Sunday Frames: Dutch Modernist Architecture


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Nowhere Men Vol. 1 is an ini­tial­ly con­fus­ing but ulti­mate­ly inter­est­ing comic about a world where sci­en­tists are the equiv­a­lent of rock stars. The four cen­tral char­ac­ters are a Beatles-like quar­tet called World Corp. and the book patch­es togeth­er sce­nes and faux-magazine arti­cles and book excerpts from var­i­ous peri­ods in their careers.

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In the story’s present, the four are old men, and part of the plot plays out in the hill­side man­sion of World Corp.‘s remain­ing lead­er, Emerson Strange. The man­sion fea­tures promi­nent­ly in a duo of two-page wide frames, one at night, and later one dur­ing day­time. While the man­sion looks some­how futur­is­tic, the archi­tec­ture is quite old.

Hilversum Town Hall in 2005. Source: Mfrasca at English Wikipedia

Hilversum Town Hall in 2005. Source: Mfrasca at English Wikipedia

While other influ­ences can’t be ruled out, the design remind­ed me most of the town hall of Hilversum, a place in the Netherlands where I lived for six years. The build­ing, com­plet­ed in 1931 and designed by W.M. Dudok, is part of a promi­nent mod­ernist style in Dutch archi­tec­ture, and one I’m quite fond of. Despite the age of the style, the pro­gres­sive design fits well in the comic, espe­cial­ly in its attempts to rec­on­cile retro-futurism with con­tem­po­rary sci-fi.

Sunday Frames is a series of short pieces where the author muses on one or a small number of stills, frames, pictures, screenshots, or illustrations.

Oscar Strik

About Oscar Strik

Oscar Strik is editor-in-chief of The Ontological Geek. He is also a linguist from the Netherlands. He occasionally writes in other places, such as his own blog Sub Specie. You can read his innermost secrets on Twitter @oscarstrik.