One Hundred Demons
In this graphic novel that's part memoir and part creativity primer, Lynda Barry serves up comics that delve into the funk and sweetness of love, family, adolescence, race, and the hood. Name that Demon!!! Freaky boyfriends! Shouting Moms! Innocence betrayed! These are some of the pickled demons you'll meet as Lynda Barry mixes the true and the un-true into something she calls "autobificitionalography." From her nattering and intolerant/loving Filipina grandmother to the ex-boyfriend from hell who had lice, Lynda Barry's demons jump out of these pages and double-dare you to speak their names. Called by Time magazine "a work of art as well as literature," One Hundred Demons has been hailed for its shimmering watercolor images and unforgettable stories about life's little monsters.

One Hundred Demons Details

TitleOne Hundred Demons
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 30th, 2005
PublisherSasquatch Books
ISBN-139781570614590
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Comics, Autobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Art

One Hundred Demons Review

  • lola
    January 1, 1970
    In my dreams of teenage trauma prophylaxis Kathleen Hanna hands me Pussy Whipped and this book as a 13 year old, before I lose my virginity. Avenue D is playing in the background: "Shit, you know they all just want to hit it./They're just talking shit 'cos they want it," which, although nobody will prank call my house at 3am to call me a slut for a couple years, is a revelation that rings true.I come out of adolescence unscathed.
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  • Ayun Halliday
    January 1, 1970
    This book is the bomb and Lynda Barry is the bombalurina. This book seems to be the crossroads, the point where she transformed from her perfectly incredible and delightful self, to the milk of human kindness filled, self-forgiving, fully honest role model and teacher that she is today. You can feel it.A lot of things I'd been hunching about were confirmed herein.The last story, about the monkey head stationery was very sweet, and made me happy for lynda.Matt Groening may be funk lord of the uni This book is the bomb and Lynda Barry is the bombalurina. This book seems to be the crossroads, the point where she transformed from her perfectly incredible and delightful self, to the milk of human kindness filled, self-forgiving, fully honest role model and teacher that she is today. You can feel it.A lot of things I'd been hunching about were confirmed herein.The last story, about the monkey head stationery was very sweet, and made me happy for lynda.Matt Groening may be funk lord of the universe, but his friend is something even more special.
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  • Hannah Garden
    January 1, 1970
    This is the best thing I've read in ages and I am sorely tempted to just start right back over and read the whole thing again right now. November 2016 reread:Joe got me this from Quimby's in late July last year when I flew out there to roadtrip back to New York with him which was our like sixth date or something maybe? Which tbpf I am not that charmed by stories of Going! Way! Romantically! Overboard! too early in the game, mainly because I tend to blow all my chunks early on as a sort of matter This is the best thing I've read in ages and I am sorely tempted to just start right back over and read the whole thing again right now. November 2016 reread:Joe got me this from Quimby's in late July last year when I flew out there to roadtrip back to New York with him which was our like sixth date or something maybe? Which tbpf I am not that charmed by stories of Going! Way! Romantically! Overboard! too early in the game, mainly because I tend to blow all my chunks early on as a sort of matter of course and then later I am like wait a minute what the jeff. Which I guess is a pretty common move but now I get to feel superior and adult about seeing through it but whatEVER point being this BOOK MOTHERFUCKING RULES AS HELL.Like this book is in the tiny pantheon of Perfect Graphic Memoirs, wedged in there on the miniature golden shelf with Are You My Mother? and The Story of My Tits, and I started rereading it the other night because I am about fourteen jillion different kinds of fucked up right now with all the absolutely over-the-top bummer shit I've had to figure out how to process while trying to also process all the absolutely over-the-top magnificently happy splendid jesus fucking christ all my dreams are coming true before my very eyes and I spend my time driving through the Catskills just PUNCHING MYSELF IN THE LEG and screamcrying with absolute unfettered insane grateful dumbfounded JOY, plus leaving this place and this job where I have been so happy and loved so many people and come to know myself in a way that makes it seem possible I might not have to die as scum, resigned to it as my due . . . Anyway so this book takes everything that's in me and yanks it out like it's a fuckn casserole in flames and then oh so gently lovingly anneals the crudloaded boiling wild shitefire and then blows white light across it till it shakes its rages and sorrows out and bends and gentles like long grass under a summer moon. I fucking love this book. I am so happy and it all just feels so possible. One million demons, even. And in the end a home for them all. Safe and happy warm as roast. I think possibly maybe even me.
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  • Malbadeen
    January 1, 1970
    how stupid am I for not reading this before?! super stupid! It was awesome.Highlights for me:-"Common Scents" was hilarious.-"Hate" was gratifying.-The line, "This ability to exist in pieces is what some adults call resilience. And I suppose in some way it is a kind of resilience that makes adults believe children forget trauma" collapsed the chest of both my childhood self as well as my parental self.-The dialog in "Lost and Found" with the arrow pointing to one woman, reading "super dramatical how stupid am I for not reading this before?! super stupid! It was awesome.Highlights for me:-"Common Scents" was hilarious.-"Hate" was gratifying.-The line, "This ability to exist in pieces is what some adults call resilience. And I suppose in some way it is a kind of resilience that makes adults believe children forget trauma" collapsed the chest of both my childhood self as well as my parental self.-The dialog in "Lost and Found" with the arrow pointing to one woman, reading "super dramatically educated. knows about 'story structure' and 'arc' and 'plot points'" and the other arrow to her, reading, "jive-ass faker who can't spell and had no idea what 'story structure' even means" was both personally relevant and entertaining.
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  • Leslie
    January 1, 1970
    I caught myself thinking about taking up a paintbrush and water colors while reading this so I could paint out my demons too. I really love the one about the aswang (a scary dog demon story that her grandma tells her interwoven with a bunch of mother-daughter stuff), Dancing---amazing amazing amazing---just think hula + suave uncles dancing the twist in the kitchen + dancing baby-madness in the morning + trying to befriend the coolest dancing girl in the world. "Sensitive nose" and "hate" and "m I caught myself thinking about taking up a paintbrush and water colors while reading this so I could paint out my demons too. I really love the one about the aswang (a scary dog demon story that her grandma tells her interwoven with a bunch of mother-daughter stuff), Dancing---amazing amazing amazing---just think hula + suave uncles dancing the twist in the kitchen + dancing baby-madness in the morning + trying to befriend the coolest dancing girl in the world. "Sensitive nose" and "hate" and "magic" are up there for me too. If I was still a teacher, I would make sure I had a copy or two of this one around but it's good for us boring old adults too.
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  • Peter Monn
    January 1, 1970
    Sooooooooooo good! Loved it. Check out my review on my Booktube channel at http://YouTube.com/peterlikesbooks
  • Lara's
    January 1, 1970
    Synopsis :NAME THAT DEMON!!! Freaky Boyfriends! Shouting Moms! Innocence betrayed! Rotten things we've done that will haunt us forever! These are some of the pickled demons Lynda Barry's storeis serve up comic-strip style, mixing the true and un-true into something she calles "autobifictionalography." Inspired by a 16th-century Zen monk's painting of a hundred demons chasing each other across a long scroll, and encouraged by a 20th-century editor, Barry's demons jump out of these pages and doub Synopsis :NAME THAT DEMON!!! Freaky Boyfriends! Shouting Moms! Innocence betrayed! Rotten things we've done that will haunt us forever! These are some of the pickled demons Lynda Barry's storeis serve up comic-strip style, mixing the true and un-true into something she calles "autobifictionalography." Inspired by a 16th-century Zen monk's painting of a hundred demons chasing each other across a long scroll, and encouraged by a 20th-century editor, Barry's demons jump out of these pages and double-dare you to speak their names. Review : Yes, it's a pretty intense graphic novel. But, not in the way that I'm used to graphic novels being intense. Part witty humor and part obvious therapy, Lynda Barry bravely addresses her multiple personal demons in one of the most passionate, self-effacing (yet proud) examples of "getting it all out in a creative manner" that I've seen in quite sometime. The great thing about this graphic novel is that while some of the story line will not connect with readers (as School Library Journal notes below) there is bound to be something--and yes, it's ahideous "demon"--that will. And boy! Does it kind of sting like a glass of ice water tossed in your eyeballs when you see it sitting there in front of you, in full-color on the page. For me personally, the torturous pain of living through the nightmare that was Junior High (and, yes, sometimes Graduate School) just kicks into full gear in this book. Hence, I loved it! The ability to laugh at oneself cannot be too over-rated. Lynda Barry graciously laughs and then has enough energy left over to invite you with a step-by-step tutorial of how she did it. So that you too can create 100 demons all your very own! You'd think 100 would be a pretty large number. I'm finding out that it really isn't. Critical Reviews :From Publishers Weekly, "simultaneously poignant and hilarious-never one at the expense of the other-and so are her loopy, sure-lined drawings, which make both the kids and the adults look as awkward and scrunched-up as they feel."From School Library Journal, "those who connect with it will come away with a deep appreciation for Barry." I appreciate Lynda Barry.
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  • Licha
    January 1, 1970
    Funny and poignant at times. Hard to tell which parts are real but I sensed some underlying pain in regards to the relationship between the author and her mother. I wished she had touched more this and growing up as a mixed child. She grew up with her Filipino mother but never mentions her father. The Filipino kids view her a strange due to her red hair, even being curious about whether she gets white lice versus their black lice and request that if she ever finds out she should mail them the ev Funny and poignant at times. Hard to tell which parts are real but I sensed some underlying pain in regards to the relationship between the author and her mother. I wished she had touched more this and growing up as a mixed child. She grew up with her Filipino mother but never mentions her father. The Filipino kids view her a strange due to her red hair, even being curious about whether she gets white lice versus their black lice and request that if she ever finds out she should mail them the evidence. She seems to not be a popular kid growing up but a lot of those inner demons are what seem to make her the person she is today. At least that is how it comes across since this is a "fictional memoir".Love the coloring for each chapter and although the artwork is not the prettiest to look at, it fits the story. Nice, neat and large font. I have to mention the font, since I consider it an important element when it comes to the graphic format.
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  • Marily SV
    January 1, 1970
    WOW!!!!!!! Je suis flabergastée. Drôle et triste et touchant et dur et léger et TOUTTEEEE. Graphiquement dans le même genre que Julie Doucet, mais pour ce qui est du contenu, on est vraiment ailleurs. Je ne m'attendais à rien au départ puisque je n'avais pas de coup de coeur pour ses illustrations, mais après quelques pages, j'étais prise au piège. J'ai même dû retarder mon souper de veille de Noël afin de la terminer. C'est peu dire.
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  • Martin
    January 1, 1970
    I first read this comic on salon.com when I was 24, which was just old enough to appreciate the tone of regret, trauma, and fragile beauty. I was crushed when the comic ended after only 17 entries. Reading it again ten years later, the writing affects me in the same way it did then. I am surprised how well I remember these stories and how I internalized them to help me make sense of the pain of growing up. The economy of Barry's storytelling is amazing. In just 18 panels she can reduce me to tea I first read this comic on salon.com when I was 24, which was just old enough to appreciate the tone of regret, trauma, and fragile beauty. I was crushed when the comic ended after only 17 entries. Reading it again ten years later, the writing affects me in the same way it did then. I am surprised how well I remember these stories and how I internalized them to help me make sense of the pain of growing up. The economy of Barry's storytelling is amazing. In just 18 panels she can reduce me to tears. She writes deeply of friendship, self-exploration and family. Her compassion for the people who tortured her is astounding. She has her detractors, but I think her drawing style is extremely expressive. I wish this comic had continued, but it would have been painful or worse, run out of steam. As it stands, the book contains 17 gems to be cherished over and over again.
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  • Eve Kay
    January 1, 1970
    Lynda Barry is amazing. She is very open about her childhood, who she is and what she feels. I should have read this in my teenage years, being lost and not knowing why I felt certain ways...Wait, that's STILL how I am...Erm...Anyway, I liked What it is better because I think it scratched deeper. I don't know whether I mean it scratched the topic deeper, or me, but it certainly moved plains underneath me. One Hundred Demons was hard to relate to because it lacked in the universal. Of everything. Lynda Barry is amazing. She is very open about her childhood, who she is and what she feels. I should have read this in my teenage years, being lost and not knowing why I felt certain ways...Wait, that's STILL how I am...Erm...Anyway, I liked What it is better because I think it scratched deeper. I don't know whether I mean it scratched the topic deeper, or me, but it certainly moved plains underneath me. One Hundred Demons was hard to relate to because it lacked in the universal. Of everything. All topics from childhood for example were very specific to Barry as if a diary entry and I have hardly gone through any of the experiences she has. She had less of the philosophical "Why did we stop playing and became angry" wonderings which make me think and also stare at the page with my mouth gaping open going "Hey, that's what I've been asking!"I guess what I'm trying to say is One Hundred Demons is more about Barry as a person than a universal book of relatable philosophical questions of why we do or don't do anything ever.
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  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    This one is the M word. The people next to me on the plane were crouching away from me, possibly because you don't smell so good on a long flight, but also because I went back and forth between laughing hysterically and stifling tears.
  • Karyl
    January 1, 1970
    It's amazing to me how well Lynda Barry has held onto the emotions and feelings that go along with being a child. Though she's 44 when she wrote this, she still evokes the magic of a kickball game so vividly, the desperate need for some kind of lovey (blankie or stuffed animal), and the awkwardness of the transition between child and adolescent. So much of this book rang true for me (I was weird and awkward, my lips were too big, I lisped, my last name always got me in trouble, I was heavier tha It's amazing to me how well Lynda Barry has held onto the emotions and feelings that go along with being a child. Though she's 44 when she wrote this, she still evokes the magic of a kickball game so vividly, the desperate need for some kind of lovey (blankie or stuffed animal), and the awkwardness of the transition between child and adolescent. So much of this book rang true for me (I was weird and awkward, my lips were too big, I lisped, my last name always got me in trouble, I was heavier than anyone else, my social skills were non-existent, and my home life wasn't great). Barry does use this book as atonement for some of the wrongs she committed as a teen. I think we all wish we could go back to our childhood and wish we hadn't been so cruel to this person or that, no matter how kind we are now. Kids can be so cruel, and it's not until we mature that we realize the extent of that cruelty. There are so many people I wish I could apologize to.Ultimately, this is a book that leaves one with a sense of hope, that things may turn out just fine after a rocky start in life. Sure, she had a difficult childhood and made some really very questionable choices (alcohol and acid at the age of 13, for starters), but ultimately she's become a successful writer and graphic novelist. We see snippets of her partner, and it seems like a loving relationship. She even exhibits quite a bit of sympathy for her mother, who made her childhood difficult. And her wish to make mends with some of the people she's lost touch with is very endearing. I kind of wish I could call her up and become friends with her (not that that's weird in any way....).I admit I loved her art. Her drawings are simple but it's always obvious who everyone is. And her mixed media pieces between segments are beautiful to look at and investigate further. I'm so glad she gives a little primer on how to use ink stones and ink and Asian-style brushes at the end too. I'm the farthest thing from artistic, but she makes me want to try anyhow.Highly recommend.
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  • Drew Lerman
    January 1, 1970
    I resisted reading this book for a long time, I think largely because of this really messy-looking introduction that made me feel like I had to go clean my room. I think I probably have read that introduction in full, in bits and pieces, over several years, so this time around I just dived in with the first story. It was great, and I recommend this approach. These anecdotes and remembrances have an off-the-cuff feel, not like they were created quickly but like they were created without a ton of I resisted reading this book for a long time, I think largely because of this really messy-looking introduction that made me feel like I had to go clean my room. I think I probably have read that introduction in full, in bits and pieces, over several years, so this time around I just dived in with the first story. It was great, and I recommend this approach. These anecdotes and remembrances have an off-the-cuff feel, not like they were created quickly but like they were created without a ton of planning, and the result is very intimate, like Lynda Barry is talking to you on a bus traveling through a weird noisy city. On the other hand, Barry does tend to elucidate a sort of thematic conclusion to most of these tales, as opposed to ending more ambiguously. But on the other, other hand, maybe that's actually pretty similar to the way people really tell stories, on buses, in bars, over breakfast, presenting you with the moral they've worked out in their minds, which it's up to you to accept.Sometimes I accepted more readily than others. They were never eye-rollers or anything, but sometimes they felt a little pat. Other times, such as in the story "Lost Worlds" I found myself actually sobbing, alone on my couch. Dear God, I thought, have I succumbed to the sentimentalism of my mother, who cries during airline commercials? Perhaps. But I'm glad Lynda Barry risked sentimentalism. I think it's in keeping with the spirit of the collection. She doesn't care if you think she's cool or a genius or a wizard, she just wants to tell you some honest stuff and amuse you, and she does.
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  • Brandi Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    This "autobifictionalography" comic was mentioned in a different comic I'd recently read. That author referred to it as a life-altering read. I don't know if I'll go that far, but I will say that I took screenshots of so many panels I should probably separate them into their own album on my phone. (Even though I own this book I felt so strongly with some of the panels that I must have them with me at all times.) She wrote & drew beautifully about being different and knowing from an early age This "autobifictionalography" comic was mentioned in a different comic I'd recently read. That author referred to it as a life-altering read. I don't know if I'll go that far, but I will say that I took screenshots of so many panels I should probably separate them into their own album on my phone. (Even though I own this book I felt so strongly with some of the panels that I must have them with me at all times.) She wrote & drew beautifully about being different and knowing from an early age that she was different. At the same time, she was able to write about that familiar ache that everyone experiences as they grow into themselves. Except, with it written retrospectively, it came with a hefty side of nostalgia that I found painfully significant. Her chapters on dancing and magic made me sob. It's a gorgeous, quick & satisfying read if you enjoy that sort of thing. I'm a glutton for That Feeling. I suspect most creative types are.
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  • Blue
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! One Hundred Demons is chock full of the things we think about when we think about our childhood: mothers, first love, bullies, favorite objects, teenage blues, music, teachers, school, siblings... Lynda Barry has a unique style, and with big block letters and two-paneled pages, she brings the pain and humor of childhood to beautiful, colorful, cartoony life. The stories often tell of a certain turning point, a realization, a memory triggered by something that happens many years later, and B Wow! One Hundred Demons is chock full of the things we think about when we think about our childhood: mothers, first love, bullies, favorite objects, teenage blues, music, teachers, school, siblings... Lynda Barry has a unique style, and with big block letters and two-paneled pages, she brings the pain and humor of childhood to beautiful, colorful, cartoony life. The stories often tell of a certain turning point, a realization, a memory triggered by something that happens many years later, and Barry often asks questions like "when did I become a teenager?" or "which was worse? girlness that was insisted upon or girlness that was forbidden?" Added to the universal nature of Barry's stories are the things that, in combination, make the stories unique: poverty, multi-generational PTSD, the immigrant experience, single parenthood, a fascination with hippies, lots of drugs... There is one story where Barry implies sexual assault/abuse at a young age and the explores the effects to this "forgotten" memory in later development, which is probably the most painful story in the book (almost a tie with the story about suicide).This book packs a punch in that poignant, humorous, heart-wrenching, hilarious way. Recommended for those who like dogs, neon signs in the rain, dropping acid, hippies, cicadas, dancing, filipino food, and personal ads.
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  • Prima Seadiva
    January 1, 1970
    Once a Seattle local and a regular in the underground papers of the time, it makes me happy that Lynda Barry has had so much success as an artist. She deserves it.Here she explores her childhood through drawings and text inspired by a hand scroll painted by a 16th c. Zen monk, Hakuin Ekaku. I have always enjoyed Lynda Barry's art and humor. This book is tinged with both that humor and poignant self reflection as Barry examines, both purges and accepts her demons, a good example for us all.In cas Once a Seattle local and a regular in the underground papers of the time, it makes me happy that Lynda Barry has had so much success as an artist. She deserves it.Here she explores her childhood through drawings and text inspired by a hand scroll painted by a 16th c. Zen monk, Hakuin Ekaku. I have always enjoyed Lynda Barry's art and humor. This book is tinged with both that humor and poignant self reflection as Barry examines, both purges and accepts her demons, a good example for us all.In case you might want to know more about Hakuin Ekakuhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hakuin_...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hakuin_...
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  • Taidgh
    January 1, 1970
    Really enjoyed this book. A quick read and auto-biographical. The storytelling was top-notch. A collection of short story comics. It was nice to see where some of the demons went and the connections with the various stories was skilfully done. Lots of humour throughout although quite sad at times. Shows at the end how to make your own demons with some fancy tools suggested and sent in the direction of some company's website (I was not a fan of this) though all you really need is some paper and a Really enjoyed this book. A quick read and auto-biographical. The storytelling was top-notch. A collection of short story comics. It was nice to see where some of the demons went and the connections with the various stories was skilfully done. Lots of humour throughout although quite sad at times. Shows at the end how to make your own demons with some fancy tools suggested and sent in the direction of some company's website (I was not a fan of this) though all you really need is some paper and a pencil/pen and you're sorted.
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  • Ella
    January 1, 1970
    I get why Lynn loves it lol. It's somehow silly but also heart wrenching and truly sad at times. I was just instinctively very repulsed by a lot of the images, especially the ones of herself. I think that's sort of the point - you're hearing her story and made to sympathize with her and feel for her, but at the same time you're forced into the position of the bully/perpetrator because of how easy it is to be repulsed by the images of her, so you have to uncomfortably sit in both positions. I gue I get why Lynn loves it lol. It's somehow silly but also heart wrenching and truly sad at times. I was just instinctively very repulsed by a lot of the images, especially the ones of herself. I think that's sort of the point - you're hearing her story and made to sympathize with her and feel for her, but at the same time you're forced into the position of the bully/perpetrator because of how easy it is to be repulsed by the images of her, so you have to uncomfortably sit in both positions. I guess I get it.
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  • Monica
    January 1, 1970
    I have an especially strong attachment to Barry's work, because my favorite aunt sent me a bunch of her comics the first time a dumb boy broke up with me. I love a lot of her work--I've even used Syllabus in a first year composition class, which worked really well. One! Hundred! Demons! may be my favorite, however. The conceit of using personal demons--the life moments that haunt you, form you, and stay with you--as the basis for comics is effective and affecting. I really loved this autobiofict I have an especially strong attachment to Barry's work, because my favorite aunt sent me a bunch of her comics the first time a dumb boy broke up with me. I love a lot of her work--I've even used Syllabus in a first year composition class, which worked really well. One! Hundred! Demons! may be my favorite, however. The conceit of using personal demons--the life moments that haunt you, form you, and stay with you--as the basis for comics is effective and affecting. I really loved this autobiofictionalography.
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  • Virginia Äl
    January 1, 1970
    Joululahja joka ehti "pukinkonttiin" vasta tammikuun alussa. Omaelämänkerrallisia sarjakuvia joissa pysäyttäviä samaistumisia ja tuttuja teemoja jotka näkyvät ja kuuluvat myöhemmissä teoksissa. Indonesialainen isoäiti joka harrasti joka aamuista diskotanssintaa kuulostaa hyvältä. Miksi säästää bailaamiset iltaan.
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  • Rosa
    January 1, 1970
    This book has incredible art and sad, very true stories of growing up, but if I read one more graphic memoir about the author's crazy or disappointing parents and her sad, confusing childhood in the midcentury, I'm gonna lose it.
  • Bayneeta
    January 1, 1970
    How have I missed Lynda Barry all these years? She calls this work "autobifictionalography." Part fact, part fiction, all interesting. Primarily dealing with difficult childhood and teen years. Will definitely seek out more of her work. And the final pages detailing the art materials she uses really made me want to run out and invest in my very own inkstone!
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  • Keili Rae
    January 1, 1970
    A book of appalling truths, hilarious&relatable ancedotes, and then this very delicate nostalgia for the mundane moments of childhood that we took for granted and eventually forgot that we lost.
  • Annie
    January 1, 1970
    This is inspired and inspiring. Harsh and dark and redemptive and generous. I must go write down my demons now.
  • Sarah Evan
    January 1, 1970
    There's a lot of craft here, but it was either the size of the book or the separate vignettes, but I had a harder time getting through as it felt choppy to me. Very interesting and glad I read this book, just wasn't as enjoyable or as engaging as I have found other graphic memiors.
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  • Cade
    January 1, 1970
    This is a graphic novel initiated by a drawing exercise where the artist is to draw/paint 100 demons. Barry decided to do this exercise and shares some of her demons; however, her demons turned out to be from her past & childhood and not just whimsical drawings of creatures. The book then adds flesh to the demons by giving background information and stories to them. She states that the book is a work of Autobifictionalography - Part true to her life, part not and she doesn't elaborate or poi This is a graphic novel initiated by a drawing exercise where the artist is to draw/paint 100 demons. Barry decided to do this exercise and shares some of her demons; however, her demons turned out to be from her past & childhood and not just whimsical drawings of creatures. The book then adds flesh to the demons by giving background information and stories to them. She states that the book is a work of Autobifictionalography - Part true to her life, part not and she doesn't elaborate or point out which is which.Some of the demons are: Head Lice & Worst Boyfriend; Lost Worlds; Dancing; Resilience; Magic Lanterns; Girlness; & The Election.It is apparent that Lynda was an odd kid - or more directly, a social misfit. This shows in her comic series - 'Ernie Pook' as well. Growing up I was a bit of a social misfit as well, which is why I think I like and dislike Barry's work. She really draws out and conveys 'Socially Awkward' in her work. This is telling of her talent, but also makes her work hit home. Being familiar with the 'Ernie Pook Comeek', it was hard to separate some of that out from my direct thoughts on the book. 'Ernie Pook' is interesting at times, but usually quite awkward, leaving the reader feeling uncomfortable for the main character. This makes the overall comic uncomfortable. So, that played on my mind as I read this book. These stories gave some background into Barry's life explaining some of that awkwardness and the theme of awkwardness was played here as well.In regard to Autobiography, the character's social awkwardness and rough childhood, both at home and in her neighborhood are themes that recur through out the book and her other work making them seem too passionate and real to not be true.The first half of the book really hit on and dug into deep wounds, philosophical issues, and true personal demons: social exclusion, learned abusive behavior passed from generation to generation and its impacts, and the lasting damage of sexual child abuse. All very tough subjects, and truly demons. In the latter half of the book the subjects ease off. Perhaps that is how it works. Tension & obsession has been released and she is maturing as the book proceeds, so the other demons are smaller, and easier to deal with or at least not as destructive.I found the structure of the book interesting in the juxtaposition of the beginning & end with the middle of the book. Beginning of the book: Hey, this looks like a fun exercise. I'm going to draw 100 demons!Middle of the book: My mother hated me because her mother hated her. I was raped as a child, which led to drug use and sexual promiscuity. I was robbed of my childhood and lived in a poor neighborhood without a father and am obviously scarred by this experience.End of the book: That was a fun exercise! You should try it. Here is what you need: Ink stone, brush...Overall, a surprisingly insightful book.
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  • Brenda
    January 1, 1970
    According to the blurb on the back cover, Barry describes her work as: "Autobifictionalography."Her introduction poses two relevant questions: "Is it autobiography if parts of it are not true?" and "Is it fiction if parts of it are?"Having read Barry's _What It Is_ not so long ago, I've been thinking of composing an article called "What It Isn't." But, I can't even figure out what to put on a rubric for the creative writing class I'll be teaching in a week. Maybe it's because the creative artist According to the blurb on the back cover, Barry describes her work as: "Autobifictionalography."Her introduction poses two relevant questions: "Is it autobiography if parts of it are not true?" and "Is it fiction if parts of it are?"Having read Barry's _What It Is_ not so long ago, I've been thinking of composing an article called "What It Isn't." But, I can't even figure out what to put on a rubric for the creative writing class I'll be teaching in a week. Maybe it's because the creative artists I admire most tend to resist strictures. I must say that I love Barry's take on academic writing:"In 'The Bell Jar,' Plath profounds her enumerated existential parthenogenesisusing subvertible intra-mural insight on the dissimulation ofher classic bummerof the 20th century."Surely this parody is better than much projective verse!Barry has composed _ONE! HUNDRED! DEMONS!_ in segments devoted to influential demons from her past ("My Worst Boyfriend," "Girlness," "The Election"). One of my own most irksome bugaboos must be "genre." So many times, other writers at conferences ask me, "So, do you write poetry or fiction" as if writing were a two party system--and the conference were a primary where the writer/voter had to choose one or the other. Maybe I should borrow Barry's term...if only I could pronounce it!I notice that other reviewers on Good Reads tend to identify teenagers as a target audience. Maybe so, since most of the book does focus on Barry's youth listening to music in a darkened room or swirl-tripping on acid, but the cultural references are surer to appeal to those who grew up with hippies as not-so-much elders (in my own experience: they made wonderful Sunday school teachers, but lousy babysitters!).
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  • Andrew
    January 1, 1970
    What probably worked as a serialized comic strip on Salon.com doesn't really work (for me, at least...a lot of five star reviews on this site, so I might just be weird) in book format. It took me forever to finish this because I could only bring myself to read two or three "demons" at a time. The self-consciously juvenile artwork fits the concept, but that doesn't stop it from getting distractingly ugly very, very fast. As for the stories themselves, they are occasionally quite touching and insi What probably worked as a serialized comic strip on Salon.com doesn't really work (for me, at least...a lot of five star reviews on this site, so I might just be weird) in book format. It took me forever to finish this because I could only bring myself to read two or three "demons" at a time. The self-consciously juvenile artwork fits the concept, but that doesn't stop it from getting distractingly ugly very, very fast. As for the stories themselves, they are occasionally quite touching and insightful, but overall, I found Barry's tone to be far too precious and willfully naive for my tastes. There's also an ugly self-congratulatory streak running through at least half these stories. Congrats, Ms. Barry, you rescued an abused dog from a shelter! You cared more than anybody else about a child's lost toy at an airport! You took in a foster kid for a whole summer! And you took her shopping! Barry's thoughts on class antagonism, racism, and intellectual snobbery are sometimes interesting, but again, too much of it boils down to "everybody is mean but me!" It's not all bad of course. The story where Barry and the spoiled white kid drop acid in the International District is pretty funny and pointed, and the handful of stories that leave all the self-styled quirkiness behind and tell the sad story of Barry's rough upbringing are definitely welcome. If I read this comic during its original serialized run, I probably would have enjoyed it more. Taken as a whole though, "100 Demons" is a bit much for me to swallow.
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  • Indra
    January 1, 1970
    I love Lynda Barry. There is no one like her. She manages to be sweet, funny and unflinchingly real at the same time without feeling heavy-handed. There aren't 100 demons in this book, but it feels like that many. I wondered if she chose that nice round number of demons because--for every demon that exists--several other potential demons could appear, and with a number like 100, in theory, there's room for everybody. I love the "How to Paint Your Demon" section. I did paint my demon once in real I love Lynda Barry. There is no one like her. She manages to be sweet, funny and unflinchingly real at the same time without feeling heavy-handed. There aren't 100 demons in this book, but it feels like that many. I wondered if she chose that nice round number of demons because--for every demon that exists--several other potential demons could appear, and with a number like 100, in theory, there's room for everybody. I love the "How to Paint Your Demon" section. I did paint my demon once in real life and found it incredibly therapeutic.Barry knows how freeing it is to create like a child would and encourages the reader to find a way to go back in time and use more of that pure imagination and heart we all had then. There's that famous Picasso quote "every child is an artist", which is true, but the rest of that quote addresses the difficulty of remaining an artist when one grows up. At least, when one reads Lynda Barry, that childhood world can be visited again. There are snotty folks who think Lynda Barry isn't a real writer. I say she is one of the most real writers we have.
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