Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 3 Show and Flesk Guests — Updated

It’s time for some Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 3 news! (Updated on April 15th to include David Palumbo to the Flesk special guests list.)

The show will be in Kansas City, MO in the Bartle Hall Grand Ballroom running May 9-11, 2014. There are five special guests who you can meet at the show. They are Wayne Barlowe, Tim Bruckner, Frank Cho, Camilla d’Errico and Justin Sweet.

In addition, Flesk is sponsoring eight more artists who will be hosted at the Flesk / Spectrum booth: Bill Carman, Terry Dodson, Craig Elliott, Android Jones, Iain McCaig, Jackson Robinson, Steve Rude, Mark Schultz.

Furthermore, there will be over 200 artists exhibiting at the show. We’re also organizing far more workshops than before. We want everyone to have the opportunity to grow, learn and to be inspired. We have top artists in the industry giving extended live presentations. These are at no additional cost to the already affordable entry cost.

You can learn more about how to attend and exhibit at “The Art Fair With a Sense of Wonder” at the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live website.

Here is some information and sample art by those artists who I will be hosting. (The five special show guests are already highlighted on the SFAL site.)

Bill-Carman-SpectrumFAL3-picture

Bill Carman

Bill-Carman-SpectrumFAL3-art-sample

Art by Bill Carman

Bill Carman has worked as a designer, illustrator, and art director at universities, ad agencies, publishing houses and for large corporations. Since graduating with a BFA in visual communication/illustration and an MFA in painting he has always free-lanced and exhibited. Bill is currently a professor teaching illustration at Boise State University. He has been featured in many exhibits and publications including Society of Illustrators New York Annuals (gold medal, silver medal), 3×3 Magazine professional annual, American Illustration and Spectrum (silver medal). He is the recipient of the bronze, silver and gold medals from CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education). Bill authored and illustrated a children’s book, What’s That Noise?, published in 2002 by Random House Books.  Painting for exhibitions and commissions continues to be where most of Bill’s time is spent when he is not fishing.

Terry-Dodson-pic-SFAL-promo

Terry Dodson

Terry-Dodson-SpectrumFAL3-promo-art

Art by Terry Dodson

Terry Dodson has been a professional artist since 1993. He has worked on such comic books and characters as Harley Quinn, Spider-Man, Star Wars, Superman, Wonder Woman, the X-Men, Harry Potter, the Defenders, the Avengers. He has worked for Hasbro, Mattel, DC Entertainment, Warner Brothers, ESPN, Electronic Arts, Hanna-Barbera, Marvel Entertainment, Sideshow Collectibles and many other clients.

Terry is now working on creator owned comics as well, currently the new graphic novel series “Red One” with writer Xavier Dorison, scheduled for a September 2014 release.

Terry has also worked in toy and statue design, animation and video games and has had gallery exhibitions featuring his paintings. He remains a popular artist in the industry –a status he attributes in large part to the contributions of his wife, Rachel, who adds her talented inking to his work.

Craig-Elliott-SpectrumFAL-photo

Craig Elliott

Craig-Elliott-Forest Awakening-SpectrumFAL3-art-sample

Art by Craig Elliott

Craig Elliott has worked primarily for Disney and Dreamworks, designing their animated films such as Hercules, Mulan, The Emperor’s New Groove, Treasure Planet, Enchanted, Monsters vs. Aliens, The Princess and the Frog, Rio and The Lorax. Craig has also done fully painted comic book and cover artwork. A multi-faceted artist, he is also an accomplished landscape architect, fine artist, sculptor and most recently, jewelry designer.

Android-jones-picture

Android Jones

Android-Jones-S21-CFE

Art by Android Jones

Android Jones is the cutting-edge creator renowned for his concept art for movies and video games, fashion design, body painting, illustration and digital performances. He started his career with George Lucas at Industrial Light & Magic, worked as the only North American concept artist for the Japanese gaming company Nintendo and became creative director for the entertainment development company Massive Black Inc., of which he is founder.

Iain-McCaig-SpectrumFAL-photo

Iain McCaig

Iain-McCaig-SpectrumFAL3-art-sample

Art by Iain McCaig

Iain McCaig divides his energies between a lifelong love of storytelling, and a passionate belief that everyone in the world can learn to draw. McCaig is best known for his cover art for Jethro Tull’s Broadsword and the Beast and his Star Wars designs for Queen Amidala and Darth Maul. His other films include Interview with a Vampire, Dracula, Terminator 2, Hook, Peter Pan, Charlotte’s Web, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and Disney’s John Carter. He is also a Chesley nominated illustrator, having illustrated books ranging from Fighting Fantasy to J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Hobbit. Shadowline: The Art of Iain McCaig, a 28 year retrospective of his film and publishing work came out in 2008. Currently, McCaig is developing an original live-action feature film, Book of Secrets.

David Palumbo

David Palumbo

Art by David Palumbo

Art by David Palumbo

As a freelance illustrator, David Palumbo’s work has been featured prominently in the F/SF market on book covers, comics (Dark Horse), and collectable card games (Magic: The Gathering), as well as such mainstream publications as Scientific American and The New Yorker.   His emphasis on moody and dramatic genre scenes have received multiple honors including several Spectrum medals and a Chesley award as well as having been shown in galleries and exhibitions from New York to Paris.

Jackson-Robinson-SpectrumFAL-picture

Jackson Robinson

Art by Jackson Robinson

Art by Jackson Robinson

Jackson Robinson is the owner and artist behind King’s Wild Project, a luxury playing card company.  With roots from the crowd-funding website, Kickstarter, Jackson burst into the deck design scene in early 2013.  Drawing inspiration from currency and banknotes of the late 1800’s, Jackson’s most popular series has been The Federal 52, including 10 different decks that highlight the art of American money and intaglio printing throughout history.

Jackson has also worked in the video game industry, 2-D print illustrations, as well as a teacher at the Gnomon School of Visual Arts in Hollywood, CA.  When Jackson isn’t working on pushing the envelop of card design, he loves hanging out with his wife and two sweet daughters.

Steve Rude

Steve Rude

Art by Steve Rude

Art by Steve Rude

Steve Rude’s career began in 1981 with his and co-creator Mike Baron’s groundbreaking Nexus comic series. This space saga catapulted Rude into the field of comics, where he became highly sought after by major publishers. During his first few years in the industry, Rude’s efforts led to numerous awards, such as the 1984 Russ Manning Newcomer Award, the Kirby Award for best artist in 1986, and numerous Eisner’s for artistic achievement. For over two decades, Rude has drawn hundreds of comic’s greatest iconic heroes, and has galvanized the art world as a comic magazine artist and illustrator.

Mark Schultz

Mark Schultz

Art by Mark Schultz

Art by Mark Schultz

Mark Schultz is a storyteller by nature as well as by profession. He could always draw and his storytelling tends to lean toward the visual, although he can cobble his ideas into words as necessary. His interests in adventure fiction and the sciences led him to create his award-winning Xenozoic Tales comic series. He has illustrated a collection of Robert E. Howard’s Conan of Cimmeria and written the science primer graphic novel The Stuff of Life: A Graphic Guide to Genetics and DNA. Between scripting the weekly newspaper adventures of Prince Valiant and producing images for his art series collection, Carbon, he continues to chip away at the illustrations for his novella Storms at Sea.

I’ll have a few more artists announced who will be appearing at our booth as we get closer to the show date.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
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Spectrum Fantastic Art
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live
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Text and noted photographs copyright © 2013 John Fleskes. Art and photographs copyright © their respective owners. 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.

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

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
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Text and photographs 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

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

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
Flesk Publications
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Spectrum Fantastic Art
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Helpful Bear Productions
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
Flesk Publications
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Spectrum Fantastic Art
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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
Flesk Publications
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Text and photographs copyright © 2013 John Fleskes. All Rights Reserved.

 

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

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
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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.

Jim Silke Signing at the Flesk Publications Booth at Comic-Con on Thursday

Jim Silke Sketchbook

Jim Silke Sketchbook

Jim Silke will be at our Flesk booth #5019 on Thursday (July 18th) morning to the early afternoon during Comic-Con International. He will be sitting with his friends Mike Mignola and Geof Darrow at their booth #4901 on the Wednesday preview night. (There’s a pair you won’t want to miss either.)

Jim will have original art to view and purchase. These are the only two days he will be at the show, so you will want to be sure to bump him up to the front of your list of people to see. We will have copies of Jim’s Jungle Girls and Jim Silke Sketchbook on hand.

See you soon!

Enjoy,

John

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

Links:
Order Jim Silke books from Flesk Publications

New Mark Schultz Books and Prints Premiering, Signing Times at the Flesk Booth and Panel Appearances at Comic-Con International

Carbon-samplesThere’s lots of cool Mark Schultz things going on at Comic-Con next week (to distract you from asking or wondering where Storms and Sea is). His new art book, Mark Schultz: Carbon and new printing of the complete Xenozoic collection that prints all the stories written and drawn by Mark to date, and a new print, “Beyond the Known Forest, She Talks with Birds” (visit my July 7 post to learn more about the print) will debut at the show.

Xenozoic-samplesThanks to our Kickstarter supporters and pre-orders from our Flesk website we will have less than 100 copies of the deluxe hardcover of Carbon (limited to 600 copies) at the show and only about 30 copies of the Xenozoic deluxe hardcover (limited to 500 copies). After these are gone, they will be sold out. We’ll have plenty of paperback editions of both at Comic-Con which Mark will be pleased to sign for you.

8 x 10" Mark Schultz print, free with any Flesk purchase at Comic-Con

“On the Dawn Patrol” 8 x 10″ Mark Schultz print, free with any Flesk purchase at Comic-Con

And I have a bonus item to announce for Comic-Con. We have a Mark Schultz 8 x 10″ print that we will be giving away for free with any purchase at the Flesk booth, or $5.00 by itself. Mark will sign it if he is at the booth when you pick it up. There’s a good chance we will go through them all at the show.

These are the guaranteed times Mark Schultz will be at our Flesk Publications / Spectrum fantastic Art Live booth #5019.

-Wednesday 7/17, Preview Night: 6-8
-Thursday 7/18: 11:30-12:45 and 4:30-6:30
-Friday 7/19: 11-1 and 4-6
-Saturday 7/20: 2-4
-Sunday 7/21: 10:30-12:30

In addition, Mark will be appearing at our Flesk panel. Here are the details and time:

Flesk Publications Exposed! The Artists Spill Their Guts! The Truth Behind the Spectrum Transition!
Thursday July 18, 2013 10:00am – 11:00am
Room 32AB
Sure, 10:00 is early but, OMG, with a lineup including Brom (The Art of Brom, Krampus), Terry Dodson (Red One, Uncanny X-Men), Mark Schultz (Xenozoic), and William Stout (Hallucinations, Legends of the Blues) talking new projects-and publisher John Fleskes frankly discussing the future of the renowned Spectrum Fantastic Art series-you really should get your butt out of bed!

See you soon!

Enjoy,

John

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

Links:
Order Mark Schultz books and prints from Flesk Publications

Brom Signing Times at the Flesk Booth and Panel Appearances at Comic-Con International

The Art of Brom Deluxe Edition. Exclusive from Flesk and available at Comic-Con.

“The Art of Brom” Deluxe Edition. Exclusive from Flesk and available at Comic-Con.

Brom will be signing at our Flesk Publications / Spectrum Fantastic Art booth #5019 all five days at Comic-Con International in San Diego. We will have his new The Art of Brom book (Flesk Exclusive Publisher Edition with bonus 16-pages and Deluxe Edition) and Brom Sketchbook (Another Flesk exclusive) at the show. His official times on duty are:

Wed: 6:00pm-9:00pm
Thurs: 12:00pm-3:00pm, 4:00pm-7:00pm
Fri: 10:00am to 1:00pm, 4:00pm-6:00pm
Sat: 10:00am to 1:00pm, 2:30pm-6:00pm
Sun: 10:00am-1:00pm, 3:00pm-5:00pm.

In addition, Brom will be appearing at the following panels:

Flesk Publications Exposed! The Artists Spill Their Guts! The Truth Behind the Spectrum Transition!
Thursday July 18, 2013 10:00am – 11:00am
Room 32AB
Sure, 10:00 is early but, OMG, with a lineup including Brom (The Art of Brom, Krampus), Terry Dodson (Red One, Uncanny X-Men), Mark Schultz (Xenozoic), and William Stout (Hallucinations, Legends of the Blues) talking new projects-and publisher John Fleskes frankly discussing the future of the renowned Spectrum Fantastic Art series-you really should get your butt out of bed!

Witches and Fey, Monsters and Mortals
Sunday July 21, 2013 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Room 24ABC
That vamp’s a tramp; this witch is a real bitch. Pixies will pinch, and the fey go beyond fairly frightening. The ghouls are ghastly, and we mere mortals are growing testy. Oh, and that creepy-looking fella is sprouting fur from his feet, and who knows “were” else! Jeanne Stein (the Anna Strong series) encourages S. M. Wheeler (Sea Change), Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha Trilogy), Brom (Krampus), Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms), Amber Benson (The Calliope Reaper-Jones series), Seanan McGuire (The October Daye series), Rachel Caine (the Morganville Vampires series), and C. Robert Cargill (Dreams and Shadows) to provide perspective on the monsters of myth.

See you soon!

Enjoy,

John

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

Links:
Order The Art of Brom Deluxe, Publisher, Trade editions and Sketchbook from Flesk

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2 — Pictures and Stories Part 2 — The Show Book Group Signing

The six guests of Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2, and a few contributors, joined us at the Flesk booth on Saturday from 2:00-3:15 for a big group commemorative book signing. I want to thank everyone who took part: Charles Vess, Jon Foster, Terryl Whitlatch, Peter de Sève, Michael Whelan, Tara McPherson, Greg Spalenka, George Pratt and Cathy & Arnie Fenner–and for being so giving of your time!

I took some pictures during the event. The captions fall under each picture.

Spectrum-FAL2-Flesk-book-signing-01Spectrum founders and show organizers, Cathy and Arnie Fenner, who wrote the introduction to the book, were able to take part.

Spectrum-FAL2-Flesk-book-signing-02Here’s George Pratt, who wrote the introduction to Jon Foster’s section. He’s an incredible painter and a pleasure to talk with.

Spectrum-FAL2-Flesk-book-signing-03Special guest, Tara McPherson, signing a copy of the book.

Spectrum-FAL2-Flesk-book-signing-04Michael Whelan–always in a good mood.

Spectrum-FAL2-Flesk-book-signing-05Peter de Sève was doing little drawings in the books.

Spectrum-FAL2-Flesk-book-signing-06Terryl Whitlatch, signing a copy of her book Animals: Real and Imagined. Fans were welcome to bring books from their personal collections to get signed, too.

Spectrum-FAL2-Flesk-book-signing-07Greg Spalenka, who wrote the introduction to Tara McPherson’s section, was kind enough to join in–to our delight.

Spectrum-FAL2-Flesk-book-signing-08Jon Foster, in good spirits whenever I saw him.

Spectrum-FAL2-Flesk-book-signing-09The legendary artist, Charles Vess.

Spectrum-FAL2-Flesk-book-signing-10This is a group shot from the vantage point of standing in line as you would round the corner to start getting your signatures and meeting the artists and writers.

Spectrum-FAL2-Flesk-book-signing-11Charles Vess was signing and doing quick drawings in the books.

Spectrum-FAL2-Flesk-book-signing-12Jon Foster adding a drawing for a lucky fan.

Spectrum-FAL2-Flesk-book-signing-13Terryl Whitlatch signing a show book.

Spectrum-FAL2-Flesk-book-signing-14Peter de Sève seemed to do a different drawing in each book. His creativity appears to be endless.

Spectrum-FAL2-Flesk-book-signing-15Michael Whelan signing the commemorative book. How would you like for this to be your copy!

Spectrum-FAL2-Flesk-book-signing-16Tara McPherson signing a copy in her section. Her paintings are amazing. What a treat to have her in the book and as a guest.

Spectrum-FAL2-Flesk-book-signing-17Here’s a picture from the position as you are exiting the signing area.

Spectrum-FAL2-Flesk-book-signing-18And another picture as you are walking back and away from the Flesk booth.

Spectrum-FAL2-Flesk-book-signing-19This is a partial group shot form the middle of the line.

Spectrum-FAL2-Flesk-book-signing-20Charles Vess was drawing on the table plastic cover in-between signing books. I cut out and saved the drawing once the show was over. Charles let me know it would be OK to give it away to a lucky fan. We’re going to come up with some sort of a method to do so as a prize at the San Diego Comic-Con show.

Spectrum-FAL2-Flesk-book-signing-21Jonathan Leveck grabbed the camera as the signing was wrapping up and snapped this shot of Jon Foster and myself.

Thanks again to all of the artists, writers and to Cathy and Arnie Fenner for joining us for the group signing. I hope those that attended and those that participated had a great time!

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
text and pictures copyright © 2013 John Fleskes.

Mark Schultz / Flesk Publications Kickstarter Campaign Goes Live Today

Greetings, everyone! We launched our Schultz / Flesk Kickstarter campaign today. Here is a link and a copy of our email newsletter going out today.Thanks for looking.

Link:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/481703930/the-art-of-mark-schultz-carbon-new-print-and-xenoz

Flesk Newsletter:
The Flesk and Mark Schultz Kickstarter Campaign is now live! We’re offering Mark’s new art book collection, Mark Schultz: Carbon, in both trade and Flesk exclusive hardcover editions.  We’re offering brand-spanking-new prints! We’re offering a Flesk exclusive hardcover edition collecting all the Xenozoic stories Mark has drawn! And we’re offering something truly unique: a video inking demonstration by Mark! Never before attempted — never before seen!

The full details and a video about our book and print offerings, exclusive Kickstarter goodies and a pair of pledges that will get you original artwork are provided at our Kickstarter campaign page here:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/481703930/the-art-of-mark-schultz-carbon-new-print-and-xenoz

Here’s a breakdown of what you will find:
1. Mark Schultz: Carbon — new art book in paperback and Flesk exclusive hardcover
2. Xenozoic new printing with new cover — paperback and Flesk exclusive hardcover
3. “Beyond the Known Forest, She Talks with Birds” — signed color print
4. Exclusive Kickstarter 8 x 10” signed print — free to KS supporters
5. Exclusive brush and ink demonstration video by Mark Schultz — free to KS supporters
6. Two Special combination packs that offer original art from Mark Schultz.
Note: The hardcovers, prints and video will only happen if we reach our Kickstarter goal.

If you enjoy Mark’s work, this is your chance to support the quality projects he loves producing. Please take a look. And thank you — we appreciate your consideration!

Enjoy

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Text copyright © 2013 John Fleskes. Art copyright © 2013 Mark Schultz

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Warren Chang Lecture and Book Signing This Wednesday

Warren Chang will be giving a lecture at the Monterey Peninsula College this Wednesday from 1:30 to 2:30 PM. I will be in attendance and there will be a book signing immediately after his talk. See a little further below for the full details.

Also, the new issue of International Artist magazine (#90) features a book review of Narrative Paintings. The writer of the article, Matthew Innis, has posted the review on his Underpaintings blog. Check out the links at bottom to learn more.

Lecture Details:

GENTRAIN SOCIETY PRESENT A LECTURE BY WARREN CHANG
LEARNING FROM THE PAST TO PAINT IN THE PRESENT

MARCH 20TH, 1:30PM-2:30PM
MONTEREY PENINSULA COLLEGE: LECTURE FORUM LF 103
980 Fremont St, Monterey, Ca 93940

Warren Chang will be giving a lecture and slide presentation of his work pertaining to the Old Masters. Perhaps best known for his paintings of the field workers of Monterey County where he grew up, his lecture will focus on the influence of historical artists Bruegal, Millet all the way up to contemporary times and the influence of author John Steinbeck and others on the artist’s work.

He is the recent subject of a monograph book, titled Warren Chang: Narrative Paintings, published by Flesk Publications in 2012 and due out for worldwide release in March, 2013. Copies of the book will be available at the lecture for purchase and signing by the artist.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Text copyright © 2013 John Fleskes. Art copyright © 2013 Warren Chang. All rights reserved.

Links:
International Artist magazine
Matthew Innis Underpaintings blog

Signed books by Mark Schultz, William Stout, Warren Chang and Craig Elliott Available at fleskpublications.com!

When Mark Schultz, William Stout, Warren Chang and Craig Elliott came into town for the APE show, each of them was kind enough to sign copies of their respective books. There are just a few on hand for some titles, while others have a few dozen. Here’s a list of signed titles, while supplies last. All are available at the cover price with no extra charge.

Xenozoic signed by Mark Schultz and introduction writer Craig Elliott.

Warren Chang: Narrative Paintings signed by Warren Chang

The Art of Craig Elliott signed by Craig Elliott

Hallucinations signed by William Stout

Inspirations signed by William Stout

Dinosaur Discoveries signed by William Stout

New Dinosaur Discoveries signed by William Stout

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
text copyright © 2012 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2012 the respective artist. All rights reserved.

Flesk at the Alternative Press Expo (APE), October 13-14. Mark Schultz, William Stout and Craig Elliott Signing!

I’m booking the flights, squaring way the hotel rooms and I just finished our Flesk advertisement for the APE program book given away to all attendees. The event may be a month from now, but my work begins about five weeks before the show date.

This year, Mark Schultz will be making his first APE appearance. Mark has missed the past two WonderCon shows, and hasn’t made an appearance in the Bay Area for going on two years. It’s good to have him back in our neighborhood for the weekend.

I am also flying in William Stout for the show. He’ll have plenty of art, prints and books with him. Craig Elliott, who joined me last year, will be making his second appearance at APE. I expanded to three tables this year. Mark, Bill, Craig and I will be all together at the Flesk booth 212-214.

Here’s the ad that will appear on the inside front cover of the APE guide.

I’ll have more news right before the show.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
text and photos copyright © 2012 John Fleskes. All art is copyright its respective artist. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Links:
APE website

Flesk at Comic-Con International in San Diego Part 1 – Pictures!

I have a few blog postings partially written about our time exhibiting at Comic-Con International in San Diego. Since I am working to wrap up a few books by the end of this month, they are on hold. For now I have some pictures to share with a promise of more detailed writing coming soon. Captions fall below the pictures.

We were graced by the Black Widow at our Flesk booth. The costumes are a familiar scene throughout the show.

Gary Gianni, Daren Bader, John Fleskes and Mark Schultz. This is just after the show ended on Sunday. We all had a chance to enjoy a few minutes of conversation before tearing down our respective booths. The Flesk booth compacted into two dolly loads and we were out of there by 7:00 p.m.

Gary Gianni at his booth. The banner behind him is promoting the “A Game of Thrones” 2014 calendar that he is providing the paintings for. This picture is a grab shot. He was talking with someone and not aware that I took his picture. It came out better than if I had posed him.

Mark Schultz, James Walker II and John Fleskes at the Flesk Booth.

Frank Cho signing his new 2013 calendar.

Frank Cho is a huge Justice League fan and gets excited whenever he sees any imagery relating to the team.

Mary, from our neighbors at Stuart Ng Books, and me hanging at the Flesk booth just before closing time on the final day.

I took this picture from Gary Gianni’s booth. This was two hours before the show closed on Sunday and you can see how busy the show remains all the way until the end. You can see the Flesk logo and our booth in the middle area.

Mark Schultz and Clayburn Moore were posing for a picture. I saw an opportunity and took this grab shot. For some reason, even though they are posing, this angle makes them look more natural.

Here, I’m talking to James Walker II about the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live! event book.

William Stout signing his card belonging to the seven postcard set celebrating ten years of Flesk. We handed out roughly four hundred of these sets to those who stopped by our Flesk booth as a thank you for their support and helping us to get to the ten year mark. We ran out by mid-Saturday.

William Stout at his booth at Comic-Con. Bill’s booth is an original art gallery. Walking inside is like stepping into a museum.

The Baby Tattoo mascot at their booth. The publisher, Bob Self, has created one of the most impressive looking booths at the show.

James Walker II and me at the Flesk Publications booth. James and I have been working shows for almost twenty years together. We used to assist with Bud Plant Illustrated Books and Lee’s Comics in the mid-nineties.

Mark Schultz signing a copy of his Xenozoic collection at the Flesk Publications booth.

Gary Gianni at the Gianni/Madefire booth. These guys deserve the award for “Most Improved” booth. It was amazing how simple, yet amazing their booth looked this year.

Thomas Yeates and Mark Schultz, the new artist and writer team of Prince Valiant. Thomas has taken over the drawing chores from the recently retired (from the strip) Gary Gianni.

James Walker II holding the fort. I was away from the Flesk booth for much of the show. James, Jonathan Leveck, Laura West and Tony Villador did a remarkable job taking care of things.

Mark Schultz was a special guest at Comic-Con this year. One of the benefits is that he had a handler assigned to him. Maeve escorted Mark to all of his panels and she helped in other various ways. At 6’3” she had an impressive stature combined with a calm approach that parted the seas of people to get us where we needed to go in quick fashion. (Mark’s “only” 6’1″)

Craig Elliott drawing at this booth. The portrait at the left is the result of a live painting demonstration at his booth.

This is what it looks like to peer over the shoulder of Craig Elliott while he is drawing. Craig is working on a show commission at his booth.

Craig Elliott’s palette used during his live painting from a model at his booth.

Mark Schultz talking with a fan at the Flesk booth.

This was taken inside the Botanical Building at Balboa Park in San Diego. This location is one of my yearly visits as I decompress and relax before the five day show begins.

Another picture taken in the Botanical Building at Balboa Park.

Botanical Building at Balboa Park.

Enjoy,

John

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

Sunday at Comic-Con. Flesk Booth #5019

There is one more panel today, this one including Mark Schultz:

Cover Story, 2:00-3:00PM, Room 25ABC
Charlie Adlard, Tim Bradstreet, Becky Cloonan, Mark Schultz; Mark Evanier moderates

Thanks to everyone who comes by our booth #5019. We are grateful to you for your support!

Enjoy,

John

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

Links:
Comic-Con International in San Diego

Saturday at Comic-Con. Flesk Booth #5019

Today there is a spotlight panel for Gary Gianni running from 12:00 to 1:00 in room 4. It’ll be an exciting personal visit with Gary. I’m looking forward to going.

Artists who we have worked with at this show include Terry Dodson, Craig Elliott, Gary Gianni, Phil Hale, Mike Mignola, Mark Schultz, Jim Silke, William Stout and Bruce Timm. Most exhibit within just a few isles of us. Stop by our booth #5019 and we can give you directions to where each person is located.

Terry has his new Bombshells 6 sketchbook available at his booth, the space in which he shares with Aaron Lopresti.  We’ll have copies of Bombshells 6 available on our Flesk store shortly after the show.

Enjoy,

John

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

Links:
Comic-Con International in San Diego

Friday at Comic-Con. Flesk Booth #5019

Today there is a special panel focusing on the 75 Anniversary of Prince Valiant. Gary Gianni and Mark Schultz will take part. It runs from 3:30-4:30 in room 8.

Also:

The Artists’ Way, 11:00-12:00PM, Room 23ABC
Panelists include Tim Bradstreet, Gary Gianni, Joe Jusko, Jim Silke, Thomas Yeates, and Mark Schultz.

We also have copies of our book, The Prince Valiant Page at our booth. Each coy comes signed by Gary Gianni and has a special signed bookplate exclusive from Flesk.

Be sure to check at our booth for special signing times with Phil Hale. Phil took part in our Spectrum Fantastic Art Live! commemorative art book collection, featuring the art of Android Jones, Brom, Iain McCaig, Hale and Mike Mignola. Mike is also at the show just a few isles from us.

Enjoy,

John

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

Links:
Comic-Con International in San Diego

Thursday at Comic-Con. Flesk Panel today, and Mark Schultz and Jim Silke Spotlight Panels.

Today we have a few panels. Starting at 10:00 AM in room 32AB is our Flesk panel. Here’s the details.

Flesk: Celebrating a Decade of Publishing

Visit with the Flesk team and a quartet of legendary artists for a personal and entertaining hour. Join publisher, John Fleskes, Terry Dodson (Defenders, Uncanny X-Men), Mark Schultz (Xenozoic), Jim Silke (Jungle Girls, Jim Silke Sketchbook) and William Stout (Hallucinations, Inspirations) and moderator Jonathan Leveck (Flesk’s Director of Operations), as they look back on ten years of Flesk’s line of quality books promoting comics and graphic novels, fantasy, illustration, pinup and fine arts fields. In addition, Flesk will announce its exciting line of new titles coming out in the fall of 2012 and provide a glimpse into their 2013 schedule.

Then a little later is:

Spotlight on Mark Schultz. Thursday from 12:30-1:30 in room 4. I’ll be a part of this panel with Mark.

And also:

Spotlight on Jim Silke. Thursday 2:00-3:00 in room 9.

And while you’re at it, be sure to swing by our booth #5019 to pick up your free Flesk postcard set featuring the art of Stout, Gianni, Schultz, Silke, Dodson, Bruce Timm and Craig Elliott. All seven gentlemen are at the show and you can get your postcards signed by all of them.

Enjoy,

John

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

Links:
Comic-Con International in San Diego

 

Opening day at Comic-Con International. Flesk at Booth #5019

Today is the opening day of Comic-Con International in San Diego. We’re at booth #5019, the same spot as the previous few years. We’re near Artist’s Alley and across from Stuart Ng Books on the far south side of the convention hall.

Mark Schultz will be with us this evening. He’ll have original art and will be happy to meet you and sign your items.

We’re premiering the Bruce Timm Naughty and Nice 2012 Teaser at the show. This featured all new art drawn by Bruce over the last few months. There is no repeated imagery with his big book. This comes signed and limited to 1000 copies. For those that can’t make the show, we’ll have them on our Flesk online store right after the show.

We look forward to seeing you.

Enjoy,

John

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

Links:
Comic-Con International in San Diego

Flesk at Comic-Con, Booth #5019. July 11-15. New Timm Teaser and Panels

Comic-Con International is coming up next week. We’ll be exhibiting again at our usual spot at booth #5019 near artist’s alley. Mark Schultz, who will be a guest of the show, is going to be at our booth all five days. We’ll have official times when he will be present posted at our booth.

Jim Silke and Gary Gianni will also be show guests. Silke will be at booth #4901 and Gianni at #4902. Both locations are near us.

Gianni, Silke and Schultz will have individual spotlight panels highlighting their achievements.

Spotlight on Gary Gianni. Saturday 12-1:00 in room 4.

Spotlight on Jim Silke. Thursday 2:00-3:00 in room 9.

Spotlight on Mark Schultz. Thursday from 12:30-1:30 in room 4. I’ll be a part of this panel with Mark.

We’re going to have our own Flesk panel on Thursday, July 12th from 10:00AM-11:00AM in room 32AB. Here’s the details:

Flesk: Celebrating a Decade of Publishing
Visit with the Flesk team and a quartet of legendary artists for a personal and entertaining hour. Join publisher, John Fleskes, Terry Dodson (Defenders, Uncanny X-Men), Mark Schultz (Xenozoic), Jim Silke (Jungle Girls, Jim Silke Sketchbook) and William Stout (Hallucinations, Inspirations) and moderator Jonathan Leveck (Flesk’s Director of Operations), as they look back on ten years of Flesk’s line of quality books promoting comics and graphic novels, fantasy, illustration, pinup and fine arts fields. In addition, Flesk will announce its exciting line of new titles coming out in the fall of 2012 and provide a glimpse into their 2013 schedule.

I won’t be at our booth much of Thursday. In fact, I will be spending less time at the booth than I normally do, which is usually the majority of the time. I will be in and out all during the show with no fixed times. My wonderful staff will be there to assist you with any questions. One thing to keep in mind is none of us view unsolicited portfolios or book proposals at the shows.

On another topic, we have put together a Flesk promotional postcard set. This will be a free gift given out to our customers at Comic-Con to help celebrate ten years of Flesk. I want to be able to put something into people’s hands to make them feel appreciated for supporting us for all of these years.

This will be a set of seven postcards featuring seven artists that will be in attendance at Comic-Con this year. Each artist is someone who I have published. The seven gentlemen are Stout, Gianni, Schultz, Silke, Dodson, Bruce Timm and Craig Elliott.

These 4″ x 6″ postcards will be printed in full color on front and back. The front art is a finished piece, with the preliminary art on the back. The seven cards will be contained within a velum envelope. It’s going to look beautiful. And again, it will be given out to all of our customers, while supplies last.

New for Comic-Con will be the Bruce Timm Naughty and Nice 2012 Teaser. This 16 page collection will feature all new work recently created in the last few months. This 8.5 in. x 5.5 in. saddle-stitched book is limited, numbered 1-1000 and comes signed by Timm for $15.00. They can be found at our booth and also directly from Timm at his usual signing area at the Naked Fat Rave booth #4601. Copies will be available direct from our website immediately after the show.

We’ll also have the new Spectrum Fantastic Art Live! commemorative art book collection available. This book features the art of Android Jones, Brom, Iain McCaig, Phil Hale and Mike Mignola. The introductions are by Cathy & Arnie Fenner, Christopher Golden, Lorne Lanning, Christopher Paolini and William Stout, plus a short interview with Phil Hale by Tray Batey. Afterword by John Fleskes. Mignola and Stout will be in attendance if you would like to get your copy signed.

In addition, we’ll have our entire line of Flesk books that are in print on display. We all look forward to seeing you at the show.

John

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

Links:
Comic-Con International in San Diego

Flesk at “Spectrum Fantastic Art Live!” Part 5.

Scott Gustafson, Randy Dahlk, Jonathan Leveck, Jim & Ruth Keegan, James Walker II, Mark Schultz, Thomas Gianni and John Fleskes

“Arnie’s penciled in the event for next year on the calendar, he just needs to ink it in,” shares “Spectrum Fantastic Art Live!” planning coordinator, Bunny Muchmore. Her prediction on the Sunday eve of the show is proven accurate. Arnie Fenner announced on the Muddy Colors blog that the show will go on. I’m stoked with this news. Heck, I’m sure a lot of people are. Not just for those who made it, but for those who didn’t and can attend next time.

Here’s an interesting statistic. It has become public knowledge that just over 2000 people came through the door in Kansas City. Comic-Con International in San Diego has 125,000 people attending. When I factor all of my costs associated with the Spectrum show a few weeks ago and Comic-Con in 2011 they almost match. There is less than a $500 difference. At Comic-Con I have two booths. At Spectrum I have an island (four corner booths). I drive in my books and staff for Comic-Con. At Spectrum I shipped our books in advance, then flew in my staff and three artists and covered the hotel rooms for us. Now here’s the kicker. The money brought in from book sales between Comic-Con and Spectrum Fantastic Art Live! (SFAL!) is a difference of $300.

There’s been a lot of talk about the power of the one percent over the last year. Given that 2000 people rounds up to 2% of the Comic-Con attendance, I think I can still make a point. I’ve always felt that 1% of the Comic-Con crowd is our core audience. The rest are there for the pop-culture elements. Reflecting on the two shows creates some legitimacy to my gut feeling. Big crowds do not translate to big sales. The Alternative Press Expo (APE) in San Francisco is another show that entices a focused crowd and does very well for us.

A good balance, to me, is that core 2%, then another few thousand people with peripheral interests that we can meet and introduce ourselves to for the first time. While I like to sell books at a show, it is my third goal. My first goal is to meet and interact with new people and existing fans. Basically, promoting Flesk, the artists we publish and the arts in general.

Getting back to some observations, keep in mind that Comic-Con is a five day show and SFAL! is three. The bonus with SFAL!  is that with a shorter show, that gives me two extra days back home working on and selling books. Every day gone from the office is a lost day of productivity, which I need to factor into the value of exhibiting at any show. The promotional value of any event should supplement the lost days back home. I feel both Comic-Con and SFAL! do this, yet SFAL! is a mellow environment and is not the marathon that Comic-Con is.

Why am I referencing Comic-Con? I’ve been either attending or exhibiting at the show since 1994. I know it well. It is a major venue for an artist, or in my case an art book publisher, to promote himself. During the last five years, especially, I have seen many artists drop out of the show for reasons such as it becoming too expensive to attend, sales are down, the increased jobs picked up at the show have become less frequent, the longer hours requiring extra help at the booth and the perceived focus of the show that has gone more mainstream pop-culture. And what I mean by more expensive is not the booth costs, which I feel is a deal for what you get (Comic-Con keeps the booth prices very reasonable when compared to other trade shows I have been too, like BEA—which is a total waste of time and money in my opinion), but instead the hotel costs that have been driven up over the years. Besides this, there’s been a feeling by the artists of their not being relevant to Comic-Con anymore. The Comic-Con organizers keep the focus of the program book, panels, guests and name of the show all very much focused on comics and the people in the comic industry, but the large film studios, game companies and other peripheral pop culture genres cast a shadow over the theme a bit too much, contributing to the perception that Comic-Con doesn’t care about the artists, which I don’t think is true. I think they do care, but they are in a pickle dealing with the perceptions and the mass of people that attend and exhibit at the show. I don’t envy what they have to deal with. It’s like chasing King Kong and trying to tie him down with a few dozen people and a rope.

Getting back to SFAL!, I feel it can only grow from here. The core audience that supports and sustains us was there. For this, I am very grateful. I feel with each new year more core fans will arrive, followed by those with a mild-curiosity for what is going on. The very fact that the focus is on the artists, not the products they create, is refreshing. The artists don’t have to compete with the cast of Glee near them. (I had this happen at Comic-Con one year. There was a massive line blocking the entrance to my aisle. No joke. I’m like, what the #*!#& is Glee?) Or, the carnival antics of major studios with bullhorns, gaming companies blasting explosion sound effects, sword dealers—OK, don’t get me started. You get my point. SFAL! is all about the artists and King Kong is not running amok on the show floor.

So why was I there with a big booth? I’m not an artist, but a book publisher? Why did I get such a primo spot right up front? We’ll, I feel my mission in publishing fits the theme of the show. We are all about the artists. I’m not publishing books on genres and products. I publish artist individual collections and make sure they are about them. I had six artists at my booth, and not just books. About the space: When I heard about the show, I immediately signed up and asked for a big spot. In knew the show would be a success and would grow. I decided to grab my space when I could, knowing later that it might not be possible. I had faith early on. That, and Stout encouraged me with this decision as well.

The SFAL! show organizers have been honest about what they felt went well, and listed out areas for improvement. I respect those that can point out his or her flaws and work to correct them. I look forward to continuing to support the show and to see where it goes.

I will end this blog series about the show with some random pictures; both at the show and around downtown Kansas City.
Petar Meseldzija sketching in a copy of Flesk Prime. Taking pictures of Petar is like trying to take a picture of a five-year-old boy. He rarely stops moving around and likes to make silly faces at the camera. This is a grab shot that I took while he was focused on drawing.

Bob Self of Baby Tattoo Books with his life-sized mascot.

Gary Gianni (right) signing bookplates for his adaptation of Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Gary was kind enough to offer his hand. These bookplates will come with all future orders direct form us for the book. We also have a separate exclusive for the Prince Valiant Page.

On Sunday evening a small group of us had a relaxing and fun dinner. I snapped some pictures during the meal. The lighting was dim, with an assortment of interesting lights and colors. I prefer not to use a flash. Here are a few of the results.

Mark Schultz playing the role of Mr. Fantastic

Jonathan Leveck

Randall Dahlk

James Walker II

Randy with Jonathan.

See you next year!

Enjoy,

John

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

Links:
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live! commemorative book
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live! official website