In many respects, this book is a modern update on Dan Clowes' classic short story Art School Confidential. Unlike Clowes, Scott isn't afraid to get extremely personal about his own life, as he invests various aspects of his life into different characters. To be sure, Scott mocks art world bullshit and pretension but treats what's at stake in terms of life and career with deadly seriousness. There's also the volatile mixture of art school pretension and Wendy's own young person-stupidity and sex drive that leads to a host of hilariously questionable decisions.
The story follows Wendy through the post-graduation blues as she struggles to build a career while looking for love. There are friends who stab her in the back and seeming enemies who turn out to be good people. Wendy makes horrible choices with regard to men, like dating a sleazy guy in a band who cheats on her with her best friend at first opportunity. Later, she gets an art sabbatical opportunity but has to deal with a jealous former mentor making her life miserable. There is backstabbing, backbiting, petty revenge, scheming and drinking way too much for all the characters involved, but Wendy herself is on a genuine quest to try and figure out just what she wants to accomplish in life.
Finally, I should mention that this book is hilarious from beginning to end. Scott serves up some art-world groaners that still land hard, like one artist telling Wendy that her work wasn't "quilts, they're textile hypersigils!" The pettiness and corruption displayed by artists, critics and others in this world is played for laughs as much as Wendy's own foibles are made the butt of Scott's jokes. This book is raw, honest and far more visually sophisticated than one would think at first glance.