Julia Wertz & Sophie Yanow

Jun 8 2023 - 7:00pm

FREE TO ATTEND. No registration required. 

Image of cover of book Impossible People: A Completely Average Recovery Story and photograph of the author Julia Wertz, Image of book cover of The Contradictions and a photo of author Sophie Yanow.

Join us Thursday, Jun 8th at 7pm at Pegasus Downtown when we welcome Julia Wertz and Sophie Yanow.  We will be celebrating the release of Julia's new graphic memoir, Impossible People: A Completely Average Recovery Story. Sophie and Julia will read from their latest books. A Q&A will follow their visual readings. 

Books will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

About Impossible People: A Completely Average Recovery Story


Opening at the culmination of a disastrous trip to Puerto Rico, the first page of Impossible People finds Julia standing stupefied in the middle of the jungle beside a rental Jeep she's just crashed. From this moment, the story flashes back to the beginning of her five-year journey toward sobriety that includes group therapy sessions, relapses, an ill-fated relationship, terrible dates, and an unceremonious eviction from her New York City apartment. Far from the typical addiction narrative that follows an upward trajectory from rock bottom to rehab to recovery, Impossible People portrays the lesser told but more common story: that the road to recovery is not always linear. With unflinching honesty, Wertz details the arduous, frustrating, and hilarious story of trying and failing and trying again.

About The Contradictions

The Eisner Award–winning story about a student figuring out radical politics in a messy world

Sophie is young and queer and into feminist theory. She decides to study abroad, choosing Paris for no firm reason beyond liking French comics. Feeling a bit lonely and out of place, she’s desperate for community and a sense of belonging. She stumbles into what/who she’s looking for when she meets Zena. An anarchist student-activist committed to veganism and shoplifting, Zena offers Sophie a whole new political ideology that feels electric. Enamored—of Zena, of the idea of living more righteously—Sophie finds herself swept up in a whirlwind friendship that blows her even further from her rural California roots as they embark on a disastrous hitchhiking trip to Amsterdam and Berlin, full of couch surfing, drug tripping, and radical book fairs.

Capturing that time in your life where you’re meeting new people and learning about the world—when everything feels vital and urgent—The Contradictions is Sophie Yanow’s fictionalized coming-of-age story. Sophie’s attempts at ideological purity are challenged time and again, putting into question the plausibility of a life of dogma in a world filled with contradictions. Keenly observed, frank, and very funny, The Contradictions speaks to a specific reality while also being incredibly relatable, reminding us that we are all imperfect people in an imperfect world.

About the cartoonists/authors:

Julia Wertz is a professional cartoonist, amateur historian, and part-time urban explorer. She made the comic books The Fart Party vol 1 and vol 2 (collected in Museum of Mistakes) and the graphic novels Drinking at the Movies, The Infinite Wait and Other Stories, Tenements, Towers, & Trash, (for which she won the 2018 Brendan Gill Prize), and Impossible People (out 5/9/2023). She does monthly short story comics for the New Yorker and her work has appeared regularly in the New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, the Believer, the Best American Comics, and other publications. Her photography of abandoned places has appeared in a handful of newspapers. She is a repeated MacDowell fellow. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she spent a decade in New York City before settling in Sonoma County, CA, with her partner Oliver (yeah, the Oliver from Fart Party) and their son Felix. She’s currently working on the graphic novel Bury Me Already (It’s Nice Down Here) to be released by Hachette/Black Dog & Leventhal in 2025.

Sophie Yanow is a California-based cartoonist whose work includes the Eisner award-winning graphic novel The Contradictions (Drawn & Quarterly), What is a Glacier? and War of Streets and Houses. She received the Scott Moncrieff Prize for her translation of Dominique Goblet’s Pretending is Lying and she has been a MacDowell Colony Fellow. She teaches in the MFA in Comics program at the California College of the Arts.

Event address: 
Pegasus Downtown
2349 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
Impossible People: A Completely Average Recovery Story By Julia Wertz Cover Image
ISBN: 9780762468256
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Black Dog & Leventhal - May 9th, 2023

The Contradictions By Sophie Yanow Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781770464070
Published: Drawn and Quarterly - September 8th, 2020

Event Category: 
Shattuck Location