CLALLAM BAY, WASHINGTON - Donna Barr's "Black Manuscripts" have been released by the San Diego State University Library's Digital Collections.
The twelve ornately-written and -drawn art manuscripts date from the mid-1970's, when Barr was drawing and writing for her own pleasure, as a self-taught artist and writer. As is often the case for girls of the time, no publication by her was ever intended. But the work led to her becoming the published author and owner of such classic comics series as "The Desert Peach" and "Stinz."
The full collections are viewable for reading at SDSU's website athttp://digital.sdsu.edu/home (search "Donna Barr").
Each manuscript is covered with beading, quilting and embroidery. The subject-matter reflects Barr's early interest in the German military - an interest that decades later is now shared by many girls in comics, especially after the introduction of the theme in Japanese Manga. This early interest led to Barr's study of politics of the time - and the way society actually treats women, peoples of color, the LGBT community, and the Jewish people, as well as the natural world - that now informs all her work.
The scanning and uploading project has been in the works for over a decade. Fans of Barr's work have been very happy that this early, unseen work by one of their favorite authors is now online for free viewing. The art is also available for art studies, especially in universities.