Searching for a specific Lynda Barry collection.
January 22, 2014 1:00 PM   Subscribe

When I was a teenager, I checked out a Lynda Barry collection of Marlys-Maybonne-Freddie Stories from the school library. The stories were mostly about Maybonne, and in particular contained a storyline where she fooled around with a Vietnam veteran in a car. What (likely out of print) collection am I remembering?

It's not It's So Magic, another Maybonne heavy collection. In fact, looking at her bibliography (according to Wikipedia, which could obviously be missing one) I don't even see any likely suspects.

Girls and Boys not a Marlys-Maybonne-Freddy collection AFAIK
Big Ideas not a Marlys-Maybonne-Freddy collection
Everything in the World not a Marlys-Maybonne-Freddy collection AFAIK
Down the Street own it, not it
The Fun House own it, not it
The Good Times Are Killing Me not a Marlys-Maybonne-Freddy collection
Come Over, Come Over own it, not it
My Perfect Life own it, not it
It's So Magic own it, not it
The Freddie Stories own it, not it
Cruddy not a Marlys-Maybonne-Freddy collection
The Greatest of Marlys does not contain storyline I describe
One! Hundred! Demons! not a Marlys-Maybonne-Freddy collection
What It Is not a Marlys-Maybonne-Freddy collection
Picture This: The Near-Sighted Monkey Book not a Marlys-Maybonne-Freddy collection
Blabber Blabber Blabber: Volume 1 of Everything Don't own it yet; does it contain the storyline I describe?

Do you have any memory of the book I'm talking about? Any fellow Lynda Barry megafans out there? Did I imagine this storyline I've never seen in any of the other books? Do I just shut up and wait until D&Q finishes their collections of everything she's done (which is more beat poodle comics than I need to own, but whatever)?
posted by Juliet Banana to Writing & Language (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Are you sure it's a Maybonne collection and not 100 demons? It seems a bit late (were you in high school in '05?) but I could have sworn there was a vietnam vet story in there.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:22 PM on January 22, 2014

Okay, damn, just checked my copy and that seems to not be it. There's a comic about a hippie fest where a creepy hippie propositions her, but it's not right. But I remember this, too. Harumph.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 1:30 PM on January 22, 2014

It is definitely not 100 Demons, which I own and have read recently. Man, maybe I am imagining it.
posted by Juliet Banana at 1:31 PM on January 22, 2014

Are you positive it's not It's So Magic? I could have sworn there's something about a boyfriend in Vietnam in that one.
posted by Wretch729 at 1:36 PM on January 22, 2014

From the summary for It's So Magic:

"reading Cindy's letters from a former boyfriend, a high-school dropout now in the army in Vietnam"
posted by bunderful at 1:41 PM on January 22, 2014

The only Lynda Barry book missing from your bibliography is Naked Ladies Naked Ladies Naked Ladies, which isn't an Ernie Pook compliation either. The plotline in question about has to be in one of the books listed above.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 1:45 PM on January 22, 2014

In It's So Magic, there's a correspondance with a solider in Vietnam. The storyline I'm thinking of involves Maybonne taking drugs or getting drunk and breaking into a parked car to have sex with a solider who is back in the USA. I'm a little blurry on details because it's been ten years, but not that blurry.

Apparently there's another book called Shake a Tailfeather but I can't find anything about it. A lot of these books are out of print and the book I'm thinking of is likely not in the list above.
posted by Juliet Banana at 1:48 PM on January 22, 2014

In "My Perfect Life", there's a sequence in which Maybonne is taking a bus home and makes out with "Tony. An 18 year old soldier from Wallace Idaho." She tells him her name is Pam and "I gave him lied details about my life." They make out all through North Dakota. They then get off the bus together and he tries car doors until he finds an unlocked one that they get into.

It doesn't say anything about him being a Vietnam vet but he is a soldier and they do make out. Quite a bit.
posted by OolooKitty at 2:08 PM on January 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

Using the "Look Inside" feature on Amazon's web site for this Lynda Barry biography, I don't see anything called Shake a Tailfeather on the bibliography page.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 2:41 PM on January 22, 2014

Shake a Tail Feather (two words instead of one) is definitely a very early publication of hers. I might have a copy at home (or my sister might; we were both Lynda Barry fanatics back in the day), but I'm virtually certain that this is a non-Marlys/Maybonne collection.

This storyline doesn't ring a bell with me, either; the one I immediately thought of was the one Oolookitty mentions, about making out with the soldier on the bus.
posted by scody at 2:52 PM on January 22, 2014

I swear I have a memory of ordering "My Perfect Life" and thinking GOD, IT'S NOT THIS ONE EITHER, but I can't find it on my shelf, so I just ordered another copy. The description sounds right and I'll mark this resolved when I get the book.

Making out in a car sounds right; I could definitely be making up the "Vietnam" part (or just assumed from the era).
posted by Juliet Banana at 2:59 PM on January 22, 2014

It's probably safe to assume Vietnam from the era. When you get the book, the story of Maybonne meeting the soldier starts on p. 48.
posted by OolooKitty at 3:44 PM on January 22, 2014

Well, Lynda Barry works here on campus, so you could probably email her at lbarry at wisc dot edu.
posted by Madamina at 4:11 PM on January 22, 2014

I'm backing up OolooKitty's assertion that it's My Perfect Life. It's in one long narrative that's its own part of the book, not a series of the usual four-panel separate strips a la Ernie Pook's Comeek (that might be what threw you off when you got it). It's called "The Most Obvious Question."
posted by dlugoczaj at 9:45 AM on January 23, 2014

OK, I wrote LB and she says:


"My Perfect Life" would be the one with a longer strip called "The Most Obvious Question" where she does mess around with someone but he's not a Vietnam Vet.
She does write a series of letters to a soldier in Vietnam. These strips were done at the time of the first Gulf War with the first George Bush and I'm not sure they were ever collected into a book. I should be able to remember but after doing 30 years worth of weekly strips I forget what I've done.
Hope this helps!
posted by escabeche at 12:32 PM on January 25, 2014 [4 favorites]

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