselling, idiosyncratic curriculum from a 2019 MacArthur Fellow will teach you how to draw and write your story

“The self-help book of the year.”—The New York Times

Hello students, meet Professor Skeletor. Be on time, don’t 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
Paperback, 200 pages
Published November 5th 2019 by Drawn and Quarterly (first published May 2019)
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Jaina Bee While the content wouldn't be INappropriate for a 12-year-old, Lynda Barry's approach is more geared toward adults who gave up drawing when they were …moreWhile the content wouldn't be INappropriate for a 12-year-old, Lynda Barry's approach is more geared toward adults who gave up drawing when they were about that age. I wonder if a 12 year-old might NOT give up drawing if they read this, or if they would just think, "adults are weird."(less)

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Average rating 4.47  · 
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 ·  557 ratings  ·  99 reviews

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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. ...more
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. ...more
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: 2020, art, non-fiction
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. ...more
Jaina Bee
i love Lynda Barry. This book is a treasure. What more can i say?
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. ...more
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. Wheth
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 doesn’t tell you to procure a non-photo-blue pencil until the exercise it’s needed in. Perhaps I’ll update this review with a comprehensive supplies list once I’ve made it.
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. ...more
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 Barry’s own musings on and explanations of the relationships between drawing, creativity, images, and the mind. There’s great stuff here.
With each book, Barry further refines her thinking and teaching. I loved reading this and will continue to practice the exercises--not only the art exercises, but also the way of thinking and noticing and being.
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this and hope I can get myself to start on the exercises soon!
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
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.
Jul 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Kids love to draw, and are exuberant about depicting their world and imagination in pencil and crayons. Most adults give up drawing, thinking they're "no good at it."

Lynda Barry has created a book for these drawing-averse adults, hoping to help them recapture the joy of the hobby. For that audience, I give this one 5 stars. For myself, I have never given up drawing, so I don't really need that constant goading, BUT there are some great ideas for drawing and story prompts here!
Peter Tillman
Apr 28, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: humor, art
WSJ list of diverting books:
"This combination of memoir and cartoon-drawing workbook is perfect just to read, but even more fun if you’ve ever desired to learn to draw. Who better to guide you than Lynda Barry, the legendary cartoonist always attuned to finding beauty in even the ugliest of sketches?"
Cory Busse
Aug 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a terrific book. For anyone who's ever wanted to write. To draw. It's a stylized and densely populated primer on both. It's as much a joy to look at as it is to read, and even if you never do a single one of the dozens (hundreds?) of exercises in it, you'll appreciate how much love went into crafting them, and how much fun you might have if you decided to try. This is a keeper to go back to again and again for inspiration, to get creatively unstuck or just to mix up the doodles that you' ...more
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Tremendous inspiration for anyone interested in doodling with comics. Lynda Barry provides a range of fun, engaging creative exercises. More than that, though, she shares her passion for the medium itself, evoking the magic that can be made with little scribbles.
Feb 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A well-timed read for me
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
Jan 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I've read this right after Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor , thinking they'll be more different because promos alluded to it being a "sequel". It's not, in fact Making Comics is the instructional book I wanted, while Syllabus was an example of an unusual publishing experiment, but less useful.

Making Comics contains all of the exercises that Syllabus does, and more. Many of them are designed for a class environment or practicing with a partner, but most can be adapted for solo pra
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read a review about this book, Making Comics, (I can’t 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’s 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. Ba
Doctor Moss
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Just to get the record straight, I admit I bought this book to have a look at it before committing myself to actually going through it and doing any of the exercises. I wanted to get a feel for it, and I wanted to see if it inspired me.

I’m one of the people Lynda Barry seems to prefer as students, somebody who doesn’t know how to draw, thinks they never could draw, and would never want anybody to see any of the demented chicken scratchings they produced and dared to call “drawings.”

Her book did
Michael Scott
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Who knew a second Making Comics, after the masterwork original by Scott McCloud, could be so good? Because Lynda Barry's book about, well, making comics, just flows. It's also very different, with a focus on creativity that complements McCloud's technical depth.

+++ Course about making comics? Sign me up!
+ Idiosyncratic style. So you won't even dream about copying the style, just the ideas about comics.
+++ Creativity, creativity, creativity. The whole teaching process is structured around creati
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Glad to be reading this after taking one of Prof. Barry's daylong workshops—many 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 th ...more
Octavia Cade
Oct 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: art, comics, writing
Not quite for me - or I should say, it wasn't quite what I was looking for. I really enjoy Barry's work, and I sort of had the idea that this was more about writing comics than drawing comics. Of course the two are very closely connected, especially in Barry's case, but I needed more of a "how to construct a comic or graphic novel" than I needed a "drawing is fun and you can do it!" tutorial. Which is what this is. It's constructed lesson plans, full of exercises which budding comic artists can ...more
Michael Emond
Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
First - the reason for the low rating is the title and blurb on this book is VERY misleading. It will NOT help you create comics it is a syllabus for a creative drawing class. It has some interesting creative drawing exercises but it will not help you draw better or design a comic strip or comic book.
Also - the author pads the book with a lot of her doodles. Not an art style that was very appealing to me. Not bad, by any means, but not "wow, I want to look at 200 pages of doodles by this author"
Toni Tassani
Jan 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-physical
Nothing to do with Scott McCloud's book with the same title but a wonderful one in a different sense. The author describes a course she delivers on making comics for both people who have not been drawing for a long time and confident artists. She shares all the exercises she asks them to do and the material and constraints. It's a very demanding course where you practice lines, colour and words, to create stories.
I decided to read the book taking the exercises and using the suggested material an
Jun 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Didn't like this book as much as Syllabus, but that's probably because I'm not interested in making comics, but rather in using some of Barry's ideas to get a creative journal practice started. One idea I like here, also in her other book, is the daily diary. That's something I can see easily leading to other projects, both visual and narrative. I don't know if I'll use anything from this book with my students, but I am thinking just now of a very talented student artist who might enjoy working ...more
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Cannonball Readers: Do you let yourself be imperfect? 4 5 Jan 26, 2021 08:52AM  

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Lynda Barry is an American cartoonist and author, perhaps best known for her weekly comic strip Ernie Pook's Comeek. ...more

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