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Re: [BKARTS] Graphic novelist Ben Katchor in New Jersey

Ben Katchor has been described as "the most poetic, deeply layered artist
ever to draw a comic strip." (New York Times)

At 5:00 PM, on Wednesday, November 10, 2004, author and artist Ben Katchor
will read from his works at the Scholarly Communication Center Auditorium,
at the Alexander Library, and then Michael Joseph, Rare Book Librarian and
Visiting Associate Professor at SCILS will conduct a congenial interview
of him. All are invited.

Lambiek describes Katchor's style as "a black-and-white dream about the
forties, . . . full of high angles looking down on deserted streets, and
unnerving close-ups." Historically, he is part of the second generation of
American underground comix - the generation that drew inspiration from the
punk scene. Around 1980, he debuted in Raw magazine, and would become one
of the people who defined Raw's outlook. He is the author of numerous
graphic works (the question of whether they are novels is implied by the
mark of interrogation in the evening's title); these include, Julius
Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: The Beauty Supply District (Pantheon
Books, 2000),The Jew of New York. (Pantheon Books, 1998), Julius Knipl,
Real Estate Photographer: Stories, with an introduction by Michael Chabon
(Little, Brown & Co., 1996) and Cheap Novelties, The Pleasures of Urban
Decay (Penguin, 1991). His work has also appeared in prestigious
magazines, such as The New Yorker, and the English language Forward. Ben
Katchor has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim, and the American
Academy in Berlin. He won the Best Cartoonist award from New York Magazine
in 1994 and in 2000, the prestigious "genius" grant from the MacArthur

Katchor has adapted his graphic work for radio and theater pieces,
including Carbon Copy Building (2000), an Obie award-winning collaboration
with New York composers Bang on a Can, and The Rosenbach Company: A
Tragicomedy (2004), a collaboration with Mark Mulcahy, produced by the
Rosenbach Museum & Library to commemorate the museum's 50th anniversary.
The pair have also collaborated on The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island, or,
The Friends of Dr. Rushower (2004), "a tragicomedy for musical theater,"
which the Village Voice described as "wondrous." Radio plays read by Jerry
Stiller based on Katchor's work are available Online at

Of The Jew of New York," James Norton of Flak magazine writes, "like a
number of other recent graphic novels, it transcends its oft-belittled
genre, and dizzily soars to success like an out-of-control bottle rocket."
Discussions of Ben Katchor can be found online at:

Michael Joseph
Visiting Associate Professor
School of Communication, Information and Library Studies
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
4 Huntington Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

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