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Top 10 comic book cities: #5 The city in Moebius’ The Long Tomorrow

From Radiant City to Mega City One, the Architects’ Journal presents a selection of the greatest illustrated urban spaces

The city in Moebius’ The Long Tomorrow

The vertiginous cityscape conjured by French artist Moebius in his 1976 comic, The Long Tomorrow has been massively influential - particularly in Hollywood. Ridley Scott name checked it as inspiration for Blade Runner and Moebius himself implemented his comic book vision while production designer on Jean Luc Besson’s Fifth Element.

In the story, which first appeared in French magazine Metal Hurlant, a hardboiled detective thriller unfolds on a planet-sized, dystopian megalopolis. Sky bridges and anti-gravity updrafts, now standard fare in Hollywood sci-fi - are set among towering monoliths defined with a stylised brutalist and art nouveau aesthetic mix.

Moebius is widely acknowledged to be a - perhaps the - master of spatial representation in comic book art. Seek out his work. Learn how to draw again. Moebius’ effortless line work -and the incredible sense of depth he brings to the page - will make you want to do that.


10 - Radiant City
9 - Tintin’s Inca city
8 - Metropolis
7 - Ubicand
6 - Gotham City
5 - The city in Moebius’ The Long Tomorrow
4 - Daredevil’s New York
3 - From Hell’s London
2 - Chris Ware’s Chicago
1 - Mega City One

Readers' comments (1)

  • I've never read this story, but from looking at a couple of the illustrations, it seems interesting that he focuses on the pit or vortex between the buildings, drawing the eye down - it seems to show the inverse of architects' intent; an interesting commentary on modernist architectural ideals. I will definitely check this out, very nice.

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