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cover drawing, from "Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: Stories", 1996
Courtesy the artist © 2001
Ben Katchor created Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer, for a strip that first appeared in the New York Press in 1988. Although Knipl is a Jewish nameit means small treasure, or nest egg, in Yiddishhis religious identity is elusive. Knipl and other characters inhabit an unnamed but obviously New York-inspired present-day city. They are desperate, small-time businessmen, relics of a culture displaced by the march of time. Depicted from odd angles, in shadowy streets, their awkwardness and rumpled clothing make them at once pathetic and humorous.