The Fart Party by Julia Wertz

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The Fart Party
By Julia Wertz
Atomic Book Company

fartpartyThis is the Wertz book ever! (Somebody had to say it, right?)

After rising swiftly to autobio and webcomic stardom in 2006 and subsequently being dumped by one of her main characters in 2007, The Fart Party printed up and delivered by Atomic Books feels like a last hurrah and goodbye wave to Julia Wertz’s comics the way they used to be. Regrettably, the “finding herself” comics, brief info posts and hastily-rendered stick figure drawings that have been popping up more regularly on her website fartparty.org are not as charming as comics about Julia reaming on Oliver. However, the change of pace can only indicate that Wertz’s actual life seems to have become more worthwhile to live in reality rather than re-live in comics, so we at the Hatch, as always, wish her the best.

I’ve been reading and re-reading her journal comics online for so long, I was disappointed to find very little in the book that was new. Or maybe it just felt like I’d read everything before. I’m sure that mired in with the old favorites is a fresh laugh or two, but those comics are so much in line with Wertz’s typical shtick that anything new tends to blend in with the rest.

I haven’t crunched the numbers, but it just seems absurd to claim that the book contains 80% new material (as her site does HERE) when most of the “new” content seemed to be reprinted interviews or a wordy comic by her hip older brother. I guess that’s material, but it’s her comics I was hoping to see more of and I was disappointed to find I’d been somewhat misled.

The best thing that can be said for The Fart Party is that it seems to contain Wertz’s best work so far. The worst thing that can be said for The Fart Party is that it might be her best work ever. We all know and appreciate her chiding mother, troublesome brother and giant boyfriend. Writing those people into her comics repeatedly made us better understand their relationship to Wertz and appreciate their static, comedic traits and unflappable tolerance of her mean, disorderly behavior. I don’t see those recurring relationships so much in today’s comics and they’re what I miss most. The Fart Party of today is more self-effacing and less in-your-face than what you’ll see in the archives and in this book.

The drawing style is polished as per The Fart Party‘s trademark style. A brave exception being one of her very first comics from 2004 when the characters were only slightly more humanized than her usual cartoonie style and she explains how she lost her virginity and consequently got a boyfriend and fell in love.

The book was printed using dark brown ink on white paper and the cover uses an uncoated heavy card stock illustrated by Wertz and colored by Laura Park. The book is 175 pages long. In the back you can find a helpful list of tunes you should find and listen to while biking, feeling old timey or enjoying a picnic lunch.

If you’re a fan of The Fart Party and want to spread the love around, this book is an excellent compilation of Wertz’s rudest, crudest and sassiest as played out with the three people who seemed to know her best in the early years of making comics. The Fart Party is every bit as awkward, angry, alcoholic, hateful and full of curse words as someone familiar with fartparty.org would expect it to be. It would make a lovely Christmas present.

-Sarah Morean

No Comments to “The Fart Party by Julia Wertz”

  1. Julia Wertz | December 13th, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    hey guys- the 80% was referring to what I pulled offline, and just left a few. so if you’ve been reading it for a long time, or have the minis, that’s why it seems that you’ve seen it all.

  2. John H | December 15th, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    Wow, that’s harsh. Does the book work on its own, or can it only be read in the context of the later minis and postings on fartparty-dot-org? I also enjoyed those early comics tremendously, but I doubt Ms. Wertz has any intention of going back there. Nor should anyone want her to keep recycling the same shtick forever. There’s something to be valued in her new comics, too – I’ll take hastily-rendered any day if it’s immediate and honest.

  3. Interview: Julia Wertz Pt. 1 « The Daily Cross Hatch