Eisner Award Winner for Best Publication Design
For more than five years the cartoonist Lynda Barry has been an associate professor in the University of Wisconsin–Madison art department and at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, teaching students from all majors, both graduate and undergraduate, how to make comics, how to be creative, how to not think. There is no academic lecture in this classroom. Doodling is enthusiastically encouraged.
Making Comics is the follow-up to Barry's best-selling Syllabus, and this time she shares all her comics-making exercises. In a new hand-drawn syllabus detailing her creative curriculum, Barry has students drawing themselves as monsters and superheroes, convincing students who think they can’t draw that they can, and, most important, encouraging them to understand that a daily journal can be anything so long as it is hand drawn.
Barry teaches all students and believes everyone and anyone can be creative. At the core of Making Comics is her certainty that creativity is vital to processing the world around us.
“Barry is pushing the envelope on understanding how the brain creates and responds to words and pictures—a scholarly envelope that, in her mind, should be positively covered with illuminating doodles.”—The Washington Post
“Making Comics is stuffed to the gills with Barry’s friendly wisdom, characteristic doodles, and mind-expanding exercises.”—The Paris Review
“Eternally wise and strange.”—NPR
"Barry pairs a spirit of wise and open encouragement—that we already know how to draw since we were doing that before we could write, we’ve just forgotten or convinced ourselves otherwise—with a demand for rigor . . . The underlying thesis of Making Comics is that anyone can discover their own cartooning genius, if they are willing to put in the work."—Salon
"One of the best, most practical books ever written about creativity."—Boing Boing
"Making Comics is both a tool kit of her comics-making exercises and a tender manifesto about how anyone can create."—Lit Hub
"There’s a serious theoretical underpinning here, and Barry’s lighthearted and genuinely fun approach is directly in service of it: banishing your inner critic, developing a disciplined (but playful) practice, and dismantling beliefs about what constitutes a 'good' comic is key to finding something organic, original, and true."—Booklist (starred review)
"Barry follows up Syllabus by again condensing her celebrated visual storytelling courses into an instructional book that doubles as a work of art. Through her signature nimble comics and collage, Barry provides guidelines for teachers, students, and aspiring artists . . . These lessons from Barry, like her art, capture her own brand of magic: a synthesis of theory, practice, memory, imagination, and 'a certain sort of unlearning.'"—Publishers Weekly