Nerds rule the show, but Hollywood publicity teams want to take control

MSNBC    |    Dave White    |    July 28, 2008

"Lynda Barry, the cartoonist who will sing to you

This cartoonist, a contemporary and college friend of “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening, has worked in relative obscurity for over 20 years with her strip, “Ernie Pook’s Comeek,” having been a staple in alternative weekly newspapers in the 1980s and 90s. Her one-woman panel presentation, based on her latest book, “What It Is,” was Comic-Con’s single most inspirational moment, even if most of the 125,000 daily attendees weren’t in the room or, more likely, had never even heard of her (I had to explain her and her work three different times in response to the question, “What panel are you headed to now?”).

An exuberant, no-nonsense cheerleader for life’s outcasts, she led her smallish room’s capacity crowd in a sermon-like call to creativity without fear of failure, to engage in what she called “deep play” or suffer going slowly insane. Of all the convention’s “professional” badge wearers, she was the coolest. She finished her panel by singing, “You Are My Sunshine” without moving her lips and got a standing ovation."

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