Tuesday, October 05, 2010

"Queen & Country: Operation Morningstar" Revisited

(you definitely need to click on image and enlarge it!)
I was really glad to get the chance to do this illustration. I've had some variation of this image in my head for years (ever since my 3-issue run on Queen & Country) so, when someone asked me to do an illustration inside their hardback edition of the aforementioned story arc I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I was doubly nervous about this commission as it was in someone's personal copy of the book and I was attempting to do a little watercolor for the first time in a commission. No room for mistakes! All said I think it turned out all right!
Note: Do not adjust your monitors--the paper inside the hard back has a marbled effect printed on it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Wonderer

These Marvel sketch covers have been popping up a lot lately--I've done a few in the last couple of months and they've all been a blast to do!  This one was especially fun because it's a breath of fresh air to do a comic character who isn't all grim and determined looking.  I really dug Wonder Man as a kid but I came to him after this "safari jacket" phase--I was reading him in West Coast Avengers and his mini-series.  That said, I always loved this costume and was more than happy to do this version of him (note: I will always prefer to draw the 70's version of any Marvel character).

Monday, September 13, 2010

Crooked Hills!

Just in time for Halloween, October sees the release of Crooked Hills, a novel for middle readers (and those of us who never quite grow up) from my frequent collaborator Cullen Bunn. It's a wonderful and perfectly spooky book that hit that sweet spot creepiness and fun where Cullen and I find our common ground. I liked the book so much that I petitioned to be the cover artist (and if everything goes to plan, a few interior illos as well). Here is the finished piece (which I'm awfully fond of) as well as the original line art and initial sketch.

Read Evileye Books official announcement of the upcoming
novel here and keep an eye out for it this fall!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Marvel: After Hours

If you read Marvel comics anytime in the late 70's or early 80's then you are familiar with this kind of scene. Couple Marvel guys having a night out and playing a friendly game of poker. This was back in the days when smoking cigars was still prohibited in Marvel books (I mean, what kind of world are we living in where Ares can be ripped in half, guts everywhere, but Wolverine can't smoke a stogy?). Anyway, this was a real fun piece for an old 80's Marvel Zombie to bathe in the nostalgia of.
Below is the original drawing I did in advance of the larger piece. As I've stated before, I always work small for the initial drawing and then blow it up and lightbox it. In this case my original drawing is more detailed and worked out than usual due to all the components of this commission.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Frog of Thunder!

Man-o-man! This is one of my favorite commissions so far and that's because,
as I've stated before, it was Walt Simonson's run on Thor that made me a comic nerd. I remember the Thor Frog issues fondly and when I describe them to folks they just laugh and say that it sounds stupid. Nay. Verily, I say thee nay.

Below is the rough preliminary sketch done for this commission.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Sixth Gun #6

Issue #6 of the Sixth Gun is solicited right now in the most recent Previews.  What the solicitation doesn't tell you is that there are 10 EXTRA PAGES of art and story for the same price as the standard issue.  This is a really cool thing that Oni is doing for a really cool issue (if I do say so myself)!  This is the big finale of the first story arc and we're celebrating it in a big way! Get the word out!

"General Hume is at the gates of the Maw … and he’s brought Hell with him! It’s the final showdown between the forces of good and evil, and no-one is safe. If Drake survives the undead battalion … if he defeats Hume’s malevolent henchmen … he’s still gazing down the barrel of a shoot-out with the Confederate general not even death could stop!"

Friday, September 03, 2010

The Girl Who Played With Fire

Catching up on posting some more of my long finished commissions!
This time around we have Harley Quinn, Mistress of Mayhem. This is part two in a theoretical triptych I'm working on for someone. The first piece being Poison Ivy. Harley here was fun to draw--her costume is great and it was fun to try and capture that manic personality in her eyes.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Destroy All Comicon!

This here is the line art I did for a San Diego Comicon 2010 t-shirt for the fine folks at ComicsOnline. As much of a pain in the ass as the San Diego Convention Center is to draw I still managed to have a fun time with this piece. The coolest part? When I got my complimentary t-shirt it turns out the monster breath was glow-in-the-dark!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

NYCC Announcement

There has been a change in my schedule--unfortunately, I will NOT be attending the New York Comic Con this year.  The timing of the show conflicted with some looming deadlines.  The cost of the show conflicted with my wallet.
I hope to be there next year!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Small Wonders

My two best friends are Micronauts--um, let's be generous--"enthusiasts". I, on the other hand, have never read a single issue. I do feel a little bad about that but I also feel like I've missed the Micronauts bus. There's no way I could go back and read them and have them live up to the praise I've heard. It would be like me demanding someone read 80's G.I.Joe and expect it to rock their world. All that said, I still had a blast doing this piece and I can now claim to know the names of all the Micronauts shown above. I can also say that in some small way I drew it not only for the person who commissioned the piece but for my friends who still dream their Micronaut dreams.
Because I had it on hand, I thought I'd share with you the rough sketch I started with. With almost all my commissions I first do a smaller, initial drawing. I do this because I am a complete failure at drawing large. The level of detail in the original drawing can vary greatly (in this case it's somewhere in the middle) and the drawing can also vary in size--anywhere from approx. 8"x10" to around 2"x3". In this case, Baron Karza (foreground, for those of you unfamiliar), was drawn at about 4"x6" and then scanned in and, at that point, the background characters were all sketched in Photoshop. Once I had the basic image I blew it up to 9"x12", printed it up, and then cleaned it up, refined it, by tracing it on my lightbox.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Monster VS Alien

On the left, as most of you will recognize, is the Predator. Very famous. Instantly recognizable. On the right, however, is someone perhaps not as well known. And, no, that's not Robocop (you weren't the first one to ask). It's Jugger Grimrod--resident bad-ass in a group of bad-asses from the early 80's Marvel/Epic comic Alien Legion (and not, as some of my friends misunderstood, the movie/TV show Alien Nation. Though, that too, would have made for a pretty cool commission). Anyway, this is why I love doing commissions! I'm constantly surprised by the things I'm asked to draw and that's what keeps it so interesting!
That's why it's kind of sad for me to say that I am taking a bit of a hiatus from doing commission work. These past few months have been insanely busy and look to be so for the next several months. I'm still trying to wrap up a couple old commissions from some very, very patient folks. It will probably be after the New Year before I start taking on any new commissions. As soon as I open the list again I will be sure to post it here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Housekeeping Pt. 2

Two more drawings from HeroesCon 2010!
As an big 80's G.I.Joe fan it was a blast to get the opportunity to take a crack at Zartan!
And as someone who has never seen a Godzilla flick ("Blasphemer!"--I know) I was really
happy with the way this Godzilla vs. Red Ronin turned out.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Happy Monday all! Hope you had a great weekend!
I'm going to start off the week with a couple images sent my way by folks who picked up
commissions from me at HeroesCon, yea, all those months ago.

More tomorrow! I promise.

Friday, August 20, 2010

I Missed You Too

It's been a long, long time. I've been SO busy working on The Sixth Gun and getting that off the ground that I've neglected my blog. I have a pile of things to uploaded and ready to go so please check back often in the coming weeks.

To start, here is the new header for the blog. The previous one was meant to be just a place holder but ended up staying up there for several months. I wanted to put up something that was a little more abstract in it's subject matter--something more akin to a sketchbook drawing.
Hope you like it.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Want Some Gun?

click on the images to better read some of the great quotes!

The newest issue of PREVIEWS, out last week, contained the solicitation for isues #1 and #2 of THE SIXTH GUN! The first issue was offered FREE last weekend at Free Comic Book Day but I'm already hearing from a lot of people who were not able to get there hands on one due to the stores running out so quickly or just neglecting to carry it in the first place. So I wanted to post this gentle reminder that both issue #1 and #2 are available to order, right now, through your local retailer and will be released on the SAME DAY, July 14th! Do not take it for granted that your comic shop will carry this--be proactive--make them order the book!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Scent of a Woman

Hoo-hah! This was a blast to do!
Drawing this commission was so much fun that it almost made up for the fact
that the recent Wolfman movie sucked so bad.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

In Her Majesty's Secret Service

This past weekend I attended Chicago's inaugural C2E2 Comic Convention (change the name folks). The attendance seemed a little on the slight side but that would be my only criticism. The wide aisles, and floor layout were great and I'll definitely give it another go next year.
Because I didn't end up buying a table in artist's alley I did not do any con sketches while at the show. The only exception I made where for two people who contacted me in advance and asked for commissions. Oddly enough, they both wanted drawings of characters from the QUEEN& COUNTRY series--one of Tara Chace and the other of a young Crocker. I was more than happy to oblige as they each hold a special place in my heart.
I'm particularly happy with how they turned out--hope you all like them as well!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

SIXTH GUN Slingin'

From Cullen Bunn's website:

"For those of you unable to snag a copy of The Sixth Gun #1 on
Free Comic Book Day, there is still hope!

"The May edition of Previews (for comics hitting shops in July) will feature a retail edition of #1 and #2 of the series. Both issues will be released on the same day! Make sure you place orders for these books, because we’d like to series to have a nice long life, and the readers can make that happen!

"The retail edition of #1 will feature a brand-new cover, and here’s a look …"

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Howl on the Moon

Lockjaw of the Inhumans. Who woulda thunk someone woulda commissioned me to draw Lockjaw? I'm glad they did! He's always been this great, and strange, iconic character. A being that could only spring from a great imagination.
Anyway, this was my shot at him--I hope you enjoy it!

This piece brought to mind another animal-centric commission
I did a while back of the Super-Pets!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pick Your Poison Ivy

This may actually be the first time that I have scanned the line art from a commission before doing the tones (my Indiana Jones/Rocketeer piece withstanding--that was a whole other level of commission). I think this piece is a good illustration of what the tones bring to the drawing. The inked image above, I believe, would stand on it's own as a commission. But I love working with the ink wash/grey tones and I think the bottom piece is richer for it. Just my opinion. That's not to say that adding tones or colors improves any image. There are many pieces that would be ruined by adding tone or color. But, in the case of these commissions, I absolutely draw them with the intention of being toned.
Hope you like!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Emerald City Con Sketches pt 2

Another fun sketch from Emerald City!

Also, for those of you who did not make the show, check out Charlie Chu's pretty slideshow of photos from ECCC. The final is of a drawing of Silver Surfer I was doing during my idle time at the show.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Emerald City Con Sketches

I was very happy, and a little surprised, that someone commissioned me to do a drawing of a character from a book that hasn't even come out yet. Very encouraging! This is Becky from the upcoming THE SIXTH GUN!
As always, Emerald City Comic Con was a great show. It's one of those rare shows nowadays that seems to be about all about the comics. The staff is great and the fans are fantastic! This was my third year and I plan to return again next year! It's kind of like a Northeastern HeroesCon (maybe my favorite show).

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

THE SIXTH GUN: 7-Page Preview!

Oni Press has a 7-pg preview of THE SIXTH GUN #1 up on their blog now!
Go check it out here and be sure to pick up the first issue for FREE on Free Comic Book Day!

THE SIXTH GUN: Spoiler-Free Panel #3

Another panel from issue one of THE SIXTH GUN!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pre-Order Con Sketches!

It's less than two weeks until my first official convention of the season! On March 13th and 14th I'll be in Seattle attending the Emerald City ComiCon! In preparation for the show I am taking pre-orders on con sketches. If you were planning on getting a sketch from me in Seattle it wouldn't hurt to get on the list early to be guaranteed a sketch. Individual character commissions (such as the ones you see above and below) are $50. If interested, contact me at: brihurtt@hotmail.com

Also, take note, in the column to the right you'll see an entire list of the shows I will be attending this year. If any of you are planning on attending these shows please make a point to seek me out and say hi!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

THE SIXTH GUN: Spoiler-Free Panel #2

Another SIXTH GUN panel tease!
More to come...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

THE SIXTH GUN: Spoiler-Free Panel #1

Really wanted to share something from THE SIXTH GUN with you but I'm a little limited in my options right now. My main worry is sharing anything that has any kind of spoilers in it. I've found a handful of images from the first issue that are spoiler-free and I'll be sharing those here on the blog over the next couple weeks.
I'm really excited with how the book is coming along and I can't wait for everyone to see the first issue come Free Comic Book Day (May 1st)!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Saturday Matinee Dream Team

Thought I'd share with you something of a process post. This was an exceptionally large commission for me and an oddity in that I actually pitched it. I had done an small, black and white commission of Rocketeer and Indy for this same person. Doing the drawing had really whet my appetite for the subject matter and had said that I would love to tackle this with a bigger canvas, as it were. To my surprise, he agreed.
I draw small. I always have and I'm very comfortable working small. Basically, I suck when I have to try drawing big right out the gate. For that reason, every time I do commission (or a cover or splash page for that matter) I draw the original at a much smaller size (no bigger than 6" x 4" and sometimes as small as 2"x 3"). I'll then I blow it up (usually final image size is 9"x 12") and I'll put it on a light box and trace it. In this case the final piece was much larger--this one was done on 18"x 24" Bristol board) so the initial sketch (above) was done on a sheet of bond paper.

I then blew it up onto four sheets of paper and taped them together and threw them on the light box to trace and clean up (above). As you can see in the sketch, the image is still pretty rough so I'm really doing more than just tracing the image. I'm tightening it up and tweaking it on the page. The original sketch just gets the composition, the proportions, the overall basics, down. Most of the detail work is done on the light box but a lot of the fine details (ones that require reference) are done after I light box it. That's why you see the laptop in the upper corner of the above image. Google image search is a life saver. In this case, I also pulled out some books and DVDs for further reference. I remember getting reference on guns, tanks, cars, the Sphinx and Pyramids, our heroes costumes, horses, saddles, etc.

Below is the piece after doing the light box work.

My first step was to go in with a light wash and start dropping is some values.

I then went in and dropped in all the solid black that I would use in this image. As you can see there really isn't much here. I knew from the get-go that I good deal of this commission would be done in various tones of ink wash...

...and that ended up being a bit of a nightmare. I came in too light in my values and found myself giving the drawing pass after pass of tones trying to build up the drawing. I blame my nervousness--I was apprehensive because of the size and scope of this drawing. I was worried I'd screw it up and have to start all over.

In the end, it worked out fine and I was better off for having taken my time. I'm really happy with the final piece and I'm less nervous about tackling larger pieces in the future!
Here's the final image:

PLEASE, click on the image to super-size

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Mad Cow Deceased

click the image to see it in a large

This recent commission is of Grant Morrison's version of Frankenstein (as seen in the mini-series Seven Soldiers of Victory). I was familiar with the series and had flipped through it on the stands but had yet to read it. Getting this commission gave me that extra push and so I borrowed all the GNs from a friend and read through them in a couple days. I don't think it's Morrison's strongest work--I thought it was one of his more uneven pieces (that can be saying a lot with Morrison). If you absolutely love Morrison there is enough little bits of candy in there to keep you going but overall I would not recommend the entire series. Though I did like the Guardian stories (solid art by Cameron Stewart), the Klarion issues (gorgeous art by Frazer Irving) and the Frankenstein books (with pitch-perfect art by Doug Mahnke). Also, the art by J.H. Williams in the bookend pieces was fantastic.

Monday, January 04, 2010

The Original Marvel Zombie

Back in the 70's Marvel Comics published a bunch of black and white comics in magazine format.
There was a Hulk book, a Conan title, Kull but perhaps most notable were the horror mags. Books like Haunt of Horror, Tomb of Dracula, and Tales of the Zombie. These horror titles (published in this magazine format to avoid the Comics Code Authority) featured such classic Marvel characters as Brother Voodoo, Blade and Morbius. It was Tales of the Zombie that first introduced us to Simon Garth, The Zombie. Up until I was commissioned to do this piece I had always just thought of him as the zombie from the Marvel mag--I was surprised, and a little amused, to find out that he had a name. I did my best in this piece to capture the swampy, gothic vibe of the 70's mags. I'll leave it to you to decide if I did the character any justice.

Friday, January 01, 2010

At No Cost To Ya'll...

click the pic for a better look-see

I've been out of town and out of the loop for over a
week so that might explain how I missed this:
It's official! Last week Oni Press announced on their blog that
issue #1 of THE SIXTH GUN will be absolutely FREE as part of this year's
Free Comic Book Day offerings! I couldn't be more excited about launching the book this way! Be sure to head to your local comic shop on May 1st to pick up your copy!

Happy New Year!