Big DAMNED Commission!

click above image to enlarge!
Maybe my favorite commission I’ve ever done.  I can’t believe I never posted this–it was done over two years ago! This piece was intended to have a noir movie poster vibe.  It’s a larger piece than I normally do as it is on 18″x24″ Bristol.  As with all my commissions it is all done by hand, including the red (I believe it was a water acrylic that was used).  Also, if memory serves, I did the line art on the background buildings in pen (either Microns or PITT) and all the foreground elements are brush and Sumi ink.  Tones, as always, are ink wash.
Below is the initial sketch, the rough pencils, rough pencils with logo blocked out and rough pencils with tones.

Some Damned Praise!

Many, many thanks to the fine folks over at The Quarter Bin! They’ve just released their list of “Comics of the Year–2008” and saw fit to name The Damned: Prodigal Sons one of their “Best Mini-Series”. Pop on over to check out the rest of the list.
Here’s what they had to say about The Damned:

“I loved the first
Damned mini, and when this sequel came out, it not only lived up to the original, but surpassed it. Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt expanded on the mythos of their demon-infested 1940s in a way that not only made me want to see more of this world outside of Eddie, his brother, and the mobster monsters of his city, but had me hanging on the edge of my seat at the end of each issue. I was first introduced to Brian Hurtt during his stint on Queen and Country, and while the guy was good then, his work on this series establishes him as one of the best independent artists working today. His crisp black and white art creates an atmosphere that invokes some of the great noir detective/mystery flicks, and his work is totally worth the wait between series. Cullen Bunn’s scripting is sharp, smart, and would translate well to any medium. I’m just thankful we’ve got him in comics. You’d be a fool to not track this book, or the original mini-series, down at your LCS if you missed out on it.


More cartoony stuff from the ol’ sketch pile. Looking for something to doodle, I decided to revisit characters I’ve already done in comics except to imagine them in my more cartoony style. The above are obviously characters from the “Damnedverse”. I’m especially fond of the Verlochin in the bottom right corner.
Below are drawings of characters from Three Strikes(Oni Press), Skinwalker(Oni), and Hard Time (DC). Most of the characters are from Hard Time. As I got into drawing them I was reminded how much of an ensemble book that really was. There are several characters I didn’t even get around to drawing.
Also, that guy at the bottom center of the page is supposed to be young Crocker from Queen & Country: Declassified.

Damned Again

(click-it to enlarge-it)

This is a couple months old at this point but I thought I’d share it anyway. This is the first cover to the 3-issue follow up to the Damned, subtitled Prodigal Sons. As the hand in the lower right indicates, this cover is not just an example of poor composition but it’s also the first image in a triptych (all three covers form one big image). Keep an eye out for this book–it hits sometime in March.

The Ol’ Wraparound

I had the bright idea that I wanted to redo the cover for the upcoming The Damned trade paperback. The plan was to use the cover from issue one for the trade cover but I did have some minor quibbles. The “major” minor quibble was that the original cover was too still–it didn’t get across any sense of action or kineticism (did I make a word up?). My solution was to make Eddie larger and coming at the reader/viewer. So far so good. But why stop there?Why not do a wraparound cover? I’ve always wanted to do a wraparound but have never had the opportunity. That gave me a whole new dilemma: How do I take an image that was designed to work as a vertical cover and make it work as one half of a larger horizontal cover? How indeed? After much trial and error I came up with the image below. Drawn in pen on two pieces of 81/2″ x 11″ copy paper. Image size–approximately 13″ x 9″.

Once the fun part was done it was on to the drudgery of enlarging and lightboxing the image. I drew it lightly with a harder lead (2H I believe) so I apologize for the miserable scan. Perhaps if you click on it to enlarge it will be easier to view. Perhaps.
That done, it was on to inking. That’s funner part…yes, funner (get off my back, I know the proper grammar is funnerist).
This is where the piece really comes together for me.

And finally, the colors. Oh, the colors. This was the most difficult part…but only because I had no idea what I was doing. I knew all along that I was going to keep the original color scheme from the issue one cover. Only, I was also aware that I never would have used those colors had I originally intended to make a full-blown wraparound cover. It’s too difficult, in my mind, to carry that color scheme through a large “montage-y” piece. But I tried. I’m fairly happy with the final product and I’m completely jazzed about attempting another wraparound–this time working from the ground up.

Animated Damned

Okay. Sure, it’s not the Cartoon Network show I hoped for but I still think this animated GIF is pretty cool. And if you think The Damned is pretty cool, and I know you do, then you need to right click, save, and post somewhere where others will see it and love it.
I have a slew of posts comin’ at ya’–and by slew, I mean at least 4 or 5. I’ve been having scanner issues but they’re resolved and I have a handful of commissions I’ll be posting. Stay tooned.

“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.