Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Mid-Ohio Sketches

Last weekend I attended the Mid-Ohio Con in Columbus, Ohio. It was my first time attending this show and I have to say, I'm sold. I usually enjoy these mid-sized shows the most. They're a little more intimate and relaxed. It's much easier for fans and pros alike to interact with one another. Of course, none of that kept me any less busy. I was doing sketches from open to close each day which was a lot of fun but wore me out.

One of the great things about this particular show was the location. It was downtown Columbus with several resturaunts in walking distance. Not that I would know--I spent the whole weekend in the hotel adjoining the convention center. The proximity of my room to the show fllor was heaven. Three floors down and across a large lobby and there I was. Never had it so good at a show.

Only thing I'll do different next year is to make sure I bring someone with me. It was a little difficult to man the table, talk to people, and do sketches all by my lonesome.

If anyone else reading this has sketches I did last weekend I'd love scans of them.

I like all the sketches I did at the show but I have to apologize to everyone else when I say that this Mouse Guard sketch was my favorite. It has me dying to watch The Secret of NIMH again--one of my chidhood favorites!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

More Cover

This is late--I meant to post it before it was solicited in the most recent Previews. But, here it is, the cover to The Damned #3. I just finished the covers to 4 and 5 over the past week and I'm really happy with both of them as well. I'll be posting those in the near future. Been a little neglectful of the blog recently as I've been putting in 80 hour work weeks to finish up issue two. Considering how rushed I felt on it I have to say that I'm really happy with the final product--I think the art shows a marked improvement over the first ish. I'd like to post some previews of that ish but I'm struggling because all the really cool art is spoilerish and I wouldn't want to do that to ya. I'll try to come up with something in the next couple weeks, though.
In the meantime, I am Maryland bound! I'll be at SPX this week with the guys from Oni Press. I'm really looking forward to the show--I've been meaning to go for about four years now. Anyway, if your in the neighborhood, please stop by the Oni table and say hi to me and pick up The Damned #1--a week early!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

There's a Doctor in the House

Thought I'd share with you a couple commissions I recently finished. I always have a lot of fun with commissions, they give me the opportunity to draw subject matter that I may not otherwise have the chance to do. In this case I was particularly happy with the way the Dr.Fate piece turned out. So much so that I'm using some of the design element for the cover to The Damned #4.

The Best Bad Review

"This book has some really nice art and monster designs from Hurtt and is paced to perfection."

Let us hope any future bad reviews are so glowing.
Comics-and-More gives The Damned a "C". If this were school I'd see the teacher after class and argue for a "B-", at least. You can read the review here.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

"Guy Davis-meets-Ditko-meets-Joe Staton-meets- Wally Wood-as-inker" or...More Reviews

The title line above is, by far, the coolest thing anyone has ever said in a review about my art. You can read that review at The Johnny Bacardi Show here.
Also, check out Around Comics who have posted their early review of The Damned right here.
The Good News continues in the HollywoodJesus review that takes a look at our book from a Christian viewpoint.

For all you cynics who are wary of all the positive reviews I promise that I'll post any negative reviews that come my way. I might wait until next year, but I'll post them.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Banner Ad and DAMNED reviews!

Above is the banner ad I put together to appear as an ad on Comic Geek Speak's site. I hope to see this popping up around the web. Please feel free to use this willy-nilly.

Speaking of Comic Geek Speak, my cohort and creative dynamo, Cullen Bunn, recently did a podcast interview with the CGS crew. Drop in and give it a listen, but be sure to link to it through Cullen's site first where you can read his brief self-critique.

Last, but not least, a couple of reviews have already started to pop up--I can only pray that the tenor of all future reviews is about the same. Take the time to check them out here and here!

Ooh! One more quick thing! Wasteland #2 came out a couple weeks back and the 6-page preview was in the back. Unfortunately, the local comic shops are sold out so I've yet to see it. I'm dying to see how the pages look in print. Cullen has already seen the book and has told me that the pages actually look better in print than they do on the 'puter. I hope that's the case--I've been nervous about how the grey tones would reproduce. Fingers crossed. Has anyone out there seen this? What do you think?

Friday, September 08, 2006

DAMNED #2 cover

Long time, no see. I've yet to get my main computer hooked up to the internet so all blog updates go through my laptop still and are posted from public places. It's a bit of a hassle but I think posts will begin to appear more frequently.
Been meaning to post this image for a while now. It's the actual cover to The Damned #2. It was solicited in this month's Previews with the original cover to #1--not the alternate cover that was solicited with #1 or the actual cover to #1. You follow? I'm not even sure I do. Anyway, here it is, in all it's digital glory. I'm quite fond of this image, actually. I've had the image in my mind for about a year and it was great to finally make it real. I'm having a blast doing the covers and I'm really learning a lot about my own ideas about color. This cover and the cover for #3 (which I'll post when the next previews comes out) are both examples of final colors that in no way resemble my original intentions. In both cases I tried coloring it the way I saw it in my mind's eye only to see that my mind's eye may be color blind. I then start playing with and experimenting with different color combinations until I stumble across something that gives me a visceral reaction. The color scheme may not be for everyone but I'm fairly happy with how it turned out. Just the same, I'd love to hear what people think--good or bad!

Click to enlarge

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Teaser Time!

Cullen and I recently cranked out a 6-page, all original, teaser for The Damned. This teaser will not appear in the comic but acts as a kind of prologue to the upcoming story. It is viewable at Newsarama along with the accompanying press release for the book. You can also view it in pdf form on the Damned page of the Oni Press site, here. The teaser will be appearing in upcomng books from Oni, beginning with Wasteland #2 (due out tomorrow!). Let me know what you all think! Stay tuned for a preview of the first issue--it'll be posted online sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Convention Sketches

myself and Cullen Bunn manning the Damned booth
photo courtesy of Cullen's website--he has a few more posted here

I spent all of last weekend stuck behind a table sitting underneath what seemed to be the only AC vent in the showroom. Froze my ass off. The gust was so strong that we had to tape pennies and quarters to our free-standing signs to keep them from being blown off the table. I would've been completely miserable if it had not been for all the nice folks that stopped by to say hi and check out art from mine and Cullen's upcoming book. Not only did the lift the spirits---they deflected the air from the vent. ; ) A big hello and thanks to all the great people I met this past weekend!
Two of those nice folks were Nathan and Joel who made my weekend by asking for sketches of Hard Time's Ethan Harrow, and Queen & Country's Tara Chace and Paul Crocker. The last two may be my most favorite sketches from the show.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Order Now!

By Cullen Bunn & Brian Hurtt

During the prohibition era, gangsters grew rich on our vices, and rivalries between criminal organizations resulted in open war. But unknown to the masses, a more sinister power controlled the crime cartels, using greed, gluttony, lust, and other sins to fuel a much more lucrative trade: mortal souls. Three demon families—the Aligheris, the Roarkes, and the Verlochin—control soul-trafficking within the city, capitalizing on “the rackets” to lead unfortunates into their grasp and poor Eddie is caught in the middle…

40 pages, black & white
Contains harsh language and mature situations.
In stores: October 18, 2006
$ 3.50 US, $4.00 Can

In Previews now! Order code is AUG06 3487--tell your local retailer!

Also, we now have a sign-up on the Damned website for our Damned newsletter. Sign up now and be entered in our raffle for original art. I haven't decided what it'll be yet but I promise it won't suck. We'll be sending out the newsletter probably about once a month (we won't be clogging up your inbox) and we also plan to do a drawing every month for free swag. Drop by, sign-up, and be sure to order The Damned #1.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

DAMNED Postcards--The Final Four

Long time no see! It's been a crazy month here in the Lou (St. Louis for those of you not in the know). Been finishing up the first issue of the Damned, doing covers, redoing covers, prepping for Wizard World Chicago, doing promitional art, and not least of all, packing up all my junk and moving across the river to Illinois. My computer has been disconnected from the internet for a week and a half and it took my thick skull almost that long to buy a jump drive, enabling me to move files from my desktop to my laptop. So here I sit in my local cafe (god bless the free wireless) and updating my blog...sometimes I love living in the future.

So, at long last, here are the final four postcards from my 5-card Damned postcard set. I put these together specifically for Wizard World and any upcoming shows or signings I might attend. It's a limited run of a hundred and if anyone interested can contact me through this blog or the official Damned website. $10 dollars a pop includes shipping and a quick sketch.

Monday, July 24, 2006

DAMNED Postcard w/ Color

Here's the color final of the postcard I posted previously. As I had mentioned previously, this is one of a set of five--I'll be sure to post the other four later this week.

Monday, July 17, 2006

DAMNED postcards

It has been an insane couple of weeks. Been workin' an average of twelve hours a day with my only break being the two days I spent in a medical study (the things a freelancer will do for his art). Anyway, I've finally finished the art, tones, and letters for the first issue (40 pages! Same low price!) of The Damned. I also completed an original, last minute, 6-page preview that Cullen and I threw together and will be appearing in the back of Wasteland #2 next month. I'm pretty happy with the way that turned out (more on that later). I'm now preparing for the upcoming Wizard World show in Chicago. Had a lot of big plans, but, due to time constraints it looks like I'm going to settle for doing a set of five postcards in support of The Damned. They're all drawn--I just need to color them this week. In the meantime I thought I'd share one of them with you. I'll definitely post the other four in the next week or so.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

DAMNED pages

Here are the first three pages of my upcoming comic The Damned. I plan on posting more pages in the future, I just need to figure out whether I want to post consecutive pages or just a random sampling. These three pages have been around for a long time. Along with the following 5 or 6 pages they were originally drawn on copy paper with roller ball and Micron pens. I was going for a quicker, more immediate style. It looked fine but when I decided to use a brush on a later page I realized how inadequate the previous pages looked. So, I went back and redid them in brush. That went fine for a while until I realized I had the wrong ratio for the pages (it's a long complicated math story that involves the change in format from digest size to floppy size) . So, I went back again and redid them, this time making the pages a little more narrow and a bit taller.
Truth is, this third page has been drawn and inked at least five times. Because, I had been working on this book in fits and starts over the last year my style had changed slightly as had the design of this guy, Eddie, our main character. I keep assuring my partner on this book, Cullen Bunn, that I will not be this neurotic come the second issue (if I want to watch his blood pressure spike I tell him that I'm thinking of redoing this or that page). He's much more at ease now that the art for the first ish is complete (40 pages!). All that's left is the lettering.
Stay tuned--I'll have more pages up in the next week!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Oh, Death

I recently completed a commission for someone featuring Vertigo's character, Death. I've always loved this character, and was especially a big fan of the first mini-series, Death: the High Cost of Living. At the time I was a huge fan of the artist Chris Bachalo. I think at that point he was mainly associated with another Vertigo title, Shade: The Changing Man. He has since diminished a bit, in my eyes, as his art drifted further and further towards a more pop/graffiti style that gives me a headache to look at. Can't blame an artist for growing and evolving, it's just that in this case he move further away from my aesthetic tastes. But, I digress...

So given this commission I started of by doing this very small, very ruff, marker sketch:

Being fairly happy with the general composition I moved on to creating a slightly tighter marker sketch done to scale of the final image size. Knowing that I wanted her amongst some decay and ruin I did a little research to find some Egyptian imagery. The columns should be historically accurate and the toppled statue in the background is the Egyptian god, Anubis. To my understanding, Anubis was the guide to the underworld, the one who would sheperd the souls to Osiris, the God of Death. Apparently, early Egyptians worshipped Anubis as the original God of Death before Osiris came along and his position in the pantheon was "downgraded". Of course, I'm kinda talking out my ass here so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.And, the final. Done on 14" x 17 " Bristol board in Sumi ink and grey PITT brush pens. The grey pens were a last minute addition. I had intended to have the image be black and white, but after dong the sketches with grey tones the final just looked like it was lacking something. I had never used the brush pens on an image this large or for something that was going to someone else. I was really afraid that I would mess it up and have to start all over. Fortunately, I think it turned out pretty good.

click to enlarge

Monday, June 26, 2006

Number One Reason I Want to Draw French Comics

Man. I been workin' like a dog--12 hour days, minimum, for the last week at least. But, ya know what? Never enjoyed my work more. I've been finishing up the art on the first issue of my upcoming comic, The Damned. I'm pretty excited about this stuff and I plan to post some preview pages here this week. Stay tuned for that.
In the meantime, here's a pretty lady to look at.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Friendly Neighborhood Peeping Tom

Another in my series of pre-convention sketches! This was a really fun sketch to do. Spidey is always a great character to draw even though all that webbing on his costume can be a pain. If I ever get around to it I'd like to take a shot at coloring this sketch. Stay tuned.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Another One for the Masses...

There is a reason for all the recent B&W sketches and I'm too lazy to read through my previous posts to see if I've made this clear or not. I'm trying to put together a surplus of sketches to have on hand at my artists' alley table in Chicago. Last year was the first time I had a table and I was surprised at how busy it kept me. Hopefully, having some finished sketches at the ready I can relieve myself slightly of the workload. I'm going to try to do at least ten more between now and then (first week of August) so if anybody has any suggestions please post them in the comments section.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


I just recently finished the novel Zorro, by Isabel Allende. I picked it up based on a couple recommendations and found I couldn't put it down. The geek in me finds an easy comparison to Batman Begins. The novel focuses on Zorro's early years and does a great job of creating a real, living, breathing person out of this larger than life character. Young Diego (Zorro) crosses paths with Native Americans, gypsies, pirates, a secret society--all who, in one way or another, help to shape the man we come to know as Zorro. This is a really fun novel and I'd love to hear if anyone else has had the chance to read it. I believe it just recently came out in paperback. If you've ever liked the character of Zorro, or if you just want a great summer read, I highly recommend this book.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

COVER: Queen & Country #31

Here's the cover to the upcoming ish of Q&C. This is a good example of starting off with a clear idea and then through the process coming out with a radically different version. Because I am still SO new to this coloring biz-ness, I had sent out 3 rough color tests (seen below) to a handful of trusted artists friends to get their feedback. It was pretty much split evenly as to which version everyone preferred with two of my friends offering suggestions about how to combine elements of two of the pieces together. I ended up having to rely on my own gut and, love it or hate it, I decided to go with the one I found the least conventional. I felt these colors were more jarring and psychologically disturbing which, in my mind, fit the scene depicted. I also felt the colors better represented the sense of place (Iraq). This has been the most gratifying color work I've done yet--something about working this piece really freed up my thinking about color. I'm really looking forward to my next piece.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Hellboy: The Sketch

Here's a drawing I was pretty happy with...until about two minutes after I finished it. Yet, here I am, sharing it with you anyway. I'm really growing as a person.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Real Storm

Here's a quick sketch I did that I couldn't resist coloring. For all you hardcore X-Men purists who cringe everytime you see Halle Berry in a white wig.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Mr. Rasputin

I had planned on posting this sketch before going to see the new X-Men film. Then I received a surprise call this evening from a friend who had passes for an early screening. I just got back from the movie and overall I'd give it a thumbs up, an A- , or 4 out of 5 stars (whatever you're preferred unit of critical measurement may be). Like any true comic and film geek I'm going to have criticisms but I'm not the kind of fan that can't separate the movies from the comic. There's a lot of fun stuff to see here and in my opinion it has one of the best scenes of any of the movies (it's kind of in the middle of the film and hopefully you'll know it when you see it). Dark Phoenix is great, Kitty Pryde and Beast are good, and not enough Colossus. I'm sure I'll be going back in the next week or two.
Oh, and if you do go see it, be sure to stay until the end of the credits.

Batman Returns

Back at ya' with some more of the Dark Knight.

A pretty simple little sketch I did with the intention of coloring it.
Click to enlarge--it looks better. It's pretty dark when viewed at a smaller size.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Dynamic Duo

I did these two sketches yesterday with my beloved PITT brush pens. Started the Batman as a warm-up and I liked it enough to do the Robin companion piece. These two were each done on one-half a 9"x12" piece of bristol--tore down the middle.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Drawing in Bed

Last night I was lying in bed watching Shawn of the Dead (genius movie) and sketching. So naturally, I drew cowboys. And a werewolf. Go figure. I thought I might draw zombies, but zombies are so 2005. Ought-six is the year of the cowboy--mark your calenders.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Beacon

Not much to say about this piece. It's just another in a series of sketches I've been doing based around a very vague story. Who knows what the future holds but if no one wants to throw a lot of money at me to draw their stories then I plan on doing my own project (writing and art chores) after I finish The Damned. Maybe this will be it. Or maybe not.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Long Time No See

This above image is for a t-shirt that will promote my friend, and The Damned collaborator, Cullen Bunn's upcoming novel Blood Feud. This image will be adapted slightly and used as the final cover for the book. Cullen originally wrote this as a short story (which I read and loved) and has now adapted it to a novel (which I have not yet read). It's basically a sort of small town, backwoods, Hatfields and McCoys story--with vampires, and, as indicated by the above image, lots and lots of creepy tarantulas. I'm sure my description does it no justice (sorry Cullen) you'll just have to check it out for yourselves. I'll be sure to pimp the book more after I've done the final cover and the book is released.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Death Sentence

I'll let the solicitation text speak for itself:

Written by Steve Gerber & Mary Skrenes
Art and cover by Brian Hurtt

It's 49 years later, but what has become of Ethan and his struggle to survive the prison life? His saga comes to a touching conclusion in this series finale.
On sale June 7 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US o Final issue

Now, don't feel sorry for me. I've known about this for going on two months--I'm just glad I can speak openly about it. I'm currently working on this final issue and then I plan on moving on to complete my Oni Press project, The Damned. So it's all working out. I had a great time doing this series and as much as I would like to have seen it played out I'm also happy to be moving on. I'm looking forward to what the future has to offer.

I'm pretty happy with the above image--they let me do my own colors.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Rayguns and Alien Worlds

Well, I went to the sketch group last night and accomplished nothing. We decided not to do a theme and I doodled a bit but mostly sat there all grouchy like. Like I mentioned in my previous post I've been in a bit of a drought, creatively speaking. A slump if you will. I haven't felt like working, I haven't felt like drawing. When I do sit down to draw I end up staring at the page or scribbling over my efforts and cursing. Not wanting to spoil everyone's evening, I decided not to join the sketch group for the final leg of the journey. The drinking leg. Grouchy and alcohol don't mix, kids! So I went home, plopped down on my bed and stared at the ceiling. Apparently, that's the cure--this whole space adventure popped into my head and I actually felt like writing it down and making some sketches. That is what we have here. Now, looking at the aliens in these sketches I'm struck with the feeling that some of them may be homages to other artist's creations. By "homage", of course, I mean rip-offs. Unfortunately, I can't figure where they may have come. All but one, that is. I'm just not saying which one. So, we're going to play a little game. If one of these creatures reminds you of something you've seen before, please post it in the comments section. Save me the embarrassment of one day being sued.

By the way, the cat is supposed to be a alien cat. Hence, the raccoon shaped tail and overall oddness of it. It talks too. Kind of like The Cat From Outer Space. Doh! That's all right--I'm not changing it.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Apologies to those of you that have already seen this. All three of you. Apologies to the rest of you for not having posted anything in almost a week. Although I have been busy I have still had time to draw and post but I've lacked any motivation to do either. So as not to be completely absent I decided to post this old piece that I had done. It was just a quick sketch as part of a sketch exercise I did with a group of people (similar to what I've been doing with the comic sketch group I've been meeting with lately). It was also one of the first things I ever colored on the computer for fun. I was pretty happy with the way it had turned out.
Tomorrow, I'll be posting tonight's sketch group theme. Can't wait to see what that might be. Stay tuned!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Halfway to Valhalla

Another sketch from Comic Night. The theme tonight was obviously "vikings". I suggested vikings because I'm on a real viking high from the novel I'm currently reading, Bernard Cornwell's The Last Kingdom. I'm not usually one for historical fiction but I picked this book up on a whim recently and I've really been digging it.
The other guys will be posting their vikings in the next day or so, so be sure to go check them out here.