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Drinking at the Movies Paperback – August 31, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Lizzy Caplan Reviews Drinking at the Movies

In addition to her breakout role as "Janice Ian" in Mean Girls, Lizzy Caplan's film credits include Hot Tub Time Machine, Cloverfield, and My Best Friend's Girl. She'll next be seen in 127 Hours, directed by Danny Boyle. On television, Caplan received raves for her performance as a vegan with a habit for vampire blood in the HBO drama True Blood. Read her review of Drinking at the Movies:

Drinking at the Movies, Julia Wertz's new Fart Party book, may just be her best work yet. My copy is certainly dog-eared within an inch of its life. She exhibits the same hilariously self-deprecating grumpy grump from her previous books, but Drinking brings a whole new layer to the Julia Wertz experience. That's right, I said "the Julia Wertz experience" ... which actually sounds more like a carnival ride to be avoided, one that will leave you inexplicably drunk with holes in your clothes.

In this book Julia is darker, lugubriously introspective, and dare I say, more vulnerable than in her previous works. Yet she's still really, really, obscenely funny. There aren't many authors working today who can illustrate the pervasive despair that sometimes likes to crash on your couch in your 20s--but Julia Wertz nails this. In fact, you should probably get copies for your parents and other assorted relatives who like to mumble things like "youth is wasted on the young" when you complain about stuff. Maybe reading Drinking at the Movies will kickstart your dumb mom's memory, and she'll remember that being in your 20s is actually kind of lonely.

Now I'm depressed. Thanks for nothing, Wertz.


Review

Praise for Drinking at the Movies
 
“This comic masterpiece should not be gifted to your grandma, unless of course your grandma is, to borrow the phrase, the shiznit. Instead, it should be read by you. Wertz’s hilarious, cutting, filthy wit will either make you want to date, be, or shower her.” —Sara Barron, author of People Are Unappealing
 
"[P]ut it on your radar" — USA Today
 
 “Charming…bold yet subtle…Subtly subverts the expectations of the memoir even as [Wertz’s] drawing style — blocky, simple, with a deceptive lack of polish — speaks to the rough-hewn intimacy of the form…She is laceratingly self-revealing, exposing her failings with a glee that borders on the perverse…What Wertz is tracing is the difficulty of knowing how to live…Title to the contrary, this is not really a book about alcohol. Rather, it's about her development, her transition into adulthood ("Well, sort of"), which Wertz reveals with acuity and grace…A quiet triumph, a portrait of the artist in the act of becoming, a story with heart and soul.” —David Ulin, Los Angeles Times
 
 “Wertz might be best known for her comic The Fart Party, but this is my favorite work of hers to date….Wertz isn’t a girly-girl: She likes to drink whiskey, wear the same outfit every day and look on the darker side of life. I can only dream of sneaking a bottle of Jack into the theater with her.” —Whitney Matheson, USA Today’s Pop Candy blog
 
“This comic masterpiece should not be gifted to your grandma, unless of course your grandma is, to borrow the phrase, the shiznit. Instead, it should be read by you. Wertz’s hilarious, cutting, filthy wit will either make you want to date, be, or shower her.” —Sara Barron, author of People Are Unappealing
 
“Wertz’s first full-length graphic novel captures everything that is the glorious twenties—that is if you’re a broke comic artist who’s struggling to pay rent and keep your head afloat above the fray that is life in New York City. Wertz capably—and more importantly, believably—gets to the nitty gritty of post-collegiate life.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
 “Delightful.”—Time Out New York
 
 “Charmingly awkward…Confronts the vices of Jane Everywoman while simultaneously allowing us to see through her unique perspective.” —Bust.com
 
“Wertz’s self-caricature is one of the most memorable in comics…Wertz is careful not to tip her hand too far in any direction. While the autobiographical and travelogue aspects of the comic dominate key sections of the book, they never threaten to completely take over or overwhelm Wertz’s gags…Frequently hilariously disgusting…Her (cranky and quirky but lovable) identity remain[s] fully intact.” —Rob Clough, The Comics Journal
 
“Brilliant old-school comic strip timing...[Wertz has] added some new qualities not found in her earlier work: a sense of narrative beyond the individual strip and—it is true—some serious drawing chops…She has found a way to maintain the unique style she developed when she started cartooning in her early 20s while developing the craft to fill in background details and nuance in expression…Drinking at the Movies is her best work yet, a book that feels in many ways like the proper launch of her career.”—Jared Gardner, The Comics Journal
 
“Wertz opens up with a warts-and-all look at her first year in New York…Strips away much of the whiskey coating that Wertz usually uses and leaves us with an honest image of what life is like for her…Do yourself a favor and get yourself a copy of this book.” —Stumptown Trade Review
 
“F-ing fantastic...Knee slapping hilarity…Her art can be described as a bit simplistic. That's no insult. She's found her own style and it completely works…If the late Harvey Pekar went on a drunken bender and crapped out a kid onto a pizza box, it would be Julia Wertz…Pick this book up…You'll laugh a lot, possibly tear up and have a sudden craving for pizza and beer.” —Comic News Insider

 
Praise for Julia Wertz and The Fart Party:
 
“I wish the little 2-D Julia was my ‘Indian in the Cupboard’…I’d make an easy chair out of a ring box, fasten it to the front of my bike, give her a pen cap full of whiskey, and off we’d go!”
—Fiona Apple

“Simple, candid, and very funny.”
San Francisco Examiner
 
 “Like the best work of the slacker era, The Fart Party communicates the joyous underbelly of an underwhelming existence.” —Douglas Rushkoff
 
“Fart Party is friggin’ hilarious.” —New York Magazine
 
“Julia Wertz is the next big thing in comics. Fart Party is cute, raw, reckless and laugh out loud funny.” —Keith Knight, The K Chronicles
 
“There’s something enchanting about Wertz’s comics….she’s hilarious, profane and occasionally self-conscious. In a good way. The best way.” —Paul Constant, The Stranger

“Wertz brings to light the funny and real moments of day-to-day life in New York…the honesty of her experiences translates across age, gender, and geographic demographics. She’s fun to laugh at.”
—Stumptown Trade Review
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press (August 31, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307591832
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307591838
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #352,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Julia Wertz was born in the San Francisco bay area in 1982 and currently lives in New York City. She is the author/illustrator of the autobiographic comic books The Fart Party vol 1 and vol 2 (Atomic Books 2007, 2009) Drinking at the Movies (Random House 2010) and The Infinite Wait and Other Stories (Koyama Press 2012.) Some of her work is available in French and Spanish from AlterComics. For more, visit www.juliawertz.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Silverstone VINE VOICE on February 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Julia Wertz follows in the tradition established by Harvey Pekar in his American Splendor series. The life experiences of Everyman or in this case Everywoman can be as fascinating as any superhero, or because we can relate to them, perhaps more so. This autobiographical graphic novel follows a year in the life of Julia following her move from San Francisco to New York. Cleverly drawn, we follow with schadenfreude the mishaps and misadventures of Julia as she bounces from apartment to apartment, job to job, consuming vast quantities of alcohol along the way. We are routing for her to succeed, because in reading this book, we can see how immensely talented she is. It is the dry, self-deprecating humor that really makes this an enjoyable read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Solid Snake on June 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was the first book I've read from Julia Wertz, and I must admit, the alcoholic in me was intrigued by the title, and the indie comic fan in me was wondering if the book would deliver. For who I am, where I am, I found this story at just the right time. If you've ever picked up stakes and moved to some foreign place, faced with the worry of rent, bills, and general month-to-month financial surprises, still unsure about what you're doing with your life and where it's currently going, get this book. There's something strangely calming about reading someone else's testament to the real world and coping with the joys and pitfalls of independence. Constantly moving between apathy and general depression, all with self-deprecating humor and the occasional small-victory joy, there's a comfort knowing that others have in fact been where you are ( often in even deeper trenches than you're in now) and being able to see an albeit romanticized view of the trials and tribulations you and others are, are going to, and have been through. It's the idea of knowing that in a world of rule followers, and breakers, there is a path for the middle-minded, and you might even come out on the other side alive, if not thriving. Excuse the optimism in these too-dark times, sometimes getting by is more than enough. Contrasted by an environment somewhat paralleled today, being that the back drop is early thousand's bush era and the current fallout of today, it gives neither heavy weight or ignorance of what was happening, and therefore not overly political. Which is good, in our current trend of finger pointing and placing blame, we often miss the everyman's ( in this case, everywoman's) real world perspective of " Well, it happened. How am I going to deal with it?Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. N. VINE VOICE on December 31, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Julia Wertz's cartooning style is thick-lined and clunky, but I suppose that's the charm of her art. Drinking at the Movies is a chronicle of her struggles to acclimate to New York City after having moved there from San Francisco. Wertz's mid-20s cartoon persona is wry, observant, and frequently obscene. She's not self-consciously "artful," and that's the point: Julia is a fish out of water in the late 2000s hipster scene in Brooklyn.

Wertz's cartooning and sense of humor reminded me of the great underground comix artists of the 1960s. Like many of them, Wertz got her start in San Francisco and is able to bring a dark -- even cynical -- sense of humor to the comics form. Drinking at the Movies is a descendant of that tradition.

What I did find somewhat tiresome is Julia's constant bemoaning her sad life. In some respects, this is the point of the entire book: as she says toward the end, "Ive been blaming external calamities for my self-inflicted miseries and for events that occurred 3,000 miles away" (p. 186). Still, this realization didn't do too much for me. Bite-sized doses of Julia's complaining (say, in serial form) might be palatable, but a whole book devoted to it can get monotonous.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By N. S. Michael VINE VOICE on August 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I first came upon Julia Wertz when she edited (and contributed to) I Saw You.... Even in those precious few panels, I knew I had a winner. Self-deprecating to a fault (is that a pun), honest and (don't take this as a backhand) only mildly funny. To me, that last bit made her comics that much more authentic and real and, while I haven't gone out of my way to track down her works, I HAVE been keeping an eye out for whenever they cross my path... as they did so in Drinking at the Movies.

Here we have Julia's tale of New York pseudo-bohemianism. Have I invented a new and impressive term for the paradigm? No... no, I haven't... I just don't know how else to describe her experiences in NYC without falling onto some fake verbage.

From her decision to take the plunge to her drinking problems to her comparisons and homesickness for San Francisco and everything in between, Drinking at the Movies is like watching my life as a car wreck in slow motion... if I were a woman and any amount braver than I am now (being deathly afraid to take a step in any direction, lifeward). And when I say that, I don't mean we're the same people seperated by gender and courage... what I mean is... well, there's a situation for just about every post-twentysomething still trying to find their place in the world to identify with.

Now, let me warn you... if you've never read any of Julia's work before, the art can put you off. Her style is rough. Definitely more mature than a good many indie comicers out there, but you can never shake off the feeling that these are all just the doodles of a bored high schooler. For me, that's a plus. Others might not be able to look past it.
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