Tag Archives: ben katchor

Ciao My Shining Star, featuring Ben Katchor and a host of others!


Sunday, September 20, 2009 at 7:30pm

Ciao My Shining Star –The Songs of Mark Mulcahy

Featuring Frank Black / David Berkeley / Chris Harford / Ray Neal / Butterflies of Love / The Autumn Defense / Vic Chesnutt / The Parkway Charlies and many more!… Plus a premiere screening of the Thom Yorke video “All For The Best” and readings by graphic novelist (and Parsons Illustration Full-time Faculty) Ben Katchor.

Music Hall of Williamsburg,
66 North 6th St., Brooklyn, NY 11211


For Tickets:


Ben Katchor’s “A Checkroom Romance” adds second show!


New York Public Library – Cullman Center presents
A Checkroom Romance by Ben Katchor and Mark Mulcahy
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 7pm SOLD OUT
Just added: Friday, May 15, 2009 at 7pm TICKETS AVAILABLE!
5th Avenue and 42nd Street
New York, NY 10018

In this new, musical tragicomedy by cartoonist  Ben Katchor and musician Mark Mulcahy, one man’s casual obsession with the architecture and culture of coat checkrooms ensnares him in a desperate struggle between employment agents, maitre ‘ds, lovesick podiatrists, low-budget contractors, and paraphilic playboys.

A Check-Room Romance was commissioned by the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.

Order tickets online here or call 212.868.4444.
Tickets: $15 general admission/$10 Library Donors, Seniors and students with valid ID.

Quick Hit: Ben Katchor at the Brooklyn Public Library


Thursday, March 12, 2009 at 7 pm:
Brooklyn Independents: Graphic New York

Graphic novelists Ben Katchor, Dan Goldman and Youme Landowne explore  New York City through their work.  They will discuss their work and their artistic processes.

Brooklyn Public Library
Central Library
Dweck Center
Grand Army Plaza
Brooklyn, NY
tel. 718.230.2100

[illustration by Ben Katchor]

Parsons and Jazz students collaborate on “Visual Music Works”

“Dreamers Night” 
From The Team Of:
Christine Young, Myeong Jae Lee And Martin Isenberg

Animation students from Parsons The New School for Design and composers from The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music will take the stage on Sunday, May 4, to present “visual music works,” which bring music and animation together in new and compelling ways. The event marks the culmination of the university’s first studio course in jazz and animation, in which students from the two schools worked together at a high level of collaboration to create original work.

The class, called Jazz and Animation, is taught by Parsons faculty member Ben Katchor, an award-winning and widely published illustrator, and Parsons and Jazz faculty member Ernesto Klar, a media and sound artist whose work was recently featured at the PULSE Contemporary Art Fair in New York. Among the works to be presented are an animated ecosystem that changes and grows in response to a musical score; a piece that brings to life children’s dreams, with the music and animation depicting the movement from consciousness to unconsciousness; and a performance in which the musicians are transformed into on-screen avatars who act out virtual stories through the music played onstage.

“From Wassily Kandinsky to Oskar Fischinger, artists have long been exploring the relationship between image and sound,” said Klar. “Today’s technology brings the work of visual artists and musicians to a whole new level, and over the past several months our students have experimented with a variety of analog and digital technologies to create innovative audiovisual works.”

The course harks back to founding decades of The New School, when it was a major center for modernist visual and performing arts. Artists such as Martha Graham and John Cage resided at the school and worked in egalitarian, collaborative ways, challenging traditional divisions between the arts. Jazz and Animation reflects the direction of the university today as it strives to weave together arts disciplines.

The performance will take place at 4:00 p.m. in the Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Arnhold Hall, 55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor. It is free and open to the public.

Ben Katchor Upcoming Events


Here’s a listing of upcoming events with Illustration Full-time Faculty member Ben Katchor:

The Deep Tub and Other Stories: Readings with Projections
Saturday, March 29, 2008 at 2pm

South Orange Public Library
65 Scotland Road, South Orange, NJ
Phone: 973- 762- 0230

NYU Creative Writing Program: Reading with projections and a conversation with Lawrence Weschler
Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 7pm
Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House
58 West 10th Street, New York, NY 10011
For more information 212-998-8816

Exhibition: The Chronicle of Daily Life plus Readings and Lecture
Sat. April 12th –  20th, 2008
Fumetto, International comix-festival
Luzern, Switzerland

International Literature Festival: The Word as a Way Out
Saturday, April 26, 2008 at 4pm
Panel discussion with Junot Diaz, Julie Phillips and Ben Katchor
Openbare Bibliotheek, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Reading with projections
Sunday, April 27, 2008 at 8pm

The John Adams Institute
Jewish Historical Museum – Nieuwe Amstelstraat 1, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Ben Katchor in Conversation with Josh Kornbluth
Monday, May 12, 2008 at 8pm

Jewish Community Center of San Francisco
3200 California St., San Francisco, CA
tel. 415.292.1200

The Rosenbach Company: a pop opera
Text & Drawings by Ben Katchor, Music by Mark Mulcahy
Wednesday, May 14, 2008 at 8pm

Jewish Community Center of San Francisco
3200 California St., San Francisco, CA
tel. 415.292.1200`

R:ED Magazine Focuses on Illustration

red cover

The Illustration Department is proud to announce the publication of the Spring 2008 Parsons Alumni magazine, R:ED. This issue is devoted to covering topics in Illustration, whether it’s the life of newly appointed director of the Society of Illustrators Anelle Miller (Illustration ’74) or the work of up and coming current student Christine Young.  Articles included cover things like the Illustration Department’s collaboration with Design Within Reach and recent symposium about “Illustration in the Age of Anxiety.”  There are also illustrations by Illustration faculty members George Bates, Nora Krug, and Ben Katchor.

red spread

Here’s a link to the entire issue in PDF format–RE:D Spring 2008 issue! Congratulations to all our featured students, faculty, and alumni.  If you graduated from the department, make sure you keep us (as well as the Parsons Alumni Department) up to date on your accomplishments and professional progress.

Rodolphe Töpffer and the Word/Image Problem


[click for full-size version]

Rodolphe Töpffer & the Word/Image Problem

A celebration of the first English-language translation of Töpffer’s complete picture-story work by David Kunzle and a symposium on the word/image problem with Peter Blegvad, Anne-Marie Bouché, Noah Isenberg, Ben Katchor, David Kunzle, Victor H. Mair, Jim Miller, Patricia Mainardi, Aimée Brown Price and others.

Presented by the Illustration Department, Parsons The New School for Design and Liberal Studies, The New School for Social Research.

Theresa Lang Student Center
55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor, NYC
Saturday, March 8, 2008 3 – 8 pm, free and open to the public
No reservations needed; seating is first come, first serve.

Ben Katchor’s Opera Reviewed in the New York Times

slug bearers shot

The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island (Or, the Friends of Dr. Rushower), an opera created by Associate Professor of Illustration Ben Katchor and Mark Mulcahy, received an enthusiastic review by New York Times’ critic Ben Brantley yesterday. Here’s an excerpt:

“The Slug Bearers” may deal with subjects common to contemporary satire: fiendish industrial autocrats (in this case, the cackling George Klatter, played by a Lex Luthor-like Stephen Lee Anderson); shortsighted do-gooders; the limited attention span of news gatherers; and the (literal) insubstantiality of a technology-driven culture.

But Mr. Katchor is not an attack artist, and “The Slug Bearers” is neither sendup nor angry social rebuke.

Instead, like much of this artist’s work, it is propelled by a brooding and amused awareness of the strange, individual quirks and appetites that both keep people apart and occasionally bring them together.

This sensibility is conveyed with real enchantment by the set and projection designs of Jim Findlay and Jeff Sugg (subtly enhanced by Russell H. Champa’s lighting), which bring to eye-teasing life Mr. Katchor’s drawings of lonely town (as in New York City) and polluted country (as in the tropical isle of Kayrol). Projections on scrims are used to create some delightful trompe l’oeil moments involving walking amid street traffic, riding elevators and even answering the phone.

These are never mere sight gags, though, but part of a thoroughgoing mise-en-scène that melts boundaries between the real and representational. At the same time there’s a strong, melancholy suggestion that the people who inhabit this flat but fluid landscape can never fully step into the world they live in. (And I mean the characters, not the performers.)

Read the complete review here, listen to a narrated slideshow about the opera’s development here, and as an extra bonus, we present you with a small preview of the show:


The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island (Or, the Friends of Dr. Rushower)
An Opera by Ben Katchor and Mark Mulcahy
Vineyard Theater
108 E. 15th St (btw Union Square and Irving Pl.)
New York, NY

[image by Carol Rosegg]

Ben Katchor in New York Magazine

slug bearers

Illustration Associate Professor Ben Katchor got interviewed for New York Magazine recently. He talked about the development of his new opera with Mark Mulcahy, The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island. Here’s a snippet:

As a cartoonist working in theater, how would you compare the two?
Comics are an economical way to figure out stories. There are zero expenses. You just need a place to live. Whereas theater is the most luxurious art form that there is: You need live actors, and everyone has to show up at a certain time and do a lot of rehearsing. Are they going to catch a cold that day? Are they going to show up? You realize how fragile all of it is. But it’s a great thing. When you’re watching a great actor try to figure out his scene, it’s like watching a cartoonist making a drawing, but they’re doing it somehow with their body. It’s amazing.

How would you sum up the play for someone who hasn’t seen it?
It’s an absurdist romance. It’s about the romance of poetry and humanitarianism.

The show also seems to be making a statement about consumerism.
There is a trend in the world now toward the immaterial — with people digitizing books and making tiny portable electronic devices. But if you want to make table phones and toasters, they need to be augmented artificially. The weight needs to be augmented. There is nothing physically to them, they’re just little microchips and plastic casings. We’re at this strange point in time where a lot of life we’d like to have miniaturized so we can carry a library in our pocket. But on the other hand, we still have hands and physical bodies, and we need to deal with the physical world. It’s a dilemma of technology.

Catch the rest of Ben’s interview here and see here for more information about The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island.