Ben Katchor and the Architecture of Comics
Ben Katchor, the first cartoonist to receive a MacArthur Fellowship grant, is also a writer, teacher, and performer of TED Talk recitations. His familiar-seeming yet skewed urban vignettes, such as Julius Knipl: Real Estate Photographer and The Cardboard Valise, have been appearing in magazines and alternative newspapers for over a quarter century. More recently, he's been collaborating with musician Mark Mulcahy on an absurdist musical play, The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island, and a comic-book opera, The Carbon Copy Building, both of which won Obie Awards. Seemingly unable to successfully arrive in Portland, Katchor joins host S.W. Conser on the phone from Seattle to discuss his latest book, Hand-Drying in America and Other Stories, a collection of architecture-related comics from Metropolis magazine.