City Hall is a franga (French manga) created by writer Rémy Guérin and artist Guillaume Lapeyre. Set in an alternative Edwardian-era London, full of steampunk and fantastical marvels and terrors.
Imagine a world where paper has not only been replaced by the Steam-net but is also a dangerous weapon. Everything written down on it becoming reality, how dangerous and threatening as the writer deems appropriate or necessary. Only very few individuals still know how to write by traditional means, everyone else uses typewriters resembling the steampunk laptops and desktops computers.
Insert the villain: Lord Blackfowl, who, with his paper writings, is pretty much playing God with his Papercut creations.
Of course, the authorities aren’t quite as clueless and helpless as they might seem. Malcolm Little, mayor of London, calls in young Jules Verne and Arthur Conan Doyle. Verne because of his imagination and visionary qualities as well as his ability to write on paper. Doyle because of his analytical mind and powers of deduction as well as his medical training.
Armed with equal weapons and a cast of colorful friends, including Amelia Earhart and Harry Houdini, they attempt to stop the nefarious villain and save the day.
As you no doubt already gathered, the main cast of characters is composed of historical figures, most of a significance to steampunk, some even very cleverly part of the story.
Don’t for a second believe that City Hall lacks imagination, though, as it is one of the most wonderful and uniquely original tales out there.
The one possible downside is that it only exists in French. But it’s still easy enough to understand for those with a basic grasp of the language.
Dieselpunks will also be able to appreciate this for its distinctively diesel elements, especially in the modes of transportation.
Currently the series counts three volumes, with the next installment due to be released in October.