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Ben Katchor (born 1951 in Brooklyn, NYmarker) is an Americanmarker cartoonist. His comic strip Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer paints an evocative picture of a slightly surreal, historical New York Citymarker with a decidedly Jewish sensibility. Julius Knipl has been published in several book collections including Cheap Novelties: The Pleasure of Urban Decay and The Beauty Supply District. Other serial comics by Katchor include The Jew Of New York (collected and published as a graphic novel in 1998), The Cardboard Valise and Hotel & Farm. He regularly contributes comics and drawings to The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Metropolis magazine. He was a contributor to RAW and published and edited two issues of Picture Story magazine, which featured his own work along with illustrated articles and stories by Peter Blegvad and Jerry Moriarty. He wrote and illustrated a "weeklong electronic journal" for Slate in 1997 and contributed articles to the now-defunct Civilization: The Magazine of the Library of Congress. His comics have been translated into French, Italian, German and Japanese. He currently draws a weekly strip, Shoehorn Technique, for The Forward.

In 1993 Katchor was the subject of a lengthy profile by Lawrence Weschler in the The New Yorker. He won an Obie Award for his collaboration with Bang on a Can on The Carbon Copy Building, a "comic book opera" based on his writings and drawings that premiered in 1999. The same year, he was the subject of Pleasures of Urban Decay, a documentary by the San Franciscomarker filmmaker Samuel Ball. In Michael Chabon's collected essays,Maps and Legends, (McSweeney's Books, 2008, San Francisco), he somewhat idiosyncratically describes Katchor as "the "creator of the last great American comic strip."

The first cartoonist to receive a MacArthur Fellowship, Katchor has also received a Guggenheim Fellowship and is a fellow of the American Academy in Berlin.

Katchor has written several works of musical theater, including The Rosenbach Company (a tragi-comedy about the life and times of Abe Rosenbach, the preeminent rare-book dealer of the 20th century) and The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island, or, The Friends of Dr. Rushower, an absurdist romance about the chemical emissions and addictive soft-drinks of a ruined tropical factory-island. Both feature music by Mark Mulcahy.

Katchor also gives "illustrated lectures" at colleges and museums accompanied by slide projections of his work.


  • Cheap Novelties: The Pleasures of Urban Decay (Penguin, 1991)
  • Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: Stories (Little, Brown & Co., 1996)
  • Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: The Beauty Supply District (Pantheon Books, 2000)
  • The Jew of New York (Pantheon Books, 1998)
  • Picture Story 2 (editor and contributor) (self-published, 1986)


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