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Hello kind reader, I’m Julia Wertz: professional cartoonist, amateur historian, urban exploring hobbyist. I’ve been making comics and graphic novels since 2005 (see: the Fart Party/Museum of Mistakes, Drinking at the Movies, The Infinite Wait & Other Stories, Tenements, Towers, & Trash) but after I finished my last book in early 2017, I got writer’s block something fierce. Every comic I tried to make felt forced and uninspired and I worried I wouldn’t be able to get back to work. I read a bunch of books about writer’s block, and they didn’t do shit.

What eventually did help was getting back to how my whole career started- making goofy, badly drawn, stick figure diary comics about my daily life. I realized I missed the immediacy and direct connection of this type of unprofessional, unpolished work. I missed making comics for no other reason than I did something stupid or someone said something funny. I missed making comics because I wanted to, not because I was contractually obligated. That is not to say I don’t love making art and writing about history and abandoned places. I deeply enjoy those things and will continue doing them as a hobby, but not a career focal point. This year I’m getting back to how I started, with autobiographical comics about nothing and everything. I’ll be working on a book about my last years in NYC, and doing these diary comics. 

So now that I am making comics again, I’d like to continue to do so, and your support will help me stay inspired and committed. Also I’m gonna be doing a lot of traveling and exploring this year, so maybe it will be fun to follow along? I hope so! Some of these posts will be public for everyone to read on Patreon and on social media (mainly instagram and twitter) since I don’t want all of my work to be limited to only those who can pay, but Patreon supporters will get access to every post. Your support is utmost appreciated!

If you have any questions, suggestions, other things to say, feel free to email me at juliajwertz(at)gmail(dot)com

To support my work and see new comics, go here. To buy books, prints, mugs, t-shirts, etc, go here.

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Tenements, Towers & Trash

September 24, 2017

Quick links for buyin’ stuff: Buy the book. Buy original artwork. Buy prints, mugs, shirts & totes

Tenements, Towers & Trash is in stores on 10/3/17 and available online- choose from the dropdown menu on this page. Tour dates for NYC, Seattle and the Bay Area. Here are some nice things said about the book by the New York Times, Hyperallergic, and the AV Club. You can see exclusive excerpts on Untapped Cities, CurbedNY, and Pen America (For interview, podcast and/or books for review requests, please go here.) Some of the comics/illustration in this book originally appeared on the New Yorker and Harper’s, but the majority of the material is new.

From the publisher: Here is New York, as you’ve never seen it before. A perfectly charming, sidesplittingly funny, intellectually entertaining illustrated history of the blocks, the buildings, and the guts of New York City, based on Julia Wertz’s popular illustrated columns in The New Yorker and Harper’s. In Tenements, Towers & Trash, Julia Wertz takes us behind the New York that you think you know. Not the tourist’s New York-the Statue of Liberty makes a brief appearance and the Empire State Building not at all-but the guts, the underbelly, of this city that never sleeps. With drawings and comics in her signature style, Wertz regales us with streetscapes “Then and Now” and little-known tales, such as the lost history of Kim’s Video, the complicated and unresolved business of Ray’s Pizza, the vintage trash and horse bones that litter the shore of Brooklyn’s Bottle Beach, the ludicrous pinball prohibition, Staten Island’s secret abandoned boatyard, and the hair-raising legend of the infamous abortionist of Fifth Avenue, Madame Restell. From bars, bakeries, and bookstores to food carts, street cleaners, and apartments both cramped and grand, Tenements, Towers & Trash is a wild ride in a time machine taxi from the present day city to bygone days of yore.

Preview pages: (please not that some of the preview pages are part of a longer comic or section, so you’re seeing pages out of order that are not meant to stand alone.)

    

   

 

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sketchy comics

June 29, 2016

Some sketchy comics for your amusement. Here’s one I made a few days ago. and here’s one I made a few months ago when I was still living in NYC, but about to move to CA. To support my work and see new comics, go here. To buy books, prints, mugs, t-shirts, etc, go here.

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California

June 7, 2016

Well, that’s a wrap on New York for me. Thanks to everyone who came out to my last show, and who bought any books or art or other stuff from me before I left, or got some of the free stuff I left outside my apartment. You guys really cleaned it out, good job! I’ve […]

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Ideal NYC

April 19, 2016

If I could design a NYC street (or any city really) to fit my personal preferences, this would be it. It’s from a real photo of Kent and Manhattan Ave in Greenpoint in the 1930’s, housing the kind of places I would want to go.  (see it bigger here) Want me to draw one of these for […]

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The Fart Party’s Over

March 23, 2015

Atten: This is a reprint, I made this half essay/ half comic in January of 2014, a year and a half into what would be come an unexpected two year break from making comics. It originally appeared on Narrativly and Slate, but I’m posting it again here, since I am finally working on the book […]

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100 years ago

February 9, 2015

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x-mas comics pt 1

February 2, 2015

This week I’m posting some sketchbook comics from my visit home to California this past December.   To support my work and see new comics, go here. To buy books, prints, mugs, t-shirts, etc, go here.

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Weird, Horrible & Strange Christmas Gifts of Yore

December 22, 2014

Here’s a comic I did for Cards Against Humanity. I was playing the game with my family last night, and I had to explain “road head” to my ma, and she’s forever upset that we made her read all those cards out loud.

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Athens Lunatic Asylum

November 17, 2014

People have been asking me for years if I’m gonna turn my urban exploring adventures into comics, and I always said no. But turns out, if you give me an (unrelated) Super Official Illustration Job and two books to work on, I will totally do what I absolutely do not have time for, and that […]

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DIY- teen years

November 3, 2014

A preview page of the mini about DIY projects that I started last September. “I’ll finish it eventually,” I said unconvincingly.  To support my work and see new comics, go here. To buy books, prints, mugs, t-shirts, etc, go here.

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The Life

October 16, 2014

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Museum of Mistakes: the Fart Party Collection

January 3, 2014

ABOUT: Museum of Mistakes: The Fart Party Collection is a 400 page omnibus of my early comics (published by Atomic Books in 2014) including The Fart Party Vol 1 & 2 as well over 150 pages of previously unpublished material, some of which ostensibly would have been Fart Party Vol 3, had I done a third volume. Some of the […]

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holiday sketches pt 2- The Cookie Situation

January 2, 2014

A few more of the sketchbook comics I made while visiting home for the holidays. I haven’t been home for Christmas in years, so I haven’t pitched a fit about Christmas cookies in awhile. I’m sure my ma missed it.       To support my work and see new comics, go here. To buy books, […]

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Public Hair

November 5, 2012

This comic written by me and illustrated by Laura Park. It originally appeared in Papercutter #6 many years ago. To support my work, go here, or buy books, photography prints, artwork, bric-a-brac and more on either my website store or Etsy. 

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The Infinite Wait & Other Stories

September 18, 2012

The Infinite Wait and Other Stories (Koyama Press, 2012)  Available in stores and online from koyama & online distros  Book description from me: A collection of three short comic stories, one about shitty jobs, one about a shitty autoimmune disease (systemic lupus) I was diagnosed with, and one about my  love of public libraries, especially the […]

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A Strange and Curious Place

August 1, 2012

This is the shortest of the three stories that make up The Infinite Wait and other stories, published by Koyama Press and available on this site and at Secret Acres. The two main stories are a little over 100 pages each, this one is 17 pages long. To support my work, go here, or buy books, photography prints, […]

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lunch with dad

June 25, 2012

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job #8

June 12, 2012

To support my work, go here, or buy books, photography prints, artwork, bric-a-brac and more on either my website store or Etsy.   

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The Infinite Wait page 93

May 10, 2012

Hello Kind Reader. If you are on this webpage, it means you have purchased The Infinite Wait and were instructed to come here to view the missing page. (If you’re here randomly and would like to purchase the book, please visit the store.) The page isn’t terribly important to the story, however it does address how I […]

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A thing I did in high school

May 9, 2012

excerpt from The Infinite Wait & Other Stories   To support my work and see new comics, go here. To buy books, prints, mugs, t-shirts, etc, go here.

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reading during the angsty years

April 17, 2012

pages from The Infinite Wait & Other Stories To support my work and see new comics, go here. To buy books, prints, mugs, t-shirts, etc, go here.    

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accidental murderer

April 9, 2012

Excerpt From The Infinite Wait & Other Stories To support my work and see new comics, go here. To buy books, prints, mugs, t-shirts, etc, go here.  

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the Dance Buzzer Game

April 2, 2012

Excerpt from The Infinite Wait & Other Stories To support my work and see new comics, go here. To buy books, prints, mugs, t-shirts, etc, go here.    

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takin’ ill

March 28, 2012

Excerpt From The Infinite Wait & Other Stories To support my work and see new comics, go here. To buy books, prints, mugs, t-shirts, etc, go here.  

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parental visit pt 1

February 27, 2012

(Disclaimer: this visit happened in 2003 when I was living in a weird, illegal inlaw unit with two roommates in San Francisco. Hey Miles!)    

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even more job comics

February 6, 2012

Excerpt from The Infinite Wait & Other Stories To support my work and see new comics, go here. To buy books, prints, mugs, t-shirts, etc, go here.

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the disbanding of Pizza Island

January 23, 2012

Man, this post is the worst. Pizza Island, the studio I shared with five other cartoonists, is shutting down at the end of this month. The explanation we’re giving (lease up, rent going up, members leaving the country) is really just an elaborate ruse to cover up the real, more scandalous reason as to why we’re disbanding. The studio […]

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my first job

January 17, 2012

This is the first page from a short story in the Infinite Wait & Other Stories, about some of the jobs I’ve had from age 4 to now. I got the idea to do this story after I recorded the Paying Dues podcast last year. There is some speculation in my memory about the price […]

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Protected: the Castle- redux

December 30, 2011

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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more sketchy france comics

December 1, 2011

  To support my work and see new comics, go here. To buy books, prints, mugs, t-shirts, etc, go here.

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the best invention

August 29, 2011

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Boys pt 1

August 16, 2011

I sincerely doubt that Juan reads this website, or even knows what became of me for that matter, but if on the off chance he ever sees this, hi Juan! My memories of you are fond, which I can’t say for the rest of the boys in this series. Also, that last panel, I think […]

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Then VS Now

July 25, 2011

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Star Wars

June 29, 2011

more sneak peek pages, however these are old and need to be redrawn. I’d tell you why but you don’t want to listen to my petty chorus of complaints. This is me and my older brother as kids, playing Star Wars with one of our neighbors in the creek that ran through our backyard. To […]

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nintendo

June 21, 2011

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the House, all pages

June 15, 2011

  the house now, taken in 2010 the sealed off front door view from the porch 2010 To support my work and see new comics, go here. To buy books, prints, mugs, t-shirts, etc, go here.

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chicago pt 1

April 24, 2011

Every few years I go to Chicago to eat pastries, gripe about stuff and make comics with Laura Park. This time around we saved a cat, watched some horrifying kids videos and learned about terrible things on the internet while I laid on the couch and complained about my bad back. Sounds fun, no? I’ll […]

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interesting news

April 1, 2011

  (link deleted because people didn’t follow it and it led to a lot of confusion, see the addendum below)   Addendum: Much to my initial delight (and following chagrin) the joke worked better than I expected because a lot of people didn’t click the link, which I deleted because at first I was like “haha […]

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anatomy of a mix tape

March 31, 2011

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Choice Words About Fashion

March 30, 2011

Read the article/photoshoot at Hearty Magazine To support my work and see new comics, go here. To buy books, prints, mugs, t-shirts, etc, go here.

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Say It Ain’t So

March 30, 2011

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the Nature of Book Reviews

March 30, 2011

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All I Want Is…

March 30, 2011

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the Thing About Dreams

March 30, 2011

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the Endless Hunt

March 30, 2011

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How I Feel All The Time

March 30, 2011

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Don’t Shake the Baby

March 30, 2011

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how it all went wrong

March 30, 2011

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more Ghosts

March 30, 2011

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Useless Title

March 30, 2011

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Uncomfortable Eavesdropping

March 30, 2011

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Autoimmunity Denied

March 30, 2011

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the way we are

March 30, 2011
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today everything is shit

March 30, 2011
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Why I Don’t Wax Political

March 30, 2011

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street finds

March 30, 2011
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Career Assessment Test

March 30, 2011

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Good Investment

March 30, 2011

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Life Like This

March 30, 2011

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Drinking at the Movies

March 30, 2011

Drinking at the Movies was originally released in 2010 by Three Rivers Press, but was re-released and redesigned in 2015 by Koyama Press. The new edition has a new cover, an eight page, handwritten intro by Janeane Garofalo, a comic about how I met her, and a bunch of city drawings added at the end, with […]

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January sketch diary

March 30, 2011

I keep a whole separate sketch book diary of nib pen and inkwash comics but I don’t post them because they lend themselves to long, tediously melancholy prose that aren’t suitable for internet entertainment. Here’s one for your (non) enjoyment! To support my work and see new comics, go here. To buy books, prints, mugs, t-shirts, etc, go here.

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I’ve loved you so long

March 30, 2011

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DATM pt13

March 29, 2011

So, that’s it for the samples, To read the full story, buy the book!

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DATM pt10

March 29, 2011
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DATM pt9

March 29, 2011

Here’s a crappy photo of the ranch: T This is an inkwash of the porch and dog I did in 2009 And there’s a whole set of photos of the ranch on my flickr account

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What Should I Be When I Grow Up?

March 27, 2011

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Cycles of Solitude

March 24, 2011
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Ghosts of My (embarrassing) Past

March 24, 2011

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Misery is Funny

March 24, 2011
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Drawing in Chicago

March 24, 2011

Drawn by Laura Park To support my work and see new comics, go here. To buy books, prints, mugs, t-shirts, etc, go here.

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Some Days I Get Nothing Done

March 24, 2011

Drawn by Laura Park

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Inconvenient dismemberment

March 24, 2011
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Fart Party vol 2

March 24, 2011

The Fart Party vol 2 (Atomic Books 2009) This edition is forever out of print, but can be seen in in full in Museum of Mistakes: The Fart Party Collection, which you can buy  directly from me.  All books come signed/doodled with various choices of extras like prints and hand drawn panels. From the publisher: After trying and failing […]

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