PX91: Funny Ladies

Funny Ladies by Pamela Beere Briggs (130х184mm)

So I’m watching this DVD because it has Lynda Barry (on topic) and Nicole Hollander (somewhat on topic) for this blog series.

The other two here are less on topic.

Just to get my prejudices up front: I don’t like documentaries in general, and I loathe sound byte editing documentaries with a sound bed…

And this has cheery jazzish music in the background which is getting on my tits…

Messick’s originals are huge!

I like the bits where they show her drawing… It’s kind of fascinating how efficient she is.

What the…

Hollander xeroxes Sylvia! And then glues her onto the board!

And then draws in some alterations!

And cuts out other bits with an x-acto knife! And then fills in the missing bits! I had no idea! I mean, over the years I was wondering why Sylvia looked so similar from strip to strip, but then I’d compare, and all these details were different, so I’d go “oh, she must just be very precise about drawing her face and that typewriter”…

Draw in some longer hair…

Cut the earring…

Draw in something new!

I’m amazed.

I’m not amazed that she has a cat.

Some Hollander/Barry conversation.

I’m actually enjoying this documentary quite a bit. The editing isn’t annoying at all — they let the artists talk and finish their sentences: No cross-cutting to a random comment by a critic about whatever. It’s refreshingly relaxed. I mean, I’d enjoy watching the artists drawing even more than what we’re getting, but it’s really interesting and well-made…

Oh! That’s what one of those pens look like. “Mechanical”?

But Barry uses a brush for the figures.

Oh my god!!! She draws directly in ink without any pencilling!!!

I’m in awe.

And then some white-out.

I’d totally sit here watching an hour of Barry drawing a strip. It’s so fluid, and Barry is funny and interesting on the soundtrack.

*gasp* She has all these sketchbooks! That she’s done in this way to ensure that it’s impossible to reproduce! But not any more these days, I think?

Modern computers, man.


The first two bits were OK (Messick and Guisewite), and then it got interesting with Hollander, but it really took off with the Barry bits. I was totally riveted.

And then there’s a “20 years later” extra:

And the conclusion is that not much has changed.

Funny Ladies. Pamela Beere Briggs. 1991.

This blog post is part of the Punk Comix series.

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