I recently began work on a new Jim Silke art book that will focus on his sketches, preliminary and concept works. Last summer, while flipping through one of Jim’s portfolios and seeing some of his pencil drawings, I asked Jim if he would be interested in having this type of book made. He let me know he would. I had quite a bit of projects on my plate at the time that prevented me from immediately following-up. We agreed to talk more in the future once I had wrapped up the trio of books requiring my focus.
When I saw Jim at WonderCon in May he asked if I still wanted to do the book. I sure do! With the Bruce Timm, Craig Elliott and Warren Chang books all done I am free to get going on Jim’s new sketchbook. The plan is for this to be an ongoing series, much in the same way as the Mark Schultz: Various Drawings title that comes out every year or two.
I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to publish Jim’s Jungle Girls book. The entire process was a pleasure. The chance to work with Jim, and learn from him, is like having a one-on-one instructional course with a legendary art director and artist. I have a tremendous amount of respect for what he has accomplished with his career and who he is as a person. My hope is with this new book that I can further showcase what makes Jim such an exceptional creative individual.
The drawings that will be in this collection, besides being a testament to his artistic skills, will also serve like a journal of sorts as his process is shown for all of his projects since his becoming a “hot” new artist in the early nineties with the release of his Rascals in Paradise comic series. While Jim has always drawn, it wasn’t until his late-fifties that he entered the comic field followed by his series of art books from Dark Horse. We should all be so lucky to have a retirement such as his.
The book title is still up in the air. I’m not the type to create a template and stick to it. Most often I let the artwork dictate where the book should go. We decided on a 64-page book at 9 x 12 inches. There are plenty of sketches and pencil preliminaries for finished comic-pages and personal works, and more. I roughly designed the first two volumes last week. I found it just as easy to do both at the same time as it would have been to do one of them only. This also allowed me to pace the two volumes appropriately. The next step is for Jim to review my layout, then based on his notes I will tighten it up from there.
I’ll share more information, including a release date, once I have sorted out all the details. I prefer to take my time and not to feel rushed. I want this book to be special and pay tribute to this important artist and fine gentleman.
text copyright 2012 John Fleskes. Artwork copyright 2012 Jim Silke. All rights reserved.