Get into a conversation with cartoonist-playwright-novelist Lynda Barry, and she'll take you for a ride through an amazing array of topics: her admiration for the late custom-car builder/cartoonist Ed "Big Daddy" Roth ("I had Rat Fink rings and Rat Fink necklaces. For girls who were not pretty and who had funky teeth, it was such a wonderful option. Also Big Daddy could draw the best bulging eyeballs"), her one-time sideline as a DJ ("I'm a huge hermit now, I don't hardly go out, so no, I don't DJ. If I did I'd be playing bhangra music by Punjabi MC and also Tenacious D"), the '60s-'70s nostalgia thing ("I think they are gone, man! Way way way gone. I want the '80s to go away. And I want George W. Bush to go away"), or even -- shudder -- her parodists ("I never never never look at it! I don't even know about it, and please don't tell me! It always makes me want to throw up because I already think I suck, so having someone put a lot of time into showing how exactly I suck is vomit- producing").
One of Barry's favorite subjects when she walks into Diesel: A Bookstore Thursday evening (7:30 p.m., 5433 College Ave., Oakland) will undoubtedly be her new book, One Hundred Demons (Sasquatch Books, $24.95). It's a collection of some twenty strips, originally published in Salon.com's "Mothers Who Think" section (now renamed "Life") and ostensibly related to a Buddhist tenet about overcoming a hundred demons in your lifetime -- although when Buddhism comes up, Barry shrugs: "My husband and I like to do everything by hand and also we love nature and one day he said, 'Honey, I think we're BuddhAmish.' If I have any Buddhy-ism it's from loving the paintbrush, inkstone, and ink, and all the pictures that have been made with it." So much for the Marlys sutra.
Learn more about Skreddy 57, Barry's indispensable novel Cruddy, Fred Milton the poodle, head lice ("2,600 species of lice and I've dated every one of them"), and other Barry-ana at www.marlysmagazine.com
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