On page 40 of What It Is, Lynda Barry recounts the impact that stories had on her childhood. The reason that I chose this particular page from the work to showcase texture has a lot to do with something she writes in this page.
“We don’t create a fantasy world to escape reality, we create it to be able to stay.”
I found myself rereading this passage and thinking about my own childhood. While rereading the page over and over, I did notice subtle things about Barry’s work that utilize texture.
I often found myself disregarding Barry’s choice of paper to make the work on, but after a while I saw how this choice of texture added to the work. Barry’s use of yellow notepad paper and its texture not only helps with the alignment of text, she often writes on the lines to structure the text, it gives a mundane and seemingly ordinary appearance to her work. This is in no way a criticism. This makes the work approachable and that much more personal. As if we are looking into someone’s diary. I think this textural quality of her work makes it captivating and unlike many other graphic novels which often lack a lot texture, instead relying on line and shape to depict a story. Not Lynda Barry.