An Age of License: A Travelogue

An Age of License


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."  (Summary and book cover courtesy of


I’m a little torn about this book, I’ve seen a little of Lucy’s other work and was excited to read one of her books.  I got my hands on this one first, but I’m wishing I had started with “French Milk” or “Relish” first.  I loved the art in the travelogue, but I was a little meh on the story at times.  I COMPLETELY relate on the idea of balancing expectations and not knowing exactly where you want to go, yet I didn’t always follow the train of thought in the book.  I think I was expecting to see a little more in terms of travel and self-reflection versus continuous references to steamy moments with the guy and stewing on the same topics without forward progress.  My judgment is not in the mental situation because I have been there many, many times; I was just expecting something a little different.

Like I said, parts of the storyline aside, I really enjoyed the watercolor and drawing style so I will certainly be looking up more of Lucy’s work.

Warning: Contains sexual references.

See all of Lucy Kinsley’s work here:

Rating: 4 stars!

Who should read it? Folks feeling a little paralyzed by life choices and looking for some circular discussion to try to provide new reflections.