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Drinking at the Movies
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Drinking at the Movies

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,599 Ratings  ·  230 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 SmallBlankets by Craig Thompson
best memoir graphic novels
15th out of 189 books — 264 voters
Fun Home by Alison BechdelAnya's Ghost by Vera BrosgolHyperbole and a Half by Allie BroshNimona by Noelle StevensonHark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton
Comics & Graphic Novels by Women
88th out of 616 books — 660 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 06, 2016 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was basically everything I wanted in a graphic memoir about moving to New York City: nice, clean drawings, small and funny anecdotes about adjusting to the city with just enough meaning and nostalgia at the end to make me feel hopeful, but not enough to make this too heartfelt and cheesy.

This was mostly just funny stories about the shitty things that happened to Julia in the first year that she lived in NYC. And when I say funny, I mean I actually laughed out loud. This is a graphic memoir
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
Jan 02, 2011 Felicia rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
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
Peter Derk
Dec 09, 2015 Peter Derk rated it it was amazing
Shelves: petestopof2015
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
Sep 26, 2010 christa rated it really liked it
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
Sian Lile-Pastore
Another book read with a cold.... This time also drinking a beer and half watching Autumn in New York.
I liked this a lot - only criticism was it felt a bit episodic, so hard to get totally into it. But it was sweet, funny, a little dark, and I liked it, love these graphic memoirs.
Jan 29, 2011 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, memoir
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
7/31/15: look forward to rereading this new updated edition (just got review copies of the fall 2015 line-up from Koyama Press). I like the look-feel of this one so much more, which just goes to show you how much better comics presses generally are with the production of graphic novels - so much more loving care goes into them.

12/05/15: Yeah, this still holds up well. The book is Wertz's funny-rueful account of her stumbling her way into a new life in New York City as a twentysomething in the l
Feb 22, 2012 Phyllis rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
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
Sarah Beaudoin
Jan 16, 2011 Sarah Beaudoin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
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
Jason Pettus
Mar 17, 2011 Jason Pettus rated it it was amazing
(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
Hannah  Messler
Nov 09, 2015 Hannah Messler rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reread, november-2015
Julia Wertz you little tiny king of the world I fucking love your moves, your moves are solid ass gold.

^^oh that is nice I guess I read this for the first time on July 7 2012


I like these strips and hadn't read any in a few years, but after a recent thing at Desert Island for the re-release of this volume decided to re-check em out and yep, still good, still solid ass gold. I remember originally being like oh what a small coincidental world I have had some experiences that mirror such and s
Jul 04, 2011 Jeremy rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic, nonfic
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 did not like it
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
Jul 04, 2011 Lilburninbean rated it really liked it
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
Feb 21, 2011 Ma'Belle rated it did not like it
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
Nick Kives
Apr 30, 2011 Nick Kives rated it it was amazing
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.
Jun 12, 2015 Laura rated it it was amazing
Read this a while ago, but love anything Julia Wertz writes. She isn't for everyone, but if you love a very honest story, espeically this one, of her drinking problem, but told from a humors point a view...give it a try.
Sep 18, 2013 Kirsti rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Kristin
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.
May 08, 2016 Taylor rated it it was amazing
Okay, ready for this? First ever visit to City Lights Bookstore in SF – this was the last book I picked up in the store, but I hadn't read any graphic novels in a really long time so I decided to go for it after reading 5 minutes in because it was already hilarious. I enjoyed almost every minute of this graphic novel; it's raw, straight forward, and in tune with what I think many people from my generation have experienced/are thinking. At times I felt that I was reading something that came dire ...more
Jul 31, 2012 Aharon rated it really liked it
Far less annoying than it should be.
Mar 04, 2016 Blue rated it really liked it
I like Julia Wertz's sense of humor, that she has a critical eye for things around her and for herself, and that she knows a mistake before she even makes it. Next time she's looking for a place to live, she should consult with me (I would have totally ruled out WB and recommended Greenpoint. Are you kidding? You like to go to bed early, wake up early, and you give not a fuck about the way you dress? Why would you live in WB? You need the old, far away, un-hip 'hoods full of middle class 1st-3rd ...more
Julia Lipscomb
Jan 14, 2016 Julia Lipscomb rated it it was amazing
Julia Wertz's autobiographical graphic novel was a story that I could easily relate to as it centers around a woman in her mid-twenties trying to get by and do her art after she moved across the country and is preoccupied/frustrated by family struggles, the political turmoil of George Bush Jr's reign, and trying to be an adult. The story begins with Julia's character sitting in a laundromat in Brooklyn eating cracker jacks in her pajamas and wondering how she got there. Anyone (or maybe just mys ...more
High Plains Library District
Jul 13, 2015 High Plains Library District rated it really liked it
Shelves: peter
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
Jun 10, 2015 Charty rated it it was ok
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
Mar 10, 2015 Michael rated it it was ok
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
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
Jun 10, 2014 Miss rated it liked it
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
Autobiographical graphic novel about a diminutive young cartoonist who moves from SF to Brooklyn after her breakup. She leaves behind her family, including her drug-addicted brother whom she worries about. She herself has considerable problems with alcohol and drinks bottles of beer at the movies and hangs out at bars with her friends. She quite the West Coast anti-fashionista who thinks NY hipsters dress fancy. She doesn’t date, except one anecdote of falling asleep drunk on a park bench (she b ...more
Jenny Devildoll
Dec 06, 2010 Jenny Devildoll rated it it was amazing
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
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Julia Wertz is a professional cartoonist and amateur historian. She made the comic books The Fart Party vol 1 and vol 2, and the graphic novels Drinking at the Movies, and The Infinite Wait and Other Stories, both of which were nominated for Eisner Awards. Her latest book is Museum of Mistakes: The Fart Party Collection. She currently does a monthly comic installment about NYC history for the New ...more
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