Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Women's Month Interviews: Donna Barr

Donna Barr is the fabulously inspirational creator of the Desert Peach and oodles of fine comics. She gave me and Elena our very first and fabulous pull quote for Jane Quiet. She doesn't remember this, but she was also very friendly and kind at SPX years ago.

How do we know each other?
Facebook? If we've met before FB, it's in this mad comics world, with all those people wimmelnd around like lost souls on the San Diego Comicon floor. I'm thinking – Moderntales?

How would you describe yourself?

My friends once finally pegged me as a Gay Man Trapped In A Woman's Body. Dan doesn't care – the logistics still work. I'm all my characters in all my books, with all their foibles and freakouts, their talents, advantages and distorted viewpoints. For those of you who know my books, I consider myself a cross between Udo Schmidt and Leutnant Wingzig. I wish I looked like Rosen.

In what part of the world are you located?

Clallam Bay, WA (see I'm a Chinese Year Dragon In The Rain. We're NEVER satisfied. So “happy” isn't something I shoot for. I just need to recognize the reasons for my own attitude and get over it. Or get back to work.

Where can we find you on the web?
Here's a few:


website: (with new upgrade soon!) Look for The Little Store.

Print-on-demand books (and downloads – free until 14 March 2009!).

Amazon (just search my name and/or books).


Political Blog:

Livejournal: dbarr

Twitter: Donna_Barr

Facebook: The Donna Barr who's hooked up with the comics industry.


What don't people know about you that they ought to know?
Just because I'm being patient doesn't mean somebody isn't about to get their face peeled off.

What's the most common mistake people make about you?
Pushing me.

What are you most proud of having accomplished so far?
Got my work recognized by a university special collection when I turned 50.

What ambitions do you have ahead of you?
Chugging along to hook authors directly to readers, and making anybody else who wants to bottleneck that connection crash into a wall. I back-doored Indiebound. Ask me how.

What's the best compliment you've ever received?
Howard Chaykin ran up to me at SDCC: “I love you – you have a bad attitude!” I have no CLUE what he meant by that....

(Actually, I've received SO MANY kindnesses from so many people, I'm just going to stick to the funny one. Huge humbled thanks to everybody else, readers and colleagues alike. And to the American Nazi Party, which un-officially declared me the Anti-Christ. I'm... so..... proud... [wipes eye].)

If something great happens to you, how do you celebrate?
We go down to the Clallam Bay Inn for their super fish-and-chips and have a couple Mac-and-Jacks.

What's your best method for coping with stress?
Go to the beach. It's one minute's walk away. Watch the eagles. Go fishing if I want some fried fish (I don't catch-and-release – that's just tormenting animals for the fun of it).

What makes you laugh?

LOLcats. Incongruity. Very perceptive political comments. The ridiculous.

What makes you cry?
Anything pitiful or helpless that hurts or dies.

What do you love?
Dan, my cats and the trees that give me air.

What do you loathe?
The arrogant, greedy, piratical, human race that hasn't realized it's a virulent disease, and that it only has ONE host to kill off before it dies itself. Well, at least then it would be gone and the rest of the life web could start to recover. They cut down my 100-foot cedar tree for money and I'm never forgiving the Swamp Christian attitude behind that. Although I get great comfort from the idea that if their God was mad about an apple, what's he going to do to them for clearcuts? Swamp Christians hate my gay friends, too. I hope their trinity – the two demons and the demi-god they believe in – GETS them.

What's sexy?
Brendan Fraser in Mummy 1. Big, powerful, soft-voiced, sweet underneath, and – hey – can you GET better than boots, breeches and a Sam Browne-belted tunic? Who's with me among Patrick O'Brian readers, saying it should have been him as Jack and Alan Rickman as Stephen in “Master and Commander?” The movie they can never make now! (Groan).

What's the best advice you were ever given?
It wasn't to me – it was about me, when my mom and the teachers were wondering why I wasn't like the rest of the girls (wasn't interested in boys, didn't play with other kids, sat and drew and wrote all the time). A 5th-grade teacher, Mrs. Mills, said, “Leave Donna alone. She marches to her own drummer.” Bless her memory.

How should people be spending their money?

Whoa! Go see My Little Store at or the new version (coming soon!) and all the links above.

Which woman/women have inspired you?
Mrs. Mills (see above). At least she gave me the excuse.. Um... mostly I'm self-actuating. I never had heroes, I don't have them now. Grown-ups need to be their OWN heroes. Responsible for their own actions, and such. Not expecting somebody else to lead the way. Anybody who stays out of my way is fine by me.

If I gave you a million dollars, what would you do?
Put it in a money-market fund and get a slightly newer used truck. I already have a beach, a wood-stove and two bathrooms. And eagles in my back yard.

MOVIE RECOMMENDATION: Johnny Depp in Dead Like Me. I know some of the extras up here, in Neah Bay. [Donna added this idea -- you know I'm a sucker for anything with Johnny Depp!]

Thank you so much for being part of this celebration: you are fabulous!


Todd Mason said...

Isn't it remarkable, when one realizes just what wonderful things one's friends and acquaintances have managed to do, both in private lives and in their often public ccomplishments...I've certainly enjoyed the Barr comics I've come across over the years.

Also, I note how many of your interviewees say something along the lines of Don't tread on me. Hmmm...a pattern...

C. Margery Kempe said...

I know a lot of tough broads -- with very warm hearts, too. When I look around me, I feel very grateful to know so many amazing and creative people. It's quite staggering seeing so many of them all together. I learn from their examples ever day.