Nazi base Diesel Punk book cover by illustrator Duncan Long

When writing my previous post about Dieselpunk artwork, I forgot the artwork I did about a year ago for Stephen Quayle’s Empire Beneath the Ice. These illustrations arguably fall into the Dieselpunk spectrum (in this case, uniting Nazi weapons, uniforms, and such with the German work on perfecting flying saucers at the end of World War II).

Above is the original book cover illustration I created for Quayle’s tome, combining both the look of a WWII movie coupled with the sci-fi elements of a fleet of UFOs.

Shown below is the layout I did for the text, with a couple of my saucer drawings (with a Nazi soldier to provide scale). I also created a black lettering, Schwabacher style font for the headings in the text. The trick in creating the typeface was to rid it of the excess clutter so it became easily discernible to modern readers while still keeping a “German” feel to it. Hopefully I achieved that to some measure.

Empire layout layout of dieselpunk art by Duncan Long for Empire Beneath the Ice

Here’s the final layout of the front cover. I also created a Runes font (which the Nazis were into due to its links to the Aryan races) for the two columns on either side of the back text. A modified Palatino typeface paired with Zaph Humanist was employed for lettering on the cover; I also used these two typefaces along with the Schwabacher style I’d created for the text layout.

All in all it was a massive project, but a lot of fun.

Plus, it was my first venture into Dieselpunk artwork.

Wrap-around dieselpunk book cover by artist Duncan Long


Duncan Long is a freelance artist and graphic designer who creates illustrations for historic and most genres of fiction novels including mystery, science fiction, and fantasy. You can see more of his book and magazine illustrations at Duncan Long’s Online Art Gallery.