The Cardboard Valise

Front Cover
Pantheon Books, 2011 - Comics & Graphic Novels - 128 pages
Ben Katchor (“The creator of the last great American comic strip.”—Michael Chabon) gives us his first book in more than ten years: the story of the fantastical nation of Outer Canthus and the three people who, in some way or another, in­habit its shores.

Emile Delilah is a young xenophile (lover of foreign nations) so addicted to traveling to the exotic regions of Outer Canthus that the government pays him a monthly stipend just so he can continue his visits. Liv­ing in the same tenement as Emile are Boreal Rince, the exiled king of Outer Canthus, and Elijah Salamis, a supranationalist determined to erase the cultural and geographic boundaries that separate the citizens of the Earth. Although they rarely meet, their lives in­tertwine through the elaborate fictions they construct and inhabit: a vast panorama of humane hamburger stands, exquisitely ethereal ethnic restaurants, ancient restroom ruins, and wild tracts of land that fit neatly next to high-rise hotels.The Cardboard Valise is a graphic novel as travelogue; a canvas of semi-surrealism; and a poetic, whimsical, beguiling work of Ben Katchor's dazzling imagination.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jnwelch - LibraryThing

The Cardboard Valise by Ben Katchor is bizarre and very funny, while being a scathing commentary on the obsessions, priorities and carelessness of our modern world. It's a surreal, or maybe all too ... Read full review


User Review  - Kirkus

The book-length publication of the acclaimed visual artist's weekly strips defies narrative convention as a graphic novel.Katchor (Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer, 2000, etc.) has been the ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

BEN KATCHOR is the author of The Jew of New York; Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: The Beauty Supply District; and several works of musical theater in collabora-tion with the composer Mark Mulcahy. He teaches at Par-sons The New School for Design and has contributed to The New Yorker, The Forward, and Metropolis. The first car-toonist to receive a MacArthur Fellowship, he is the subject of a documentary titled The Pleasures of Urban Decay. He lives in New York.

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