Lynda Barry: Ernie Pook’s Comeek

Lynda Barry used to live a few blocks from my apartment in Seattle, in an apartment above Bergman’s Lock and Key. Sadly, they tore the old building down several years ago, to make way for an admittedly much more beautiful and useful building.

Maybe it’s because she grew up in Washington, and she’s the same age as my older sisters, but her comics seem to be written about my family and other kids that I knew growing up. Particularly Ernie Pook’s Comeek. The way that Marlys and Arna talk, they sound just like kids in Spokane in the 1970s, and the things they have around the house, the way they pass the time, all of it.

The kids in Ernie Pook have it harder than I did, though. The strip is often very sad. Even when the kids are having fun, the reader often feels the danger they are in, or the unfairness of their lives, like in this little winter story:

Winter Memory

Some of them are just simple nostalgia and are filled with warm feelings about childhood friendship, like these:

Real Parents

Helen Keller

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