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.

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About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland "Lee" DeVito grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, where he read Metro Times religiously due to teenaged-induced boredom. He became a contributing writer for Metro Times in 2009, and Editor in Chief in 2016. In addition to writing, he also supplies occasional illustrations. His writing has been published...
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