Lynda Barry has worked as a painter, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator and teacher and found they are very much alike. She is the inimitable creator behind the seminal comic strip that was syndicated across North America in alternative weeklies for two decades, Ernie Pook's Comeek featuring the incomparable Marlys and Freddy, as well as the books One Hundred Demons, The Greatest of Marlys, Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel, Naked Ladies Naked Ladies Naked Ladies, and The Good Times are Killing Me which was adapted as an off-Broadway play and won the Washington State Governor's Award.
Her bestselling and acclaimed creative writing-how-to-graphic novel for Drawn & Quarterly, What It Is, won the Eisner Award for Best Reality Based Graphic Novel and R.R. Donnelly Award for highest literary achievement by a Wisconsin author. Barry’s prose novel, and the follow up and creative drawing companion to What It Is, is entitled Picture This: The Near-Sighted Monkey Book. Barry is currently Associate Professor in Interdisciplinary Creativity at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; she teaches writing and picture making and runs the Image Lab at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. Her research centers on what the biological function of this thing we call ‘the arts’ may be, why children feel able to draw, write, dance, sing, and act, and adults do not, and why the longing to be able to do these things persists well after we have given up on the possibility of ever being able to do so.