Whilst the image of the modern city has been fairly well circumscribed in traditional circles, scholarship on the same with regard to graphic narrative and its relationship to architecture has only begun to emerge in recent years. The Graphic Novel, or Graphic Narrative, aka “comics”, has typically been set in the modern metropolis as drawn theatre; where the city is not only the backdrop but is itself the subject of caricature, a technique where essences and deformities are revealed. This talk explores issues in the representation of the city from the woodcuts of Masereel Ward, to the early/mid 20c graphic cities in the work of Will Eisner, from which the DC/Marvel Universes derive, and connects these forms of popular graphic fiction to problems manifest in cultural modernity. In particular, this lecture will explore the thematic of redemption of the modern city through graphic narratives, through ideas that the Greeks referred to as energeia, enargeia and entelecheia.

Professor Raymond Quek is the newly appointed Head of Architecture at Norwich University of Arts. A career academic, architect and historian, he held Headships at two of the oldest British Architecure schools – the Leeds School of Architecture (Leeds-Beckett University) and the Leicester School of Architecture (De Montfort University. Prior to these, he was Deputy Head of the Abedian School of Architecture at Bond University (Gold Coast, Australia,) Director of Architectural Studies at University of Nottingham and held a lectureship at Victoria University of Wellington. His research and publications span the study of visual knowledge in the 14c – 16c, 16c -18c East/West encounters, Singaporean Architectural History, Nationalism, post Vatican II Catholic Architecture, and modern cultural narratives of late 19c /early 20c European philosophy and architecture.