Main Street USA – Architecture Samples for Comics


I took the picture above in Newton, Kansas a few years back. It’s a classic example of a midwestern main street, and might be helpful for the exercises we’re starting this week. Speaking of main street, I think I’ll scrounge up a few good images from Disneyland – the small scale proportions of the Disneyland buildings on main street might work well for our cartoon architecture. I’ll also post several examples of architectural drawings by several different comics artists (I’ll just dump them in this post for now and when I get a chance I’ll add the names of the artists asap).

Here’s a great photograph of Austin, TX in the 1960’s from


Here’s a rather interesting piece – several photos of main street USA in Disneyland stitched together. You might have to save this photo to your device and rotate it to us sit in class. (photo credit:


Now for some comics:



Here’s a great 1920’s street scene from Real Godbout’s adaptation of Franz Kafka’s unfinished novel Amerika:



From Building Stories by Chris Ware:

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A sketchbook page from Simon Gane:


Joost Swarte:


Another Simon Gane:


A three-dimensional construction by cartoonist Seth:

Seth - Palookaville # 20, Dominion City building

Another Simon Gane:


Fabien Mense:


Two more from Joost Swarte:

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Update: Here’s a nice “tiny tutorial” by Violaine Briat, an animation story-board artist and cartoonist living in Paris. She has some very interesting ideas and opinions about creating a sense of depth in your environments:

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Update #2: Artist Graham Chaffee compares his first attempt at this scene with his 2nd attempt- the first image was drawn without reference, the 2nd one, with reference: