Lately, I’ve been in a comic book phase, which is unusual, because graphic novels aren’t really my thing or at least that’s what I thought. I’ll be honest and say that I’m not really much of a fantasy reader and when I think graphic novels, I generally think they’re going to be in the fantasy genre, boy am I wrong. After browsing a bookstore this past weekend, I know now that there are a lot of great graphic novels/memoirs that take you into someone’s life with the use of comic book format and it’s not all dragons, wizards and vampires. I recently read “French Milk” by Lucy Knisley and thought it was great, that’s why I was really looking forward to reading Julia Wertz’s graphic memoir “Drinking at the Movies“. If the title doesn’t grab your attention right away, the contents will, especially if you’re a twenty something individual trying to find your place in life.
Julia is a big fan of her home town of San Francisco, but her life needs a bit of an overhaul after living in a room the size of a closet, getting dumped by her boyfriend and working a crappy, dead-end job. So she decides that the best thing to do is opt for a change of scenery, she decides to make it in New York City. She packs it all up and travels to NYC, where we the reader, experience the shady and seedy apartments she has to endure and the countless homeless people who somehow always seem to want to chat.
In some ways, I found it really easy to relate to Julia, we both moved from places we loved for bigger and better opportunities and even though the home-sickness creeps in every once and awhile, we power through. I automatically liked her, especially her dry and witty sense of humor. She has the ability to persevere even when the going gets tough. She spends many an evening at the movies having a couple of beers to help the hours pass (I can’t say that I’ve ever drank at the movies) and opts to stay in some evening to watch reruns of 30 Rock and Gilmore Girls (<– this has happened to me, I’m not embarrassed to share that fun fact).
Filled with 187 pages of comics that will make you chuckle and say to yourself, “yeah I’ve been there“, Julia Wertz shares with us her experience of moving to the big city. As quoted on the back cover, “This isn’t your 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 filled with interesting art, absurd humor and plenty of amusing self-deprecation”
That quote pretty much sums it up and I can promise you that you will laugh out loud.
If you’d like to visit Julia Wertz’s blog, the link can be found here.