So here’s the initial Detroit Mock City created for the Cartoonist Studio contest. I had to reduce the size a bit to fit it here, you can click on it for the full sized image.
So here we’re obviously poking fun at Detroit’s incredible amount of abandoned buildings and homes through the optimistic eyes of a homeless man. This was my original idea when coming up with the series.
I’ve got a bit of a variety of styles going on here, mostly a very cartoony Happy the bum and a minimalist, slightly expressionistic look for the settings. All the settings you’ll see in this comic strip are based on real photographs of Detroit (or wherever we’re talking about, like New York in that second panel.
I really love the way these turned out, and the gray tones seem really slick. Unlike my black and white work in Two Drink Minimum I use virtually no shadows or shading here, going for a much more simple look.
That third panel is based on a pretty famous photo of two abandoned, falling down Detroit homes that you can probably find with a small amount of effort. The last panel is obviously not an interior of a home, rather an industrial building, but I loved how trashed it was and thought it made a great visual.
If you’d like to see some amazing photos and learn more about the abandoned buildings of Detroit I’d recommend Forgotten Detroit, The Ruins of Detroit, The Abandoned City of Detroit, 100 Abandoned Houses and DetroitUrbEx.com, among other sites.