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.