Delirius, the planet-sized city. William Gull shaking his bloody fists at the NatWest tower. The gentle Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer. For every urban locale and lifestyle, comics are obsessed with cities like no other genre.

Cheap Novelties, the Pleasures of Urban Decay with Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer by Ben Katchor. Katchor describes Knipl's beat as taking place in "a large, unnamed East Coast city of my own invention".

Cheap Novelties, the Pleasures of Urban Decay with Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer by Ben Katchor. Katchor describes Knipl’s beat as taking place in “a large, unnamed East Coast city of my own invention”.

 

The Long Tomorrow (1975) was written by Dan O'Bannon and illustrated by Moebius.

The Long Tomorrow (1975) was written by Dan O’Bannon and illustrated by Moebius.

Freak Angels was written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Paul Duffield. Written between 2005 and 2011, it is set in a "post flood" London. For Duffield, London is a character of its own – "a kind of ghost".

Freak Angels was written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Paul Duffield. Written between 2005 and 2011, it is set in a “post flood” London. For Duffield, London is a character of its own – “a kind of ghost”.

 

Barefoot Gen: a Japanese manga series that ran from 1973 to 1985, portraying the experiences of six-year-old Gen in and around Hiroshima in the aftermath of the atomic bombing.

Barefoot Gen: a Japanese manga series that ran from 1973 to 1985, portraying the experiences of six-year-old Gen in and around Hiroshima in the aftermath of the atomic bombing.

 

In the ongoing Acquefacques series by the French artistMarc Antoine Mathieu, the structure of comics themselves form the puzzle-like habitat for the protagonist, Julius Corentin.

In the ongoing Acquefacques series by the French artistMarc Antoine Mathieu, the structure of comics themselves form the puzzle-like habitat for the protagonist, Julius Corentin.

 

Hariton Pushwagner, Apokalypse: Klaxton. Norwegian artist Terje Brofos, whose best known work is Soft City (2008), revels in the repetitive dehumanisation of urban life, stretching as far as the eye can see.

Hariton Pushwagner, Apokalypse: Klaxton. Norwegian artist Terje Brofos, whose best known work is Soft City (2008), revels in the repetitive dehumanisation of urban life, stretching as far as the eye can see.

 

An illustration from Brüsel, Les Cités Obscures by Francois Schuiten. From a family of architects, Schuitencreated this series in 1983 with writer Benoit Peeters. It portrays city states on a "Counter Earth", and was influenced by what he called Bruxellisation – the advent of indiscriminate modernist building in Brussels.

An illustration from Brüsel, Les Cités Obscures by Francois Schuiten. From a family of architects, Schuitencreated this series in 1983 with writer Benoit Peeters. It portrays city states on a “Counter Earth”, and was influenced by what he called Bruxellisation – the advent of indiscriminate modernist building in Brussels.

 

An image from Berlin: City Of Stones, part of a trilogy of graphic novels set in the twilight years of Germany's Weimar Republic.

An image from Berlin: City Of Stones, part of a trilogy of graphic novels set in the twilight years of Germany’s Weimar Republic.

 

Dean Motter's Electropolis – a retrofuturist portrayal of 1999 as envisioned in 1939 –ran in the early 2000s: "Aircars and autogyros flit between mile-high skyscrapers, and monorails shuttle the blissful populace to their ultra-modern workplaces in the morning and their automated domiciles at night, to be attended to by dutiful robotic servants".

Dean Motter’s Electropolis – a retrofuturist portrayal of 1999 as envisioned in 1939 –ran in the early 2000s: “Aircars and autogyros flit between mile-high skyscrapers, and monorails shuttle the blissful populace to their ultra-modern workplaces in the morning and their automated domiciles at night, to be attended to by dutiful robotic servants”.

 

William Gull has a vision of the Nat West Tower in Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell's From Hell – an influential portrayal of Ripper-era London, published in 1999 and which inspired a film of the same name.

William Gull has a vision of the Nat West Tower in Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s From Hell – an influential portrayal of Ripper-era London, published in 1999 and which inspired a film of the same name.

 

Originally serialised in 13 parts in the early 1990s, Sin City has fuelled other projects since, including films such as 2014's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Sin City is a fictional town in the American west, properly named Basin City.

Originally serialised in 13 parts in the early 1990s, Sin City has fuelled other projects since, including films such as 2014’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Sin City is a fictional town in the American west, properly named Basin City.

Little Nemo in Slumberland by Winsor McCay. Little Nemo dreamed his way through the New York Herald and New York American between 1905 and 1926, and was architecturally inspired by rollercoasters and city expos.

Little Nemo in Slumberland by Winsor McCay. Little Nemo dreamed his way through the New York Herald and New York American between 1905 and 1926, and was architecturally inspired by rollercoasters and city expos.

 

A spread from Delirius by Philippe Druillet, which features a planet-sized city dedicated to pleasure: "Four million of untold pleasures for everyone."

A spread from Delirius by Philippe Druillet, which features a planet-sized city dedicated to pleasure: “Four million of untold pleasures for everyone.”

 

One of six illustrations from Will Eisner’s City: a Narrative Portfolio. Much of Eisner’s work chronicled aspects of the city, especially New York.

One of six illustrations from Will Eisner’s City: a Narrative Portfolio. Much of Eisner’s work chronicled aspects of the city, especially New York.

 

LEARN MORE  Reflexive Urbanism : A City Alive

This feature originally appeared in The Guardian.

 

 

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