An Age of License
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An Age of License

by Lucy Knisley
Lucy Knisley’s latest food-themed graphic memoir recounts her adventures (some romantic) on a European book tour.Acclaimed cartoonist Lucy Knisley (French Milk, Relish) got an opportunity that most only dream of: a travel-expenses-paid trip to Europe/Scandinavia, thanks to a book tour. An Age of License is Knisley’s comics travel memoir recounting her


Lucy Knisley’s latest food-themed graphic memoir recounts her adventures (some romantic) on a European book tour.Acclaimed cartoonist Lucy Knisley (French Milk, Relish) got an opportunity that most only dream of: a travel-expenses-paid trip to Europe/Scandinavia, thanks to a book tour. An Age of License is Knisley’s comics travel memoir recounting her charming (and romantic!) adventures. It’s punctuated by whimsical visual devices (such as a “new experiences” funnel); peppered with the cute cats she meets along the way; and, of course, features her hallmark—drawings and descriptions of food that will make your mouth water. But it’s not all kittens and raclette crepes: Knisley’s experiences are colored by anxieties, introspective self-inquiries, and quotidian revelations—about traveling alone in unfamiliar countries, and about her life and career—that many young adults will relate to. An Age of License—which takes its name from a French saying—is an Eat, Pray, Love for the alternative comics fan.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 07/28/2014
Knisley (French Milk, Relish) continues to own the travelogue/graphic novel genre by bringing her characteristic humor and heart to this memoir of a summer in Europe. Created during a journey from a comics convention in Norway to the vineyards of Burgundy and a lover’s loft in Montmartre, the in-process method of writing and drawing her adventures as they happen gives a vibrant immediacy to situations and sensations. Belying her relatively simple but charming cartooning style, Knisley pages are a cornucopia of information and detail: oversized seagulls, bilingual schoolchildren, and lying sat-navs populate her travels. Her observations are frequently laugh-out-loud funny (for instance, on her new Swedish boyfriend: “They should sell these at Ikea!”). It’s easy to excuse a temporary lapse in keeping up her illustrated journal when she falls in love—a sequence evocatively drawn with much emotional impact. Knisley’s already established passion for foreign foods is highlighted: Norwegian pastries, mustard in a tube, the French milk of her previous memoir, and that punch line to so many Scandinavian jokes, lutefisk. The title comes from the French l’age licence—the freedom to explore, experiment, and feel joy, all feelings beautifully captured here. (Sept.)
Tom Spurgeon - The Comics Reporter
“Knisley is a pleasurable picture-maker… and she engages directly with the issue of privilege as it pertains to her ability to take trips like this one.”
Brigid Alverson - Robot 6
“An Age of License… has an immediacy to it that makes it… compelling…. Knisley composes each page carefully, leading the eye through a series of little moments that add up to a real story. …[M]y guess is that she will simply continue to mature as an artist and writer. An Age of License is already evidence of that.”
Paul DiFilippo - Barnes & Noble Review
“Lucy Knisley is one of the standout artist-writers of her generation, her storytelling assured and inviting. Her third book,An Age of License,picks up the themes of her first two books with increased sophistication. ... Further work from her pen can only enhance her fine reputation as an artist whose growth and exploits we delight to share.”
Richard Bruton - Forbidden Planet International
“The cleverness here is how swiftly Knisley communicates everything... So much delivered so swiftly, so easily, Knisley’s chronicles always steering clear of both the sickeningly saccharin sweet and the angst-ridden. It nestles quite naturally in between, as light and as serious, as sad and as funny as real life often is.”
Johanna Draper Carlson - Wisconsin State Journal
“…[T]he undertone [of An Age of License] is about learning to embrace periods of change to better understand the person you want to be. ... Knisley’s borderless pages and personal insights give the feeling of paging through someone’s drawn diary, and her delicate linework is lovely.”
Juliet Kahn - ComicsAlliance
“Lucy Knisley's An Age of License is as tender, funny, and keenly observed as French Milk and Relish, but with a new sort of wistfulness and range that I loved. … Knisley's work is always fun, but License has a softness, a new shade of emotion that bodes well for the rest of her career.”
Rob Clough - High-Low
“The mix of color and crisp black & white in An Age of License makes this the first book of [Knisley's] that truly showcases her abilities as a draftsman and a cartoonist.”
Richard Pachter - Miami Herald
“Knisley is a good artist and entertaining storyteller, and her rather typical tale rises well above the mundane.”
Johanna Draper Carlson - Comics Worth Reading
“Like the best travelogues, An Age of License shows you what it would be like to visit a place while reminding you that you can never have the same experience. If you liked her last book, Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, you should definitely check this out… This book is more thought-provoking than her other works, demonstrating growth and a challenge to readers to think about these things in their own lives.”
Marie Anello - (The) Absolute
“[Knisley's] art, as always, has a melancholy whimsy, combining childlike joy with the all-too familiar doubts and fears that are born of burgeoning adulthood. ...An Age of License carries all the weight and emotion of a diary entry, but with the added benefit of charming visuals that only enhance the beauty and apprehension that accompany Lucy throughout her journey.”
Candice Mack - Booklist
“In her classic travelogue style and interspersed with lovely, contemplative watercolor sketches, [Knisley] offers glimpses of her she observes her life from the distance of travel, and her simple lines, lively illustrations, and patchwork of moments she chooses to include artfully capture her introspective mood. Fans of Knisley's earlier works, particularly older teens or young adults, will appreciate this honest, charming, and gently paced travel journal.”
Library Journal
A travel memoir told in comic format recounts author Knisley's charming adventures abroad. Illustrating her attempts at love, aspirations for the future, and the experiences to be gained while traveling, the graphic novel also explores anxieties, revelations, self-worth, and what love means to the author. (LJ 9/15/14)

Product Details

Fantagraphics Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Lucy Knisley is a cartoonist and occasional puppeteer, ukulele player, and food/travel writer living in Chicago, IL. She is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and
Center for Cartoon Studies.

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