In both “Cosmorama Travelogue Theater” and “The Physiognomist,” Katchor seems to suggest that the city is a theatrical space in which people act out roles and lack “authentic facial expressions.”Borrowing on the theme of acted roles and inauthenticity, my reinvention of “The Physiognomist” parodies many recently published articles that tend to make blanket statements for the current youth generation about our conservatism, our bleak job market, and our distrust of causality (I am referencing most obviously David Brooks’s article in the New York Times on “The Empirical Kids,” for one).In the footsteps of Katchor’s diverse city of “bad actors,” I extend the concept of Empirical Kids to everyone so as to completely nullify the definition: “They’re all Empirical Kids.”Each one of the characters, from the “green, sustainable aquaponic planter” to the “chemistry lab teaching fellow,” is an Empirical Kid, comically confirming the Brooks article’s diagnosis that our generation is composed of the budding wonksters.The central question in “Generation Y” is, “What is the point of a demographic description if it exhaustively describes everyone?” At the same time, I try to imitate Katchor’s non-sequitur speech bubbles by mixing seemingly random individuals.The final panel is also an attempt to be self-reflexive, as it ironically features a character that appears to be myself as I draw this same parodic strip.

A comic I drew based on Ben Katchor’s “The Physiognomist” from Julius Knipl: Real Estate Photographer.  These are a series of obscure comic strips of surrealist cityscapes, virtuoso in their alternating angles, surrealist free associations, and quirky, often tongue-in-cheek narrative. Ben Katchor is amazing! Added a brief explanation to my version, though I think reading it detracts from the drawing’s intended disjointedness. Enjoy!