Cheap Novelties: The Pleasures of Urban Decay

2016 DEBUT Cheap Novelties: The Pleasures of Urban Decay
Book Author(s) Ben Katchor
Publisher Drawn and Quarterly
Book List Price $22.95
All-Ages Appropriate Yes
Web site


ISBN: 9781770462632
112 pages
Black-and-White Illustrations Throughout
8.5 in H | 10.8 in W

Cheap Novelties is an early testament to Ben Katchor’s extraordinary prescience as both a gifted cartoonist and an astute urban chronicler. Rumpled, middle-aged Julius Knipl photographs a vanishing city–an urban landscape of low-rent apartment buildings, obsolete industries, monuments to forgotten people and events, and countless sources of inexpensive food. In Katchor’s signature pen and ink wash style, Cheap Novelties is a portrait of what we have lost to gentrification, globalization, and the malling of America that is as moving today as it was twenty-five years ago.

In 1991, the original Cheap Novelties appeared in an unassuming paperback from the RAW contributor; it would become one of the first books of the contemporary graphic novel golden age, and it set the stage for Katchor to become regarded as a modern-day cartooning genius. Drawn & Quarterly’s twenty-fifth anniversary edition is a deluxe hardcover reformatted to Katchor’s original vision.