Flesk and Spectrum at Comic-Con International in San Diego Update–Signings and Panel!

Craig Elliott at his booth at Comic-Con in 2013.

Craig Elliott at his booth at Comic-Con in 2013. Photograph copyright © 2014 John Fleskes

Hi, everyone,

We will be exhibiting at Comic-Con International in San Diego. The show runs from July 23rd to the 27th. Our Flesk booth (#5019) is in our usual spot. We have added a Spectrum Fantastic Art booth right next door (#5017). Read on for news about our big sale, artist signings, the Flesk panel and where you can find artist friends of Flesk.

Books on offer at the Flesk/Spectrum booths. Big Sale!

We are bringing a new batch of recent book trade returns with slight scuffs or minor dings. These books will be on sale for 50-80% off of the cover price. We’re looking to blow them out at the show! It’s a great way to pick up a huge batch of Flesk books for a killer bargain. There are many new titles including The Art of Brom.

We will also have new copies of all of our Flesk books and an assortment of recent and past volumes of Spectrum.

Artist Signings

We will be having a Spectrum signing at our booth #5017 on Friday from 2:00 to 3:00pm. Donato Giancola, Daren Bader, Allen Williams, Gary Gianni, Todd Lockwood, David Palumbo and Matthew Levin will all be with us. Bring your Spectrum books along to get signed!

Mark Schultz — Due to a sudden unexpected emergency, Mark will be unable to attend Comic-Con.

Jackson Robinson — Jackson informed us today (7/22/2014) that due to a sudden emergency he is unable to join us at Comic-Con.

Signing times will be posted at our booth, the Flesk website and on our Facebook page leading up to the show.

Flesk Panel–Thursday, July 24 at 11:00am, Room 28DE

With a lineup including Frank Cho (Drawing Beautiful Women, Savage Wolverine ), Terry Dodson (Red One, Uncanny X-Men) and William Stout (Hallucinations,Legends of the Blues) talking new projects-and publisher John Fleskes frankly discussing future Flesk titles and the latest on the renowned Spectrum Fantastic Art series-you can expect an entertaining hour!

Artist Friends of Flesk at Comic-Con

The following artists whose work we publish will be exhibiting at their own booths at Comic-Con. Their booth number and Flesk books are included.

Jim Silke – Booth #4901 (Jungle Girls and Jim Silke Sketchbook)

Frank Cho – Booth #4901 (Drawing Beautiful Women: The Frank Cho Method)

Craig Elliott – Booth #4713 (The Art of Craig Elliott)

Mike Mignola – Booth #4901 (Spectrum Fantastic Art Live)

William Stout – Booth #4803 (Dinosaur Discoveries, New Dinosaur Discoveries A-Z, Hallucinations, Inspirations, Prehistoric Life Murals)

Gary Gianni – Booth #4902 (The Prince Valiant Page, Mysterious Islands, Major Thrill’s Adventure Book and Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea)

Terry Dodson – Booth #4706 (Bombshells and his new sketchbook, Masquerade)

Donato GiancolaDonato Arts Booth #4503

Terryl Whitlatch – Booth 5338 (Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2, Tales of Amalthea)

We hope to see you at the show!

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Flesk Publications on Facebook
Spectrum Fantastic Art
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live on Facebook

Text and photograph copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Artwork copyright © their respective owners. All Rights reserved.

 

 

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2014 Pictures — Part Two

Hi, all,

Here’s a treat for you: Thirty-five pictures from the third Spectrum Fantastic Art Live held on May 9-11, 2014. Captions by Carl Anderson and Jeff Smith. There’s a few captions missing. If you know the artist names, please let us know so that we can add them.

All photos by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic16In the heart of Kansas City lies the venue for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2014; Kansas City Convention Center’s 46,400 square foot Grand Ballroom.

 

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic20Artists Christina Hess and Dominick Saponaro hard at work putting the final touches on their booth before the show opens. Christina was selling a Spectrum exclusive teaser booklet for her upcoming “Animals From History” book.

 

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic19Artist Edward Howard wowed attendees with numerous new originals in addition to offering affordable prints, like the one shown above, which you may recognize from the opening pages of Spectrum 20.

 

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic183-day ticket holders and exhibitors were treated to free hors d’oeuvres during the opening night party and Art Director Meet & Greet before viewing the film premiere of the documentary “Making It” on Friday evening.

 

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic17The Kansas City Conventions & Visitors Bureau welcomed Spectrum attendees and exhibitors all over downtown.

 

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic52Donato Giancola spies our camera at the opening night 3-day ticket holder and exhibitor party.

 

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic49Jackson Robinson catches us taking pictures at the opening night party. Spectrum Fantastic Art Live marked Jackson’s convention debut. His playing card art work and decks were a big hit, particularly his Sherlock Holmes themed decks.

 

 

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic48Steve Rude and Donato Giancola at the opening night party. Mr. Rude held a cosplay model contest leading up to the show. He painted the winner, donning a Supergirl costume, live during a demonstration on Saturday morning.

 

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic47Greg Manchess enjoying himself at the opening night party.

 

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic46Craig Elliott at the opening night party.

 

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic45Eric Deschamps enjoying the opening night party.

 

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic44Is that Johnny Depp? No, that’s Nigel Sade! Nigel is one of the nicest artists you could meet. (Side note: In the background of this photo on the left hand side you will see two of the hardest working ladies on the Spectrum committee: Event Organizer Shena Wolf and Volunteer Coordinator Amanda Banion.)

 

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic43Steve Rude listening to John Fleskes’ vision on the show floor.

 

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic42Adrian Johnson of Sidebar Nation interviews Special Guest Tim Bruckner. Mr. Bruckner shared how he got into sculpting, discussed challenging pieces, explained techniques and fielded questions from the crowd.  A great interview to kick off the weekend’s scheduled programming.

 

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic41

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic40Jackson Robinson signing one of his Sherlock Holmes playing card decks for a fan. Jackson not only created all the artwork on the cards he also created unique packaging.

 

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic39The Shiflett Brothers (Brandon and Jarrod) at their exhibit booth.  They participated in live sculpting demos throughout the weekend and were available for 3D portfolio reviews. Look for an award winning piece from them in Spectrum 21 this fall.

 

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic38Forest Rogers admiring one of Virginie Ropars’ incredible sculptures, with the artist herself! Words can’t express how incredible it was to see, study, and be able to purchase original sculptures directly from the artists.

 

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic37

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic36Greg Manchess points out details on original paintings he brought to the show to sell. As part of the weekend’s activities,  Greg participated in a live painting demonstration with artist Gary Kelley on Saturday afternoon that drew the attention of fellow artists as well as attendees.

 

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic35

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic34 Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic33John Fleskes, Special Guest Frank Cho, and Mark Schultz talking at the Flesk Publications booth. Frank Cho put on a live drawing demo during his special guest interview on Saturday and Mark Schultz conducted a dry brush demo on Sunday.

 

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic32Craig Elliot organizing his originals and prints for sale at the Flesk Publications booth.

 

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic31Anthony Kosar’s “Boaris Frankenswine”

 

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic30 Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic29 Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic28 Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic27 Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic26 Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic25One of Dan Chudzinski’s signature pieces.

 

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic24Red Riding Hood, a sculpture by artist Forest Rogers.

 

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic23“Vertical Man-Tank, 1892”, a piece from The Shiflett Brothers which took home the Gold Award in the Dimensional category.

 

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic22Just Colcord – Luke Burrage’s sculptures.

 

Spectrum-Fantastic-Art-Live-2014-pic21

More pictures and Q&A coming soon!

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Flesk Publications on Facebook
Spectrum Fantastic Art
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live on Facebook

Text copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Artwork copyright © their respective owners. Photos by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 3 Event Video!

The third Spectrum Fantastic Art Live was held on May 9-11 in Kansas City, MO. Enjoy this two minute video which shows you a few highlights from the three day event! Thanks to everyone who exhibited and attended!

About Spectrum Fantastic Art Live

SFAL is a high-energy showcase for the best and brightest in the fantasy and science fiction art community. It brings together artists, industry professionals and fans.

It’s a show for everyone. For artists, both established and aspiring, and fans of art. For people who love movies, video games, tabletop gaming, RPGs, card games and more. For fans of comics, science fiction, fantasy and any genre that has ever had an art component.

The third event featured over 200 booths full of the finest artists working today. Multiple disciplines were represented. Exquisite dolls, grotesque mannequins, oil paintings, prints, bronzes, pencil sketches, sculptures … all forms of art are celebrated at SFAL.

There were multiple programming tracks, from topics that affect artists and their creative process to discussions of practical industry concerns, as well as panels on how to start collecting art.
There were portfolio reviews by the leading art directors in multiple industries.

If you make art, you should come to SFAL 4. If you love art, you should come. If you’re wondering if this is for you, it is. You’ll love it. See you next time!

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Flesk Publications on Facebook
Spectrum Fantastic Art
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live on Facebook

Text copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Artwork copyright © their respective owners. Video by Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2014 Pictures and Q&A With John Flesk

Greetings, all,

During our road trip back to California from Kansas City, Mark Schultz and Jim Reid asked me a few questions about the recent Spectrum Fantastic Art Live event. I decided to type up my responses while we were traveling through Arizona along Highway 40. I’ve also added a series of fifteen pictures from the show with captions.

Iain McCaig enjoys giving workshops just as much as drawing. Here, he entertains a crowd at SFAL while teaching. Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

Iain McCaig enjoys giving workshops just as much as drawing. Here, he entertains a crowd at SFAL while teaching. Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

Android Jones joined us at the Flesk / Spectrum booth on Saturday and Sunday. Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

Android Jones joined us at the Flesk / Spectrum booth on Saturday and Sunday. Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

Special SFAL guest Camilla d'Erricco brought originals with her to the show. Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

Special SFAL guest Camilla d’Erricco brought originals with her to the show. Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

Question: This is the third year of the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live show. Tell us about the growth this year.

Answer: The growth can be measured and discussed in a few ways.

First, the pre-sales for tickets were more than double what they were last year. That’s a big deal and worth celebrating. There was a noticeable increase of people on the floor compared to last year.

Second, three of us joined the Spectrum show committee; Carl Anderson, Jeff Smith and myself. We took on roles to help add new features, which I’ll get into in a second, and to help spread out the existing duties to allow for a better individual focus of responsibilities both before and during the show. There seems to be the misconception that I am in charge of the show. But really, the show is the result of a team of dedicated and hard-working people put together by Cathy and Arnie Fenner. It is the initiative and efforts of the Fenner’s, and also Shena Wolf who plays an integral role in its operations, that makes the show a success.

Third, there were a number of new features added to the show. I’ll run down the list.

A) We added an “Artist Tables” section, which gave our future stars an opportunity to exhibit at a show for a modest price. This was intended to attract more local, young, first time and / or artists that have a smaller show budget to the event as exhibitors. We could have continued to fill the whole show with booths, but I think by reserving a portion of the exhibit hall space for artist tables, it allows more opportunities to the artists, and gives us more of a diverse range of artists attending, which attracts more people to the show. I think it’s better for everyone.

Wayne Barlowe discusses his experiences while working in film at SFAL. Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

Wayne Barlowe discusses his experiences while working in film at SFAL. Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

Left to right: Allen Williams, Wayne Barlowe, Justin Sweet and Vance Kovacs (and Iain McCaig out of frame); The artists that designed The Phantom Menace, John Carter, Avatar, The Avengers, Pacific Rim, and 300: Rise of an Empire provide some insight about working in the film industry. Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

Left to right: Allen Williams, Wayne Barlowe, Justin Sweet and Vance Kovacs (and Iain McCaig out of frame); The artists that designed The Phantom Menace, John Carter, Avatar, The Avengers, Pacific Rim, and 300: Rise of an Empire provide some insight about working in the film industry. Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

Left to right: Allen Williams, Wayne Barlowe, Justin Sweet and Vance Kovacs and Iain McCaig continue their discussion about working in the film industry at SFAL. Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

Left to right: Allen Williams, Wayne Barlowe, Justin Sweet and Vance Kovacs and Iain McCaig continue their discussion about working in the film industry at SFAL. Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

One of modern times most popular film designer, Iain McCaig, who received the Spectrum 21 Grand Master Award during the awards ceremony later that day. Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

One of modern times most popular film designer, Iain McCaig, who received the Spectrum 21 Grand Master Award during the awards ceremony later that day. Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

B) We improved our panels and workshops by adding more of an educational focus. We had artist panels by top industry professionals and art directors. For instance, Iain McCaig, Mark Schultz and Steve Rude all conducted artwork demonstrations. Justin Sweet and Vance Kovacs talked about working in film. Art Directors Irene Gallo, Lauren Pinepento, Marc Scheff and Jon Schindenhette did portfolio reviews. Comics professionals Terry Dodson, Frank Cho and Mark Chiarello offered advice on working within the industry. There was a live sculpting event happening all weekend on the show room floor. We covered quite a bit of core industry essentials that were geared toward professionals in the field, for those just breaking, for students, and even for fans who want to see how things are run. I also want there to be opportunities for young artists rub elbows with the established pros.

Mark Schultz during his inking with a brush demonstration at SFAL. All workshops were free to attendees. Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

Mark Schultz during his inking with a brush demonstration at SFAL. All workshops were free to attendees. Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

Working with traditional tools is something that continues to gather the crowds to watch. Artists and fans young and old surrounded Mark Schultz. Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

Working with traditional tools is something that continues to gather the crowds to watch. Artists and fans young and old surrounded Mark Schultz. Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

Then to get back to the main areas of growth, fourth, there were more artists at the show. Besides the five special show guests, plus the ten additional artists who joined us at our Flesk / Spectrum booth, if you add the artist exhibitors to the list, there were over 200 artists there to meet, learn from, get autographs and purchase original artwork from.

I’ll add too, that we continued to make sure we kept the daily ticket prices at only $20, or all three days for $40, since we want to make sure the show is easily accessible. If you took all of the workshops that were available to all of the attendees at no additional price, it’s an incredible bargain.

Left to right, Cory Godbey (out of frame), Allen Williams, J. Anthony Kosar, George Pratt (behind Anthony) and John Flesk during the Spectrum 21 panel where they reminisced about the judging event and answered questions about the process of how the judging works. Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

Left to right, Cory Godbey (out of frame), Allen Williams, J. Anthony Kosar, George Pratt (behind Anthony) and John Flesk during the Spectrum 21 panel where they reminisced about the judging event and answered questions about the process of how the judging works. Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

Left to right, four of the Spectrum 21 jury members: Cory Godbey, Allen Williams, J. Anthony Kosar, George Pratt and Spectrum director John Flesk spoke for nearly an hour about the Spectrum 21 judging weekend, including their tour of San Francisco once the judging was complete. Shelly Wan makes up the fifth jury member, who was unable to make the show. We missed not having her there! Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

Left to right, four of the Spectrum 21 jury members: Cory Godbey, Allen Williams, J. Anthony Kosar, George Pratt and Spectrum director John Flesk spoke for nearly an hour about the Spectrum 21 judging weekend, including their tour of San Francisco once the judging was complete. Shelly Wan makes up the fifth jury member, who was unable to make the show. We missed not having her there! Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

Cory Godbey speaking at the Spectrum 21 panel at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live. Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

Cory Godbey speaking at the Spectrum 21 panel at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live. Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

Question: Why have the show in Kansas City?

Answer: The main reason why I like having the show in Kansas City is its central position within the country. This allows SFAL to attract artists from the west and east coasts, as well as everywhere in-between to make for an exceptionally diverse group. The city is just a one to three hour flight from most states making it easy to travel to. Also, Kansas City offers inexpensive hotels, a wide variety of restaurants from quick meals to fine dining, all of which are within a short walking distance to the convention center. The local community and city itself have been very supportive as well.

Question: What type of artists do you want to see at SFAL?

Answer: One of the main aspects that I want to retain about the show is the heart. We want SFAL to grow while maintaining the essence of bringing the community together to a welcoming environment. With this said, I would like to continue to see artists come to the show who are supportive of one another and who enjoy the collaborative process of growing together. Anyone who has something to communicate through art, artists who are enthusiastic–even those who may feel unwelcome elsewhere–we want them here.

Question: Beyond community and workshop opportunities from the show, what practical aspects can the artists expect to gain from exhibiting at the show.

Answer: As someone who has exhibited at over 100 shows, I’m well aware of the time and cost considerations that go into exhibiting at a show. For me personally, the show has to make sense and be practical beyond just having a fun time to justify going in the first place, let alone signing up to go again the next year. The Spectrum committee is well aware of the need for fans and patrons to attend the show who are willing to buy artwork to allow the artist to continue to create their artwork. We had placed advertisements in newspapers, magazines, online and even run TV commercials, as well as social networking to inform, educate and encourage people to come to the show. It’s all well and good to say we will have a good time, but we need this to make sense for everyone. None of the Spectrum committee has taken a salary and we’ve turned all of the money right back into next year’s show, so we are committed to making this happen.

Question: What type of atmosphere do you hope to create for SFAL?

Answer: Our goal is for this show to be an event that is something in-between the comic shows and fine art shows. We want the sophistication and focus on the art that the fine art shows have, yet the accessibility and fun that can be found at a comic show. And again, we want people to have the opportunity to grow and to be inspired upon leaving that combined will benefit their art and careers.

Question: Are there any after-hours activities?

Answer: Yes. Every night. There was the Spectrum Awards, a life-drawing event and social gatherings. After-hours activities are important, not just for the attendees who want to keep enjoying their time in Kansas City, but also for the exhibitors who have been at their booths all day and want to enjoy the company of their fellow professionals. Starting on Thursday evening, planned evening hot-spots are promoted where everyone can all get together. These are public places and welcome to all. This year was exciting in that by Sunday there were three main locations that were packed with people from the show, compared to just the one spot the following two years. One of my favorite comments this year was that our previous quiet spot was now packed with people from the show late into each night. I hope to hear this complaint more and more.

Question: What was the life-drawing event?

Answer: On Friday night, a large room and models were secured in the Aladdin hotel where artists were able to draw direct from life. Roughly 150 artists were there. It’s proven to be very popular these last three years.

A backstage view during the Spectrum 21 Awards ceremony at the Midland Theatre on May 10th. Quixotic Fusion dancers illuminate the evening. Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

A backstage view during the Spectrum 21 Awards ceremony at the Midland Theatre on May 10th. Quixotic Fusion dancers illuminate the evening. Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

Quixotic Fusion continues to entertain the SFAL crowd. Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

Quixotic Fusion continues to entertain the SFAL crowd. Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

Question: And can you give me some more details about the Spectrum Awards?

Answer: The Spectrum 21 Awards ceremony was held on May 10th at the historic Midland Theater. The gold and silver Spectrum 21 awards were handed out to sixteen artists within eight categories. This is the time to shine the spotlight on the artists and make them the stars, while celebrating their hard work and achievements. We also announce the 2014 Spectrum Grand Master Award, the recipient of which has to have had over 20 years in the field, given freely to the community, inspired a new generation and whose art is exceptional in every way. This year the award was given to Iain McCaig. There was live entertainment, amazing heartwarming acceptance speeches and a lively after-party.

The Spectrum 21 Awards support team. It takes a big crew to run the awards ceremony. This picture was taken just after the evening came to an end. Time to celebrate! Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

The Spectrum 21 Awards support team. It takes a big crew to run the awards ceremony. This picture was taken just after the evening came to an end. Time to celebrate! Photo by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

More pictures and Q&A coming soon.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Flesk Publications on Facebook
Spectrum Fantastic Art
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live on Facebook

Text copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Artwork copyright © their respective owners. Photos by Vidur Gupta / Helpful Bear Productions for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live © 2014. All Rights reserved.

The Spectrum 21 Award Winners Announced

Arnie and Cathy Fenner, Iain McCaig and John Flesk celebrate Iain joining the ranks of the Spectrum Grand Master Award recipients.

Arnie and Cathy Fenner, Iain McCaig and John Flesk celebrate Iain joining the ranks of the Spectrum Grand Master Award recipients.

The Spectrum 21 Awards were presented May 10, 2014 at a gala ceremony held in Kansas City’s historic Midland Theater. This was the first awards presentation under the guidance of Spectrum’s new Director John Fleskes. Jurors who determined the Gold and Silver Award winners this year were Cory Godbey, J. Anthony Kosar, George Pratt, Shelly Wan, and Allen Williams. All of the work will be included in Spectrum 21: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, which will be published by Flesk Publications and distributed to the trade by Publishers Group West in October.

Advertising

GOLD AWARD: Kent Williams -- The Criterion Collection Lord of the Flies

GOLD AWARD: Kent Williams — The Criterion Collection Lord of the Flies

Victo Ngai -- A Tiger Beer Chinese New Year

SILVER AWARD: Victo Ngai — A Tiger Beer Chinese New Year

Advertising
Gold Award: Kent Williams — The Criterion Collection Lord of the Flies
Silver Award: Victo Ngai — A Tiger Beer Chinese New Year

Book

Nicolas Delort -- The End of the Road

GOLD AWARD: Nicolas Delort — The End of the Road

Scott Gustafson -- Little Sambha and the Tiger with the Beautiful Purple Shoes with Crimson Soles

SILVER AWARD: Scott Gustafson — Little Sambha and the Tiger with the Beautiful Purple Shoes with Crimson Soles

Book
Gold Award: Nicolas Delort — The End of the Road
Silver Award: Scott Gustafson — Little Sambha and the Tiger with the Beautiful Purple Shoes with Crimson Soles

Comics

Thomas Campi -- The Red Door

GOLD AWARD: Thomas Campi — The Red Door

Mark A. Nelson -- Seasons, page 1

SILVER AWARD: Mark A. Nelson — Seasons, page 1

Comics
Gold Award: Thomas Campi — The Red Door
Silver Award: Mark A. Nelson — Seasons, page 1

Concept Art

Theo Prins -- Refugees

GOLD AWARD: Theo Prins — Refugees

Vance Kovacs -- John Carter Punches a Thark

SILVER AWARD: Vance Kovacs — John Carter Punches a Thark

Concept Art
Gold Award: Theo Prins — Refugees
Silver Award: Vance Kovacs — John Carter Punches a Thark

Dimensional

The Shiflett Bros. -- Vertical Man-Tank, 1892

GOLD AWARD: The Shiflett Bros. — Vertical Man-Tank, 1892

Colin and Kristine Poole -- Hot Diggety Dog

SILVER AWARD: Colin and Kristine Poole — Hot Diggety Dog

Dimensional
Gold Award: The Shiflett Bros. — Vertical Man-Tank, 1892
Silver Award: Colin and Kristine Poole — Hot Diggety Dog

Editorial

Tran Nguyen -- The Insects of Love

GOLD AWARD: Tran Nguyen — The Insects of Love

Yuko Shimizu -- Hair Tree

SILVER AWARD: Yuko Shimizu — Hair Tree

Editorial
Gold Award: Tran Nguyen — The Insects of Love
Silver Award: Yuko Shimizu — Hair Tree

Institutional

Bill Carman -- Shared Eyewear

GOLD AWARD: Bill Carman — Shared Eyewear

Justin Sweet -- Blacksea

SILVER AWARD: Justin Sweet — Blacksea

Institutional
Gold Award: Bill Carman — Shared Eyewear
Silver Award: Justin Sweet — Blacksea

Unpublished

Omar Rayyan -- The Long Walk Home

GOLD AWARD: Omar Rayyan — The Long Walk Home

Yukari Masuike -- Riding Horse on the Freezing Day

SILVER AWARD: Yukari Masuike — Riding Horse on the Freezing Day

Unpublished
Gold Award: Omar Rayyan — The Long Walk Home
Silver Award: Yukari Masuike — Riding Horse on the Freezing Day

Pictures from the Spectrum 21 awards will be posted in the coming weeks.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Flesk Publications on Facebook
Spectrum Fantastic Art
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live on Facebook

Text and noted photographs copyright © 2013 John Fleskes. Artwork copyright © their respective owners. All Rights Reserved.

Spectrum 21 Cover

Hi, all,

I’ve wrapped up the cover design for Spectrum 21. The artwork featured on the cover is a fine art painting by Rebecca Léveillé-Guay titled “The Visitor.” Thanks to Rebecca for letting us use the art for the cover!

Spectrum-21-cover

Right now I’m working on creating the list of jury picks for inclusion into Spectrum 21. I’ll have it ready to post just after mid-March.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Flesk Publications on Facebook
Spectrum Fantastic Art
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live on Facebook
Text and photographs copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Artwork copyright © 2014 Rebecca Léveillé-Gua. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Thanks to Everyone Who Submitted to Spectrum 21!

Spectrum-21-Call-for-EntriesI would like to express my utmost gratitude to everyone who sent in their call for entries submissions to Spectrum 21. We are thrilled to have your support and goodwill. This has been an exciting experience so far. We are enjoying preparing your entries for the judges to review in early March. We would like to assure you that we do not pre-screen any art. The integrity of Spectrum and making sure each of your submissions has an equal opportunity to be viewed by the jury is important to us. Those who are selected for inclusion into Spectrum 21 will be notified in April 2014. Good luck, everyone!

Please visit the Spectrum website news page each week to learn more about the process. We will be providing updates to keep you informed!

Thank you!

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Flesk Publications on Facebook
Spectrum Fantastic Art
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live on Facebook
Text copyright © 2013 John Fleskes. Art copyright © Android Jones. All Rights Reserved.

Spectrum Fantastic Art Announces the Transition to a New Director with Spectrum #21 — Press Release

SFA-Press

Left to right: Cathy & Arnie Fenner with John Fleskes.

Arnie and Cathy Fenner, the originators of Spectrum Fantastic Art, who for the last twenty years have spearheaded the ongoing annual publications featuring the best in contemporary fantastic art, have announced at the second Spectrum Fantastic Art Live event the transition of the book to a new director, editor and publisher. Beginning with Spectrum #21, John Fleskes of Flesk Publications will assume responsibilities.

“We never thought of Spectrum as something we ‘owned,’” offer Arnie and Cathy. “Instead we always viewed it as an ongoing project that we were a part of, with the aim of raising an appreciation for all types of fantastic art as well as for the people who create it. This field of contemporary art—and the community who creates it and the people who love it—are what matters, so there has never been any question that we would take steps to ensure Spectrum‘s future as a part of our plans.

“We had started thinking about some sort of transition nearly ten years ago, but we didn’t know exactly what we were going to do or how we were going to do it–or with whom–until we met John Fleskes. We had admired his books for quite some time, but once we got to know him personally that admiration grew into respect and friendship. About five years ago we asked John if he would consider taking the reins of Spectrum and guiding it into the future; we feel extremely fortunate that he agreed.”

“I’ve been a dedicated follower of Spectrum since its inception in 1994,” adds John Fleskes. “Here is an annual book that includes all of my favorite artists and, better yet, the artists to whom I may never have been exposed to if not for Spectrum. The book pools together a wide assortment of fantastic art making a diverse arrangement from an eclectic field. I have a tremendous passion for the genre as well as great respect for Spectrum and for the community the Fenners’ and the annual have brought together.

“The biggest questions I had to answer were why I would want to take on the responsibility of directing Spectrum when I already have a thriving art book publishing company,” continues John. “Wouldn’t it take time away from pursuing my personal projects? I took my time to explore these questions, feeling that I should be prepared to head Spectrum for the next twenty years in order to accept the offer.

“Ultimately, the answer was clear and simple. Spectrum is bigger than me. There is a beating heart that powers Spectrum–and serving as the new director is about far more than just the competition and annual. This new role is also about serving the fantastic art community–both domestic and international–and the stewardship involved. Furthermore, it’s about establishing trust and equitable treatment for the artists, as well as growing in new directions.

“When I started Flesk Publications I knew I wanted to build a company that revolved around positive relationships. Flesk is built upon my ethics and the principle of treating artists–and everybody, actually–fairly. When I met Arnie and Cathy for the first time I was delighted to meet two individuals who I admired for their integrity. I found role models who shared the same vision for conducting business and behaving toward others.

“I had no idea that as our friendship grew Cathy and Arnie were considering me as the new director of Spectrum. It’s indeed an honor to have their trust. I’m anxious to get started.”

“There were many things we wanted to do with Spectrum that we were unable to accomplish for myriad reasons,” share Arnie and Cathy. “For every success there was always something extra we wanted to explore which was prevented by time or logistics. From the very beginning we have always had the support of our friend and publisher, Tim Underwood, and will continue to work with him on projects in the future. We are confident that as the new director—as well as the publisher—John will be able to capitalize on the potential Spectrum has always had and continue to grow its influence in the years ahead.

“Change can sometimes be a little unsettling—but it can also be exciting, especially when changes are made for the right reasons. We and John share the same outlooks, the same sense of ethics, the same sense of responsibility to the artists, and the same goals. This isn’t the end of the story, just the beginning of a new chapter. John will bring a fresh outlook and vibrancy to Spectrum that will benefit everyone: we can’t wait to see what he does, beginning with volume 21 in 2014.”

“As this news of my new role is announced I understand the natural concern of fans and artists over what changes might be coming,” says John. “The arts are always evolving, as is our world, and Spectrum must constantly grow to stay contemporary. It benefits all of us for Spectrum to thrive. There will be no sudden changes, only carefully considered improvements to keep Spectrum fresh.

“The first of two immediate improvements will be a major redesign of the Spectrum Fantastic Art website which will go live by October 1, 2013 to coincide with the Spectrum #21 Call for Entries announcement. The second improvement, which I’m very excited about, is to open the Call for Entries to digital submissions. We will still accept hard copy prints for submissions, but by offering a choice of hard copy or digital submissions we hope to better cater to those who prefer the digital format. Beyond these two improvements I will be asking a lot of questions, taking a lot of notes and working hard to ensure that Spectrum will constantly evolve and grow.”

“My work begins immediately. I am putting together a list of candidates to contact as possibilities for the Spectrum #21 jury, as well as for the new advisory board. I’m taking this very seriously. I’m looking for a group of industry professionals who have open minds, serve a broad community, are respected by their peers and fans, and can work well within a group. ”

About Spectrum Fantastic Art

The mission of Spectrum is to promote the fantastic arts and provide an annual showcase for contemporary artists. Spectrum doesn’t exist to categorize or define fantastic art; rather, it exists to honor the imaginations of very special artists who delight in helping us see the world in a wonderfully different light. It’s our job to help them reach a wider appreciative audience.

About Flesk Publications

This year marks Flesk Publications’ eleventh anniversary of promoting the arts through quality collections. Flesk Publications prides itself on being different. A creative approach is pursued by exploring the aesthetics of each artist in order to design a package that serves as an extension of him or herself. The result is a unique and individual collection produced with passion. Flesk produces a full line of art books featuring the best of comics and graphic novels, fantasy, illustration, pinup and fine arts.

“A few things that separate us from other publishers are our absolute commitment to the quality of our books and the relationships formed with the artists we showcase,” shares John. “It’s not just about the books, but the positive future of the artists and that their trust, in allowing us to collect their work, is not abused.” Fleskes shares a passion for the arts and feels a responsibility in making sure he represents his artists with the best books possible while also raising the art form. “We hope to educate the public to expect a higher standard from publishers,” continues Fleskes. “We take our work very seriously yet enjoy the process. Whether it’s a 16-page chapbook or a 300-page oversized art book, we give each collection our full attention to meet our standards first. I have a self-drive that makes this approach a natural part of what Flesk Publications is all about. It isn’t a policy, it’s who we are.”

About John Fleskes

John Fleskes is the president and publisher of Flesk Publications. As a long-time admirer of a wide spectrum of artists’ works, he felt many artists had slipped into obscurity, or lacked the means to gain exposure. In answer to this dilemma, he founded Flesk Publications in 2002. He has published over forty books to date. John has contributed to numerous books as writer, editor and designer and serves as the director to Spectrum Fantastic Art beginning with Spectrum #21.

Contact Information

Spectrum Fantastic Art LLC
Attn: Arnie and Cathy Fenner
info@spectrumfantasticart.com
www.spectrumfantasticart.com

Flesk Publications LLC
Attn: John Fleskes
info@fleskpublications.com
www.fleskpublications.com

Jim Silke Sketchbook Now Available From Flesk!

The Jim Silke Sketchbook is now available for immediate shipment from the Flesk website. The pre-orders are going out today. The book will arrive in the stores on or around November 1. As a bonus for orders placed through Flesk, you will receive a Flesk exclusive bookplate signed by Jim Silke.

We’re very pleased with how the book looks. It’s filled with previously unpublished sketches from Jim’s studio and we are eager for you to see the drawings.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
text copyright © 2012 Flesk Publications. All rights reserved.

Link:
Jim Silke Sketchbook

Craig Elliott Painting Demonstration and Interview Filming

Craig Elliott uses a color pencil to build the shape of his subject.

Craig Elliott decided to stick around the Bay Area after the APE show. I managed to wrangle him in for an extensive interview and pencil and watercolor demonstration, all of which we captured on film for an upcoming mini-documentary focusing on how we met, some talk about the design decisions that went into the book, lengthy discussion about his art and who Craig is as a person, and some downright touchy-feely talk about why we enjoy working together so much.

Jonathan Leveck was at the helm with the studio set up. He spent four hours getting the backdrop and lighting just right. The footage is in Jonathan’s hands and I’m looking forward to seeing what he does with it. I’ve asked Jonathan to put together a time-lapse video clip showing Craig’s work from start to finish, too. I expect in the next couple of weeks we’ll have a couple of fun films to watch on the Flesk site.

Craig Elliott applying the finishing touches just before he begins to use watercolors. You can see the whole process and the final piece in the video being shared on the Flesk website in a few weeks.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
text copyright © 2012 John Fleskes. Artwork © Craig Elliott 2012 All rights reserved.

Announcing The Art of Brom from Flesk Publications. Kickstarter Campaign Starts Now!

I have just pushed the Kickstarter “Launch” button on our exciting new Flesk project, The Art of Brom!

Soon the press release for Flesk’s upcoming The Art of Brom Kickstarter campaign will be plastered all over the internet at large; hopefully spreading to the eyes, hearts and minds of discerning art appreciators across the planet.

There are several incentives laid out in the Kickstarter campaign that are limited as to the number of people that can take advantage of them.

The incentives for getting The Art of Brom through the Kickstarter campaign include:

  • Fantasy & Nude cover editions which include 16 extra pages not available in the trade edition, and ship nearly a month before the book will be made available to the general public
  • An 8×10 signed art print, exclusive to Kickstarter supporters
  • Your name listed in a special thank you page of the book
  • A 5.5 x 8.5 inch 16-page Brom Sketchbook which is not available through other retail outlets
  • Your book signed, and personalized upon request
  • A deluxe slipcase & signed edition limited to 500 copies
  • A simple iconic original sketch by Brom in your book
  • A signed Brom paint brush
  • An exclusive signed and numbered giclee of the trade edition cover art, hand proofed by Brom, limited to 35, and only available through Kickstarter
  • An 11×14 inch portrait of you, or a person of your choice, painted in oil as a zombie by Brom (paintings will be published in all versions of the book)

We are hugely excited about this book, and about the Kickstarter campaign. For those unfamiliar with Brom or Kickstarter, all is illuminated on the The Art of Brom Kickstarter site itself here.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
text and photos copyright © 2012 John Fleskes. All rights reserved.

Links:
The Art of Brom Kickstarter Event
Brom website
Brom Facebook page
Flesk Publications Facebook page

 

New Flesk Books, Logo and T-Shirts. Plus, Shows and More.

I’m packing my bags for the flight to Kansas City, Missouri to exhibit at the “Spectrum Fantastic Art Live!” event put on by Cathy and Arnie Fenner this weekend. I’ll be taking pictures and notes along the way to share the experience here as soon as I return. For the moment, I have a handful of items I would like to talk about before leaving.

The first is, and with great sadness, I learned of Tony DeZuniga’s passing away late last week. I was informed by my good friend Manuel Auad, who was close to Tony. Manuel was kind enough to introduce me to Tony a number of years ago and I enjoyed the handful of times I was honored enough to speak with him. My immediate impression was that he was a true gentleman, a feeling which was reinforced with each successive meeting. He is missed.

This weekend, besides being the date for the “Spectrum Fantastic Art Live!” event, is also the weekend for “Big Wow! ComicFest” in San Jose, California. I am very disappointed to be missing this show as it is my local show being just 15 minutes from my house, run by a terrific group of guys who I like to support, and they have a killer guest list—including one of my favorites, and someone whose work I have published—Mr. Jim Silke. Unfortunately the two shows fall on the same weekend and I had to choose. My attempt to find someone I can trust enough to run a Flesk booth at the “Big Wow!” show failed, leaving me knowing I will miss an opportunity to promote ourselves there, along with SFAL!, and miss what will inevitably be a terrific show. Check out the website and if you are in the Bay Area, go!

In terms of books I am working on, I have finished, sent to the printer and approved the proofs for the Bruce Timm Naughty and Nice 2012 Teaser that will premiere at Comic-Con in July. I wanted to get it totally done before leaving for Kansas City. It’s looking really great! Bruce provided all new artwork created over the last few months. None of the material is art that didn’t make it into the main book. It is all fresh and incredible work. The Teaser is limited to 1000 numbered and signed copies. I’ll add it to our Flesk store for pre-orders in June.

Last year Terry Dodson put out two sketchbooks: Reveries and Bombshells 5. I provided some production assistance with both. I am in the process of helping Terry out again with another project. The details, though, I will leave to Mr. Dodson to share first on his website. For the moment he is traveling to London as a guest at the “Kapow! Comic Convention,” also running this weekend. Check out his blog in the next few weeks for some news on his trip and upcoming book details.

Last Saturday, our newly appointed Director of Operations, Jonathan Leveck, my friend Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr. and I, all went to Monterey, California for the day for Warren Chang’s Narrative Paintings book signing at the Pacific Grove Arts Center. Sales of the book benefited the PGArts and Alba Farms. People had the chance to meet Warren and see over 40 of his original paintings. Afterwards, we visited Warren’s studio where I assisted with some modeling photography for Warren’s future reference. Out of respect for Warren, I will share the story with some photographs only once his new painting is complete and he is ready to reveal his process.

I know I am bouncing around here but, I have a lot of bits of information to share.

I will be revealing our new Flesk logo at the “SFAL!” show. I have long wanted to update my original Flesk “Franklin Booth tree” logo that I made way back in 2002. For our 10th anniversary I wanted something fresh and hip, yet reflected better who I am by making it more personal compared to the old logo which I feel is too old fashioned and out of date for the future of Flesk. (This explains why I haven’t used it for a while.) I put Randall Dahlk to task and he designed a new logo that I approved. The design and elements actually have a meaning to me yet; the exact definition is something I will keep under my hat. I’d rather let people define it as they want, and let it serve as a symbol of the company. My close friends will get it right away, and the few I have shown did.

Randy also created a T-shirt design incorporating the Flesk name and new logo. I had the shirts made on exceptional quality American Apparel T-shirts and hand screened at a local facility by a pair of outstanding craftsmen in Santa Cruz, California. You’ll see our staff at the Flesk booth all wearing them. I’ll bring a few extras along to sell. I’m really excited we will all have team shirts at the show. I’ll show off some pictures of them in a future blog.

The new Illustration Magazine came out last week. It features an article on one of my favorite artists, Coby Whitmore. I’ve been inspired by Dan Zimmer’s magazine since he started in 2001 and he still keeps these beautiful issues coming. This issue, #37, also has a full-page Flesk ad inside. I enjoy Illustration Magazine so much that I have been advertising with him since issue #4. And in the back of this issue Dan promotes our Flesk Prime and Naughty and Nice: The Good Girl Art of Bruce Timm books with praiseworthy reviews. Thanks, Dan!

I’ve been talking with Steve Rude about two new books. We’ve already gotten started on one of them. I’ll give you the skinny once I get back from Kansas City. It’s a pleasure to be working with “The Dude” again.

The new Flesk website is coming along well. I hope to have it go live by this summer. It’s mostly waiting for me to review and double check the content. My fault! But it looks amazing and I am anxious to share it with you all.

I look forward to seeing those that can make the “Spectrum Fantastic Art Live!” show! I haven’t been this excited about going to a show for a very long time.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
text and photos copyright 2012 John Fleskes. All rights reserved.

Links:
Big Wow! ComicFest
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live! commemorative book
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live! official website
Terry Dodson website
Kapow! Comic Convention
Illustration Magazine

“Spectrum Fantastic Art Live!” Event Commemorative Art Book. Coming May 2012!


Arnie and Cathy Fenner have asked me to produce the commemorative art book for their upcoming “Spectrum Fantastic Art Live!” event happening this May 18-20, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. I am thrilled to have been trusted with this project. The Fenners’ have high expectations for anything that carries the Spectrum name; and for good reason. Spectrum is the world-wide phenomenon dedicated to promoting the best in contemporary fantastic art that is the result of their hard work, diligence and smart decision making. I find this pressure inviting as I edit and design this collection.

This 64-page, 9 x 12 inch hardbound keepsake collection will begin with an introduction by Arnie and Cathy Fenner. The focus of this art book will be on the five guests of the show. Each will be showcased with a gallery and accompanied with an introduction by a prestigious member of our fantastic art-loving community.


Brom, with an appreciation by Christopher Paolini.


Mike Mignola, with an appreciation by Christopher Golden.


Iain McCaig, introduction by William Stout.


Phil Hale, with a short interview excerpt from his upcoming art book coming this summer


Android Jones, with a feature by Lorne Lanning.

I’ll have individual biographies for each artist and writer posted on my blog in the near future. It’s an amazing experience to work with this esteemed and respected group. The book will premiere at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live! and be available direct from our website.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Links to official websites:
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live!
Brom
Mike Mignola
Iain McCaig
Phil Hale
Android Jones
Christopher Paolini
Christopher Golden
William Stout
Lorne Lanning

DC Comics The New 52 Reviews by Jonathan Leveck

A friend of mine, Jonathan Leveck, has taken on the herculean task of writing a review for each of DC Comics The New 52 #1 titles at his J’s Comic Book Review on Facebook. Jonathan has evaluated each comic with honest, genuine, snarky and critical observations for nine of the titles so far. I’ve been enjoying his approach that is backed up with a deep knowledge of comics and a fluid writing style.


His most recent review concerns Justice League International #1 by Dan Jurgens with art by an artist I admire, Aaron Lopresti.

I buy the occasional comic if the art grabs me. Personally, unless I like the art I won’t pick up a comic–no matter how good the story is. To me, comics are art driven and without good art (subjective, I know), I won’t even give the story a chance.

I have been a fan of comics since the mid-eighties and regularly visit my local comic book shop, Hijinx Comics. (Owned by a good friend of mine, Neil Farris.) This New 52 line feels nostalgic to me in relation to the revamp DC did on a host of their titles in the mid to late eighties. (Superman, Justice League and Justice League Europe are among my favorites.) This time period was during my introduction to comics as a kid. I’m guessing there will be a whole new generation of fans who will feel this New 52 line will be something they own and can feel a part of, much like I enjoyed and have an attachment to the DC revamp in the eighties.

I think every generation can benefit when a character is reintroduced with a fresh approach now and again. By keeping the status quo and not revamping titles or characters it only panders to old fans and does not make the field open and welcome for new fans. I’m a big proponent of change and growth. Given this, The New 52 has been a welcome sight for me.

To get an idea of which title(s) you may want to peruse, take a peek at J’s Comic Book Review.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Text © 2011 John Fleskes

Links:
J’s Comic Book Review
Hijinx Comics

Dean Yeagle Fake Artwork For Sale On Ebay

Dean Yeagle brought to our attention a fake original drawing of his art for sale on Ebay. Here’s the link:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/DEAN-YEAGLE-Original-PENCIL-signed-SEXY-GIRL-/170742195067?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27c107237b

It’s an obvious crude copy of his art and not done by Dean. Looking at the other auctions this same seller has for sale, the pieces on offer look highly suspect to me. Whether this dealer is knowingly selling fake original art or has no clue what he is actually offering is not for me to say. This is a good example of why it is important to be careful when purchasing originals and to familiarize yourself with the artist before buying artwork so you don’t get duped.

Dean Yeagle has already filed a complaint with Ebay about this fake representation of himself being available. As of this writing it looks to have been pulled down, but as possibly sold to someone who unknowingly thought it to be genuine, unfortunately.

If you notice more fake artwork by this dealer or at any other time, I encourage you to notify Ebay.

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Mark Schultz Original Art Benefit Auction

If you are in the market for Mark Schultz original art, Mark urges you to check out these two items he has posted on eBay. The auctions are for a worthy cause: all proceeds go to the Benefit for Carrie Smurkowski. Carrie is a good friend of Mark and Denise’s who is battling cancer and facing horrendous medical bills.

You can access the auctions by going to eBay and “Mark Schultz benefit art,” or go directly to:


http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mark-Schultz-ORIGINAL-ART-BENEFIT-Auction-FEMALE-WARRIOR-AMAZON-w-SERPENT-/270867426460

and:


http://www.ebay.com:80/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290642021281

The auctions conclude Sunday, December 11.

12/12/2011 Update: Thanks to all those who placed a bid. These auctions raised over $3000.00 to help Carrie with her medical bills.

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Artwork © 2011 Mark Schultz

Mark Schultz Interview and Xenozoic Book Review at Comics Bulletin

The Comics Bulletin website has posted both and interview with Mark Schultz by Jason Sacks, and a book review of Xenozoic.

I’m not sure that “Book review” is the appropriate term since Danny Djeljosevic and Jason Sacks do so much more than simply review the book. They use a unique discussion approach of sharing their thoughts about Schultz and his epic story.  Danny and Jason offer a very detailed and clear understanding of the art and story within, as well as share interesting opinions about the collection, all the while bouncing thoughts off of each other. Whether you are familiar with Schultz or new to Xenozoic, this discussion review will grab your attention and be worth your while to read. They obviously invested a lot of time into this review.

Secondly is the Schultz interview by Jason Sacks. Jason met up with Mark and me at my Flesk booth at Comic-Con in San Diego on the Friday afternoon of the show. I sat next to them as the interview was being conducted. I was very impressed with Jason’s knowledge of Schultz and the comic field as a whole. He asked great follow-up questions without skipping a beat. He questions were clear without hesitation. Jason is good at what he does.

Links can be found below.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Text © 2011 John Fleskes

Links:
Danny Djeljosevic and Jason Sacks book review of Xenozoic at Comics Bulletin
Mark Schultz interview by Jason Sacks at Comics Bulletin
Xenozoic by Mark Schultz

Spectrum 19 Call For Entries Now Open

The Spectrum Fantastic Art website has recently announced that the Spectrum 19 Call For Entries is now open. This year’s poster is by Rebecca Guay, who in my opinion produced an stunning and beautiful work of art.

Spectrum Fantastic Art co-director Arnie Fenner posted a blog about the back story and creative process of this latest poster on the Muddy Colors blog. You will find some variations and thumbnails showing alternate versions.

Interesting enough I was at the Spectrum 17 dinner Arnie mentions when Bill Carman, Rebecca Guay and Iain McCaig all volunteered to do the Spectrum 18, 19 and 20 posters, respectively. I’ve enjoyed seeing how that evening of good conversation has led to the two posters so far, with still a third to come.

The Spectrum 19 jury consists of Scott Gustafson, Peter de Sève, Jeremy Cranford, Jon Schindehette, and Dawn Rivera-Ernster. Visit the links below to learn more about Spectrum and for entry information.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Text © 2011 John Fleskes

Links:
Muddy Colors blog with back story by Arnie Fenner
Spectrum 19 Call For Entries details
Spectrum Fantastic Art website

Petar Meseldžija at Illuxcon 4 This Weekend

Petar Meseldžija will be at Illuxcon 4 running from November 3-6, 2011. Petar will have original paintings and drawings on display and for sale, as well as copies of The Legend of Steel Bashaw and Flesk Prime. Petar is a good friend and phenomenal artist. He is a delight to converse with. If you are fortunate enough to make the show you’ll definitely want to make a point to meet him.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publicaitons
Text © 2011 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2011 Petar Meseldžija

Links:
Illuxcon website
Petar Meseldžija blog
The Legend of Steel Bashaw
Flesk Prime

Spectrum 18 and Spectrum Live News

 

The Spectrum Fantastic Art website has announced that Spectrum 18 will be available very soon from your favorite bookseller. Arnie and Cathy Fenner have posted a video flip-through of the book giving us a glimpse of who is included in this latest collection of the best in contemporary fantastic art.

 

In addition, Spectrum has announced that advance registration for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live is available on their website. Three day passes are only $40.00 and single day passes will be available at the door for $20.00. Spectrum Live will be held in Kansas City, Missouri with special guests Brom, Mike Mignola, Iain McCaig, Phil Hale and Andrew Jones.

I’ll have a Flesk booth at the show. Joining me will be Gary Gianni, Petar Meseldzija, Mark Schultz, William Stout. Craig Elliott will be there as well with his own booth. (That’s the entire Flesk Prime group!) I’m excited about being a part of this inaugural new event that focuses on the artists. As the show nears I will have some surprises to share.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Links:
Spectrum Fantastic Art website
Spectrum 18 sneak peak
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live website
Flesk Prime

Remembering Minck Oosterveer

I received the devastating news from Mark Theloson and Paul Renaud yesterday morning that Minck Oosterveer passed away, the result of a motorcycle accident. We are all in shock and numb from the news. Just over a week ago Minck, Gianni, Stout, Schultz Petar Meseldzija and I were sitting in the Apollo Hotel lobby in Breda, The Netherlands having breakfast and enjoying each other’s company as we relaxed before the start of the Strip Festival. That Saturday evening was also a pleasant dinner with Minck in attendance. I consider myself fortunate to have met him and had a brief look into how kind and wonderful this great man was.

You can search the web to learn more about Minck the artist: www.minckoosterveer.com. For the time being, I would like to focus instead on the man–his pleasant demeanor and kind spirit and let it be known there are scores of friends out there that are saddened deeply by Minck’s passing. He will be sorely missed.

Beyond this tragedy, I find a peace knowing he was surrounded by friends, colleagues, peers and fans just a few days before his untimely death where people could celebrate him and his work and spend time with him one last time.

My most sincere condolences go out to his family.

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
photos provided by Mark Thelson

Randall Dahlk Wins 2011 Best Publication Design Eisner Award!

Over the next few weeks I will be posting a series of blogs about my exhibiting at Comic-Con International in San Diego for 2011.

I want to start off by highlighting one of the most exciting moments of the show to me. This was when my friend, Randall Dahlk received the Eisner award for Best Publication Design for the book Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer Artist’s Edition (IDW). I believe his Eisner is well-deserved and I am very happy for him. Randy was up against some steep competition, including 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking (Taschen).

Throughout the day leading to the awards ceremony I was informing people of his nomination which embarrassed him and he countered by downplayed it. Later that evening I spent time with Randy just before he went to the awards ceremony. I took some video commentary of him in his hotel room. (No, it’s not for public consumption—hilarious, but we’ll keep it to ourselves.) He was a little nervous and anxious, yet modest and felt that his chances of winning were slim.

At 11:30PM on Friday night I called Randy to see what was going on, but no one answered. He told me the Best Publication Design category was the final award of the evening and I knew the event ended around 11:00PM. I asked him to call me as soon as he had a chance. Finally, my restless sleep was appeased at 12:43AM when I received a text message from Randy, “win.” I was elated.

A big congratulations goes out to Randy!

You can learn about Randy and view his latest designs at his Retro Randy blog.

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Petar Meseldžija nominated for 2011 Chesley Award!

Unk! by Petar Meseldžija

Unk! by Petar Meseldžija

Congratulations to Petar Meseldžija for being nominated for a 2011 Chesley Award. His work titled “Unk!” is among the six pieces being considered in the Unpublished Monochrome category. A posting on the Muddy Colors blog shows a list of all nominees and their art being considered.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
text © 2011 John Fleskes

Links:
Muddy Colors post showing Chesley Awards nominations by Dan Dos Santos
Petar Meseldzija blog

Congratulations to Wesley St. Claire Recipient of the Inaugural Al Williamson Memorial Scholarship Award! Plus All 2011 Kubert School Scholarship Winners!

Wesley St. Clair and Victor Williamson. Photo courtesy The Kubert School.

Wesley St. Clair and Victor Williamson. Photo courtesy The Kubert School.

Congratulations to Wesley St. Claire who is the recipient of the inaugural Al Williamson Memorial Scholarship $1000 Award for a worthy second year student going into the third year at The Joe Kubert School of Cartoon & Graphic Art. The scholarship is sponsored by the family & friends of Al Williamson. The award was presented by Al Williamson’s son, Victor, on Friday May 13th, 2011.

The following press release regarding the Al Williamson Memorial Scholarship was provided by Mike Chen from The Kubert School. You will find full details about the scholarship and information on how you can contribute for next year. Also be sure to read the scholarship winners for all categories further down.

Wesley St. Clair, Joe Kubert and Victor Williamson. Photo courtesy The Kubert School.

Wesley St. Clair, Joe Kubert and Victor Williamson. Photo courtesy The Kubert School.

Al Williamson Memorial Scholarship Details

Dover, NJ (May 13, 2011) – The Joe Kubert School of Cartoon & Graphic Art, Inc., announces a new art scholarship for its students.

The friends and family of Al Williamson have established the scholarship in the famed illustrator’s name in 2010. They made this decision due to Al’s longstanding friendship with various Kubert School alumni as well with the school’s founder, Joe Kubert.

This $1000 scholarship award is offered only to a current 2nd Year student going into his or her 3rd Year at the Kubert School. Funding for the ongoing scholarship is based on contributions from the many admirers of Al’s artwork. Contributions can be sent directly to the Kubert School. Please make out checks to “The Joe Kubert School”, but add the notation that it is intended for the “Al Williamson Scholarship Fund”.

The scholarship joins several others offered at the Kubert School including the DC Comics Scholarship and those set up to honor artists such as Norman Maurer, Dave Simons and Dave Cockrum.

The winner must be in good standing with the Kubert School, show exceptional promise, be committed to a career in illustration and/or comic book art, and prove financial need. It is open to American citizens as well as foreign students. There can only be one winner of this award per school year.

Applicants must submit three (3) pieces of artwork. The choice of subject matter and media are left to the applicant’s discretion.

Originals for submission will not be accepted. Hardcopies or photocopies only are acceptable. They must be 11” x 17” each. CD-ROMs are unacceptable. Artwork will not be returned to the applicants.

Applicants must include their name and contact info on each piece. This information must be legible.

The Williamson family will select the winner. At least one runner-up will also be selected by the Williamson’s in case the 1st place winner is unable to accept the award.

The name of the winner will be announced at a private ceremony for its students and staff held at the Kubert School on May 13. Victor Williamson, Al’s son, will present the award.

Legendary cartoonist Joe Kubert (Hawkman, Sgt. Rock) founded the Kubert School in 1976 with his wife, Muriel. Since then he and his faculty of professional artists have trained hundreds of cartoonists, illustrators, animators and graphic designers. Joe continues to run the school to this day with his sons Adam (Wolverine, Spider-Man) and Andy (Batman, Green Lantern), also respected artists in the comic book industry.

Alfonso “Al” Williamson was an American cartoonist, comic book artist and illustrator specializing in adventure, Western and science-fiction/fantasy. His most notable works include his science-fiction/heroic fantasy art for EC Comics in the 1950s, on titles including Weird Science and Weird Fantasy.

In the 1960s, he gained recognition for the Flash Gordon comic-book series, based on the original comic strip created and illustrated by his idol Alex Raymond. Al spent most of the 1970s working on Raymond’s Secret Agent X-9 strip. The following decade, he became known for his work adapting Star Wars films to comic books and newspaper strips. From the mid-1980s to 2003, he was primarily active as an inker on such superhero titles such as Superman, Daredevil, and Spider-Man.

Al Williamson was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2000.

For further info, please contact Mike Chen at the Kubert School, 37 Myrtle Avenue, Dover, NJ 07801. The phone number is 973-361-1327 and the e-mail address is mchen@kubertschool.edu. The school’s website is www.kubertschool.edu.

2011 KUBERT SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS

Axiologix Scholarship for Artistic Excellence
One (1) $500 Award for a worthy 1st Year Student going into the 2nd Year at JKS and…
One (1) $500 Award for a worthy 2nd Year Student going into the 3rd Year at JKS.
Sponsored by Axiologix Education™ of Egg Harbor, NJ.
Presenting the award for Axiologix Education is their CEO/President/Chairman, John Daglas.
And the winners are… Carly Frank for the 1st Year, and Mike Morrocco for the 2nd Year

Dave Cockrum Memorial Scholarship
One (1) $1000 Award for a worthy 2nd Year Student going into the 3rd Year at JKS.
Sponsored by the family & friends of Dave Cockrum.
Presenting the award for the Cockrum family is Clifford Meth, writer and editor.
And the winner is… Brigid Allanson

A Wave Blue World Scholarships
Two (2) $1000 Awards for worthy 1st Year Students going into the 2nd Year at JKS.
Sponsored by A Wave Blue World™ of NYC.
Presenting the awards is Tyler Chin-Tanner, JKS alumnus and publisher of A Wave Blue World.
And the winners are… Kristoffer Sorensen and Max Fuchs

Dave Simons Memorial Scholarship
One (1) $1000 Award for a worthy 2nd Year Student going into the 3rd Year at JKS
Sponsored by the Inkwell Awards.
And the winner is… Angela Fernot

Al Williamson Memorial Scholarship
One (1) $1000 Award for a worthy 2nd Year Student going into the 3rd Year at JKS
Sponsored by the family & friends of Al Williamson.
Presenting the award for the Williamson family is Victor Williamson, Al’s son.
And the winner is… Wesley St. Claire

Dave Monahan Memorial Scholarship
One (1) $2000 Award for a worthy 2nd Year Student going into the 3rd Year at JKS.
Sponsored by the family and friends of Kubert School alumnus, Dave Monahan.
Presenting the award for the Monahan family is Mark Monahan, Dave’s brother.
And the winner is… Nathan Chaffin

Norman Maurer Memorial Scholarship
One (1) $2000 Award for a worthy 1st Year Student going into the 2nd Year at JKS.
Sponsored by the family & friends of Norman Maurer.
And the winner is… Fred Lupus

DC Comics Scholarship
One (1) $5000 Award for a worthy 2nd Year Student going into the 3rd Year at JKS; sponsored by DC Entertainment
And the winner is… Henrik Jonsson

Congratulations to all of the scholarship winners! These scholarships go a long way to helping these students. I encourage you to donate to one of them.

Best,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Links:
The Kubert School