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An Age of License: A Travelogue

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  5,454 ratings  ·  739 reviews
Midnight picnics at the Eiffel Tower; wine tastings paired with blowgun lessons; and romance in cafés, cemeteries, and at the Brandenberg Gate--these are just some of New York Times best-selling cartoonist Lucy Knisley's experiences on her 2011 European book tour. An Age of License is both a graphic travelogue and a journal of her trip abroad. Fans of Knisley's food-focuse ...more
Paperback, 195 pages
Published September 22nd 2014 by Fantagraphics
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  5,454 ratings  ·  739 reviews

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Sep 30, 2015 rated it really liked it

The author of this "travelogue" is an illustrator, and during a big trip to Europe she catalogued and journaled her trip through beautiful illustrations, doodles, typography, and captions. She's honest with her experiences - shares what's fun and what wasn't - and is open with what is going on her life at the moment of the trip and how the trip effects the other aspects of her life, especially some epiphanies going on in her mind. We learn about the
Oct 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"The French have a saying for the time when you're young and experimenting with your lives and careers. They call it: L' Age in license to experience, mess up, license to fail, license to do...whatever, before you're settled."

I feel like Knisley and I are on personal terms, so I'll just call her "dear Lulu." At this point, I think I would buy just about any graphic novels she publishes from here on out. I have everything she's written thus far, and I guess that makes me a bonafi
This story was OK and this review is a compilation of the feelings I had while and after I read the book and is not a critique on the merits of the art or literary style used to convey said story.

So I was expecting something totally different. I think there came between us, me and this book, the gap separating my generation from the one that follows me.
Yes, I'm blaming the hipsters for my inability to love this story.

I wanted more travel, more Experience + Just The Right Moment = Discovery = Ne
Julie Ehlers
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
This was disappointing--it felt thrown together, and it was kind of dull and self-absorbed. Also, I didn't realize going on a business trip and then hanging out with your mom in France constituted an "age of license." I'm going to go so far as to say that Lucy Knisley has tapped out the whole "mid-twenties angst" thing. She needs to live a little more before she attempts yet another memoir--or maybe she just needs to stop skimming over the surface of everything in her books, I'm not sure. The wa ...more
Dave Schaafsma
I have been reading Michael DeForge and some other alt-comics, so this in comparison feels more conventional, more welcoming, lovely, watercolored, light and breezy, very attractive. I just kept reading, because Lucy is a nice and sweet person. . . or, the persona she creates in her comics is that, anyway. There is very little insight in this comic, but I am imagining twenty-something white women just LOVING this as much as her French Milk.

In this travelogue, she goes to a comics conference, sh
Lucy Knisley is a delightful, talented human being, and I will read every book she chooses to publish.

This particular book is a record of her travels to Europe over the summer of 2011. She was invited to speak at a Norwegian comics convention in Bergen, and used the opportunity to travel to Sweden to visit a man she'd met several weeks before when he was vacationing in New York City. She also travels to France (Paris, and another city of which I've since forgotten the name), visiting a friend w
Nov 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: twenty-somethings who like graphic reads
This book, the third one that I have read by Lucy Knisley, focuses on her twenties and all the angst and worrying about one’s path that often come with it. Someone described it as a sort of “Eat, Pray, Love” for that generation. I was hoping that this would be more of a travelogue than a memoir, but it wasn’t. Her illustrations are charming and the overall style is delightful. There are a few more books in the series. I’m not sure if I will continue reading them.

Mar 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020, ircb-2020
A light and breezy illustrated travelogue of a young woman's month long trip to Europe. It does deal lightly with some of the uncertainty of being a twenty-something, that "Am I doing the right thing with my life?" feeling. However, most of it is about a short term affair and food she tried. There's not much substance to it. I did enjoy Knisley's art though. ...more
Sep 19, 2015 rated it liked it
An easy, breezy read about Lucy Knisley's travels in Europe. Didn't much enjoy the comics fest part in Norway, as it wasn't very interesting. Found the rest of Lucy's European trip quite fun to read though, especially her exploring the places she visited and spending time with her friends and family.
Really liked the artwork, the illustrations were clean and simple.
Kristina Horner
Jan 15, 2017 rated it liked it
This was cute! It was way more of a journal and way less of an actual "story", but it was fun to read about Lucy's trip. She is a likable person so I enjoyed it overall, but expected a little more from it I guess? ...more
This is what "new adult" looks like in graphic format.

On the surface, Knisley's book is a travelogue. She's been invited to a comics conference as a speaker in Norway, and she uses it as an opportunity to meet up with a boy she's been in a relationship with who is from Sweden. They travel to Germany and then to France, where she does a bit of meeting with her friends and family, before she meets back up with Henrik in Paris. But once you get past the surface, this is a really great book about s
Robin LeBlanc
Nov 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
I've been a fan of Lucy Knisley's since French Milk. To date I own all her books (signed) and even have a wonderful print by her of a young Julia Child hanging on my wall. But after this, despite having no problems with her gorgeous and constantly refined drawing abilities...I no longer feel I can relate to her or bring myself to read anything by her again. At least not for a while.

A lot of that isn't totally her fault, it's just more that I saw a lot of myself in Lucy's works, a well-traveled
Elizabeth A
Sep 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
I keep travel journals while on on the road, and love travelogues of any kind. In this graphic memoir, the author records her experiences while on a European trip in 2011 that involves some business, lots of pleasure, delicious food and wine, and enough angst to make one's hair curl.

I guess this book would fall into the "New Adult" genre. The publisher touts it as the Eat, Pray, Love for the GIRLS generation, and I would agree with that, sans the Pray part. My complaint with this book is that i
First Second Books
Fantagraphics kindly gave me an ARC of this at BEA, and it’s a very fun trip through Europe – and through the mind of its author as she travels (in part) to promote her book.
This rating/review is based on an ARC I picked up at the library. THANK YOU Fantagraphics for sending it to us!

It's not often we get ARC graphic novels, but when we do I snap them up ASAP.

I have read two of Lucy Knisley's books before, the foodie memoir Relish and the travelogue French Milk. I relate pretty strongly to her because we're pretty close in age. French Milk was written as she was finishing college and facing an uncertain future. This one is in a similar vein, explores "The Age of Lic
Yep, Knisley's getting better and better. It helps that she's catering to a special interest of mine here - international traveloguery. I really appreciate the honesty here (and it doesn't hurt that I follow her on Instagram and know a little of the ending).

I do wish that she'd colored the whole thing, instead of just selected pages (a la Relish: My Life in the Kitchen). And I missed the panels and directed narrative of Relish. But I can see that leaving things more freeform was a conscious cho
Aug 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, nonfiction, travel
Knisley's travelogue drawn from journaling done as part of an extended stay in Europe: part business at a comics convention, part visiting friends, part quality time with mom, and part spending time with a new romance. There isn't much of substance here, but who expected there to be? It's really just following her experiences. That said, she has some really interesting thoughts on the progression of that romance, and her place in life. And I do like her art style quite a lot.

As a side note: at o
Kaethe Douglas
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An Age of License - Lucy Knisley One of the great perks of being a successfully published author is the publicity tour. For some this is hell, for others it is a delight, for Knisley, it's all that and a tasty experience. Knisley relates her adventures on tour in Europe.
I'm never going to be a foody, but I enjoy her enjoyment of food.
Library copy
Ashley Owens
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
actual rating = 2.5/5 stars
I picked this book up from the library completely impulsively. I wanted to read anther graphic novel or sequential art style novel, but all of the ones I had been reading lately were dark, heavy, or gory. “An Age of License” seemed like the exact right fit for me. I have a bad case of wanderlust, the main character is only a couple of years younger than me and is therefore having a similar identity crisis, and it’s an easy book to read!

I was unfortunately let down beca
Emilia P
Feb 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: comic-books
Ugh, Lucy. Why do I loathe thee so thoroughly? I think its that there is a poor little rich girl thing going on -- oh, really, I have to struggle, but my mom is like a freaking chef or something, and this is not even my first Grand Tour of the Continent but oh, little old me. I think the real problem is that it's a near miss -- I'd probably love to do most of the things that she does (skip the romance, though) and eat all of the things that she eats, but I wouldn't spend a good quarter of my boo ...more
Shannon Appelcline
OK, so this is a comic/journal. The problem is that it's not a particularly interesting journal. It's more like what I'd journal, except with occasional pretentious drawings of food and portraits.

"Age of License" that sounded interesting too, like it might be about a girl's time sowing wild oats. But it's just a four-week trip to Europe. And though there might be some wild-oat sowing, it's not particularly noatable. For Pete's sake, she hangs out with her mom in Europe. How license-y is that?

A graphic memoir of author/illustrator Lucy's grand tour of Europe, complete with a stopover at a Swedish Comics convention, a romance with a Swedish pessimist, and fraught with anxiety and hope for the future.

Knisley speaks to me on many levels, and I love the concept of a graphic travelouge. I also enjoy keeping a diary when I travel and only wish I could also capture my journeys in illustration. Alas, I'll just have to enjoy the skills of those far more talented than I.

An Age of License was o
The blurb on the back, which is something along the lines of "Eat, Pray, Love for the Mean Girls Generation" really encapsulates why it's only a 3 star book for me. ...more
Tanja ~ KT Book Reviews
Dec 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-favorites
Absolutely loved this. Not my normal read, but so worth it. Perfect for a soon to be college grad.
Ian Hrabe
Apr 05, 2015 rated it did not like it
A beautifully illustrated tribute to privilege.
David H.
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another journal comic, though I liked this one more than French Milk; the art was cleaner somehow (I'm not very knowledgeable about art, so my vocabulary is lacking). Comparing my two copies, it looks like Knisley's lines are thinner than in French Milk and I think she's doing something different with her characters' eyes. Whatever it was, I liked it, along with the pictures she colored with watercolors (or something?) every few pages.

This volume covered a month where the artist goes to several
Rachael Hobson
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I really enjoyed the journal style of this comic and the overall art style. I think the overall message was just lovely. It did lull in places, but that’s life for ya!
Ashley Scott
Jun 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Prettily drawn, but dull and lacking the oomph that was necessary to make the introspection of the notion of the age of license impactful.
I adore Lucy Knisley. In my Young Adult Lit class (library school), her book Relish: My Life in the Kitchen stuck out to me because of it's fun style and because of Knisley's raw honesty about her life. An Age of License is her literal and figurative exploration in her early 20's. She travels Europe, yes, but she also wrestles with the feelings of isolation and loneliness we experience when there's uncertainty in your future. Like... will she end up alone? Should she compromise her desire to hav ...more
Jun 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Charming and relatable. I'm already a fan of the graphic travelogue, having previously been won over by Scott Thompson's Carnet de Voyage, and Age of License evokes some of the same appeal while representing a different experience. We as readers are invited to tag along on the trip, glimpsing the foods, sights, people, and moments that meant so much to the author. There is still a story structure here, and it is that element that contributes to its success. This isn't simply someone's vacation p ...more
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2015 Reading Chal...: An Age of License by Lucy Knisley 1 8 Jun 26, 2015 04:15AM  

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Beginning with an love for Archie comics and Calvin and Hobbes, Lucy Knisley (pronounced "nigh-zlee") has always thought of cartooning as the only profession she is suited for. A New York City kid raised by a family of foodies, Lucy is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago currently pursuing an MFA at the Center for Cartoon Studies. While completing her BFA at the School of the ...more

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94 likes · 7 comments
“I'm sorry... that it couldn't last. But part of me is glad that it can exist, whole and lovely and complicated, in my mind.” 14 likes
“L'Age Licence. As in: License to experience, mess up, license to fail, license to do... whatever, before you're settled.” 13 likes
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