Graphic Novelist Panel
10/19/2013 - 4:00pm
Central Library - Community Room
Celebrated graphic novelists, Lynda Barry, Ivan Brunetti, and Chris Ware will discuss their most recent works. Barry's The Freddie Stories traces a year in the life of Freddie, the youngest member of the dysfunctional Mullen family. With consummate skill, Lynda Barry writes about the cruelty of children at this most vulnerable age when the friends they make and the paths they choose can forever change their lives. Ivan Brunetti's eye-popping illustrated autobiography, Aesthetics: A Memoir, traces his artistic trajectory and output, from youthful doodles to his latest cover illustrations and comic strips. Aesthetics unearths a trove of previously unpublished materials, including working drawings, sketches for cartoons, book covers, personal photographs, and items from the artist’s collection of toys and handmade objects. With the increasing electronic incorporeality of existence, sometimes it’s reassuring—perhaps even necessary—to have something to hold on to. Chris Ware's Building Stories is just that thing. Whether you’re feeling alone by yourself or alone with someone else, this book is sure to sympathize with the crushing sense of life wasted, opportunities missed and creative dreams dashed which afflict the middle- and upper-class literary public (and which can return to them in somewhat damaged form during REM sleep).
Born 1956 on Hiway 14 in Richland Center, Wisconsin, daughter of an Irish/ Norwegian/ meat-cutter and an Irish/Filipina immigrant employed as a hospital housekeeper, Lynda Barry attended The Evergreen State College (Olympia, Washington) during its early experimental period (1974-78). She studied under painter and writing teacher Marilyn Frasca for two years, trying to answer this one question: What is an Image? This question has guided Barry’s work ever since. In a career spanning nearly 35 years, Barry has authored 17 books, worked as a commentator for NPR, had a regular monthly feature in Esquire, Mother Jones Magazine, Mademoiselle, and on Salon.com. Barry is also a sought-after visiting artist and speaker. She teaches a popular writing workshop called “Writing the Unthinkable” all around the country and is known for her lively teaching style and strong dedication to her students.
Born to working-class parents in a small town in Italy, and reared in Chicago, Ivan Brunetti (b. 1967) was drawn to cartoons and comic strips from an early age. Finding inspiration in Spider-Man and Peanuts, he began crafting his own stories and gradually developed a unique style that he applied to imaginative, sometimes shocking subjects. The dark humor of his graphic novels earned him a cult following, yet his illustrations have had broad appeal. Now recognized as an award-winning cartoonist and illustrator, Brunetti has published his work in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, and McSweeney’s, among others.
CHRIS WARE is the author of Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth and the annual progenitor of the amateur periodical the ACME Novelty Library. An irregular contributor to The New Yorker and The Virginia Quarterly Review, Ware was the first cartoonist chosen to regularly serialize an ongoing story in The New York Times Magazine, in 2005-2006. He edited the thirteenth issue of McSweeney's Quarterly Concern in 2004 as well as Houghton Mifflin's Best American Comics for 2007, and his work was the focus of an exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago in 2006. Ware lives in Oak Park, Illinois, with his wife, Marnie, a high-school science teacher, and their daughter, Clara.