The Fart Party #5
Reviewed by Richard Krauss
By Julia Wertz
I've heard a lot about this series, so I was happy to finally get a chance to read one of the more recent issues. (The latest is #7.) The comics inside are mostly four panel gag strips with Wertz commenting on the people, places, and things in her life.
The artwork is pretty sketchy. Really it's just slightly more than stick figures, but Wertz does an excellent job deciding where the detail is needed. The action and characters are always clear and she adds just enough background for context when it's important to the gag. These details are part of why her strips work so well. Despite their simplicity, you're never confused about who's who or where the action takes place. And once you get lost in her world, you stay there. The cartoonist has done her job.
Of course, the main event at the Fart Party is the writing. The title is a good indication of the style of Wertz's humor. However, don't make the mistake of thinking it's just a bunch bathroom jokes. It's not. It's more like honest, uncensored gut reactions. The kinds of things most people might think, but not many would actually say. It's clever, bold, and hilarious.
Wertz did a lot of traveling during the period these cartoons were written and drawn so there are sequences from one end of the country to the other. Throughout the issue she includes sketches from, and photos of, her cartoonist friends picked up during her travels. They're nice additions that add a little something extra to an already terrific small press comic.
Rating the Issue
A Look Inside
Name: Richard Krauss
Been reading comics: since I started reading Marvel comics in Junior High School.
Review Bio: After several years I discovered titles like Zap and Bijou at a headshop and was seduced by the freedom and variety they offered. When the new-wave comix era sprouted from the seeds of the undergrounds, I quickly joined the ranks of other struggling cartoonists with phenomenally low print runs. After almost a decade of small press comix, I retired and made a solemn vow never to return. Several years later the Internet happened and over time many of my favorite new-wave cartoonists got online. The bug bit again and I started exploring the new crop of small press cartoonists. Today's explosion of small press comics is more exciting than any time I've ever seen.
Favorites: Papercutter, Not My Small Diary, Slam Bang, Comic Eye, stuff from Main Enterprises and Weird Muse, to name a few.