What is Empire City?

by Mike Mahle July 13, 2016

So anyone that follows my work will have seen the mention of Empire City. It just dawned on me that I may have never really explained what Empire City is. So here it goes. 

I want to create a world solely through still images, no text, no story, just pictures. And no sequential art. I'm not interested in making a comic book, at least not yet. These have to be individual pieces that each tell their own story, but work together to give you a border picture. I'm less interested in telling a story or creating a set of characters, and more interested in developing a look and a feel that would be distinct. In searching for "the look" I stumbled upon vector based art and that started me on the path of becoming a strictly digital artist. 

Empire City is an amalgamation of all of my favorite areas of art and design. The main ingredient is of course art deco/streamline moderne style, and old hollywood's version of noir. These two are the pillars of Empire City's style, but they are not the only ones present. Other styles that are incorporated include: mid-century design, classic monster and 50s sci-fi, WWII era propaganda, pulp adventure and detective novels, a heavy dose or retro futurism, and of course comic books. Really it's a place where I can play with all my favorite design styles.

When creating something for Empire City I always attempt to tell a story. Obviously it's never a complete story, but there in lies the fun. What happened just before the image, or what's going to happen next. 

My goal is to collect all of my Empire City work into a one robust artbook. At this point, I'd say I'm about 50%–60% there. 

The best way to keep up with my new Empire City pieces is to follow me on Instagram or watch my page on devaintART. Those two places are always going to be where new art pops up first. 




Mike Mahle
Mike Mahle

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