Art, Comics May 25, 2016

This post features the second instalment of cartoons I created during my academic tenure at the University of Technology, Sydney. These examples focus on the University’s Tower Building on Broadway near Railway Square. Labelled an example of “brutal modernism” despite its designer’s denial of it being that style, it is a monolithic stack of 27 storeys in concrete and glass now somewhat softened by the arrival of the newly constructed vertical garden clad Central Park building opposite. It was fun playing around with it as a satirical subject in these cartoons that were published in the University’s magazine U:.


King Kong Visit-© 2004 Dr. Michael Hill

This fake story was reported as fact by one Sydney news agency!


Smart building-© 2004 Dr. Michael Hill


Applied science-© 2004 Dr. Michael Hill

A good example of rocket science-launching the Tower Building into orbit over Ultimo!


Building in orbit over Blackwattle Bay-© 2004 Dr. Michael Hill

It proved a bit of a problem getting it down though.


Merch!-© 2004 Dr. Michael Hill

Fictitious merchandise in a non-existent shop in the foyer yet the Information Desk reported some enquiries as to the shop’s location after publication of this cartoon.


Corporate aid-© 2004 Dr. Michael Hill

Originally I proposed using Nokia and Nokia University of Technology naming rights but the sign on the tower would read NUTS! So, no go, but Virgin was O.K.


Christmas card-© 2004 Dr. Michael Hill

I did an alternate version of the building relaxing on a banana lounge on Bondi Beach reading a novel but the Vice Chancellor preferred this one.


Easter egg-© 2005 Dr. Michael Hill

Posts of my graphic based material include:  THE GRAFIK GUITAR   BOOKBINDING THE GRAFIK GUITAR   CARTOON   MORE CARTOONS   RESEARCH CARTOONS   UNIVERSITY CARTOONS    POSTCARD   POSTCARD-Second Series   POSTCARD-Third Series   POSTCARD-Fourth Series   PRINT Fish Tai   PRINT Fish Two   SCRAPBOOK   SCRAPBOOK-More Pages   SCRAPBOOK-A Few Pages More  and the posts on my artist book/comic BLOTTING PAPER:  Issue #1: No.1   No.2   No.3   No.4   No.5   No.6   No.7   No.8   No.9   No.10   No.11   No.12   No.13   Issue #2: No.14   No.15   No.16   No.17   No.18   No.19   No.20   No.21   No.22   No.23   No.24   No.25   No.26   No.27   No.28   No.29   Issue #3: No.30   No.31   No.32   No.33   No.34   No.35   No.36   Issue #4: No.37   No.38   No.39   No.40   No.41   No.42   No.43   No.44   Issue #5: No.45   No.46   No.47   No.48


Creator and former Director of the Master of Animation course at the University of Technology, Sydney, Dr. Michael Hill has a Master's degree in animation and a PhD in comics studies, prompting his introduction on ABC Radio as “Doctor Comics”. A member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Comic Art, and former member of the Comics Grid Journal of Comics Scholarship and the Advisory Committee of the Q-Collection Comic Book Preservation Project, he has delivered public lectures on Comics, Anime and Manga and held academic directorships in Interdisciplinary Studies, Animation, Design and Visual Communication. Having donated his collection of research materials on Australian alternative comics to the National Library of Australia he is now active in the artistic domain, writing, drawing and printmaking, creating art postcards and prints and his own graphic novel Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions of Doctor Comics.

Comments 10

  1. Kay Rodriques says on May 26, 2016

    That building reminds me of the school of architecture’s building at Yale. That one, for sure, is deemed brutalist. I still am not sure if I like that style! Love your work here.

        • Doctor Comics says on May 27, 2016

          Thanks for the link Kay. It’s good to see Rudolph’s design. Some of the interior views of concrete columns and the vaulted atrium space are uncannily similar to the UTS building.

          • Kay Rodriques says on May 27, 2016

            Yes, and the inside is what is truly brutal. It is not inviting and yet, there’s something to it that manages to hold your gaze. Still, you just can’t escape the architect’s ego, you know, a kind of, “Look at me! Look what i can do!” That is the feeling/part of experiencing brutalist architecture that i do no like. A little humility, please, sir!

          • Doctor Comics says on May 28, 2016

            Yes in my experience of design there is often a gap between what the designer delivers and what the ‘users’ of that design expect. In the case of the UTS Tower Building for example the external rims of concrete bands on each level looked striking but from the inside the classrooms the windows were located so high that one had to stand on the chair or desk to see out of them and the view was worth the effort-you could see the sea and out to the airport and Port Botany and that was just taking two sides of the building into account. So the staff and student experience of being inside those rooms was affected by the design and possibly the engineering aspects of the building.

          • Kay Rodriques says on May 29, 2016

            That is some picture you painted, students and faculty standing on chairs to see the view. In that case, I’d say the design was a failure!

          • Doctor Comics says on May 29, 2016

            I did also hear from colleagues of a suspected and somewhat cynical client requirement and response in that the classroom layout design worked by virtue of the fact that students could more easily focus on lecturer, blackboards/whiteboards and presentation screens as they were not distracted by exterior views! But you and I would have been standing on chairs with our noses pressed up against the glass taking in the view.

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