The Boston Globe | The Boston Globe Staff | November 28, 2008
WHAT IT IS in The Boston Globe
Lynda Barry's "What It Is" (Drawn & Quarterly) is equal parts cartoon memoir, collage album, scrapbook, and Zen roadmap. Written and drawn in a chaotic but riveting style, it offers itself as a guide to creative self-ignition. Barry is an iconoclastic cartoonist best known for her unsentimental evocations of childhood dreams and terrors. Based on her writing seminars around the country, the full- color book uses her drawings, musings, and writing exercises to guide readers toward artistic focus and expressive freedom. Betty Edwards's "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" has long been a staple of art classes; Barry's book might be subtitled, "Drawing All Over the Brain." Not for neatniks or the timid.