A COMIC ARTIST BRAVES THE INTERNET

By Glenn Gaslin
Updated November 09, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST
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Celebrated cult comic artist Lynda Barry isn’t exactly comfortable online: She dodges e-mail and avoids sites devoted to her angst-ridden alternative comic strip Ernie Pook’s Comeek. ”I become really self-conscious about reading anything about myself,” she tells EW via, yes, e-mail. ”It can make me over-nervous.” But conquering a bit of her cyber-shyness, Barry has begun posting new strips of her dark, droll gifted kids on a fansite called Marlys Magazine (marlysmagazine.com), and has even ventured onto eBay, where she sells original artwork (when not buying old quilts and Batman comic books). Everything but her strips is up for sale, including sketchbook pages and paintings, some so fresh the paint is still wet. Would-be investors beware: Since each piece is signed and personalized, it’s less desirable on the open market. Which suits Barry just fine: She doesn’t consider her work ”high art” — and the Net lets her keep it that way. ”I love the idea of this little sort of gallery/lemonade-stand kind of scene,” she says, ”making original artwork affordable, even cheap. There’s something kind of down-with-the-man about it.”

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