Urban Comics: Infrastructure and the Global City in Contemporary Graphic Narratives makes an important and timely contribution both to comics studies and urban studies, offering a decolonisation and reconfiguration of both of these already interdisciplinary fields. With chapter-length discussions of comics from cities such as Cairo, Cape Town, New Orleans, Delhi and Beirut, this book shows how artistic collectives and urban social movements working across the global South are producing some of the most exciting and formally innovative graphic narratives of the contemporary moment.

Throughout, the author reads an expansive range of graphic narratives through the vocabulary of urban studies to argue that these formal innovations should be thought of as a kind of infrastructure. This ‘infrastructural form’ allows urban comics to reveal that the built environments of our cities are not static, banal, or depoliticised, but rather highly charged material spaces that allow some forms of social life to exist while also prohibiting others. Built from a formal infrastructure of grids, gutters and panels, and capable of volumetric, multi-scalar perspectives, this book shows how urban comics are able to represent, repair and even rebuild contemporary global cities toward more socially just and sustainable ends.

Operating at the intersection of comics studies and urban studies, and offering large global surveys alongside close textual and visual analyses, this book explores and opens up the fascinating relationship between comics and graphic narratives, on the one hand, and cities and urban spaces, on the other.

chapter |46 pages


Urban Comics: Infrastructure and the Global City in Contemporary Graphic Narratives

chapter 1|44 pages

Drawing Public Space

Revolutionary Visual Cultures and the Right to the City in Cairo

chapter 2|41 pages

Image-Making in the Global City

Eco-Speculative Fictions and Urban Social Movements in Cape Town

chapter 3|40 pages

Graphic Katrina

Disaster Capitalism and Tourism Gentrification in New Orleans

chapter 4|46 pages

Comics, Collectives, Collaborations

Engineering Pedestrian and Public Spaces in Delhi

chapter 5|41 pages

Comics as Infrastructure

Public Space and Post-war Reconstruction in Beirut

chapter |10 pages


Bordered Forms, Bordered Worlds