A Fart Party with Julia Wertz

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Interview with Julia Wertz:
LG: What is your favorite part about being a cartoonist?
Not waiting tables.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to do comics for a living for very long,  especially considering the state of the publishing industry, but at least for the time being I can relish not having to say “salad or soup?” hundreds of times each day. I also never have hyper realistic nightmares that there are too many tables seated in my section and they’re all ready to order at the same time. Now I have apocalyptic nightmares that are much easier to deal with.
LG: What is the most embarrassing fart you ever did? (Optional)
I don’t think I’ve ever farted during a time when I shouldn’t have. I’m not sure there’s really a time when one should be farting, but I can’t recall anything particularly embarrassing. Or maybe I’m always farting when at an inappropriate time and I just have no shame?
LG: Whats the weirdest thing you ever received in the mail?
Maybe not the weirdest but certainly perplexing was a Polaroid of the sky with no return address. But I think that was from this website where this guy offers silly services like “if you give me a dollar, I will mail someone a picture of the sky.” This is a real thing, although I’m not sure why. Awhile ago someone sent me an old Ghostbusters trading card, that was pretty funny. And I have a relative who is always sending me religious propaganda because she thinks I’m a Godless heathen. Those packages are always fun.
LG: When drawing do you feel removed from your characters at all? Is everything complete uncensored from your head to the paper?
There’s a lot of censoring going on, at least for the work that appears online. After the second collection, I decided to pull away from online stuff because I thought it was effecting the way I documented what was actually happening. I was also going through some personal and family stuff that wasn’t appropriate for the internet, so I began to heavily censor pages of comics, posting only the surfacey stuff. However in my upcoming books, I’ve put it all back in there so they’re pretty uncensored.
The only time I really feel removed from my characters is when I rearrange a situation to make myself look more awful than I am in real life. My character often comes across as cynical and cantankerous, which I certainly can be at times in real life, but most of the time I’m pretty silly. It’s hard to get silly to transfer well onto paper though. So in that aspect I feel slightly distanced from my character, but it’s still based on some facet of me, so there’s not much of a distance. Sometimes I wish there was though, because when I look back at some of the stuff I said or did, I’m kind of appalled.
LG: What was your process like when putting together ‘ I Saw You…..Missed Connection Comics’. Did you get any really scary submissions?
Putting together I Saw You was the worst. I will never do another anthology again. It was frustrating spending so much time working on other peoples’ work. I had an open submissions policy so I got tons of submissions but I don’t recall any that were particularly scary. Doing that book killed any marginal amusement I once had in reading missed connection ads though. The whole concept makes me want to barf.

LG: What did you get your BA in?
Cultural studies? shit, I don’t really even remember. I just picked the easiest, most bullshitty major I could find so I could sit in the back of the class and draw comics. I also minored in religious studies. Or at least I think I did, I might have been a few credits short. I really didn’t give two toots about college. I liked being in school, I enjoy the whole learning process, but when it actually came to grades and credits, I think I really did the bare minimum to get by.
LG: What mood is the best for you to draw in?
Well, I draw every day all day, so pretty much any mood has to do.  But I come up with my best ideas when I go on long walks around the city, which I guess could be described as a contemplative mood, but that sounds cheesy.
LG: Whats your favorite thing to write about.
I do autobio so I guess I have to say myself. However, in that realm, my favorite subject is childhood stories.  And I always enjoy just writing about really dumb things like winter boots and my favorite foods. Those kind of light hearted, unimportant subjects remind me to not take myself to seriously and just have fun with making comics.
LG: What will be the next name of your next collection of stories?
Drinking at the Movies. It comes out this fall.
LG: What are you working on now?
I’m working on a follow up to Drinking at the Movies as well as a kids book and a collection of childhood stories. I kinda bounce around, doing a page for each book here and there, which is probably not the best way to work but I like to break it up or I feel crazy.
LG: What was the best thing that has happened since moving to New York?
Finding the studio I live in right now. I very effected by my surroundings and I can’t stand living with people, so finding this cute and incredibly cheap studio was the bees pajamas. I’m also a horrible roommate so it’s probably better for everyone that way. I also got a cat and he’s alright, I guess.
LG: Do you like Greenpoint?
I love Greenpoint, especially my little neighborhood, which is on the outskirts of Greenpoint in a more residential area right near a really cute park that I get to walk through on my way to my work studio every day. I share a studio with 3 other cartoonists and it’s about a 10 minute walk from home so unless I leave Greenpoint, my life really consists of a very small circle. There’s also a lot of abandoned structures to explore and empty lots to hang out in with amazing views of the city. Greenpoint doesn’t really feel like New York, it’s much less hectic, much more manageable. Maybe there’s valium in the water or something, but whatever it is, yes please.
LG: What is the most common question you are asked?
What’s a fart party? I used to answer with the story of how I came up with the name as a joke, but I’m tired of that story so I’ll just say that a fart party is whatever the hell you want it to be.
LG: Now Here is a free space for you to write a haiku, (remember 5, 7, 5)
A Fart Party
An unfortunate name
an even worse affair

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