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Friday18 August 2017

Blog: Travels in Toon Town

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From the high rise towers of Mega City One to the airship landing docks of Watchmen's parallel New York, BD's new reporter Rory Olcayto has inhabited the world of comic books since childhood. To introduce his Toon Town blog series he picks some of his favourites

My interest in architecture sprang from a childhood reading comics in which cities and buildings had starring roles. In primary school, it was 2000AD's Judge Dredd, which featured Mega City One, a city of half a billion people crammed into mile high tower blocks and even higher road ways.

In my teens I tuned into Watchmen, a strange, magical soap opera set in a parallel New York City – one that is carbon free, where Nixon is still president and every skyscraper has an airship landing dock. In the tradition of American superhero comics, Watchmen’s urban environment is richly textured, in the same way that both Superman's Metropolis and Batman's Gotham City are.

At university it was From Hell that provided the inspiration – an awesome portrait of Victorian London, in the vein of Ian Sinclair or Peter Ackroyd – but with stunning black and white sequential artwork.

More recently, it’s been the art of Chris Ware that’s provided the right buzz. Ware is a graphic genius with a real love of design and Americana and with his series, ‘Building Stories’ he’s put architecture at the heart of how he tells those stories.

Over the coming months, I’ll look at these works – and loads more too – because they read well, look good and deal in words and pictures – just like architects do.

To find out where Rory went when he was in Istanbul, which book he's reading and which classic film had him laughing out loud, view his profile on BD's version of Facebook. Click here to Meet the BD Team


From Hell
From Hell

From Hell
From Hell

Chris Ware
Chris Ware

Chris Ware
Chris Ware


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