Well it all started when I made a pizza rustica for my boyfriend. It's one of those "everything but the kitchen sink" Italian dishes. Mainly, it requires a lot of chopping and dicing of several pounds of various pork products--salami, ham, sausage, etc.--rolling out of doughs, and slicing of many cheeses...but, alas, if you're a vegetarian like me, it doesn't involve a lot of eating. So when we took a trip down to the comic book shop the next day, as a way of saying "thanks," which he hardly needed to do since he'd already said "thanks" and it was my pleasure anyway, especially after he told me it was the best pizza rustica he ever ate, he bought me a copy of this book--something I never would have done for myself, since I would have waited until it came out in paperback, and even then, kept waiting until someone had a used and bloodstained copy to sell for $1.38-- and presented it to me while I was wandering around glancing over the store's offerings of mini-comics.
What a fantastic boyfriend...and what a fantastic book!
*Everything Volume 1* has a little of everything about Lynda Barry that I love. Even the introduction is a special treat "written" as it is in Barry's distinctive and current collage style.
This book collects some of Barry's earlier pieces and comic series. Repetition of theme and even treatment in such a collection is probably inevitable, but even where repetition may inevitably occur in the writing there is so much to look at in Barry's graphic presentation that the work never grows tiresome or stale. There is an irrepressible vibrancy to Barry's line and a "primitive" decorative beauty to her work that makes it endlessly pleasurable to look at.
Don't get me wrong, though. Barry's writing is sharp and funny and at it's best in this collection can carry you along even without the pictures! She has something insightful to say in virtually every panel. She is smart, funny, biting, cynical, tender, and sweet...often all at the same time. Spending time with a book of Lynda Barry comics is like spending time with a good friend and you feel like a better and happier person for it.
I loved this book!
I cant wait for volume two. If I don't want to wait a hundred years for a used, yellowed, bloodstained paperback copy, I better plan on making another pizza rustica!