The Lynda Barry renaissance that’s been underway at D&Q for the last few years with What It Is, Syllabus and reprints of her early comics strips now comes to its crowning moment with new editions of three books that can justly be called masterpieces: The! Greatest! Of! Marlys!, a colelction of comics featuring barry’s signature character; The Good Times Are Killing Me, the award winning novel and One! Hundred! Demons! a standalone semi-autobiographical graphic novel that unites all of Barry’s themes in a stand alone story.
Barry has been frank about the professional wasteland she found herself in following the publication of One! Hundred! Demons! – and in bringing back these books to give them their place as some of the best comics of recent times I can only say it’s about time.
Drawn & Quarterly has acquired world English rights to Lynda Barry’s seminal comics backlist: The! Greatest! Of! Marlys!, The Good Times Are Killing Me, and One! Hundred! Demons! Originally published between 1998 and 2002, the three books are pinnacle titles not just in Barry’s career but in all of publishing for the past twenty years. D+Q will publish new editions of the three titles in hardcover, starting in Fall of 2016 with an expanded edition of The! Greatest ! Of! Marlys!.
“To have these titles on the D+Q list is an honor. Lynda is a singular artist in that her prose is just as rewarding as her comics, and in this regard, she really has no equal,” said Peggy Burns, Publisher and Acquiring Editor. “I think the best example of Lynda’s prowess as a cartoonist is in her four-panel comics, where she manages to pack the emotion and humor of a complete story in just four drawings. And yet, her prose in The Good Times Are Killing Me is just as tight. In either medium, Lynda portrays childhood and adolescence with a potent, moving display full of energy, personality, sadness, and humor.”
The! Greatest! Of! Marlys!
“Lynda Barry’s comics were my YA, before YA really even existed. She’s been writing teen stories with an incredibly clear voice since the early 80s. [The! Greatest! Of! Marlys!] is raw, ugly, hilarious, and poignant.”—Raina Telgemeier, author of Smile and Drama
Lynda Barry’s most famous character from her landmark comic strip, Ernie Pook’s Comeek, is eight-year-old Marlys Mullen. Given her very own collection of strips, Marlys shines in all her freckled and pig-tailed groovy glory. The trailer park where she and her family live is the grand stage for dramas big and small. Joining Marlys are her teenaged sister Maybonne, her younger brother Freddie, their mother, and an offbeat array of family members, neighbors, and classmates.
The Good Times Are Killing Me
“Barry conveys the anguish and confusion of youth discovering that society is riddled with prejudice, and her light touch is balanced by respect for her characters and their problems.”—Publishers Weekly
Young Edna Arkins lives in a neighborhood that is rapidly changing, thanks to white flight from urban Seattle in the late 1960s. As the world changes around her, Edna is exposed to the callous racism of adults; sometimes subtle and other times blatant, but always stinging. At the heart of the book is Edna’s forbidden friendship with Bonna Willis, and how the world around them challenges their loyalties. Published in 1988, The Good Times Are Killing Me was adapted into an off-Broadway play and won the Washington State Governor’s Award.
One! Hundred! Demons!
“Has anybody noticed that Lynda Barry is a national treasure? She writes about being a child, but her books are decidedly for adults…You’ll wonder how anything can be so sad and so funny at the same time.”—Lev Grossman, Time Magazine
In a genre that Lynda calls “autobifictionalography,” Lynda revisits her childhood memories and demons for stories that will make you laugh and cry. These comics reach directly to the heart – Lynda connects the dots between reading the classifieds as a kid and growing up to be a writer; transforms a meditation on why babies are the best dancers into one about the sometimes devastating weight of public opinion; and plumbs the depths of loss and heartache in vignettes on suicide and the resilience of children. One! Hundred! Demons! was originally published in 2002, receiving rave reviews from the New York Times,where Nick Hornby called it “brutally honest, thoughtful and soulful,” and appearing on best of lists fromTime magazine and the Chicago Tribune.
All three titles will be distributed in the United States by Farrar, Straus & Giroux; in Canada by Raincoast Books; and in the UK by PGUK. Liz Darhansoff of Darhansoff & Verrill represented Lynda Barry in negotiations. All three titles were originally published by Sasquatch Books of Seattle, WA.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.