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Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: The Beauty Supply District
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Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: The Beauty Supply District

4.34 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  163 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Join Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer, on a leisurely stroll past The Institute for Soup-Nut Research and The Municipal Birthmark Registry. Savor the smell of a phone booth, circa 1961. Sign up for a guided tour of the oldest continually vacant storefront in America. Attend a championship grave-digging competition, or, should you feel you've wasted yet another day, y ...more
Paperback, 120 pages
Published August 12th 2003 by Pantheon (first published 2000)
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A series of one-page vignettes, some starring Julius Knipl, that take place in a city kind of like NYC, but more surreal. They're apparently set in the modern day, but everyone has a sort of 1950s look to them; the men tend to wear suits and hats, the women all wear dresses and heels. People buy perfume that smells like mundane things. They make maps of mud puddles. They go to bizarre concerts where music is made by a fake tongue lapping at cream. The stories are odd, whimsical, sometimes funny ...more
Jun 18, 2009 Alan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Multimillionaire mud magnates, the children of melancholic bachelors...
Recommended to Alan by: A previous encounter with the protagonist
Like the proprietor of Sensum's Symmetry Shop, in the Beauty District of the unnamed metropolitan area where puddle maps are sold and Julius Knipl reportedly photographs real estate, Ben Katchor himself is a "humble facilitator of felicitous accidents" - he creates odd juxtapositions of image and text, that tease the eye with familiarity but turn out in the end to be utterly strange and new.

I've already read (and been amazed by) Katchor's earlier Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: Stories,
Abe Kazemzadeh
I liked this book a lot and it was a pleasure to read. Like the funny, ironic, surreal city that Julius Knipl inhabits, the book needn't be explored linearly, and pages can be revisited because it's not a necessarily a single idea or punchline that makes the comics funny but rather a lot of detailed artwork and mind-bending mix of funny situations, caricatured characters, and ironic urban planning. Most of the comics are independent one-pagers, but some are 2-3 pages, and the last one is more of ...more
Finney Jean Soda
Ben Katchor has been added to my list of heros. This book is wonderfully absurd and literate, poking around the lesser-explored corners of our unintentionally ridiculous consumer culture. This is the logical conclusion to the modern world of yesteryear. Details otherwise unnoticed get exaggerated to comic proportions. Katchor playfully combines and invents words with impressive ease. Yes, I really, really loved this and yes, am sad that I don't know anyone else who might enjoy it half as much as ...more
This reminds me of a fictional "Mezzanine" except that it's interesting and engaging. BSD takes some bizzare premise, but then explores it minutely and with a bizzare logic that makes these one page stories some of the most compelling and creative comics I've read in years.

They are prose dense and the captions and word balloons are sometimes not-complimentary in a given panel, so it actually takes a little practice to be able to read these pieces effectively, but the effort is worth it.
Mar 02, 2008 Melissa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: frequenters of Macedonian coffeeshops
Fun to re-read in light of seeing The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island (which was not so much successful as a musical, but, when charming, was charming in Katchor's typical way). The long piece at the end of this collection is particularly fine, intertwining aesthetics, dwindling concert attendance, olive jar design, trash-picking, and the difficulties of contemporary music.
Katchor is one of the most original comic artists ever, both in his scripts and his illustrations. He creates a bizarre yet recognizable parallel New York which is a bit more 40s than the 40s ever were, a bit more Jewish than even Brooklyn, and a bit more New York than the city itself. Somewhat surreal and wryly humerous, I have reread this many times.
like a subtler, gentler welcome to nightvale.
This book hit several of my most potent literary sweet spots: American Jews; fantasy versions of New York City; illuminations of the forgotten, the almost-real and the generally out-of-the-way. It has been a long time since I wanted so badly to live in the world created by a particular work of art.
Philip Athans
I just LOVE Ben Katchor's Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer and have since I first encountered it in the Chicago Reader in the early 90s. This is the most literary comic strip on Earth while still remaining accessible, funny, heartwarming, and genuinely devoid of pretense.
This is very surreal; the art is excellent but the stories are more snapshots of the town and its inhabitants. Funny, but difficult to read more than a few pages at a time.
Ben Katchor is endlessly wonderful. The Coeval Coffee Shop! Dry Cleaning communities! Undertaking as a spectator sport!
Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: The Beauty Supply District by Ben Katchor (2000)
More great strips; New York Jewish dada.
my sense of humour: deadpan images
Allen Rubinstein
Allen Rubinstein marked it as to-read
Dec 04, 2014
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Oct 13, 2014
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Oct 09, 2014
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Oct 04, 2014
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Sep 28, 2014
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Wordfest Calgary marked it as to-read
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Ben Katchor (born 1951 in Brooklyn, NY) is an American cartoonist. His comic strip Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer paints an evocative picture of a slightly surreal, historical New York City 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 serialized c ...more
More about Ben Katchor...
Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer The Jew of New York The Cardboard Valise Hand-Drying in America and Other Stories Cheap Novelties: The Pleasures of Urban Decay, with Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer

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