Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Drinking at the Movies by Julia Wertz

In Drinking at the Movies, cartoonist Julia Wertz documents her booze-fueled first year in New York City, after moving there from San Francisco when she was in her mid-twenties. A series of crummy apartments, getting fired from a series of jobs, and adjusting to the change in climate are all fuel for her self-deprecating humour. In addition to her own problems with alcohol and depression, Wertz writes about her brother's serious drug addiction. At five-foot-two, Wertz is sometimes mistaken for a child, but she makes up for it with her potty mouth.

Wertz knows how to tell a joke. Punch line panels punctuate every page or two, making it easy to read this memoir in a stop-and-start kind of way. I especially enjoyed her flights of fancy, like the times when either her brain or her wallet escapes. Just before a trip to Chicago, she leaves her wallet in a taxi. Wertz imagines her wallet enjoying its freedom, living it up, gambling and getting drunk. A month later, it is found among the possessions of a man recently deceased. "Son of a bitch!" the wallet exclaims as it is returned to her.

In October last year, Wertz was interviewed at The Comics Reporter about her new book, The Infinite Wait. 

Readalikes: Lucky (Gabrielle Bell); The Madame Paul Affair (Julie Doucet); Funny Misshapen Body (Jeffrey Brown) and Marbles (Ellen Forney).

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