New Flesk Kickstarter Campaign “Sessions: Spectrum Fantastic Art Portraits” Is Now Live!

Ragnar-SFAL-logo

(Jump straight to the Kickstarter campaign by clicking here.)

John Fleskes, president and publisher of Flesk Publications, teams up with renowned portrait photographer Greg Preston to produce a special book created on the showroom floor of the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live event, held May 9-11th in Kansas City, Missouri.  Sessions: Spectrum Fantastic Art Portraits will feature the art, a brief bio, and a portrait created by Greg Preston of at least 50 of the creators behind today’s best contemporary fantastic art.

This project is a singular opportunity that YOU can make happen, and as an added bonus you are invited to witness its creation.  John Fleskes is sponsoring the project through Kickstarter, and the chance to be a part of this unique art book begins NOW.  The amount needed to make Sessions a reality is $9,000 and this Kickstarter project offers several pledge levels to choose from, each with special items attached to thank you for being a backer.

Publisher John Fleskes explains: “I have invited noted portrait photographer Greg Preston and his crew to SFAL to set up a photo studio right on the show floor to take artist portraits throughout the event. With the permission of the artists, Greg and I will choose our favorite portraits and make a high-end, fine art style book collection. I really want to show the people behind the pictures; those who give us so much beauty, who entertain us and who fill our lives with wonder. Let’s celebrate the artists and who they are, which goes right along with the mission of the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live event: The artists are the stars and let’s showcase them in the best possible light.”

Artists to be included in the project include:  Allen Williams, Annie Stegg, Bill Carman, Camilla d’Errico, Cory Godbey, Craig Elliott, Dan dos Santos, Daren Bader, David Palumbo, Donato Giancola, Edward Howard, Frank Cho, George Pratt, Greg Spalenka, Iain McCaig, Jackson Robinson, J. Anthony Kosar, John Picacio, Justin Gerard, Justin Sweet, Mark Chiarello, Mark Schultz, Omar Rayyan, Paul Bonner, Rebecca Yanovskaya, Steve Rude, Terry Dodson, The Shiflett Brothers, Tim Bruckner, Virginie Ropars and Wayne Barlow.

If stretch goals are met, even more artists may be included in the book.

In addition to the opportunity to bring this project to fruition, you can attend Spectrum Fantastic Art Live and witness Greg Preston work directly with the artists.  It is open to the public.  This is an amazing opportunity for you to see your book being created, and meet the artists who will grace its pages.

In the event that you need more incentive to come on board, Flesk Publications is noted for the quality and craftsmanship of the art books they have created in their twelve years of business.  The book you are helping make will itself be a work of art, created by a publisher with a passion for fantastic art and the artists who create it.

(Visit the Kickstarter campaign by clicking here.)

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
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Spectrum Fantastic Art
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live on Facebook
Text and photographs copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Artwork copyright © 2014 its respective artists. All Rights Reserved.

Back From Emerald City Comicon

The view from the Flesk booth. We had a prime spot right as you walk in off of the main sky bridge.

The view from the Flesk booth. We had a prime spot right as you walk in off of the main sky bridge.

Emerald City Comicon is a wrap. The show was incredibly well organized with friendly staff and volunteers, plus easy to get in and out. The show was sold out in advance and packed with people for most of Friday and Saturday. I noticed that it was a little easier to get around on Sunday, but just a little.

Bud-Plant-booth-ECCC

Our friend’s at Bud Plant were just a few steps away from us. This picture was taken from our booth, too.

I brought three times the amount of books that we brought last year and by closing time on Sunday I was able to fit all of the remaining books into one small box. It looks like I’ll need to bring even more next year!

Flesk-Brom-booth-ECCC

Here’s a picture of Brom at the Flesk / Spectrum booth just before opening time on Friday morning.

Brom-book-signing-ECCC

Brom sketching in The Art of Brom.

Brom was with us all three days. His line was steady throughout with only the briefest of lulls. We sold out of the Art of Brom books that I had brought by early Sunday. In this picture above, Brom is adding a pair of drawings to a deluxe copy of his art book.

Brom-Tattoo-ECCCSome people talk about how big of a fan they are of Brom. Others show it. Here, Brom signs his name below the tattoo depicting his art during Emerald City Comicon last weekend. The owner requested Brom’s signature to use as a stencil for the tattoo artist to apply the final touch.

I observed that Seattle has a huge tattoo presence. I saw far more body art than cosplay at this show. Many beautiful tattoo arm sleeves had Asian influences, sea life or fantasy elements to them. I can only imagine how skilled these tattoo artists have to be as they don’t have the luxury of an eraser.

More pictures and stories from ECCC 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 and photographs copyright © 2014 John Fleskes. Artwork copyright © 2014 its respective artists. All Rights Reserved.

 

Emerald City Comicon Going Strong for Flesk!

John Flesk, Frank Cho and Brom at the Flesk booth #1702 today at Emerald City Comicon.

John Flesk, Frank Cho and Brom at the Flesk booth #1702 today at Emerald City Comicon.

Hi, all,

We’re having a great time here this weekend in Seattle at the Emerald City Comicon. The show sold out in advance and the crowds have been thick. We’ve been having a lot of fun and appreciate how many people have been stopping by. I brought three times the amount of books that we brought last year and we are already down to the last 10% of stock with one more full day to go!

Camilla d'Errico's booth today at Emerald City Comicon.

Camilla d’Errico’s booth today at Emerald City Comicon.

Here’s a picture of Camilla d’Errico just before Saturday’s opening time at her booth. Camillia will be a special guest at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live this coming May!

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 its respective artists. All Rights Reserved.

 

Spectrum 21 Judging Highlights Video

Here’s a video showing highlights from the Spectrum 21 judging event which was held on March 1, 2014 at the San Jose State University’s Animation/Illustration department building. The five member jury, comprising of Cory Godbey, J. Anthony Kosar, George Pratt, Shelly Wan and Allen Williams, reviewed over 5000 entries during the daylong event. A Special thanks to the SJSU faculty for making the space available and to the twenty-plus students who volunteered making the day run smoothly!

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 its respective artists. All Rights Reserved.

Flesk and Spectrum Exhibiting at Emerald City Comic Con

Brom will be signing at our booth #1702 each day.

Brom will be signing at our booth #1702 each day.

Hi, all,

If you will be attending the Emerald City Comic Con, we’ll be there and we would enjoy seeing you there. The shoe is in Seattle, WA this March 28-30. We have an excellent spot located right at the entrance when walking into the show off of the sky bridge. Our booth number is 1702.

There are a number of artists who we publish that are special guests of the show. Brom will be signing at our Flesk / Spectrum booth for the full three days. Frank Cho, who we are working with on his Drawing Beautiful Women: The Frank Cho Method that will be available this fall, can be found at his guest table MM-07. Terry & Rachel Dodson are at table II-01. And Richard & Wendy Pini, who we have two books in development with, can be found at table E-09. We look forward to welcoming you at our respective locations where you can learn more about our future projects with these exceptional artists. Plus, the artists will have original artwork and prints for sale.

We will have our full line of Flesk books on hand, as well as information regarding the Spectrum annual and the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live event. Free catalogs and promotional postcards will be available. We will be bringing a number of books with slight scuff marks or dings at greatly reduced prices. This is an excellent way to try out a new title or artist, or to fill in your Flesk library for a deal.

Full details about Emerald City Comic Con can be found here.

We look forward to seeing 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 photographs copyright © 2013 John Fleskes. All Rights Reserved.

Visiting the LA Art Show

I visited the LA Art Show for my first time on January 18th. The thought of viewing original paintings by contemporary and past masters was strong enough to lure me to L.A. for the weekend. Here is a batch of pictures that I took at the booths that showcased the artworks that appealed to me the most.
Flesk-LA-fine-art-show-2013-08 The Maxwell Alexander Gallery had a handful of paintings by Joseph Todorovitch (left) and Jeremy Mann (right) on display.

Flesk-LA-fine-art-show-2013-09This is another picture of the Maxwell Alexander Gallery booth, this time from the outer aisle. There’s another painting by Jeremy Mann, sixth from the left.

Craig-LA-fine-art-show-2013Look who I found at the event; none other than Mr. Craig Elliott, who is shown here admiring a fine art painting.

Flesk-LA-fine-art-show-2013-05Zhang Xinquan titled Fishes Play in Heyuan Pool. The sculptures are by Lu Zhenyuan. The work in front of the painting is titled Kisses. This booth represented artists from the Phoenix Art Center from China.

Flesk-LA-fine-art-show-2013-01The Museo Maya de America featured an exquisite display titled Guatemala: Treasures of the Maya Spirit.

Flesk-LA-fine-art-show-2013-02Another ancient object at the Museo Maya de America booth.

Flesk-LA-fine-art-show-2013-03More from the Guatemala: Treasures of the Maya Spirit exhibit.

Flesk-LA-fine-art-show-2013-04This is a detail from a painting for the Sacred Palace Series by Li Guan Lin.

Flesk-LA-fine-art-show-2013-10Paintings by Jean-Leone Gerome, Norman Rockwell and Camilla d’Erricco are but a small example of the wide-range of artists featured at the LA Art show. This one by Morgan gave me pause.

Flesk-LA-fine-art-show-2013-06These are two recent paintings by Brad Kunkle at the Arcadia Contemporary booth.

Flesk-LA-fine-art-show-2013-07Another painting by Brad Kunkle. Brad is currently working on fifteen new pieces that will premiere at his third one man show at Arcadia Contemporary in New York City in December.

And then my camera stopped working…

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 © 2013 John Fleskes. All Rights Reserved.

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 3 Exhibitor Registration Early Discount Pricing Ends Saturday

SFAL3-headerWe wanted to remind everyone that this Friday, January 31, the cost for exhibiting space at Spectrum Live will rise. 10′x10′ premium booths are current $350 and 6′ Artist Alley tables are $100; prices increase to $450 and $200 respectively at midnight 1/31/14.

This is the opportunity to reach both well-known collectors and new patrons with your work at a friendly and focused event where the artists are the stars. Spectrum Live continues to grow in popularity and we anticipate yet another substantial increase in attendance: We are promoting the show regionally and nationally and will be advertising on television, the radio, and in print. With an area population of 2.5 million and another 50 million within a day’s drive, we intend to make sure everyone in the region knows exhibitors are in Kansas City. The convention center, hotels, theaters, clubs, and restaurants are all within short walks of each other and we’ve negotiated special room rates at the Aladdin and Marriott. Visitors have discovered that Kansas City is both welcoming and affordable: Spectrum is a show that won’t break the bank to exhibit at or attend. If you’re interested, please click on the link to book your space:

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live Exhibitor Registration

Besides sales, SFAL is also a prime venue for networking: artistic opportunities stem from interaction and Spectrum Live has many activities that allow attendees to learn and spend time with fellow creatives. Panels and workshops share tips and insights, life drawing sessions will be hosted by The Art Department, multiple artists will be giving live paintings drawing, and sculpting demonstrations, while art directors from the publishing and entertainment industries will be on hand to talk shop and review portfolios. Plus there’s the presentation of the Spectrum 21 Awards at the beautiful Midland Theater, a national landmark that provides a red carpet showcase for fantastic artists of all sensibilities. Not only does the awards ceremony offer the opportunity to socialize with fellow creators, but it allows everyone to join in a celebration of the community as a whole.

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 3 Attendee Information

Unlike any other convention or show, big or small, Spectrum Fantastic Art Live is your event: Like the Spectrum annual, the artists are what make it tick. If you believe there should be a place that all artists are welcomed without prejudice, in which the art and the artists are the purpose, where artists aren’t bumped by corporations or excluded because of style or methodology…please join us, either as an exhibitor or attendee. As Donato Giancola said, “This weekend will go down in history as one of the greatest gatherings of talent in our field…we’ll all be proclaiming in years to come ‘I was there!’”

–John Flesk/Cathy Fenner/Arnie Fenner

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Spectrum Fantastic Art Live on Facebook

The Importance of Exhibiting at Shows & Why Exhibit at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live?

Over 200 artists will be exhibiting at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 3. Here, Justin Sweet paints at his booth at SFAL2.

Over 200 artists will be exhibiting at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 3. Here, Justin Sweet paints at his booth at SFAL2.

The early-bird price break for the exhibitor registration for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 3 has been extended to January 31, 2014. Prices go up $100 starting on February 1. You can download an exhibitor application here, or go straight to the online registration here.

But why is it important to exhibit at shows? Here are my five top reasons why I exhibit at shows; and how Spectrum Fantastic Art Live meets my criteria.

Short answer:
1. For promotion
2. To meet the artists / industry colleagues
3. To get inspired
4. To grow
5. To sell books, prints and original art.

Long answer:
Last summer I wrote a blog detailing the five main reasons why I exhibit at shows. I’m going to share them again, but this time I will add some additional information and include how Spectrum Fantastic Art Live meets my own requirements, and by extension I hope to those who decide to exhibit with us as well.

But first, a little bit of history: I’ve attended and exhibited at over one hundred comic, book and art shows combined over the last 20 years. I’ve helped friends run their comic and rare book booths before I was a publisher and my own booths as Flesk Publications since 2005. Now recently I exhibit with Flesk and Spectrum booths side-by-side at shows

I’ve been to terribly mismanaged shows and others that were exceptionally well run. I’ve taken mental notes over the years and aim to put the positive aspects into practice with SFAL. I’m in a unique position in that starting in 2014 I am part of the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live organization. This group consists of me and five other key, smart and incredibly hard working individuals who I am honored to work with. I can have a say in a range of topics including those ideas that I like the most, caution about the things I see as being negative, and suggest new directions and ideas. SFAL is organized by the Spectrum founders, Cathy & Arnie Fenner.

Let’s get started:

1. Promotion.
It’s essential that I create a presence for Flesk Publications, Spectrum Fantastic Art and for the artists that I publish regularly. I look for opportunities to meet people and share with them what we do. Shows are, in my opinion the best and most cost effective way to do this.

I oftentimes have artists at my booth to give attendees an opportunity to meet with them. It is not a requirement for an artist to have been published by myself or for them to have been in Spectrum to join me. At times I do this simply because I like the artist and their art and it’s good to have their company at the booth. Another key reason is that I want the fan to have a pleasant experience. I also want to help the show where I exhibit at succeed. I promote every show where I attend since I want the organizers to succeed as well. The more popular the show is the better it is for us too.

This is a little off topic–falling more in how to conduct yourself at shows, but do you ever notice that I only write about positive things on my blog? If I have an issue, I offer a constructive break down and work toward a better goal. I do not use the internet to vent or use as a sounding board. Being negative gets you nowhere and causes a lapse in focus. Staying positive before, during and after a show will take you far–if you are patient and work smart. Back to the main topic…

For an artist, promotion at events builds a growing awareness of who you are. It can take years to build a following; plan on committing yourself for 3-5 years at various shows before expecting things to benefit you on a large scale. It doesn’t matter how good you are, if no one knows you or your work you will not succeed. Shows will help make you better known. For me, there is no better way to make an impact with another person than a face to face encounter.

How does SFAL help with promotion?
The booths at this show are reserved for artists, with very few exceptions being made to non-artists who fall within the art community and therefore benefit the show and add to the ambiance. We advertise and reach out to art collectors and fans that have a specific interest in the arts. The people who come to SFAL have a keen interest for our field. The attendees are knowledgeable and sophisticated and have a deep appreciation for what we do. And we welcome all artists, art directors and industry people to help bring you all together for greater opportunities and networking possibilities. I also want to note that it is not a requirement to have been in the Spectrum annual to exhibit or attend. We keep the entry ticket affordable and even have very reasonably priced artist tables to encourage new artists to exhibit at a show for the first time. We take a great interest in cultivating new and young artists.

2. Meet your fellow colleagues in person.
I met Gary Gianni, Steve Rude, Mark Schultz, Jim Silke, William Stout, Bruce Timm and a host of other people I work with at events where I have exhibiting at in the past. Shows provide a rare accessibility to artists and many opportunities arise there that can pay off three or five years from now.

Having a booth makes you accessible. It is a location where fans and industry people can find you and solicit commissions and work. I know many artists who either pick up jobs at shows, or receive calls a few months later from someone who met them at a show and who are following up regarding a request. You may not make money at a show, but you may make it down the line.

How does SFAL help with meeting the artists?
We do this by keeping our focus on the artists, and an affordable entry for the general public. We cultivate those in the industry and those who appreciate the arts to gather in one convenient and central location with easy access from the East and West coasts and everywhere in-between. My notes regarding how SFAL helps with promotion applies here as well.

3. Get inspired!
Walking the show and seeing what others are doing is fuel that can last for months.

How SFAL will help get you inspired?
This is a fun topic for me. I keep mentioning this because it is so important to the SFAL organizers; almost all of the booths are artists. The show is a network of booth after booth of artists who paint, draw, sculpt, hand-craft and use technology to create a near overload of imagery. Making your way through the isles is an opportunity to be stimulated and interact with others passions. The wide-range of arts to be found will guarantee you will meet someone with like-minded views. You will leave inspired.

4. Grow.
Panels, business meetings and talking with our Flesk and Spectrum supporters helps me make decisions for the future and it provides me with the knowledge to keep me on track.

How SFAL will help you grow?
Besides the topics mentioned already, an important goal of ours is to have the best panels by artists for artists, and for the fans who want insight into how things work in the studios. We are setting up painting workshops, industry panels conducted by top named editors, panels for the fans to interact with the artists, and more. We want people leaving the show with valuable new knowledge that can enlighten, and benefit a growing career.

5. Sell art, books, prints, sculptures and more.  
I love selling books, packing books, shipping books and getting them into the hands of those that support Flesk and Spectrum. I’m not selling a product that I bought for resale. I am selling books that we made, oftentimes that took months or years to create that I was heavily involved with and that I am passionate about. When someone buys one of our books I am especially grateful since it allows me to continue making more books, and pay royalties to the artists that goes toward the creation of new works.

How does SFAL help to sell your art?
I imagine that some artists feel the same way about selling their art as I do about selling books. Regardless of your motives or what you get out of it, the SFAL organizers work hard to attract buyers who are looking to purchase art direct from you and not from a dealer. What I enjoy most about buying from an artist is that in a small way I have contributed to the artist to produce more work. We welcome and encourage fans and other artists to help one another to succeed.

That wraps up my top five reasons for attending a show and how as one of the SFAL organizers I am working to make Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 3 a fun and rewarding experience for all involved.

There is one more topic to discuss, and that is important to consider. That would be making money at a show. I’ve never looked at exhibiting at a show as an immediate financial reward. I’m always happy if I break even. I’ve exhibited at plenty of shows where I lost money, sometimes thousands of dollars, but that never was reason enough for me to quit or to stop exhibiting. For me, embracing my top five is far more rewarding and always pays off in long run.

I’m looking forward to SFAL3 and hope to see you there.

Let me know if you have questions about the show!

Enjoy,

John

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

Visiting the Belgium Comic Strip Center and Other Stories

Here are a few stories and pictures during my travels to The Netherlands in late October.

As my flight prepared for departure from the San Francisco airport for Amsterdam the announcement was made to turn off all electronic devices. I gladly shut down and packed away my phones and didn’t turn them back on until my arrival back home in the states. I quickly and easily defaulted back to my days of no phones and no online access. I always feel good when I can temporarily disconnect from the grid, even if just for a day. I survived just fine without a phone, internet access or online maps. A little bit of pre-planning, local help, physical maps and asking people for directions on the streets kept us going in the right direction. It was quite liberating to be free of gadgets.
Flesk-Netherlands-2013-events-05One of my favorite things about traveling is how I tend to look up and around when walking, rather than looking straight ahead and thinking about where I am going when I am moving about on my home turf. This picture (above) is looking straight up into the canopy of a tree that looked remarkably similar to our California Sycamore native trees. It was located on the edge of a walking path that ran along a channel of flowing water that bounced a reflective light along the large broad green and yellow leaves, with the blue sky peering through in the background. It was like seeing a rich pallet of animated oil paint constantly undulating on the leaves and branches. I sat and watched this light show for a while, completely lost in its beauty.
Flesk-Netherlands-2013-events-04Coming from California, the nice weather experienced during our visit, which we were told was exceptional during our stay, was not that unusual for me to experience. But what was impressive was the clarity and lighting of objects during our stay. The days are shorter than where I live, and not just that, they sun travels lower across the Dutch sky making for morning to mid-morning light that blends right into a late afternoon and then evening light. The harsh and bright lighting that washes out color during the middle of the day that I am used to in California was non-existent. This made for perfect photography lighting during much of our stay in the Netherlands. It was like having a Hollywood film crew control the lighting to my advantage everywhere we went. Also, I didn’t have to get up early to catch the morning light.

Flesk-Netherlands-2013-events-03Terry and Rachel Dodson, Mark Schultz, our pal Jim Reid and I spent the afternoon walking in Schiedam. Terry stopped a few times, pulled out his sketchbook and start drawing a scene that interested him. In this case, Terry was standing in the road to get the angle he wanted. I was watching for cars and bikes, while watching him work. He quickly blocked in the large masses and then continued to ease into the finer details. Twelve minutes later he got down what he wanted and we continued our leisurely walk through the city.

Mark Schultz, Mark Theloson and Thomas Yeates

Mark Schultz, Mark Theloson and Thomas Yeates viewing the Will Eisner Exhibit.

We had the good fortune to visit the Belgium Comic Strip Center. Unbeknown to us, a stellar special exhibit on the life and work of Will Eisner was on display. What was originally planned for an hour long visit, extended into a full afternoon of pure enlightenment. Our group this day consisted of Thomas Yeates and his daughter, Mark Schultz, Mark Thelosen, Terry and Rachel Dodson and myself. I would guess all, if not most of us had met Will Eisner at least once, if not multiple times. I would also bet most of us have seen numerous examples of his originals before. Even with those experiences, this homage to Eisner was staggering in scope, detail and display. There are hundreds of originals to view. The care and attention that the Center put into celebrating Eisner is a work of art unto itself. They did a remarkable job. I was impressed by every nuance and corner of the Comic Strip Center. Never have I seen comics and creators so well presented to the public in a museum format. I was delighted that here we were, in the middle of the week, and the place was busy with visitors. The respect and appreciation of the comic arts by the general public throughout Europe is far greater than here in the U.S. And here’s another interesting aside–there was practically no superhero art on display, a genre of which dominates the American comics culture.

Flesk-Netherlands-2013-events-09Mark Schultz standing in front of the Spirit display. Mark has written a few Spirit stories and drawn a couple of covers.

Flesk-Netherlands-2013-events-10The Eisner original art displays were designed like a city outline, perfectly complimenting a theme that runs through Eisner’s works.

Flesk-Netherlands-2013-events-11The Marks’ looking at one of the many displays of comics perephenilia.

Flesk-Netherlands-2013-events-06Walking back to the train station in Brussels, we came across The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula. The lighting crew continued to do their job.

Flesk-Netherlands-2013-events-07Another picture of the Cathedral with our friend and guide, Mr. Mark Theloson.

Flesk-Netherlands-2013-events-12Mark Schultz takes a picture of Terry Dodson during our walk through Brussels.

Two days later, the Prince Valiant team of Mark Schultz (writer) and Thomas Yeates (artist) were asked to give a lecture and workshop at the art department of a high school in Breda, The Netherlands. This was done during the early afternoon on the day before the Strip Festival show. These guys are always willing to share some of their knowledge with future professionals. I left for a few hours, but found out later that Mark and Thomas came up with a Prince Valiant story concept and sketched out the strip in front of the class. That’ll teach me to go goof off.

Flesk-Netherlands-2013-events-02We were pleasantly surprised to see a large Dan Brereton drawing on the door leading into the art lecture room.

Flesk-Netherlands-2013-events-01Later on, we found another drawing by Dan inside an art supply cabinet. Thomas added his own drawing on the interior door. Even Mark drew a small dinosaur right before we left. I suppose I won’t be surprised if that door ends up missing one day. The justification being that it would make it easier to get to the art supplies.

I have more pictures which I’ll share once I find a spare moment.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
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Text and photographs copyright © 2013 John Fleskes. All Rights Reserved.

Announcing the Gallery Edition of Frank Cho’s “Drawing Beautiful Women”

Frank Cho came up a big idea. So big in fact that we decided to add five additional tiers to our Frank Cho Kickstarter campaign.

(Drawing Beautiful Women: The Frank Cho Method Kickstarter link)

DBW-Gallery-Edition-cover-KSWe are pleased to announce the Gallery Edition of Frank Cho’s “Drawing Beautiful Women.” This massive edition will be 12 inches wide by 17 inches tall. The Gallery Edition will feature a new oil painting of a reclining nude woman on the printed boards cover. (The cover sample shows the painting and rough design, both of which are in progress.)

This oversized version will meet the high standards of the discerning collector, plus benefit the student by showcasing the artwork at a large scale, many in its original size. This format will allow for a close and personal study of Cho’s line and brush strokes. Plus it makes a nifty tray to serve various beverages of your choice.

There are three offerings for this book.

Gallery Edition
The Gallery Edition hardcover with an extra 16 pages is 128 pages, 12×17 inches. At $150, you get the extra 16-page section which includes bonus artwork and an exclusive Frank Cho interview, plus an alternate designed cover featuring a new painting of a nude woman. This is only available from Flesk and Cho. This edition will not be available through the book trade.

Deluxe Gallery Edition
The Deluxe Gallery Edition hardcover is 130 pages, 12×17 inches. Each copy comes signed on a special bound-in signature page which features a new piece of art. The book is hand numbered with only 500 being available. At $200, you get the extra 16-page section which includes bonus artwork and an exclusive Frank Cho interview, plus an alternate designed cover featuring a new painting of a nude woman. This is only available from Flesk and Cho. This edition will not be available through the book trade.

Deluxe Gallery Edition with Original Art
This copy of the Deluxe Gallery Edition includes an original ballpoint-pen drawing by Frank Cho of a woman on a blank page inside the book. Only three copies are available with the price of $5000 apiece.

Adding an entire new edition to our campaign adds a whole new risk factor for us since the printing for this new edition will be quite expensive. But, it’s a dream edition for us, and one in which we hope will have your support.

Thanks again to everyone who has supported us!

(Drawing Beautiful Women: The Frank Cho Method Kickstarter link)

John

John Fleskes
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Text and photographs copyright © 2013 John Fleskes. All Rights Reserved.
Artwork copyright © 2013 Frank Cho. All Rights Reserved.

“Drawing Beautiful Women: The Frank Cho Method” Kickstarter Campaign is Now Live!

Our “Drawing Beautiful Women: The Frank Cho Method” Kickstarter campaign is now live

Here’s the link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1226561929/drawing-beautiful-women-the-frank-cho-method

We’ve come up with some cool publisher’s editions that we will make available should we reach our goal. If that happens, we’ll continue to add value to the book and bonus items through stretch goals. You can see the full book details by visiting our Kickstarter campaign.

Frank-Cho-DBW-CoverEnjoy,

John

John Fleskes
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Text and photographs copyright © 2013 John Fleskes. All Rights Reserved.
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Flesk Booth Pictures at the 2013 Strip Festival in Breda, The Netherlands

We had a solid thirty-foot long booth at the Strip Festival show in Breda, The Netherlands on October 26 and 27. Terry Dodson, Petar Meseldzija, Mark Schultz, Jim Silke and Thomas Yeates joined us for signings during the duration of the weekend. I would like to express a special thanks to our hosts, Mark Thelosen and Guido de Bue, plus De Stripspecialist. And to the Strip Festival Breda organization and volunteers, plus all of those at Eppo for their help and support and for making our visit a pleasant one. We had a wonderful time!

Here’s a batch of pictures that I took at our booth. Captions fall under each picture.

Strip-Festival-Breda-2013-Flesk-pic-02Starting from the front, here is Terry Dodson signing a collection of his art on Spider-Man, Mark Schultz doing a drawing in his Xenozoic Artist’s Edition, Thomas Yeates pulling out some of his Prince Valiant original art, Petar Meseldzija adding a sketch to his art book, with Petar’s wife, Anita, keeping us boys in line.

Strip-Festival-Breda-2013-Flesk-pic-01Mark Schultz, who writes the weekly Prince Valiant Sunday strip, was discussing an upcoming storyline with Thomas, who happens to be the artist. Throughout the weekend you could overhear them working out the details for the coming months. In this case, Mark decided to sketch out what he was thinking for one particular segment.

Strip-Festival-Breda-2013-Flesk-pic-03Petar Meseldzija does the best sketches in books! All are different and they serve as a necessary challenge to keep him sharp. Petar does not compromise. I respect that trait.

Strip-Festival-Breda-2013-Flesk-pic-04Terry Dodson adding a quick headshot into one of his books. Terry had the largest lines each day. Fortunately this Dutch show has short hours and is only two days so none of us got worn out. It was quick relaxing, actually.

Strip-Festival-Breda-2013-Flesk-pic-05Thomas Yeates talking with a fan. Thomas is a delight and has an infectious laughter.

Strip-Festival-Breda-2013-Flesk-pic-06Thomas poses for Mark Thelosen, the new owner of this particular Prince Valiant original. And, I’ll add that Mark shuttled us all around the city and back and forth to the airport. For this, and many other reasons, Mark is an official lifetime member of the Flesk team.

Strip-Festival-Breda-2013-Flesk-pic-07The legendary Jim Silke signs a recently sold original.

Strip-Festival-Breda-2013-Flesk-pic-08Petar is all smiles, except when he is focused on drawing.

Strip-Festival-Breda-2013-Flesk-pic-09Jim signs his Jungle Girls book.

Strip-Festival-Breda-2013-Flesk-pic-10Petar snuck behind our booth wall to focus on this drawing commission that he wanted to make extraordinary. It’s quite the experience to watch Petar work.

Strip-Festival-Breda-2013-Flesk-pic-11A pulled back shot of Petar working on the same piece. See, no smiles. He’s creating.

Strip-Festival-Breda-2013-Flesk-pic-12This is a shot of Mark Schultz from the perspective of being in front of the booth. Mark was adding a Hannah bust drawing to his Xenozoic Artist’s Edition.

Strip-Festival-Breda-2013-Flesk-pic-13Mark, who very rarely sketches at shows, adds a Hannah sketch to his new art book, Carbon.

Strip-Festival-Breda-2013-Flesk-pic-14Thomas finished up four convention sketches that were ready to be picked up by his fans.

Strip-Festival-Breda-2013-Flesk-pic-15Remember when I mentioned how steady Terry’s line was? Well, here’s proof.

Strip-Festival-Breda-2013-Flesk-pic-16Terry was only able to finish one or two art commissions at the show. Here’s Terry working on the first one.

Strip-Festival-Breda-2013-Flesk-pic-17This is an alternate angle of Terry working on his commission.

Thanks for looking. I’ll be sharing more pictures soon. Check on back here next week to see them.

Enjoy,

John

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November 2013 News from Flesk and Spectrum

Flesk-Netherlands-01

Schiedam, The Netherlands. More pictures will be featured in my next blog post.

I arrived back to the office from two successful events that were held in Breda, The Netherlands at the end of October. The first event was our An Evening with Flesk Prime, and the second was the Strip Festival. I will write about these and share some pictures in a series of blogs over the next few weeks. For now, I want to provide an update on what is coming next from Flesk and Spectrum.

With 2013 coming to a close, I can positively reflect upon our two Kickstarter projects being finalized, our ten book titles that were released, and the eight events where we exhibited at, plus my working on the Spectrum transition and pushing the new Spectrum website live. It’s the most that we’ve accomplished in a single year and I’m proud of all that we’ve accomplished. I’m looking forward to the next series of projects and shows that will take us into 2014.

Currently, I am working on the Wayne Thiebaud: Works on Paper 1948-2004 exhibition catalog for the Weisman Museum of Art located at the Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. Last year we packaged their Illustrating Modern Life book that focused on the golden age of American illustration. I’m delighted that the museum director and book editor, Michael Zakian, has asked me to take part in the book production for this important American painter. The show will run from January 11 to March 30, 2014. I’m planning on having this done and off to the printer in the next two weeks.

Frank Cho and I will be launching a Kickstarter campaign for his new book, Drawing Beautiful Women: The Frank Cho Method. I’m going to save the details for closer to when we launch, which is scheduled for Black Friday!

Also, a new Steve Rude Nexus art book is in development. Over the last couple of years I have been working with Steve and his wife, Jaynelle, to locate and obtain quality scans of Nexus original art pages that were inked by Steve. We’ve acquired a large group of complete stories. One of the major highlights that will be featured is a selection of pencil pages before they were inked. This is a book I am extremely happy to be working on. I have a 300 page book mapped out already! Hopefully with Kickstarter supporters we can make this even more unique and larger. Our Kickstarter campaign will start early next year sometime.

I had a chance to meet with Richard and Wendy Pini last weekend to talk more about their two books that we have in production, The Art of Elfquest and Line of Beauty: The Art of Wendy Pini. The one issue we are facing is having too much art to sort through! I expect it will take one more year to wrap these up.

In Spectrum news, the Call for Entries for Spectrum 21 is going smoothly. The online submission option, which is new for this year, is proving popular with the majority of submissions arriving in this fashion. Remember, we still accept print submissions through the mail. The jury will view the print submissions in the traditional format of viewing them in person and voting, and the online submissions will be viewed and voted upon on the computer. This allows the artists to choose their desired format.

SFAL3-bannerSpectrum Fantastic Art Live is on for next May 9-11 in Kansas City, MO! Exhibitor applications are being accepted now and you can receive a cool $100 discount by reserving your booth by December 31. Until that time, booths are only $350 and artist tables (new for 2014) are only $100. The special guests so far are Wayne Barlowe, Tim Bruckner, Frank Cho, Camilla d’Errico and Justin Sweet. Sponsored by Flesk, I’ll be bringing in Terry Dodson, Steve Rude and Mark Schultz, with more to come! You can download an exhibitor application form here.

Enjoy,

John

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Text copyright © 2013 John Fleskes. All Rights Reserved.

Flesk and Spectrum Booth Video at APE!


Here’s a three minute video of the action at our Flesk / Spectrum booth at the Alternate Press Expo in San Francisco on October 12 and 13. This footage includes our special guests Terryl Whitlatch, Shelly Wan, Iain McCaig and Craig Elliott! Thanks to the Helpful Bear Productions crew for putting this together for us!

Enjoy,

John

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Pictures at our Flesk and Spectrum Booth at the Alternate Press Expo in San Francisco

Hi, all,

We had a fun time at the Alternate Press Expo on October 12 and 13. I’m on the road in the Netherlands for two events, which will keep my writing brief, but I will say this is one show I would not want to miss. APE is all about the artists and it attracts a sophisticated and highly enjoyable audience.

Terryl Whitlatch was with us all weekend. Everyone who bought a copy of her book Real and Imagined received a free unique drawing in the book. This kept Terryl’s line steady throughout the show. Pixar Sketch Artist and Spectrum 21 jury member, Shelly Wan, joined us on Saturday. Shelly proved popular and her good spirits was welcome at the booth. Craig Elliott was with us throughout the weekend. Craig gave much of his time by providing a live painting demonstration from a live model for four hours on Saturday and Sunday. We’re pleased at how popular these were and the visitors that hung out to learn and observe. Iain McCaig, legendary artist and Spectrum Advisory Board member, stopped by Saturday for a surprise visit and signing. Even with his presence being unannounced, a line quickly formed and kept Iain engaged during his entire stay with us. My friends James and Josh managed the book sales and answering questions. We had a fun time. APE is much like showing up to a good friend’s house and hanging out for a few days. None of the experience feels like work.

Enjoy the following pictures that were provided by our friends at Helpful Bear Productions. (Thanks guys!)

Flesk-APE-2013-pic-01Our full line of books were on offer, plus a sample copy of Spectrum 20 that was viewed with much delight.

Flesk-APE-2013-pic-01BTerryl Whitlatch talking with an attendee.

Flesk-APE-2013-pic-03From left to right, there’s Terryl, Shelly Wan, Craig Elliott and me, John Flesk.

Flesk-APE-2013-pic-04Here, Terryl includes a drawing into a copy of her book. She never drew the same creature twice.

Flesk-APE-2013-pic-05This is Terryl again, from the aisle outside of our booth. Our booth was oftentimes obscured by attendees.

Flesk-APE-2013-pic-07This picture shows Terryl, Shelly and Craig, with my buddy James in the background.

Flesk-APE-2013-pic-08Terryl draws in the foreground while Craig is painting his model for the day, Kelly.

Flesk-APE-2013-pic-09Craig focuses on his oil demonstration.

Flesk-APE-2013-pic-10From left to right we have Iain McCaig, Gil Banducci of Helpful Bear Productions, myself and Terryl.

Flesk-APE-2013-pic-11Shelly talks with a fan.

Flesk-APE-2013-pic-12Group shot! From left to right: Shelly, Gil, Terryl, Iain, Craig and Flesk.

Flesk-APE-2013-pic-13Here’s another perspective on Craig’s oil demonstration.

Flesk-APE-2013-pic-14The final portrait, with Kelly and Craig.

Thanks to Vidur Gupta for taking these pictures and to the entire Helpful Bear crew for their support!

See you next year!

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
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Text copyright © 2013 John Fleskes. All Rights Reserved.

 

Flesk Student Outreach at the Academy of Art University Time-Lapse Video

We had our annual student outreach at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco on October 15, 2013. We gave students access to our entire Flesk catalog at a reduced rate. I enjoy the opportunity to get our books into the hands of our future stars at a special student discount. Thanks to Vidur Gupta and Helpful Bear Productions for providing this time lapse video of the event. See you next year!

Enjoy,

Enjoy,

John

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Text copyright © 2013 John Fleskes. All Rights Reserved.

A Quick Flesk October Action Overview

John-Flesk-AAUC-blogWith the APE show over (pictures coming soon), it’s time for our Student Outreach at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. I’ll be there on Tuesday at 5:00 at the 540 Powell location. And then I’m off to the Netherlands to film a painting demonstration by Petar Mesledzija this weekend, followed by our “An Evening with Flesk Prime” on October 24th and the Strip Festival Breda on the 26th and 27th. Oh, and the Spectrum 21 Call for Entries will open tomorrow, October 15th!

I’ll be posting blog and Facebook entries with pictures throughout the next two weeks as I am able.

Enjoy,

John

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Text copyright © 2013 John Fleskes. All Rights Reserved.

Flesk, Spectrum and Artist Guests Exhibiting at the Alternate Press Expo This Weekend

Greetings, all,

The Alternate Press Expo in San Francisco is this weekend. We will have three tables representing Flesk Publications and Spectrum Fantastic Art in our usual spot near the front entrance. Our space number is 212-214. We will be joined by artists, Craig Elliott, Shelly Wan and Terryl Whitlatch. And we are pleased to have Helpful Bear Productions with us and filming our adventures to share online after the show.

I always look forward to APE. It focuses heavily on the individual artists and independent creators. The show is packed with a diverse sophisticated group. It’s like a giant artist’s alley and small press area, without all of the fancy pop culture and non-arts related booths. What’s not to like?

Flesk

We will have our entire line of Flesk books and prints with us, including the new Mark Schultz Carbon art book. Also available will be our exclusive publisher edition books by Brom, Terry Dodson, Wendy Pini and Bruce Timm.

Spectrum Fantastic Art

We have secured an advance copy of Spectrum 20 to have on display. Previous volumes will also be on hand to peruse. Free Spectrum Call for Entries postcards and Spectrum Fantastic Art Live event postcards will be available.

CFE-21-Flesk-Spectrum-APEThose who are interested in submitting to the Spectrum 21 Call for Entries can turn them in at our booth. We will have submission forms available and we can answer your Spectrum questions. Additionally, you can ask us about the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live event happening in Kansas City next May. And you can pick up an exhibitor registration form for those who would like to join us there.

Artist Signings and Demonstrations

Terryl-Whitlatch-Helpful-Bear-FleskTerryl Whitlatch, the artist known for her creature designs for Lucasfilm and who provides workshops through her Tales of Amalthea master class, will be joining us both days. She will be doing drawing demonstrations throughout the weekend and she is happy to sign for her fans. She will also have her book, Animals Real and Imagined available.

Terryl-Whitlatch-Helpful-Bear-Flesk-2Craig Elliott will be doing a three hour oil painting demonstration from a live model on Saturday and Sunday starting at 2:00 each day. Craig will be answering questions during this time. This is an excellent opportunity to learn from Craig, who is a successful visual development artist who works for Disney, Blue Sky and other top companies.

Shelly-Wan-Flesk-APE-show-signingArtist and Spectrum 21 judge, Shelly Wan, will be making a signing appearance at our booth on Saturday from 1:00-2:00. Shelly worked as a visual development artist on Astro Boy; she has done art for Magic: The Gathering; and currently she works for Pixar, having done sketch and color work on Monster’s University.

Helpful Bear Productions

Helpful-Bear-Flesk-FriendsThe crew from Helpful Bear Productions will be joining us and filming our exploits at the booth. A short video will be shared on our Spectrum Fantastic Art website within a week after the show. We have partnered up with Helpful Bear Productions to document and share our events online so you can feel a part of the experience even if you cannot make it. Helpful Bear is the production company that produced the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2 book promotional video. They are at work on a second book feature video, this one focusing on The Art of Brom. We have much more planned with Helpful Bear and I look forward to this new relationship growing.

We hope to see you at the show!

See you soon.

John

John Fleskes
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Text copyright © 2013 John Fleskes. All Rights Reserved.

Rose City Comic Con — Flesk Pictures and Stories

John Flesk, Brom, Terry & Rachel Dodson at the Flesk booth.

John Flesk, Brom, Terry & Rachel Dodson at the Flesk booth.

I miss the rain already. I’ve been to Portland a half dozen times, but it’s been over a decade since my last visit there. No matter if one of my past excursions to the downtown area coincided with winter, when I skated across the downtown icy sidewalks to slide into Powell’s, or passing a Frisbee at the open grass area along the Williamette River near the Steel Bridge with a friend in summer, each moment has been memorable. As I neared the city limits last week I embraced the cloudy skies, cool weather, and the smell and touch of the moist air.

I decided to exhibit at the Rose City Comic Con based on the professionalism and likability of those who organize the show. They are the same people who run the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, where we exhibited at for the first time earlier this year. (And will again in 2014!)

The Batmobile!

The Batmobile!

The Rose City event staff and volunteers were exceptionally friendly. Also, it was obvious that their promotional efforts were successful. The proof of this was the broad mix of people and heavy foot traffic that filled the aisles. The attendees we met were a delight and supported our being there. Plus, our neighbors were fun, which made for an all-around pleasurable experience. I had no hesitation in signing up and prepaying for the third Rose City show in 2014. It is an event that I feel confidant will continue to grow and gain momentum.

I want to thank Brom, Terry and Rachel Dodson for joining me at the Flesk Publications / Spectrum Fantastic Art Live booth.

Brom

Brom

From spending the week with Brom at Comic-Con, it came as no surprise at Rose City when I observed women approach Brom while giggling quietly to a friend or, shook a little as if they were trembling from a slight chill and, at times, gently bounced in place with excitement at the opportunity to meet him. I saw one girl get a signature in one of his books for her friend who was standing about 30 feet away but who was too nervous to get it herself. “Brave girl” eventually went and grabbed her shy friend by the arm and pulled her over to meet Brom. And I get why. Brom was all smiles and constantly adorable to the girls, and cool and super-chill to the guys. He’s extremely likable. It appears to be all in a day’s work for the Dark Lord.

Terry Dodson talks with a fan.

Terry Dodson talks with a fan.

Speaking of likeability, in the opposite corner of the booth, Terry and Rachel Dodson joined us for extended signings during both days. Terry creates a new piece of art for a unique print for each show where they attend. His new Rose City themed print debuted on Saturday and it turned out beautifully. Terry posted a blog entry to show his sketches and process which you can view here. Terry is amazingly patient and giving of his time. I observed art students who presented his or her portfolio for a critique and who would ask Terry art or industry related questions. Terry spent extended periods offering advice and ways in which they could improve, as well as offering tips on how he worked. I think he has a natural gift for sharing and helping others.

Terry Dodson working on a sketch for a show attendee.

Terry Dodson working on a sketch for a show attendee.

Brom and the Dodson’s helped me by manning the booth for a little bit so I could do a quick walk-around artist alley on Sunday. I make a point to always stroll through this section of every show I attend. It’s my number one destination point that I would hate to miss. It was well represented by a young group, most of who were new to me. I enjoy shows with large artist alley sections that have tables available to them at an affordable price. This makes for a wide variety of artists that may not otherwise have the opportunity to express themselves in a large public venue. These are our future stars. You can see the hunger and positive energy of these brave people who get out there and share their works. It is not easy to have the courage to exhibit at a show for the first time, or even the second or the third. These are the people who take their dreams and put themselves out there on public platform. They have my respect.

Echo Chernik had the best looking booth at the show. And her and her booth helpers turned out to be ever positive and fun neighbors.

Echo Chernik had the best looking booth at the show. And her and her booth helpers turned out to be ever positive and fun neighbors.

Artists are the coolest people to hang out with. They fight that normalcy of a 9-5 lifestyle that many people fall into. Most of the artists I meet and work with do whatever they need to do to share their creativity with others. There are some who might be broke half the time–and all too often struggling–but they are fun to socialize with. I can’t help but think they are happier than a lot of people who give up their lives to work for a paycheck doing a job they have no passion for. This is one of the many reasons why I enjoy publishing.

The Heceta Head Lighthouse in Oregon. It wasn't all cloudy skies!

The Heceta Head Lighthouse in Oregon. It wasn’t all cloudy skies!

We’ll see you in Portland again next year. Here’s hoping it rains again!

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
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Text and photographs copyright © 2013 John Fleskes. All Rights Reserved.

 

Reserve your Ticket to the Second Flesk Prime Event, The Netherlands

Two years ago we hosted the first “An Evening with Flesk Prime” in the Netherlands. We are currently organizing the second event which will be held on October 24, 2013 in Breda, the Netherlands. This is a perfect opportunity for those traveling to the area for the Strip Festival Breda being held on October 26-27 to expand upon their weekend for a unique and spectacular experience. “Flesk Prime” is limited to only 15 guests to guarantee an intimate and personal experience. We’ve come up with some new ideas and surprises to make this second event even better than the first.

 

An Evening with Flesk Prime  

Participate with Flesk Publications and five of the brightest stars in the industry for an evening of food, drink, conversation and illumination.

Publisher John Fleskes cordially invites you to join Terry Dodson, Petar Meseldzija, Mark Schultz, Jim Silke and Thomas Yeates in a dinner prior to Strip Festival Breda 2013 which will afford the appreciator of fine illustration a chance for relaxed one-on-one repartee in an atmosphere of convivial wining and dining. The evening is strictly limited to 15 guests to ensure a quality experience and is situated in a private room at a highly regarded restaurant in the lovely and historic city of Breda, The Netherlands. All the amenities of fine dining and spirits will be included.

Guests will receive special gifts honoring the evening and opportunities to have their items personalized. Original artwork will be available for discussion and viewing pleasure.

Additional support has been given by De Stripspecialist, Breda’s premier comic store.

Those interested in participating can contact evening organizer Mark Thelosen for pricing and availability at hoffmansmark@yahoo.com

 

The idea for “An Evening with Flesk Prime” came to me while thinking of the private dinners I feel fortunate to have with these artists. I always consider them to be special occasions that leave me with wonderful memories. I wanted to make this intimate experience available to a small group of people in the hope that they can share in this same rich experience. Eight of the fifteen tickets are already reserved. There will be many surprises and it will truly be a fun and relaxing evening.

Please let me or Mark T. know if you have any questions.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
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Text copyright © 2013 John Fleskes. All Rights Reserved.

Links:
2011 “An Evening with Flesk Prime” event with pictures
Strip Festival Breda website

Flesk, Spectrum Fantastic Art, Terry Dodson and Brom to Exhibit at Rose City Comic Con

Flesk-home-banner-13I’m packing up for our trip to Portland, Oregon next week to exhibit at Rose City Comic Con on September 21-22. I’ll be there representing Flesk Publications and Spectrum Fantastic Art. Brom and Terry Dodson will be signing at our booth #733 each day. Books, prints, drawings and original art will be available to peruse or purchase. We look forward to setting up in Portland for our first time and meeting lots of new people.

Rose City Comic Con is put on by the people who run Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle. With ECCC being such an exceptional show to exhibit at and attend, I have no doubt that Rose City will be just as fun for us.

Portland is one of my favorite cities to travel to. It’s been a number of years since I’ve been there and I looking forward to seeing the downtown and neighboring sights again.

See you soon!

John

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Text copyright © 2013 John Fleskes. All Rights Reserved.

Comic-Con International in San Diego 2013–The Flesk Report with Pictures

Comic-Con 2013 turned out to be our best show ever in terms of book sales and meeting new people. The crowd size was the same as previous years–since the ticket sales are limited to the hall size, fire and safety codes–yet it felt four times busier at our booth. It made me feel good that the awareness and interest for our books has grown.

Many of our titles sold strong and steady. These included all of our new books: Bruce Timm Naughty and Nice 2013 Teaser, Mark Schultz: Carbon, The Art of Brom, Xenozoic new cover edition by Mark Schultz and the Wendy Pini Teaser that includes material representative of the two books that are in development, The Art of Elfquest and Line of Beauty. Also, all of our previous titles sold steadily throughout the show.

One thing I’ll admit to is that I sometimes flip my badge around so people don’t automatically know who I am. This gives me an opportunity to ask people a lot of questions to find out why they like our books, what they don’t like and what they want to see in the future. I have a clear vision of what I want to do, yet it is important to hear raw feedback from people and to not get lost in my own ego. Keeping an open mind, and exhibiting at shows gives me a direct line of communication to those who support us.

And now this same listening approach applies to Spectrum Fantastic Art, too. As the new director I have been asking artists a lot of questions. A handful of responses that I heard when the Spectrum name came up was, “Oh, yeah. I’ve seen that magazine.” This lets me know that I’ve got some work to do to. It’s my job to help better define what Spectrum is to the general public.

After having such a terrific year, I can look back on Comic-Con in 2011 to see how some decisions made back then helped for 2013. While driving home after the 2011 convention, I realized my attitude toward the show was on the decline. I was debating if the event was still worthwhile to exhibit at. I considered the costs, time preparing for the show, a week spent in San Diego instead of the office and the effort placed in catching up after my return. It amounts to about three weeks of energy that could be used to make a new book.  I was burnt out on Comic-Con and I needed to do something about it.

I wanted to get excited about going again. So, for 2012 I hired extra staff and left the booth to my friend James to run. I spent 90% of the time away from the booth. I went to panels, walked the show, bought a few things for myself and had a really great time. I hear a lot of complaints that the show is not about comics anymore. I’ve been guilty of thinking that way as well. I grew up reading and enjoying comics. Without comics, I would not have formed my passion for art and books and would never have started Flesk Publications. The thought of Comic-Con moving away from comics bothered me. But as I walked around the show, out of my isolated booth where I typically spend 95% of my time, I found there to be a lot of things going on about comics. And the show promotes them heavily in the souvenir catalog, program guide and panels. I discovered for myself that it is still a comic show after all. And I couldn’t dismiss that three artists I work with, Gary Gianni, Mark Schultz and Jim Silke were guests and properly recognized for their contributions to the comic field.

It turned out that our 2012 booth sales were a below average year for us. We did better at the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live show earlier that year with 2% of the crowd. But, finances are not the main reason why I exhibit at this show. (More on this later.) However, I was reinvigorated with Comic-Con and eager to sign up for the next year. My passion was renewed and I felt great all this year.

There are five main reasons why I exhibit at shows.

1. Promotion. It’s essential to create a presence for Flesk and for the artists I publish, and that I have an opportunity to meet people and share what we do with them.
2. Meet the artists in person. I met Gary Gianni, Steve Rude, Mark Schultz, Jim Silke, William Stout and a host of other people I work with at Comic-Con. Shows provide a rare accessibility to artists and many opportunities arise there that can pay off three or five years from now.
3. Get inspired! Walking the show and seeing what others are doing is fuel that can last for months.
4. Grow. Panels, business meetings and talking with our supporters helps me make decisions for the future and it provides me with the knowledge to keep me on track.
5. Sell books. I love selling books, packing books, shipping books and getting them into the hands of those that support us. I’m not selling product that I bought for resale. I am selling books that we made, oftentimes that took months or years to create that I was heavily involved with and am passionate about. When someone buys one of our books I am especially grateful since it allows me to continue making more books, and pay royalties to the artists that goes toward the creation of new works.

At Comic-Con, my show costs run between $8-9K and I don’t always break even. But, considering the benefits of 1-5 above, the costs are well worth it. Anyone in this business who looks at just the money at the end of the day isn’t thinking long term.

Not all shows are worth setting up at. I do my homework before considering any show. I can’t afford to spend time away from the office that does not add the majority of benefits 1-5 that I stated above. I talk to fellow exhibiters who have set up at certain shows to gauge whether or not I will exhibit. The shows where we exhibit on a regular basis are those that I have found give us the maximum benefits.

And Comic-Con has consistently been a show that I consider to be of the utmost importance that I be a part of it. I mentioned earlier that at one point I was not eager to attend Comic-Con. Getting out of the booth and having fun again last year was a big help. Another was that I realized if I wanted to see change that I had to be the change that I wanted to see. I recognized what it was that was bothering me and I addressed it. It paid off for this year, since being positive kept me invigorated and energetic throughout the show. (Well, most of the time at least.) I was at the booth 90% of the time and enjoyed being there.

This is an excellent time to shift gears to talk about the show this year.

As I mentioned before, the Flesk booth was rocking this year. We have never been so busy at a show–ever. I brought three guys with me to help full time, and we had Brom and Mark Schultz there each day. Jim Silke was with us for half the day on Thursday. Usually the crowds come in waves and we might get brief moments to talk among ourselves. This year there were no still periods. I brought twice the number of books that I normally do. I had a “feeling” about this year. The two successful Kickstarter campaigns, one with Brom and the other with Mark Schultz, the popularity of the Bruce Timm books, the recent Spectrum transition news, combined with all of the artists I work with gave me the gut feeling that this would be our year. And it was. If I brought my usual stock we would have been sold out by Friday at noon. I always listen to my gut.

During my few moments away from the booth I managed to squeeze off a few pictures of my neighbors. Let’s take a walk together.

Flesk-2013-SDCC-picture-01Here is Gary Gianni and George R.R. Martin signing the 2014 Games of Thrones calendar at the Madefire booth. This was one of two signings for Martin and the fans came in droves.

Flesk-2013-SDCC-picture-02Richard and Wendy Pini, with the managing editor at boingboing.net, Rod Beschizza, during the 35 Years of Elfquest panel. Richard announced a range of new Elfquest projects, including The Final Quest which will be published by Dark Horse. Plus, our Art of Elfquest and Wendy Pini: Line of Beauty collections that are in development.

Flesk-2013-SDCC-picture-03Richard and Wendy Pini with a group of fans after the Elfquest panel. One thing that impressed me during the panel was when they opened the floor to questions; it wasn’t questions that they received. Instead, fans expressed their heartfelt passion for Elfquest and how the series and characters have impacted their lives. It was quite moving.

Flesk-2013-SDCC-picture-04Stan Lee with J. Scott Campbell. I was rounding a corner when I saw this scene. I took one picture, and then was quickly asked to move along by security to prevent a mass blockage of bystanders in the isle. There was a long line wrapping around the booths going in my opposite direction. It was just a random ten second situation for me. I happened to have my camera in hand with my manual settings ready. It’s part of the fun of Comic-Con. You never know what you might see and when you will see it.

Flesk-2013-SDCC-picture-05Christopher Paolini stopped by and interviewed Brom at our Flesk booth. What did they discuss? I was too busy taking pictures and helping customers to hear. I’ll post a link to the video if it becomes available online.

Flesk-2013-SDCC-picture-06This is Craig Elliott with one of his muses at his Craig Elliott Gallery booth. Craig always has three or four beautiful women assisting him during the course of the show. I need to learn his secret. Or, maybe I should have been an artist instead of a publisher?

Flesk-2013-SDCC-picture-07Craig Elliott redesigned his booth this year. He had books, prints, originals and he had erected high walls with a fancy backdrop to make for a gallery like setting. Craig was also doing live paintings from the model. Here is Craig during a rare idle moment.

Flesk-2013-SDCC-picture-08Across the aisle from Craig was the Baby Tattoo booth headed by the ever personable Bob Self. Brian Kesinger was there signing a copy of his Walking Your Octopus book at the Baby Tattoo booth. We got our copy at the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live show!

Flesk-2013-SDCC-picture-09And here is Terry Dodson at his booth, which he shares with Aaron Lopresti. Terry unveiled his new Bombshells 7 collection, and had plenty of gorgeous original art to view.

Flesk-2013-SDCC-picture-10I got to meet Mark Winters and John Stanko at their shared booth. It turns out they were not too far from our Flesk booth, proving the importance of getting out to see the wonderful art and people that are all around us.

Flesk-2013-SDCC-picture-11Donato Giancola was busy working on a new piece in his sketchbook when I walked up. He has one of the more impressive displays of originals hanging.

Flesk-2013-SDCC-picture-12Steve Argyle introduced himself to me. I’m glad he did. Nice guy and how does that backdrop of his work look?!

Flesk-2013-SDCC-picture-13Here, Brom talks with a fan at the Flesk booth, with someone in the background bearing an uncanny resemblance to the cover model on The Art of Craig Elliott.

Flesk-2013-SDCC-picture-14Zander Cannon in Artist’s Alley. His latest book “Heck” from Top Shelf is a new book worth picking up.

Flesk-2013-SDCC-picture-15Brom’s creations from The Plucker come to life.

Flesk-2013-SDCC-picture-16The ever positive and talented, Mr. Daren Bader.

Flesk-2013-SDCC-picture-17What do you get when Mark Schultz stands you up for lunch? Answer: Mark draws a Hannah sketch in Daren’s Xenozoic Artist’s Edition book.

Flesk-2013-SDCC-picture-18Christian Alzmann, a VFX Art Director at ILM, premiered his art book “Tales” at the show.

Flesk-2013-SDCC-picture-19Here’s a grab shot of David Palumbo. His art keeps growing more and more on me despite how much I liked it before.

See you all next year!

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Text and photos copyright © 2013 John Fleskes. All Rights Reserved.

The Spectrum Interviews — Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2 Artist Interviews Film Part Four!

This is part four of the artist interviews filmed during the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2 event in Kansas City, Missouri last May. It features Paul Bonner, Dan dos Santos, Tara McPherson, Mark Schultz and Greg Spalenka.

We are working on the new websites for Spectrum Fantastic Art (slated to go live on October 1) and Spectrum Fantastic Art Live (this fall). Once they are ready I will start posting individual extended length interview features on the artists shown in parts 1 through 4 of this interview series. There’s plenty of good footage to look forward to!

Thanks again to the artists who participated!

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Text copyright © 2013 John Fleskes. All Rights Reserved.

Links:
The Spectrum Interviews – Part One from Flesk Films
The Spectrum Interviews – Part Two from Flesk Films
The Spectrum Interviews – Part Three from Flesk Films

 

Back From Comic-Con, Packing Mark Schultz Kickstarter and Store Orders

Hi, everyone,

We arrived back from Comic-Con last Tuesday. We had our best show ever! Thanks to everyone who stopped by.

I took some pictures and have stories to share, but first we are focusing on shipping out the Flesk store orders that came in while we were away, and the Mark Schultz Kickstarter campaign orders. We’ve processed about 700 of the 900 orders so far. We’ll be wrapping things up by the end of this week. At that time I look forward to sharing words and pictures.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Text copyright © 2013 John Fleskes. All Rights Reserved.

The Spectrum Interviews — Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2 Artist Interviews Film Part Three!

This third part of the Flesk Films artist interviews produced during the second Spectrum Fantastic Art Live event in Kansas City, Missouri in May 2013 features Brom, Greg Manchess, Jean-Baptiste Monge, David Palumbo, John Picacio and Terryl Whitlatch.

Part four will be posted toward the end of this month.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Text copyright © 2013 John Fleskes. All Rights Reserved.

Links:
The Spectrum Interviews – Session One, Part One from Flesk Films
The Spectrum Interviews – Session One, Part Two from Flesk Films