The Good Times Are Killing Me (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

A heartbreaking but loving look back at Lynda Barry’s own coming of age story, one of many I’m sure, but one that tells a story that is bigger than herself. Her approach to making comics is soulful and playful; her storytelling goes further into the depths of personal experience, addressing sometimes painful realizations. Her everpresent honoring of humanity serves as the bridge from the standard memoir form to her singular art. She is truly a master of her craft and this book gives us a look into what has informed the genuine person we know in her graphic novels.

— From Gena


Lynda Barry’s classic heartbreaking and heartwarming coming of age novella back in print

Young Edna Arkins lives in a neighborhood that is rapidly changing, thanks to white flight from urban Seattle in the late 1960s. As the world changes around her, Edna is exposed to the callous racism of adults—sometimes subtle and other times blatant, but always stinging. By weaving the importance of music in adolescence with the forbidden friendship between Edna, who is white, and Bonna Willis, who is Black, Lynda Barry captures the earnest, awkward, yet always honest adolescent voice as perfectly in prose as she does in comics.

About the Author

Lynda Barry has worked as a painter, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator, and teacher. She is the inimitable creator behind the seminal comic strip Ernie Pook's Comeek, and author of The Freddie Stories,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. Barry has written three bestselling and acclaimed creative how-to graphic novels for D+Q: the Eisner Award-winning What It Is, and Picture This, and Syllabus: Notes from an accidental professor.

Praise For…

"The story of two young people—Edna (white) and Bonna (African-American)—coming to terms with the inequalities of race and class... Written in the 1980s and set in the 1970s, the book remains as relevant as ever in the present."–Rookie

"This book is magic. Lynda Barry makes you laugh and breaks your heart all at once."–Gene Luen Yang

"The beautiful reissue of Lynda Barry’s underrated autobiographical novel The Good Times Are Killing Me, about race and falling in love with records, gets 50 pages of new art, much of it Barry’s folk-art-ish paintings of music pioneers."–Chicago Tribune

"A quick but heartfelt novel about race, class, and poverty in 1970s America, with each vignette connected by the protagonist's love of and connection to music."–Buzzfeed Best Books of 2017

“Barry conveys the anguish and confusion of youth discovering that society is riddled with prejudice, and her light touch is balanced by respect for her characters and their problems.”–Publishers Weekly

"Absorbing and deceptively simple, Lynda Barry’s 1988 illustrated novella is back in a new edition, and it feels like the right time. Difficult conversations about racial divides are still happening, so this story of a young girl’s friendship with a black neighbour is affecting and relevant...With sparse punctuation and breathless, run-on sentences, the story is presented with a naïve voice in a powerful way."–Toronto Star

Product Details
ISBN: 9781770462618
ISBN-10: 1770462619
Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly
Publication Date: October 10th, 2017
Pages: 184
Language: English