Ben Katchor is the author of The Jew of New York, Hand-Drying in America and Other Stories, and The Cardboard Valise among others. 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. His book, Cheap Novelties: The Pleasures of Urban Decay (Knopf) is a collection of the best of Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer’s first three-years, plus a 17-page story. In a vast and shadowy city of old skyscrapers, neglected warehouses, juice stands, and coffee shops, Julius Knipl, a rumpled, middle-aged man in a suit and hat, wanders the streets photographing buildings and pondering the details: the scent of the past that seeps into the present; the ghosts of other values and cultures embedded in the urban landscape; people and behaviors almost gone that linger on. He sees what others overlook.