Monday, November 28, 2016

Character Sketches in Ben Katchor's The Jew of New York

Yesterday I shared my copy of Ben Katchor's The Jew of New York (1998) signed by the artist with a small drawing of a folded ticket. It had been signed at the Alternative Press Expo in 2012 for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and I picked it up at this year's MoCCA Arts Festival in New York. Early in the evening, I received a note from reader and contributor David from Manhattan.

Seeing you're in a Ben K. frame of mind...
The 2000 is a first ed signed at the sorely missedN.Y. Book Fair on 5th Ave. The '99 is a 2nd printingfound on the often reliable Strand shelves years ago.Both are opposite the title page.

Drawing of Enoch Letushim inscribed
"To David,
Ben Katchor

in Ben Katchor, The Jew of New York, 1998 first edition

 The character appears as a cut-out on the book's title page.
Enoch Letushim, second from right

Drawing of Mr. Marah signed
"Ben Katchor
The Strand"

in Ben Katchor, The Jew of New York, 1998, second printing

Cartoonist Ben Katchor and one his character's Mr. Marah, the importer of Jewish religious articles in NewYork City, 1825. BY ERIC LUSE/THE CHRONICLE

Mr. Marah

Prior to yesterday, cartoonist Larry Rippee posted perhaps the only original sketch from this book to appear online. Like the ticket, it was drawn at the Alternative Press Expo 2012 in San Francisco and it again features the character Enoch Letushim.
Drawing of Enoch Letushim inscribed "To Larry, from Ben Katchor Oct 14, 2012 SF, APE"

Note:  Thanks yet again to David from Manhattan for sharing more gems from his collection. There are now more original sketches from Ben Katchor's The Jew of New York available online than ever before.

Original sketches by Ben Katchor that he made in this book or other books are not that rare, but they are seldom posted online. If you'd like to share yours here, just get in touch.

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