PositiveThe New York Review of Books... the closest cousin to Making Comics is not a book about drawing comics at all but the 1979 classic by Betty Edwards, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Both books demand participation. Both have a messianic spirit. Both demand you silence certain parts of your judgmental self. But Edwards’s book, which teaches you how to draw from life, relies on the intelligence of the eye; Barry’s, which teaches you how to draw from your unconscious, relies on the intelligence of the hand ... This is all fantastic and fantastically encouraging, but about halfway through Making Comics I started yawning uncontrollably. I wasn’t tired or bored. I simply could not stop yawning ... I discovered a new anxiety: I’m not Lynda Barry. She has a frenzied energy that is impossible to match ... She never gets tired of filling space with lines and colors and words. It’s infectious ... I love the spirit of this book and its raucous energy; it almost makes me feel as if I could draw like Barry ... I’m not sure whether Making Comics will make you, or me, a better cartoonist, or a cartoonist at all. But that’s not the point. The point is just to make you a more you-cartoonist.
PositiveThe New York Review of BooksThe compositional principle of Berlin is montage ... And so the pages of Berlin cut, sometimes abruptly, from street shots to close-ups, from train tracks to interior monologues, from newspapers to parlor rooms, and from one character to another ... Berlin has no authorial voice, no narration, no overarching perspective. Instead it has an atmosphere of aloofness. It is this impassivity that makes reading this book a deeply unsettling experience ... the unspoken hero of Berlin is the city itself, in all its fractured and disordered glory. Lutes’s wordless pictures of the city, especially at night, are some of the most dazzling passages in the book ... If I were to pick one word to describe Berlin, it would be \'fragmented.\' And this fits well with Lute’s montage aesthetic. In a process that amounts to a kind of social mitosis, one character meets another, causing a third and fourth to emerge. This splitting and multiplying of persons and viewpoints gives each one not only a connection to all the rest in a six-degrees-of-separation way, but also a strangely provisional status. They connect to one another, but not with one another. They are isolates colliding, particles in a world heating up ... Berlin is infuriating in its flatness and its blanks. But it is this painful act of reading, of watching these blinkered characters do their thing, or not, that gives Berlin its strange force. It shows how the most democratic and tolerant of societies—where people of every political stripe, every race, and every gender have some kind of real connection to one another—can devolve into total brutality.
PositiveThe New York Times Book Review\"Because Weegee was inseparable from his work, this biography is mostly a photograph-by-photograph tour ... What comes through about Weegee is that he was ambitious, original, energetic, inventive, egalitarian (except when it came to women) and witty. Other than that, he’s a shell. Weegee’s life story is basically The Picture of Dorian Gray.\
PositiveThe Wall Street Journal... a fine new biography ... In many biographies the ancestral chapters are a snooze. Here, though, they are absolutely riveting ... Perhaps Mr. Tisserand left out [certain] speculations because he didn’t believe them or felt that they would detract from the story of the great unspoken fact of Herriman’s existence—his blackness.