Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: The Beauty Supply District

Overview

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, you can check in for help at a local Misspent Youth Center.

In "The ...
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Overview

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, you can check in for help at a local Misspent Youth Center.

In "The Beauty Supply District," a new twenty-four-page story, Knipl attends an evening concert and unwittingly enters the world of wholesale empathizers and chiaroscuro brokers who make the decisions critical to the production of aesthetic pleasure in all its forms — from the shape of an olive jar to the score of a string quartet.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Katchor (The Jew of New York) creates whimsically poetic comic strips out of the observational found-verse he extracts from the petty commercial economy at the grungy low end of classic city life. Katchor transforms hustling salesmen, obscure municipal agencies, nonspecific ethnics and cheapo real estate brokers into wonderfully comic literary surrogates for the real world cast of smalltime urban capitalism. He's equally talented at recreating the brooding, sign-clotted, mix-matched architectural ambience of a charmingly dingy and mammoth city in his quirky but precisely rendered b&w pen-and-wash drawings. The guide to Katchor's unnamed city (it could only be New York) is Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer, also the name of the comic strip that Katchor has produced since 1988. This book collects strips published in weekly newspapers from 1994 to 1997, plus one original story. Knipl travels through a virtual Gotham that is both comically strange and completely familiar, visiting the oldest continually vacant storefront in America ("a rare combination of poor location and high rent"). He also stops by the Misspent Youth Center, frequented by a long line of remorseful individuals "in hope of reclaiming some part of their misspent youth." The title tale is an original, wittily metaphorical story lamenting the demise of Sensum's Symmetry Shop, in the heart of the city's beauty supply district. One of many cash-and-carry sweatshops in the district aligned with varying aesthetic theories, Sensum's offers "cumulative impressions" and quick turnarounds for commercial package design or anonymous advice to painters and composers. But the beauty supply district is soon overrun by trendy "Meaning" and "Context" vendors, and the shop goes out of business. This is a hands-down brilliant comics collection by one of America's most entertaining and intellectually satisfying cartoonists, a recent recipient of a MacArthur grant. (July) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Library Journal
In his third collection of strips featuring real estate photographer Julius Knipl (following Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer and The Jew of New York), Katchor again captures the little foibles and accomplishments of human experience. The details that give the series its credibility are there: a liver and onion sandwich, the gray realism of a radio broadcast. This third volume actually collects strips written and drawn prior to those collected in the earlier two volumes. The same atmosphere is present, but the finished quality of the two earlier books is sometimes missing. Katchor was recently awarded a MacArthur Genius award, which may create extra interest in this book. For larger general public libraries and academic libraries where Judaic studies programs flourish.--Stephen Weiner, Maynard P.L., MA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
The New Yorker
...it's not so much a graphic novel as an irresistible scrapbook of snapshots whose subjects are as familiar as they are improbable.
Dave Eggers
[Katchor] is a writer of skill and wit sufficient to put him in league with almost anyone working strictly with words. . . . Katchor is a draftsman of great delicacy, disguised as a fast-and-loose sketcher. . . . The Beauty Supply District . . . is arguably the best work Katchor's done.
New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375401053
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/28/2000
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 112
  • Product dimensions: 11.09 (w) x 8.78 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Ben Katchor is the author of The Jew of New York. His weekly comic strips, Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer and The Cardboard Valise, have been appearing since 1988 in The Forward, among other newspapers. Katchor also produces a monthly strip for Metropolis magazine. He lives in New York City.

From the Hardcover edition.

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