Sound the trumpets and roll out the red carpet: a new and long-awaited work – the first in almost eight years! – by MacArthur genius grant award-winning cartoonist, Ben Katchor is now on the Copacetic shelves. Don your tux and come on down to participate in the gala unveiling of this hardcover volume that comes equipped with its own set of cardboard handles that make for both a witty Duchampian visual pun and an extension of Katchor's own aesthetic technique. Despite his long absence form the realm of book publication, Katchor has not ceased producing his deeply personal weekly strips that employ his patented combination of brusquely penned ink-lines and lushly brushed ink-washes, and The Cardboard Valise is simply the fruition of one of these. Katchor's work has as its aim to combat the alienating tendencies of contemporary urban life. Towards this end, he has developed a strategy of defamiliarizing the urban environment by projecting our quotidian surroundings through a psychological medium – one that engages comics' combination of image and text to guide and mutually reinforce readers' perceptions – to filter out the incessant demands placed on us by the interfering objects of capitalist consumerism that incessantly obscure the true nature of our own creations. This provides his readers with an unobstructed view that reveals the heretofore hidden humanity that fills our surroundings to overflowing but which we had been prevented from previously grasping. Paradoxically, these newly revealed vistas appear at first unfamiliar and strange – everything seems slightly off-kilter: where are we, exactly? It is only gradually, after long immersion in Katchor's world, that their meaning and significance becomes clear, and we are able, however fleetingly, to enter into communion with our own artifice. Those interested in obtaining some specifics as to how this is realized in The Cardboard Valise are hereby reffered to Sean T. Collins's review at the new and improved Comics Journal, here; while those who just can't wait to get their hands on it, can plunge right in and start reading it now, here.