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Blabber Blabber Blabber: Volume 1 of Everything Hardcover – October 31, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Kicking off a series reprinting Barry’s complete comics oeuvre, this volume collects the earliest installments of Ernie Pook’s Comeek, a mainstay of alternative newspapers for more than two decades, as well as two books from the late ’70s and early ’80s. The earliest pieces rely heavily on absurdist humor, but Barry soon began deriving both laughs and poignancy from deftly limned characters (including Ernie Pook himself, who would swiftly vanish from the strip bearing his name). Barry’s embryonic drawing style is scratchier and rawer than her later work, although she’d never shake the rough-hewn quality that makes her art immediately recognizable. In introductions to each section, handwritten and drawn in the scrapbookish mode of her autobiographical examination of creativity, What It Is (2008), Barry discusses her influences, from Dr. Seuss to Robert Crumb, and traces her artistic evolution. The declining fortunes of the nation’s alternative newspapers prompted Barry to drop Ernie Pook in 2007; this retrospective serves as a reminder of what her fans have lost. --Gordon Flagg



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Product Details

  • Series: Everything
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly; First Edition edition (October 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1770460527
  • ISBN-13: 978-1770460522
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.9 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #330,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lynda Barry has worked as a painter, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator and teacher and found they are very much alike. She is the inimitable creator behind the seminal comic strip that was syndicated scross North America in alternative weeklies for two decades, Ernie Pook's Comeek featuring the incomparable Marlys and Freddy, as well as the books One! Hundred! Demons!, The! Greatest! of! Marlys!, Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel, Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies!, The Good Times are Killing Me which was adapted as an off-Broadway play and won the Washington State Governor's Award. Her bestselling and acclaimed creative writing-how to-graphic novel for Drawn & Quarterly, What It Is, won the Eisner Award for Best Reality Based Graphic Novel and R.R. Donnelly Award for highest literary achievement by a Wisconsin author. D+Q plans to publish a multivolume collection of Ernie Pook's Comeek, Barry's next prose novel, and the follow up and creative drawing companion to What It Is, November 2010's Picture This: The Near-Sighted Monkey Book.

Born in Wisconsin in 1956, Lynda studied at Evergreen State College.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Blabber Blabber Blabber Blabber: Volume One of Everything" is a simply stunning book from one of America's most brilliantly unique and visually distinctive alternative comic artists. This book chronicles Barry's difficult and transformative early years struggling with problems at home and finding a release in comics. Long before Marlys, there were "Two Sisters," "Girls and Boys," and "Ernie Pook's Comeek" plus much, much more.

I reveled in Lynda's early work, and found her one-off comics to be among my favorites. I was particularly entertained by the skewering of the then-popular "you might be an artist" advertisements on p. 14 ("You may have hidden artistic talent!") and especially the humor test I chose for my title (P. 15.) Lynda's peculiar style, her constantly changing use of fonts and spellings, and dabbling with surrealism (see especially the dueling cacti on p. 17) make for a great read. I've always thought of Lynda as a kindred spirit, and anyone from any age can find something to delight in here.

This book really takes me back in time, and I couldn't have enjoyed it more. Lynda, sincere thanks to you! Now can you get the next collection out please? I can't wait!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By meeah on December 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Well it all started when I made a pizza rustica for my boyfriend. It's one of those "everything but the kitchen sink" Italian dishes. Mainly, it requires a lot of chopping and dicing of several pounds of various pork products--salami, ham, sausage, etc.--rolling out of doughs, and slicing of many cheeses...but, alas, if you're a vegetarian like me, it doesn't involve a lot of eating. So when we took a trip down to the comic book shop the next day, as a way of saying "thanks," which he hardly needed to do since he'd already said "thanks" and it was my pleasure anyway, especially after he told me it was the best pizza rustica he ever ate, he bought me a copy of this book--something I never would have done for myself, since I would have waited until it came out in paperback, and even then, kept waiting until someone had a used and bloodstained copy to sell for $1.38-- and presented it to me while I was wandering around glancing over the store's offerings of mini-comics.

What a fantastic boyfriend...and what a fantastic book!

*Everything Volume 1* has a little of everything about Lynda Barry that I love. Even the introduction is a special treat "written" as it is in Barry's distinctive and current collage style.

This book collects some of Barry's earlier pieces and comic series. Repetition of theme and even treatment in such a collection is probably inevitable, but even where repetition may inevitably occur in the writing there is so much to look at in Barry's graphic presentation that the work never grows tiresome or stale. There is an irrepressible vibrancy to Barry's line and a "primitive" decorative beauty to her work that makes it endlessly pleasurable to look at.

Don't get me wrong, though.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David R. Anderson on November 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lynda Barry had a troubled youth: her parents divorced when she was twelve; she did drugs, found herself at loose ends. Then at sixteen, she got her act together. The intervening hard knocks inform her work and provide perspective and bite. One can imagine her as a seventeen year-old in a Trailways Bus Depot sizing up the other passengers and nailing them with her acerbic drawings. She hits dead center nearly every time. Following her auspicious start on her college newspaper, Barry became one of the leading comic strip artists in what we have come to call the alternative comics scene.

The term is established, but it is not a good fit for her work. The term comes from the fact that her strips were published in the newsweeklies that sprung up around the country as alternatives to the mainline consumer newspapers, the papers that carried Donald Duck, Dick Tracey and Little Orphan Annie. In truth, those comic strips, which are all highly fanciful in their way, portrayed worlds that were far less real than the one Lynda Barry conjured up week after week.

She dealt with life as it unfolds for those for whom life makes no sense, often from the view point of young girls as she did in her "Two Sisters" strip which is included in this volume. These are characters who would change place with Annie in a Seattle second.

Lynda Barry stepped away from drawing her comic strips in 2008 as the alternative newsweekly market shrank to the vanishing point. Now she spends a good deal of her time teaching others how to do what she did, how to write, to draw, to tell their stories. She is very good at it. Her workshops are filled with men and women, old and young and in between, who swear by her.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By rndkr on November 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first in a series of way-highly anticipated volumes that will collect Lynda Barry's entire comics oeuvre, Blabber Blabber Blabber starts at the very beginning (well, Duh), with Barry's unique, sometimes eccentric, often enthralling use of language already in evidence. Her funkily expressionistic, often raw drawings display a seemingly tossed-off skill and employ far more formalistic techniques and experiments than I'd remembered from back in the mid-80's when I used to read and reread her first book, Girls and Boys (collected here in its entirety) over and over. Very cool also to have a look at the full-year run of her never-collected-before comic strip "Two Sisters" from an early 80's paper in Seattle - it's really interesting work, often quite funny, with a wonderfully surreal bent. Barry's introduction and notes throughout tie these, her earliest comics, in with the work she is doing today, not only placing it all in context but demonstrating the trajectory of an artist's career - that in the end it is all of a piece. D&Q did a wonderful job producing this handsome keepsake volume. I eagerly await the next couple in the series, especially as my copies of her great 2nd and 3rd collections, Big Ideas & Everything in the World, are falling apart.
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