Autobiography of a cartoonist

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Sickness, alcoholism, and dead-end jobs aren’t typical comic strip material — but Julia Wertz isn’t a typical cartoonist.

The wryly funny and boundary-pushing Brooklyn-based illustrator — who earned a mini-cult following for her simple, sarcastic zine “Fart Party” — will showcase her new long-form graphic memoir at a comic-centric Brooklyn Book Festival reading.

“The Infinite Wait” features three bold and self-deprecating stories highlighting the humor in life’s sometimes-dark moments.

“It’s the first book I’m actually proud of,” Wertz said. “It’s not just punch lines at the end; it’s a little more serious.”

While in her last book, “Drinking at the Movies,” she chronicled her haphazard move to Brooklyn, her latest collection of illustrated stories show a black-and-white cartoon-version of Wertz as an oddball kid, who turned out to be an underwhelmed whiskey-sipping college grad and a sober grown-up living in Greenpoint.

One of the stories follows her struggle with the autoimmune disease lupus, a story concept that a “big name publishing house” told her to ditch — prompting her to ditch them instead, Wertz said. (She switched to the smaller publisher Koyama Press).

“I’m glad I didn’t listen to them,” she said. “But I was also being childish, thinking, you can’t tell me what to do! You’re not my dad!”

A second story is set in three libraries from three different phases in her life — one from childhood, another in San Francisco, and finally an alcohol rehab center — using the lit houses as a narrative thread.

The third focuses on “jobs,” tracking her journey from a pretend gig selling rocks to neighbors as a kid to washing dishes and eventually finding success as a published cartoonist.

On Sept. 22, Wertz will click through a slideshow of the novel, which she penned at a shared Greenpoint art studio called Pizza Island.

Working there and living in Brooklyn inspired her to be more prolific, she said.

“I like the work ethic here,” she said. “It makes me work hard — instead of slacking off, making a zine then calling it a day.”

The Comics Crowd at Bergen Street Comics [470 Bergen St. between Flatbush and Fifth avenues in Park Slope, (718) 230–5600]. Sept. 22, 8 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.
Updated 5:35 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: