WHAT IT IS reviewed by Booklist

Booklist Review - What It Is

Booklist     |    Gordon Flagg    |    June 1, 2008

Though she has drawn the weekly Ernie Pook's Comeek and other alternative comics for nigh-on two decades, Barry still manages to surprise and delight. Take this hard-to-categorize book, an ambitious work that combines ink and watercolor drawings, collage, and handwritten and typeset text to explore the creative process by posing open-ended questions ("What is an image?" "What is a memory?"), and
autobiographical passages about Barry's harsh, lonely youth and creative struggles. A freewheeling "Activity Book" follows, proceeding in the same lively fashion by drawing on exercises from the creativity workshops Barry holds around the country and inviting readers to join in the fun of unleashing
their imaginations. Although such content is a departure from the usual for Barry, her distinctive style,with its vividly messy expressiveness, remains a constant. Barry's legions of fans will appreciate the insight she provides into her work, but her entertaining, accessible approach to weighty philosophical matters deserves a still larger audience. Drawn and Quarterly, this book's publisher, plans to bring the Ernie Pook strips back into print -good news for us all.

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