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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Fart Party. Volume 2. Julia Wertz. Atomic Book Company (2009)

Julia Wertz's talent, humour and superb editing skills make this collection of autobiographical strips a treat. The single biggest obstacle to any autobiographical material in any medium is that most people's lives are barely of interest to themselves let alone to strangers. Turning the small change of an ordinary life into readable web or print content for readers who have no direct connection to the protagonist is very difficult. It takes tremendous skill to edit and shape the material so that it will sustain an audience and at the same time not drift too far from the details of the source.

Julia Wertz manages this task with a cranky charm and understated skill. The art is apparently unsophisticated and suits the single page format very well, while the level of expressiveness achieved shows that the artistic choices are thoughtful and considered. Her graphic persona is lively and very engaging, the true tales of living that are told in the strips are very nicely judged and often sharply, indeed painfully, funny and ring true. The editing skill that Julia Wertz brings to her work is extraordinary, these strips are not self indulgent nor maudlin.

The sections of stick figure travel diaries are just as good as the more finished sections, The writing is superb and the more limited drawing showcases it very effectively and the art itself has a lovely energy and tremendous charm. This is a great volume of strips by a very talented creator.

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