Ben Katchor
Pantheon Books, New York, 2008, 1996, English
Fiction, Comics and Graphic Novels
ISBN: 9780375401053

From the Publisher. 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 24-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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Kent Kleinman

Ben Katchor is one of the great chroniclers of New York City, even if that means inventing places for familiar events or inventing events for real places. This graphic novel introduces us to such architectural wonders as Foyer Hall—a theater on Gymsarchus Ave at 11th Street comprising principally a foyer with a gently sloped floor to encourage crowds to mingle; the Symmetry Shop on Ainsaint Avenue in the Beauty Supply District (directly across the intersection from the Hot Aura Frankfurt School store); and the waterproof, topographically precise Puddle Map of the expanded metropolitan area.

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