See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

You can get lost in this detailed (but not 100% accurate) map of Detroit 

click to enlarge MARIO ZUCCA
  • Mario Zucca
Philadelphia-based illustrator Mario Zucca only visited Detroit "a couple times," but his experiences were so memorable that it inspired him to render the Motor City as one of his hand-drawn maps.

The map is filled with an impressive amount of details, ranging from the obvious (downtown skyscrapers) to the charming (like the rainbow coming out of the chimney of Hitsville, U.S.A.) to the obscure (like the old Creem magazine office).

"They're kind of just a labor of love," Zucca says of his maps. "So I squeeze them in between assignment work." Work on the Detroit map started a little over three years ago, and Zucca says he logged more than 200 hours into making it. That included posting work in progress versions on Reddit to get "brutally honest feedback," which resulted in "about a dozen or so" revisions.


Zucca says he begins his maps with lots of research, "trying to get as close to like being as familiar with it as like a native person might be," he says. That includes scouring publications like the Best of Detroit list. (Zucca even included a Metro Times billboard in the Ferndale area, but by the time he finished we had moved our office to Midtown, so he went in and added a moving truck.) He then starts flagging notable locations on a Google Map before starting the sketch.

Of course, the map is a cartoon, so Zucca has taken lots of artistic liberties. That includes condensing wider geographic regions into a point, and other distortions. "I don't try to be accurate as much as I always try to see it as a portrait of a place," Zucca says.

A print of the map is available for preorder on Zucca's Etsy store.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

© 2020 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation