I was recently commissioned to produce this cover art for 'The Comic Book Guide to the Mission', an anthology comic featuring work contributed by many great San Francisco Bay Area (and Mission District) cartoonists. The book is published by Skodaman Press and is available to purchase here: [link]
The idea emerged after extensive sketchbook drawing of various characters and places in the Mission. I knew early on the kind of image I wanted to do, featuring the highly diverse population of the district, but also knew it was going to be reproduced fairly small on the book cover so it would have to have some sort of larger focus. Originally I thought just using the buildings of the street itself would work, but then I hit on the Muni Crash idea and immediately knew that would be a strong hook to hang the rest of the elements on.
I created the image by first sketching out the larger setting and working out the perspective, then layering tracing paper on top and roughing in all the various characters. I used Photoshop to tweak the scaling and composition of my rough sketch before producing a detailed sketch, which was further manipulated in Photoshop before inking by hand. Coloring was done digitally in Photoshop using a Wacom Cintiq tablet.
Of course it's not an exact depiction of the Mission. Though loosely based on the corner of 16th and Mission, most of the buildings are pulled in from elsewhere. Technically the #14 bus is coming from the wrong direction too, but it just worked better that way. I decided that it HAD to be a #14 and not any other line... maybe it got turned around in the crash, or perhaps the driver was lost? Make up your own story! The people are all based on specific sketches I did, either on location or from web-reference, but all were modified or amalgamated just a bit for the final image so if you see someone you know, they have plausible deniability