Lynda Barry | Unity Temple | Literary Events | Chicago Reader
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Fred Milton

Lynda Barry 

When: Tue., Jan. 25, 7:30 p.m. 2011
Price: $10 (ticket can be redeemed for $10 off the price of the book)
Lynda Barry stopped drawing her beloved strip, Ernie Pook's Comeek, in 2008, after about 30 years. But she didn't stop drawing, and her new book is an ode to the joy of putting pen (or brush) to paper. Picture This: The Near-Sighted Monkey Book (Drawn & Quarterly) is less a how-to than a why-not. While Barry offers plenty of helpful hints to get you going—like how to draw amoebas and branches—her main business is to laud the therapeutic benefits of the creative act. If there's any manifesto here, it's this: "I believe making lines and shapes and coloring them in can still help us in the way it helped us when we were kids." Barry started drawing a meditating monkey, for instance, "while crying in an airport bar en route to a funeral." "I found it helped," she writes, "and I drew it again and again. I have since painted hundreds more, maybe thousands" to get through stressful times. Novelist Elizabeth Berg leads the discussion. --Jerome Ludwig

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