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Drinking at the Movies
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Drinking at the Movies

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  2,242 ratings  ·  202 reviews
In her first full-length graphic memoir, Julia Wertz (creator of the cult-hit comic The Fart Party) documents the year she left San Francisco for the unfamiliar streets of New York. Don’t worry—this isn’t the typical redemptive coming-of-age tale of a young woman and her glorious triumph over tragedy or any such nonsense. It’s simply a hilarious—occasionally poignant—book ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published August 31st 2010 by Three Rivers Press
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Maus, I by Art SpiegelmanPersepolis by Marjane SatrapiFun Home by Alison BechdelStitches by David SmallMarbles by Ellen Forney
best memoir graphic novels
19th out of 129 books — 246 voters
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Graphic Novel Memoirs
14th out of 49 books — 28 voters

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Community Reviews

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Let's face it, Drinking at the Movies is far from flawless. Much like a collection of individual newspaper strips originally not designed to be read back-to-back, it lacks narrative flow and rhythm and becomes repetitive in places. Its political commentary may have its heart in the right place but is not particularly insightful, and its protagonist could be described a bit harshly as... well, a self-destructive slob, I guess. Last but not least, the book's artwork looks decidedly amateurish, alm ...more
I've been reading lots of superhero stuff lately, so this graphic novel was a nice, refreshing change of pace. Very indie style story about a girl in her twenties moving from SF to NYC. I haven't read Fart Party, her other work, but I really enjoyed the perspective, even though I wanted to throttle her at times for being so self-destructive. It definitely has that hipster "I'm messed up, watch me be unrepentantly messed up" vibe to it, but I enjoyed it and the simple but frequently LOL drawing s ...more
I got this book today at B&N. I just kind of grabbed it b/c it looked cute and I love graphic novels by oddball chicks, like Diary of a Teenage Girl and stuff like that. I guess I had the force with me b/c this book turned out to be the greatest thing. I stayed up all night reading it and now I feel gross but I'm not even regretting it. Jenny, you are going to love this. I love how the people have gumby arms with no elbows. And YAY! I own it and don't have to give it back to anyone!!!

Okay, a
Julia Wertz is that little voice in your head cracking wise during situations that are absurd or even borderline tragic. Where plenty of (boring) people have learned to silence it, or at least self-edit, Wertz spits out these bits of irreverent nuggets:

"My life is the abortion Juno should have had," the be-T'shirted and bobbed 20-something tells her friend in her graphic memoir "Drinking at the Movies."

The quip comes in a vignette called "Today Everything is Shit" and by "shit" she means a jackh
Sarah Beaudoin
Drinking at the Movies seems straightforward on the surface. Wertz (a cartoonist known for her comic Fart Party) writes and draws an account of her first year in New York City. It is a memoir of a 20-something striking out on her own in the model of countless prior stories. In reality though, Wertz creates a memoir that is both funny and painful and provides an entertaining look at what life is when you are a young, underemployed (and frequently unemployed) and unmotivated. No matter what life ( ...more
File this book next to Vanessa Davis's Make Me a Woman and MariNaomi's Kiss & Tell to complete a perfect trifecta of new comics/graphic novels by the latest generation of ruling girl cartoonists. Wertz shoots off too many memorably hilarious one-liners to list here, so let's just go with the one that sticks out most in my brain: "I'm the abortion Juno should have had." Had I been drinking when I read that I would have shot liquid through my nose. A sequel to this lofty tome would be very wel ...more
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

I've been a fan for a long time now of Julia Wertz's funny, filthy web comic The Fart Party, so I'm glad to see her get a little more recognition here with her first mainstream, nationally released collection, Drinking at the Movies. And indeed, although a lot of this book simply reprints material already
I want to love Julia Wertz, but OH LORD. Most of this book gave me one of the worst cases of secondhand embarrassment I have ever experienced. It wasn't even the face down in the gutter business that made me squirm in discomfort, but the willful cluelessness of statements like "I'm just sick of feeling like I have to apologize for being white and in my 20s!" (oh yes, when is America going to do something for the young white people?), the embarrassingly stupid analogy about a jigsaw puzzle of San ...more
I normally love graphic memoirs like this, I really do. But the banality of Julia Wertz's boring existence just made me wonder why anyone thought her days were worth being chronicled and published. The only virtue to this book I could think of would be possibly helping someone else out of a slump of alcohol-induced depression. It might sound egotistical, but I have more interesting adventures, introspections, and random encounters with strangers on the street on just about any given day than Wer ...more
Peter Derk
Really super good.

This year I've made it a point to look out for comics that are good alternatives to canon titles and that have good female characters. This one hits both.

This book is a really great alternative to some of those titles like Persepolis or Blankets in that it's good comics, a simple story, and it's all told very well. There are genuine laughs, and there's a true style to both the writing and the art.

Okay, it doesn't seem like it's telling an important story. It's not one of those
Jenny Devildoll
Thoroughly enjoyable recounting of author Julia Wertz's first year in New York. Julia manages to keep the humorous tone of her first two books despite this one dealing with a few heavier topics, such as her brother's problems with addiction and her own grappling with alcoholism. Even in this, Julia depicts her problems through the dialogue of her anthropomorphized brain interacting with some trouble-making talking bottles of the sauce. She's not trivializing anything by doing this, just taking a ...more
If you like indie comics, you're bound to like Julia Wertz's latest release into the world of comics. If you don't, then you will probably want to check out some of Wertz's work via the web first. This isn't your typical comic book style so you should be prepared for something quirky & new.

Drinking at the Movies is an autobiographical look at Wertz's early twenties. She manages to lose her San Francisco job, her long distance boyfriend, & decides to move to New York to get a fresh new st
So, I have never drank at the movies. I have probably had drinks nearly everywhere else, but I have never had alcohol at the movies. Maybe because I don't want to have to pee in the middle of the film. Not sure. Pretty sure that also has nothing to do with my thoughts on reading Drinking at the Movies, but I was thinking about it when I picked up this book, so in some way it is important.

I have not read any of Julia Wertz's earlier work, so I don't have that to compare it to. I guess, simply, I
Being a fan of Fart Party, I was so excited to see Wertz had a new book out and in this case it's a more of a whole store, a graphic memoir, instead of stripes compiled together.

I really think there was no way I couldn't like this book, Julia travels to New York to see what she thinks of it there and being a fan of New York myself I love reading about people's experiences with it.

While we might not have a lot in common hobby wise (I SO don't like beer), I feel like she's the comic voice of my ge
I can't write without apologizing for myself. Even if I try not to, the apologies slip by in secret. Nuances of word choice. What themes are emphasized.

Then I read another autobiographical comic and realize how commonplace all this is. Drinking at the Movies is no exception.

While there were a few minor annoyances in Wertz's style -- her eyes are huge (and oddly asymmetrical?) so she's the most sympathetic, everyone else is exaggerated into how they best reflect her own self-deprecating attitudes
Jacob Stubbs
Nov 16, 2014 Jacob Stubbs rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Pretentious Hipsters
So, this graphic novel was pretentious, self-absorbed, and mundane. It follows the author--Julia Wertz--along her everyday life in 2007-2008 and how she moved to New York, published her first book (Fart Party) and got drunk. Overall, I was depressed with this book given the fact that she tried to distance herself from all labels, but ultimately failed in this by portraying herself as a dead-beat drunk without any notion of femininity whatsoever.

Harsh criticisms aside, this book did have a few w
I found this book entertaining in many ways. In spite of its sometimes bizarre narrative thread it held my attention through and through. There are, however, some deeply problematic aspects to it; what is with people getting comedically off on the "r" word? It seems especially cheap coming from a narrator who claims to be so aware of privilege, agency, and politics... I don't get it and I don't like it. There are also moments where Wertz's struggle with her own "white guilt" directly contradicts ...more
High Plains Library District
Great comic. I wanted to call this an "alternative comic" because that's how it feels, kinda like the stuff we saw from Peter Bagge or maybe Art Spiegelman in the 90's. You know, when we called them "comix" because EVERYTHING at that time had an "X" in it. See, that's how you knew it wasn't a product of the man. If you were reading "comix" you knew you were safe from titles like "Captain Capitalist And His Prosperous Sidekick, Economy Lad!" or something like that. Just like how you could listen ...more
It's hard for me to understand the appeal of this autobiographical graphic novel for two main reasons. 1. The drawing. I've read a fair number of comics, manga and graphic novels and everyone has a visual style, which is great, but Wertz's is so rudimentary... It's very early Simpson's but doesn't really have much else to recommend it. The lettering was atrocious - too tiny as well as illegible. The panels were static and boring. I might well be missing something but the art was not at all to my ...more
I saw this while browsing the graphical novel section of my local library. Thought it looked cute and decided to grab it.

I normally like the 20 something, slice of life, sarcastic comics. For whatever reason, I couldn't much care about this one. I think the issue I had with it is that it was very random, vignette style, which nothing to hold anything to anything close to a story. It's like reading a compilation of comics from a year of her life and I wanted more. A thought or plot would last may
I laughed out loud so many times while reading this book. Julia is hilarious, self-deprecating, and genuine in this autobiographical story about her move to Brooklyn from SF, including all the crappy apartments (an illegal basement studio which was actually the best option) and even crappier jobs (restaurant delivery person via bike, even when snowing!). Julia the cartoon is instantly likable, and the style, like the creator, doesn't take itself too seriously.
Nick Kives
I put this review off for a bit, and then kind of forgot about it this past week. The art is so simplistic for this book, at first glance someone maybe turned away, but it works perfectly for the story. Different apartments, getting fired from jobs, the general struggles of moving to a new city, but even though Julia can be kind of difficult most of the times, but it is done in such a humorous way that works great.
Jason Gacek
I quite enjoyed this anecdotal graphic novel. Julia moves to Brooklyn, takes a series of crappy jobs, drinks too much, and works on her comics. She has a pretty rough year, actually, but she makes it through it. Her book deal is well deserved. I hope I get to read the next volume in about a year.
This book taught me the phrases "It's so cute I'm gonna barf up a kitten!" and "Go eat a bag of wet dicks." From the author of The Fart Party volumes 1 and 2.
Proof that female autobio cartoonists can be just as immature and self-indulgent as their male counterparts. Did not live up to the hype.
Hannah  Messler
Julia Wertz you little tiny king of the world I fucking love your moves, your moves are solid ass gold.

One of very few books ever that I simply could not finish. Well, I gotta admit that Ms. Wertz warned me right in the introduction. This was indeed another trite 20-something-moving-to-The-Big-City-drinking-her-way-through-life story. Can't say that I was impressed with the artwork, characterizations, dialogue, or pretty much any aspect of this memoir.

I'd much rather spend my time with the online comic "Girls With Slingshots" (by Danielle Corsetto) for a dose of 20-somethings-in-The-Big-City-dri
Far less annoying than it should be.
This story isn't exactly what I expected, which was a series of vignettes about the adventures of a person who routinely drinks at the movies. Drinking at the movies did take place, but it was more symbolic of a life lived in limbo. Intensely funny but not without its dark side, this graphic memoir details the author's move from San Francisco to New York and her struggles with eking out an existence that means something. The author admits during this narrative that she perhaps didn't know what m ...more
this was super entertaining! it's a shame she's not canadian because i kind of want to rec it to my old canadian graphic novel prof as a better version of my new york diary

i feel like lately i've been reading a lot of talented writers who talk about difficult autobiographical stuff via humour. if i was a ny times blogger probably i would say something like we're experiencing a golden age of confessional writing! sadly i am a uni student who's had the concepts of sample sizes drilled into my head
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Julia was born in 1982 in the San Francisco Bay area. She's the author/illustrator of the unfortunately titled autobio comics the Fart Party Vol 1 & 2, and the Eisner nominated graphic novels Drinking at the Movies and The Infinite Wait & Other stories. In her spare time, she explores and photographs abandoned buildings and writes about it at
More about Julia Wertz...
I Saw You...: Comics Inspired by Real Life Missed Connections The Infinite Wait and Other Stories The Fart Party, Vol. 1 The Fart Party, Vol. 2 Museum of Mistakes: The Fart Party Collection

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