Katchor, Ben 1951-
Katchor, Ben 1951-
PERSONAL: Born November 19, 1951, in New York, NY. Education: Attended School of Visual Arts, New York, NY; Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, B.A.
ADDRESSES: Agent—Wylie Agency, 250 W. 57th St., Ste. 2114, New York, NY 10107. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Writer and cartoonist. Worked as a partner in a graphic design firm; School of Visual Arts, New York, NY, teacher, 1996–. National Public Radio, creator of a radio drama series based on his comic strip "Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer," 1994, and of more than a dozen Julius Knipl episodes, broadcast in the television series Weekend Edition Saturday. Visiting lecturer or artist at educational institutions, including Bard College and California College of Arts and Crafts, 1996, Syracuse University, 1999, Yale University, Swarthmore College, and Brown University. Exhibitions: Art work exhibited in group and solo shows in and around New York City.
AWARDS, HONORS: Award for Excellence in Cartoon, Caricature, and Comic-Strip Art, Swann Foundation, 1990; named "best cartoonist" by New York magazine, 1994; Guggenheim fellow, 1995–96; Obie Award for theater, Village Voice, 2000; MacArthur fellowship, 2000; fellow at American Academy in Berlin, 2002; award from Pew Charitable Trust, 2002; multi-arts production grant from Rockefeller Foundation, 2003.
Cheap Novelties: The Pleasures of Urban Decay (collected comic strips), Penguin (New York, NY), 1991.
Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: Stories (collected comic strips), Little, Brown (New York, NY), 1996.
The Jew of New York (graphic novel), Pantheon (New York, NY), 1999.
(And designer and director) The Carbon Copy Building (opera libretto), music by David Lang, Julia Wolfe, and Michael Gordon, produced in Turin, Italy, at Settembre Festival, 1999.
Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: The Beauty Supply District (collection of comic strips), Pantheon (New York, NY), 2000.
Also designer, director, and librettist for the musical theater productions The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island, music by Mark Mulcahy, 2003; and The Rosenbach Company, music by Mark Mulcahy, 2004. Weekly comic strips include "Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer," beginning 1988; "The Jew of New York," in Forward, beginning 1993; "The Cardboard Valise," 1998; "Hotel & Farm," 2000; and "Shoehorn Technique," 2005; creator of a monthly strip in Metropolis, beginning 1998; and "The Cardboard Valise," in Forward and other weekly newspapers. Contributor to magazines and newspapers, including San Francisco Weekly, Village Voice, and New Yorker.
SIDELIGHTS: Ben Katchor once told CA: "My career in the field of comic-strip art began when I contributed to various small-press magazines during my teenage years. In college I tried to integrate my study of literature and art in the form of narrative paintings and prints. After college I renewed my interest in commercial, high-speed, offset lithography as an alternative to the traditional forms of art printmaking. I acquired an extensive background in book and print production, working for ten years as a partner in a graphic design company.
"In 1986 I edited and published my own Picture Story magazine and began working as a freelance illustrator and cartoonist. In 1988 I began the weekly comic strip, 'Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer.' In 1993 I began a weekly strip titled 'The Jew of New York' for the English-language edition of the Forward. In 1994 I began to work, in collaboration with producer David Isay, on a series of radio dramas based on my Julius Knipl strip. Eight of these were aired. As a result of listener response to this snow, a new series of fifteen episodes were produced and broadcast monthly."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Book Review, July, 1997, review of Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: Stories, p. 19.
American Heritage, December, 1993, review of Cheap Novelties: The Pleasures of Urban Decay, p.
Bomb, summer, 2004, interview by Alexander Theroux.
Booklist, December 1, 1998, Ray Olson, review of The Jew of New York, p. 643.
Dance Ink, fall, 1995.
Entertainment Weekly, February 5, 1999, review of The Jew of New York, p. 64.
Globe & Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), February 15, 1997, review of Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer, p. D10.
National Post of Canada, January 28, 1999.
New Republic, February 1, 1999, Hillel Halkin, review of The Jew of New York, p. 36.
New York, January 11, 1999.
New Yorker, August 9, 1993; November 25, 1996, review of Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer, p. 117; January 11, 1999, review of The Jew of New York, p. 89.
New York Review of Books, November 15, 2001, Anthony Grafton, "Lost New York."
New York Times, October 1, 1996, Michiko Kakutani, review of Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer, p. C15.
New York Times Book Review, December 22, 1996, Edward Sorel, review of Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer, p. 4; January 10, 1999, J. Hoberman, review of The Jew of New York, p. 6; June 6, 1999, review of The Jew of New York, p. 36; December 5, 1999, review of The Jew of New York, p. 74.
Observer (London, England), December 5, 1999, review of The Jew of New York, p. 13.
Publishers Weekly, October 11, 1993, review of Cheap Novelties, p. 55; December 21, 1998, Daisy Maryles, "Xmas in South Park," p. 18, and review of The Jew of New York, p. 56.
School Library Journal, May, 1999, Francisca Goldsmith, review of The Jew of New York, p. 162.
Village Voice, March 15, 1994.
Yale Review, July, 1999, John Crowley, review of The Jew of New York, p. 159.