Spectrum 21 Artists Notified and Book Designs Started

Spectrum-21-coverHi, all,

I’ve just wrapped up sending out all of the notification emails to the artists who were selected for inclusion into Spectrum 21. There are over 200 artists and nearly 500 works included in Spectrum 21. I took my time to match up the names, art and specifications since I want to verify these details with the artists to make sure they are right. It’s incredibly important to me get the information accurate in the printed book and so, I chose not rush the process.

If you are on the Spectrum 21 artist list and did not receive an email from us, please shoot us an email at info@spectrumfantasticart.com and we will help you out.

With this step done, I have begun working on the actual Spectrum 21 book designs. My goal is to have the book ninety-percent mapped out before I leave for the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live event in early May.

Also this week, Frank Cho and I did the rough designs for 25 pages of his Drawing Beautiful Women book. Between now and early July I expect to have Frank’s book, Spectrum 21 and The Art of Nexus by Steve Rude wrapped up, plus maybe one more book. Then we will be off to Comic-Con International in San Diego!

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 Titles Coming in 2014 and 2015

Hi, all,

I’d like to fill you in on our Flesk releases for 2014 and what books we have in development for 2015.

These last seven months have been a thrilling experience. Transitioning Spectrum over to Flesk has given me the same excited feeling that I had when I first started Flesk Publications back in 2002. The internal restructuring here has been a tremendous amount of work, but the benefit today is that I have 12 years of publishing business experience to make far better decisions than when I started in 2002. The opportunity to work on Spectrum not only allowed me the fun of completely rethinking the process of how the annual is run and produced, but it also made me look at the processes here at Flesk. I placed my high standards on myself, asked many tough questions, and as a result I made a series of improvements here. The result will be a continuation of our high quality books, with many new faces as part of the Flesk team to help out. The improvements have been so great, that it feels as if I am walking into the business for the first time.

Spectrum-21-cover2014 Flesk Titles

1. Spectrum 21: The Best in Contemporary Art
Spectrum is more than just a book. It is a community, a brand and an event which requires nurturing and focus all year long. A few friends of mine expressed their concern that by my taking on Spectrum that it would interrupt the Flesk line of books. “It would be disastrous if Spectrum affected the Flesk line,” said one artist who I publish. I agree, which is why this is the only year where you will see this reduction of releases while we restructure and grow. Spectrum 21 will be released in November 2014.

2. Drawing Beautiful Women: The Frank Cho Method
This is another fun book. Frank Cho and I have known each other for over a decade, but never worked together before. I’m finding the experience to be a blast. This book is right on schedule for an October 2014 release date.

In Development for 2015

1. The Line of Beauty: The Art of Wendy Pini
This book will focus on Wendy’s stellar work outside of ElfQuest including comics, illustration and private art with a detailed biography exploring every facet of Wendy’s passion for telling stories. All traditional artwork is being reproduced from the original art.

2. The Art of Elfquest
This collection will highlight key covers, story pages, portfolio plates and rarely seen images from its earliest days to today.

3. The Book of Giants by Petar Meseldzija
A story highlighted with dozens of new drawings and paintings. Petar is working intensely on this book and I’ll have more information to share in the next few months.

4. The Art of Nexus by Steve Rude
We have spent over two years collecting scans of full Nexus stories from the original art and we are now ready to design the book. This one is very close to being ready and we expect to run a Kickstarter campaign on this during the summer.

5. The Moth by Steve Rude, Gary Martin and Glenn Whitmore
The Moth is coming back! New stories are in the works. The next four issues are mapped out and this is an exciting opportunity for me to publish a comic that I am extremely passionate about.

6. The Comic Art of William Stout
This is another book that has been in development for a few years. Tracking down and scanning the art to include in the book has been a pleasure. We’re getting closer to being ready to start designing the book. I’m confident that this will be ready by the fall of 2015.

7. Sessions: Spectrum Fantastic Art Live Portraits by Greg Preston
A new book featuring the photography of Greg Preston highlighting fifty creators behind todays best contemporary fantastic art. I’ll share the link to the Kickstarter campaign for this later this week.

8. Storms at Sea by Mark Schultz
Yes, it’s true. Not a hoax; not a dream! Schultz is threatening that the art is nearly done. After five years in development, we are looking at a 2015 release date.

9. Mark Schultz Various Drawings Premium Hardcover Collection
All five volumes of Various Drawings combined into a deluxe oversized collection. Mark and I have some big ideas to make this far more than a simple collection.

10. Plus, I’m working with Terry Dodson, Gary Gianni, Gregory Manchess, Iain McCaig, Jackson Robinson and Jim Silke on new ideas. Their titles will be announced once we have the books fleshed out further.

11. I’m also packaging three books for various institutions. I’ll announce who the books focus on once I have permission to share the details.

12. Spectrum 22
The annual collection arrives in stores in the fall of each year.

This will carry us through the end of 2015!

Thanks to everyone again for your interest. These books and projects in no way could be possible without your support.

Now it’s time to get back to work!

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 Publications 2002-2014. The Complete Library.

I’ve updated my master Flesk Publications list detailing every book and print I have published, as well as a few other projects I played a role in. This covers everything up until January 2014. The total comes to 44 books, 4 prints and 6 specialty produced book collections.

2014 Flesk Titles (More coming this year.)

Production assistance provided for the following:
1. Wayne Thiebaud: Works on Paper 1948-2004 by Michael Zakian
January, 2014.
Packaged and designed for the Weisman Museum of Art, Pepperdine University.
Hardcover with jacket. $40.00 cover price, 11.75 x 10 inches, 80 pages.

flesk-2013-covers-banner2013 Flesk Titles

1. Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2
May 2013
Hardcover with jacket. $29.95 cover price, 9 x 12 inches, 80 pages.
2. The Art of Brom
August 2013
Trade Edition – Hardcover with jacket. $44.95 cover price, 9 x 12 inches, 208 pages.
Publisher Edition: Fantasy cover – Hardcover with jacket. $49.95 cover price, 9 x 12 inches, 224 pages.
Publisher Edition: Nude cover – Hardcover with jacket. $49.95 cover price, 9 x 12 inches, 224 pages.
Deluxe Edition in Slipcase – Signed and numbered to 500 copies. Hardcover. $250.00 cover price, 9 x 12 inches, 225 pages.
3. The Art of Brom Sketchbook
August 2013
Paperback. $15.00, 5.5 x 8.5 inches, 16-pages.
4. Carbon by Mark Schultz
July 2013
Paperback. $24.95, 9 x 12 inches, 56 pages.
Hardcover with jacket. $40.00 cover price, 9 x 12 inches, 57 pages. (Signed and limited to 600 copies.)
5. Xenozoic by Mark Schultz (New printing with new cover.)
August 2013
Paperback. $39.95, 8.5 x 11 inches, 352 pages.
Hardcover with jacket. $75.00 cover price, 8.5 x 11 inches, 353 pages. (Signed and limited to 500 copies.)
6. Beyond the Known Forest, She Talks with Birds by Mark Schultz, July 2013, signed print
7. Naughty and Nice: The Good Girl Art of Bruce Timm 2013 Teaser
July 2013
Paperback. $15.00, 5.5 x 8.5 inches, 16 pages.
Signed and limited to 1000 copies.
8. The Art of Elfquest & Line of Beauty: The Art of Wendy Pini Teaser
July 2013
Paperback. $15.00, 5.5 x 8.5 inches, 16 pages.
Signed and limited to 1000 copies.
9. Naughty and Nice: The Good Girl Art of Bruce Timm Big Pocket Edition (Reprint.)
September 2013
Paperback. $29.95, 8.5 x 11 inches, 256 pages.
10. An Evening with Flesk Prime print, October 2013, 1-page (Signed by Terry Dodson, Petar Meseldzija, Mark Schultz, Jim Silke and Thomas Yeates, limited to 50 prints.)

Production assistance provided for the following:
1. Illustrating Modern Life: The Golden Age of Illustration from the Kelly Collection
January, 2013
Hardcover with jacket. $40.00, 9 x 12 inches, 112 pages.
2. Bombshells 7 by Terry Dodson
July 2013
Paperback. $15.00, 5.5 x 8.5 inches, 16 pages.

2012 Flesk Titles

1. The Art of Craig Elliott, January 2012, 68-pages, HC
2. Naughty and Nice: The Good Girl Art of Bruce Timm, January 2012, 304-pages, HC (Signed deluxe limited to 1000 numbered copies) and PB
3. Warren Chang: Narrative Paintings, January 2012, 112-pages, HC
4. Spectrum Fantastic Art Live! 2012 commemorative show book, May 2012, 64-pages, HC
5. Naughty and Nice: The Good Girl Art of Bruce Timm 2012 Teaser, July 2012, 16-pages, PB (Signed limited to 1000 numbered copies)
6. James Bama: Personal Works, December 2012, 144-pages, HC
7. Jim Silke Sketchbook Volume One, December 2012, 64-pages, PB
8. Naughty and Nice: The Good Girl Art of Bruce Timm Big Pocket Edition, December 2012, 256-pages, PB

Production assistance provided for the following sketchbook for Terry Dodson
1. Bombshells 6 by Terry Dodson, July 2012, 16-pages, PB

Total 2012 page count is 976 pages.

2011 Flesk Titles

1. Mysterious Islands by Gary Gianni, July 2011, 16-pages, PB (Signed limited to 1000 numbered copies)
2. Al Williamson Archives Volume Two, July 2011, 48-pages, PB
3. Mark Schultz: Various Drawings Volume Five, July 2011, 48-pages, HC (Signed deluxe limited to 800 numbered copies) and PB
4. Naughty and Nice: The Good Girl Art of Bruce Timm Teaser, July 2011, 16-pages, PB (Signed limited to 1000 numbered copies)
5. Flesk Prime, August 2011, 64-pages, HC
6. Flesk Prime Print, September 2011, 1-page (Signed by Elliott, Gianni, Meseldzija, Schultz and Stout, limited to 50 numbered prints)

Production assistance provided for the following two sketchbooks for Terry Dodson
1. Reveries by Terry Dodson, July 2011, 16-pages, PB (Signed limited to 500 numbered copies)
2. Bombshells 5 by Terry Dodson, July 2011, 16-pages, PB

Total 2011 page count is 225 pages.

2010 Flesk Titles

1. Blue Book by Mark Schultz, March 2010, 16-pages, PB (Signed limited to 1000 numbered copies)
2. James Bama Sketchbook, May 2010, 144-pages, PB
3. Hallucinations by William Stout, July 2010, 48-pages, HC (Signed limited to 500 numbered copies) and PB
4. Al Williamson Archives, July 2010, 64-pages, PB
5. The Legend of Steel Bashaw by Petar Meseldžija, October 2010, 64-pages, PB
6. Inspirations by William Stout, November 2010, 48-pages, HC (Signed limited to 650 numbered copies) and PB
7. Xenozoic by Mark Schultz, November 2010, 352-pages, PB
8. Harvey Dunn: Illustrator and Painter of the Pioneer West by Walt Reed, November 2010, 304-pages, HC deluxe (Signed limited to 350 numbered copies in special upgrade book binding, with slipcase, and bonus art and photo of Harvey Dunn bound in on special signature double page. Signed by Walt Reed) and HC
9. Jungle Girls by Jim Silke, December 2010, 84-pages, HC (Signed limited to 500 numbered copies) and PB

Total 2010 page count is 1124 pages.

2009 Flesk Titles

January 23, 2009 marked my first full time date running Flesk Publications. Prior to this, I held a full-time position at a tech company for a decade. This explains the growth in the number of titles released from this year forward.

1. Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne adapted by Gary Gianni, January 2009, 64-pages, HC super deluxe with original art, HC deluxe (Limited to 600 signed and numbered copies) and HC
2. Prehistoric Life Murals by William Stout, February 2009 (indicia states January 2009, but it arrived in stores in February), 144-pages, HC super deluxe with original art in slipcase, HC (Signed deluxe limited to 600 numbered copies) and HC
3. Major Thrill’s Adventure Book by Gary Gianni, July 2009, 32-pages, PB
4. Mark Schultz Various Drawings Volume Four, August 2009, 48-pages, HC (Signed deluxe limited to 800 numbered copies) and PB
5. Al Williamson’s Flash Gordon: A Lifelong Vision of the Heroic by Mark Schultz, June 2009, 256-pages, HC and PB
6. New Dinosaur Discoveries A-Z by William Stout, December 2009, 64-pages, HC
7. Dinosaur Discoveries by William Stout, December 2009, 144-pages, HC (Signed deluxe limited to 500 numbered copies) and PB

Total 2009 page count is 752 pages.

2008 Flesk Titles

1. The Prince Valiant Page by Gary Gianni, June 2008, 112-pages, HC super-deluxe (40 signed and numbered copies containing a tipped in Prince Valiant strip preliminary in pencil by Gianni), HC (Signed deluxe limited to 1000 numbered copies in slipcase) and HC
2. Xenozoic Tales Print by Mark Schultz, July 2008, 1-page, Deluxe (Limited to 100 signed and numbered prints on special thick archival paper) and regular edtion

Total 2008 page count is 113 pages.

2007 Flesk Titles

1. Mark Schultz: Various Drawings Volume Three, August 2007, 48-pages, HC (Signed deluxe limited to 1000 numbered copies) and PB
2. Steve Rude: Artist in Motion by Steve Rude and John Fleskes, December 2007, 208-pages, HC super-deluxe (Limited to 13 roman numeral copies with bound in original artwork in a unique clam shell tray case), HC (Signed deluxe limited to 800 numbered copies in slipcase) and HC

Total 2007 page count is 256 pages.

2006 Flesk Titles

1. Mark Schultz: Various Drawings Volume Two, July 2006, 48-pages, HC (Signed deluxe limited to 1000 numbered copies) and PB
2. James Bama: American Realist by Brian Kane, October 2006, 160-pages, HC (Signed deluxe limited to 1000 numbered copies in slipcase) and HC

Total 2006 page count is 208 pages.

2005 Flesk Titles

1. Mark Schultz: Various Drawings Volume One, July 2005, 48-pages, HC (Signed deluxe limited to 500 numbered copies) and PB

Total 2005 page count is 48 pages.

2004 Flesk Title

1. Joseph Clement Coll: A Legacy in Line, July 2004, 208-pages, HC (Deluxe limited to 300 numbered copies and signed by Fleskes, Gianni and Meglin), HC and PB

Total 2004 page count is 208 pages.

2003 Flesk Title

1. Joseph Clement Coll: The Art of Adventure, July 2003, 168-pages, HC (Limited to 800 copies) and PB

Total 2003 page count is 168 pages.

2002 Flesk Title

1. Franklin Booth: Painter with a Pen by John Fleskes, March 2002, 112-pages, HC (Limited to 500 copies) and PB

Total 2002 page count is 112 pages. My first book!

Scanning assistance: After the release of the Franklin Booth book, Gary Gianni asked me if I could scan his art for use in an upcoming self-published book of his. I scanned the original artwork for the 40 story pages for Corpus Monstrum by Gary Gianni, published by Hieronymus Press in 2002. Jim Keegan designed the book.

Many more to come!

Enjoy,

John

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

The Art of Brom Promotional Banners

Our friends at Helpful Bear Productions put together these The Art of Brom promotional banners for us to use.  I wanted to share them here for the first time.

The-Art-of-Brom-promo-pic-02The-Art-of-Brom-promo-pic-01The-Art-of-Brom-Deluxe-promo-pic-01

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.

Frank Cho Kickstarter Campaign Ends This Week

Hi, everyone,

Our Drawing Beautiful Women: The Frank Cho Method Kickstarter campaign ends this Friday. This is the book where Frank Cho, the acclaimed creator of Liberty Meadows, shares his secrets to drawing the lovely women he is renowned for.

Gallery Edition cover

Gallery Edition cover

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1226561929/drawing-beautiful-women-the-frank-cho-method?ref=live

We offer a variety of editions from an affordably priced trade paperback all the way up to a fancy oversized limited edition. Eight stretch goals have been unlocked so far. Here is a rundown on the current free bonus items you will receive for those who make a book pledge of $20 or more.

-Free shipping by USPS Media Mail with tracking in the U.S.A. -Free 8 x 10″ print featuring a drawing the head construction guide with various angles shown -Two gatefolds added to the trade and publisher’s editions. -French flaps added to the trade paperback edition. -Free second 8 x 10″ print showing the full body construction of a woman from the front, side and rear. -Upgrade binding for the $35 Hardcover Publisher’s edition with jacket. -Free digital PDF version of the book for your computers and tablets. -Adding two gatefolds to the Gallery Edition. -Upgrade binding for the $50 hardcover Deluxe Limited and Signed Publisher’s Edition.

Our next two stretch goals are:

Ivy-Doomkitty-Frank-Cho-sketch-KS

Preliminary sketch for Ivy Doomkitty print.

-A third free print, this one featuring the lovely Ivy Doomkitty! -A Frank Cho online art demonstration video (Again Frank will be fully clothed, we promise.)

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1226561929/drawing-beautiful-women-the-frank-cho-method?ref=live

Lots of giving all around! Act soon if you want to get in on all of the bonus Kickstarter goodies!

Happy New Year and with our thanks,

John Flesk (and Frank Cho)

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

“An Evening with Flesk Prime” Pictures

Flesk Prime patron, Strip Festival organizer and friend, Fons van Erp.

Flesk Prime patron, Strip Festival organizer and friend, Fons van Erp.

We had our second “An Evening With Flesk Prime” on October 24, 2013 in Breda, The Netherlands. This private dinner was held at a luxurious restaurant in a secluded area of the city. A natural barrier of native trees sheltered us from the sounds and sights of modern day civilization. It was the perfect setting for our intimate dinner with the artists and patrons. The evening was arranged by our stalwart friend, Mark Thelosen. Thanks to Mark for his excellent restaurant selection and for making the evening run so smoothly.

I came up with the idea of An Evening with Flesk Prime a few months prior to our 2011 visit to the Strip Festival in Breda. I oftentimes have the opportunity to have small group dinners with the artists and thought it would be fun to make a special dinner available to a small group of fans. With the 2011 inaugural evening a success, we decided to hold a follow-up dinner two nights prior to the 2013 Breda event.

I would like to thank our local patrons who partook in Flesk Prime. We all thoroughly enjoyed your company, conversation and laughs. We were pleased to see the many repeat attendees and to have the opportunity to meet the new gentlemen who joined us.

I also want to pass along my gratitude to our special guests: Terry & Rachel Dodson, Petar Meseldzija, Mark Schultz, Jim Silke and Thomas Yeates. The following are pictures from the dinner.

Jim and Kurtesa Silke.

Jim and Kurtesa Silke.

Thomas Yeates in the center. All smiles.

Thomas Yeates in the center. All smiles.

Terry Dodson (middle) is an excellent storyteller, both in comics and in person.

Terry Dodson (middle) is an excellent storyteller, both in comics and in person.

Mark Schultz (in the foreground) discussing his German roots.

Mark Schultz (in the foreground) discussing his German roots.

The view from the head of the table.

The view from the head of the table.

Another shot at Terry's zone.

Another shot at Terry’s zone.

Sorry, Petar! The pictures of you from the night didn’t come out good. But, for our Petar Meseldzija fans, I have plenty of unseen pictures of Petar that I’ll be sharing on my blog soon.

Enjoy,

John

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

New Goodies Announced on Our Frank Cho Kickstarter Campaign

Greetings, all,

I just sent out a new update on our Frank Cho Kickstarter campaign. Here’s the details.

We are pleased to announce a new exciting batch of stretch goals and a new digital tier. And they’re a doozy, folks. Drum roll, please:

Drawing Beautiful Women: The Frank Cho Method Kickstarter Campaign Link

*An exclusive print of the renowned model Ivy Doomkitty. (Whoa Nellie!)

*A Frank Cho illustration process video. (He’ll draw a hottie from start to finish.)

*Upgraded bindings for our books.

*Digital PDF version that can all be yours at no additional cost for those who make a book pledge of $20 or more.

*Plus, we’re throwing in a digital PDF tier for just $10. No, we’re not going nuts (we checked), we just like giving more goodies as your support grows. You deserve it!

Here’s a full breakdown of the new offerings.

Gallery Edition

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.)

New Digital Tier

We’ve added a $10 tier for a digital version of the 112-page trade edition book in PDF form. You will also be eligible to have free access to the online Frank Cho art demonstration video if we hit our stretch goal to make the film happen. This is an incredible deal and also an excellent option for our international friends. Please note that all other stretch goals and exclusives are only available to book pledges of $20 or more

Stretch Goals to Unlock

$95K Stretch Goal
Upgrade binding for the $35 Hardcover Publisher’s Edition.
We will upgrade the binding from the current paper printed boards to an Arlin boards wrap with custom stamp on the front boards. This version includes a jacket too.

$100K Stretch Goal
We will add a digital PDF version
for everyone who makes a book pledge of $20 or more. This is a great way to have your hard copy book and a digital copy for when you are on the go.

$110K Stretch Goal
Adding two gatefolds to our Gallery Editions. This goal is for two gatefolds, each measuring a whopping 24 inches wide by 17 inches tall! (That’s how tall Frank Cho is in real life.)

$115K Stretch Goal
Upgrade binding of the $50 Hardcover Deluxe Limited & Signed Publisher’s Edition to a fancy quarter-binding with an onlaid plate featuring the cover art set in the front center boards. The board design will finish off with a stamp of the title and Frank Cho’s name on the front boards. The jacket will also be included.

$125K Stretch Goal
We will add a third free print Featuring Ivy Doomkitty.
An 8 x 10 inch print featuring a classy nude watercolor pinup of internationally known cosplayer and model, the great Ivy Doomkitty, ONLY AVAILABLE THROUGH THIS KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN!

$140K Stretch Goal
A Frank Cho Drawing Demonstration Video.
John Fleskes will fly out to Frank’s studio and film him drawing a few pieces included in the book. (John will make sure Frank wears his pants throughout the demonstration.) This 40 minute online video with narration will be available for free to all of our Kickstarter supporters who make a book pledge of $20 or more, and to those who pledge for the digital $10 tier.

If we get over the $140K mark we’ll have another big stretch goal to announce.

KickstarterBrandyArt sample for the Deluxe Gallery Edition Sketch Tier available on Kickstarter.

Thanks again for all of your help and support. We greatly appreciate it!

Drawing Beautiful Women: The Frank Cho Method Kickstarter Campaign Link

Enjoy,

John

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

 

The Art of Brom Promotional Video

Here’s a treat! The Art of Brom from Flesk Publications promotional video. A special thanks to Helpful Bear Productions for putting this together. I love how this turned out!

Visit our Flesk website here to purchase the book. We have special Deluxe and Publisher’s editions available only direct from us.

Enjoy,

John

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

 

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

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

What’s New at Flesk Publications. The September Update.

I just realized that it has been almost a month since I last posted a blog entry. I’ve been focused on the initial stages of various new projects that will carry us through to the end of 2014. Due to this, I have neglected updating my blog as often as I would like. Let me share what I can talk about now.

Spectrum Fantastic Art

For those who are unaware of Spectrum, its goal is to promote the fantastic arts and provide an annual high quality art book that showcases the best contemporary artists for the year. Spectrum is divided into eight categories, which include Advertising, Book, Comics, Concept Art, Dimensional, Editorial, Institutional and Unpublished with a Gold and Silver Award given to the most outstanding work in each bracket. Spectrum was created and has been successfully helmed by the directors, Cathy and Arnie Fenner for the last twenty years. With Spectrum 20 coming out this fall, Arnie and Cathy will be officially retired from the annual. I will officially be the new director with Spectrum #21. All aspects of the book, from the Call for Entries, selecting the judges, organizing and running the selection process with the jury, to the design and publishing of the book, will be my responsibility.

At the moment, much of my energy is focused on the Spectrum transition. My current priority is wrapping up the new Spectrum website. (spectrumfantasticart.com). This is a complete retrofit to bring the site to a modern look, with a fresh news section, a historical area for past volumes, new videos from shows and featuring artist interviews, a “Meet the Spectrum Jury” page, a new submission upload area for taking on digital Call for Entries submissions, and a focused spot highlighting the new Spectrum Advisory Board. The Spectrum #21 judges and new Advisory Board will be announced when the new site goes live on October 1. There will also be a handful of surprises that will be rolled out over the course of this year and the next.

Stay tuned for the announcement regarding the new site and details about the Call for Entries for Spectrum #21.

New Books from Flesk Publications

We are working on four new books that will come out between the spring and summer of next year, yet it’s a little early for me to talk about them. I’ll start sharing the details come November or December, when I hope to have them fairly wrapped up. I prefer waiting as long as possible to make announcements since I don’t want to be locked in to an early template. I like to shape and tweak every book over a slow burner, plus the freedom to change direction on a project up until the moment the artist and I are fully satisfied.

Future Kickstarter Campaigns

The next Kickstarter campaign is being planned to start at the end of November. The artist and details will be unveiled by mid-November. All I can say for now is that it is a book project that I am very anxious to get going on. What I can say for now is that I have known and admired this artist for ten years and it is a pleasure to finally have the opportunity to work with him.

I hope you are all enjoying your Labor Day Holiday. I look forward to updating you on these projects, and more, in the near future.

Enjoy,

John

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

The Art of Brom Kickstarter a Wrap! (Almost.)

Brom-Flesk-Kickstarter-Signing-pic-4

Brom with personalized and signed “The Art of Brom” books which are now in our Kickstarter supporters hands.

Outside of a few pending packages waiting for shipping addresses, we have wrapped up The Art of Brom Kickstarter campaign. I am still checking Kickstarter comments and messages each day, which I expect (and hope) will go on for a few months more.

Brom, still cheerful after four days of signing books.

Brom, still playful after four days of signing books.

To? Maybe this was for you? Here, Brom is about to personalize one of the deluxe editions that came with a sketch.

To? Maybe this was for you? Here, Brom is about to personalize one of the deluxe editions that came with a sketch.

I want to thank Brom for his trust in bringing a collection of his work to me, and for making me aware of Kickstarter. It’s been a privilege to work with him and with our Kickstarter supporters.

Brom-Flesk-Kickstarter-Signing-pic-3The book signing process took him four 12 hour days, and another even longer period of time to sign all of the prints. He’s a trooper and I never heard him complain. Always positive, with a self-driven hard work ethic, Brom is someone to admire.

Enjoy,

John

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

New Mark Schultz signed print — “Beyond the Known Forest, She Talks with Birds”

Flesk-Mark-Schutz-18x24-printThanks to our Kickstarter supporters, we have a new Mark Schultz signed print on offer titled, “Beyond the Known Forest, She Talks with Birds.”

This oversized print measures 18 (H) x 24 (W) inches. It is printed on premium acid free 95 lb. cover stock with a matte finish and it utilizes archival inks. Each print will come signed. At a full two feet wide, this print will showcase Mark Schultz’s artwork at its original size. In addition, the piece has been colored by the original Xenozoic Tales series cover colorist, Denise Prowell–supervised and with touch-ups by Schultz. Mark’s traditional transparent watercolor technique has been used for a brilliant unique look.

We are taking pre-orders on our website now. They will begin shipping at the end of July. The printer informed us that they will be ready just in time to pick up on our way to Comic-Con. I’ll have Mark sign them before the doors open and we will debut them at the show.

We will ship out the prints to our Kickstarter supporters immediately after we return from the convention.

Enjoy,

John

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

Links:
Order “Beyond the Known Forest, She Talks with Birds”

 

Bombshells 7 by Terry Dodson premieres at Comic-Con

Bombshells-7-cover-Terry-DodsonTerry Dodson will be premiering his Bombshells 7 collection at Comic-Con International. His booth number is 4706. This collection showcases his most recent commissions, preliminary work for personal projects and material from his private sketchbooks. All artwork has been hand-picked by Terry and designed to meet the standards of his critical eye. I helped Terry package this book. You can pre-order it now and we’ll ship the copies right after the show, around July 25th.

Terry will also have original art for sale at the show!

Enjoy,

John

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

Links:
Order Bombshells 7
Official Terry Dodson website

Wendy Pini Teaser for “The Art of ElfQuest” and “Line of Beauty” Premiering at Comic-Con

Front and back cover to the Wendy Pini Teaser.

Front and back cover to the Wendy Pini Teaser.

I am working with Richard and Wendy Pini on two new art books collecting the best of Wendy’s art over the course of her 35 year career. The Art of Elfquest will highlight key covers, story pages, portfolio plates and rarely seen images from its earliest days to today. Wendy Pini: The Line of Beauty will focus on her stellar work outside of ElfQuest including comics, illustration and private art with a detailed biography exploring every facet of Wendy’s passion for telling stories. All traditional artwork is being reproduced from the original art.

We put together a Wendy Pini Teaser providing a glimpse into the subject matter covered in The Art of ElfQuest and Line of Beauty. The art included will not be reproduced in the two volume book set.

This 2013 Teaser is limited to 1000 signed and numbered copies. We will premier it at our Flesk booth #5019 at Comic-Con and it is available exclusively from Flesk and from Richard and Wendy Pini at the show. You can also order it on our website.

Enjoy,

John

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

Links:
Order Wendy Pini Teaser

 

Naughty and Nice 2013 Teaser by Bruce Timm

BT-Teaser-2013-covers-Flesk

Front and Back cover to “Naughty and Nice 2013 Teaser” by Bruce Timm

Bruce Timm is a special guest at Comic-Con International this July 18-21. We have a new Bruce Timm 2013 Teaser that will premiere at the show. It features all new B.T. art and comes signed, numbered and limited to 1000 copies. It will only be available direct from Flesk.

You can find Timm at the NFR booth #4700 and the Teaser at the Flesk booth #5019.

Inside the Teaser you will find an all new collection of personal drawings highlighting the beauty of the female form. The majority of these twenty works feature nudes with a sampling of art in the fantasy and horror genres.

Enjoy,

John

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

Links:
Order Bruce Timm’s Naughty and Nice Teaser 2013

“The Art of Brom” and “Mark Schultz Carbon” in June Previews

The Art of Brom trade edition

The Art of Brom trade edition

You can order our new books The Art of Brom, Mark Schultz: Carbon, Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2 and Xenozoic by Mark Schultz new printing edition through the Diamond Comics Distributors June 2013 Previews. We have a full page advertisement on page 375. Here is the Previews order numbers for those who like to order many of their art books through their local comic book shop like I do. You can click on the titles for links to the full details on our website.

Previews page 310:
Mark Schultz: Carbon SC Volume 01 SC — DCD Item # JUN13 1154
Mark Schultz Xenozoic Complete New Ptg TP — DCD Item # JUN13 1155

Previews page 374:
Art of Brom HC — DCD Item # Jun13 1421

And also a few Flesk Backlist Items on page 310:
Mark Schultz Various Drawings Vol 3 LTD HC — DCD Item # JUN13 1156
Mark Schultz Various Drawings SC VOL 05 — DCD Item # JUN13 1157
Mark Schultz Various Drawings LTD HC VOL 05 — DCD Item # JUN13 1158

Thanks, everyone.

Best,

John

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

Mark-Schultz-Carbon-cover

Xenozoic-by-Mark-Schultz-New-Cover

New Mark Schultz Books Printed

Just a quick pair of pictures today. The new Mark Schultz books, Carbon and the Xenozoic new cover edition, have been printed. They look amazing and are on the way to our warehouse. We will have them around mid-July.

Xenozoic-samplesCarbon-samplesThe limited hardcover editions are moving fast. You can pre-order them from our website using the links below.

Enjoy,

John

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

Links:
Mark Schultz Carbon hardcover
Xenozoic hardcover

Flesk and Spectrum

Hi, everyone,

This is a quick post, but I wanted to share the big news. As of Spectrum #21 I’ll be taking over as the new editor, director and publisher of the annual. I’ll be sharing all of the details right after the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live show, including how this transition came about, when Cathy and Arnie Fenner approached me with the idea, what type of changes and improvements I have planned, and how this affects Flesk. It will all be good news!

This is a tremendous honor in which I am grateful to Arnie and Cathy for having the faith, and trust in me to represent Spectrum.

More soon.

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
text copyright © 2013 John Fleskes.

The Art of Brom Advance Copies Pictures

I just received our advance sample copies of The Art of Brom from the printer. They look terrific! We got them just in time to share at the upcoming Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2 (Flesk booth #500) and Big Wow ComicFest (Flesk booth #432) shows coming up soon. Take a look!

Art-of-Brom-Deluxe-case-pic

The Art of Brom deluxe edition with slipcase

The Art of Brom publisher edition fantasy cover

The Art of Brom publisher edition fantasy cover

The Art of Brom publisher edition nude cover

The Art of Brom publisher edition nude cover

The Art of Brom trade edition

The Art of Brom trade edition

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
text copyright © 2013 John Fleskes. Art copyright © 2013 Brom

Links:
“The Art of Brom” at Flesk Publications

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2 Promotional Design

SpectrumFAL2_OneSheetMotion Artist, Vidur Gupta, at Helpful Bear Productions (helpfulbear.com) offered to create a one-sheet promotional display for our Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2 commemorative book. I think he did a beautiful job. The harmony of the supporting colors and background is excellent. You can see the poster above. It will be used throughout our website and with our promotional efforts.  If you have your own books that you would like a professional one-sheet made for, you can contact Gil Banducci. His contact information is located at the Helpful Bear website.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
text copyright © 2013 John Fleskes

Links:
Helpful Bear Productions
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2 details and book order
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2 event website

New and Final Stretch Goal for the Mark Schultz Kickstarter Campaign.

Hi, all,
Our Mark Schultz Kickstarter Campaign ends this Saturday. Mark and I posted a fresh update just now. Here are the details. (Or click here to go directly to our Kickstarter page.)

———-

This is it—we are coming down the Final Stretch of the Mark Schultz Kickstarter Campaign. We’re down to the final five days.

We would like to once again express our ongoing gratitude for all of your support in making the special upgrades, video, hardbound books and prints happen. We feel we just can’t say this enough.

It’s been our ongoing objective to bring you value at a reasonable price, but in the end it is up to you to tell us whether or not you agree that you are getting good value. Your contributions have spoken loud and clear and we appreciate your faith in us.

Now, before we get to that last goal, let’s recap what you have already made possible:

1. Two 8 x 10 inch signed prints exclusive and free to all print and book supporters. The first print features a new Xenozoic image of Hannah and Jack battling stinging, crawly things. The second print is of the painting used for the Carbon cover.

2. The 55 minute brush and ink demonstration video by Mark Schultz comes as a bonus, at no additional cost, to all of our Kickstarter print and book supporters. This will be available for streaming from our website at the same time as the prints and books become available by August.

3. Xenozoic hardcover edition, with signature page and upgraded binging. This unique edition will be limited to only 500 copies. The Kickstarter price is $60.00. The cover price will be $75.00 after this campaign is over, and this book will not be available through the bookstores.

4. The Carbon deluxe signed hardcover edition limited to only 600 copies and only available direct from Flesk.

5. The “Beyond the Known Forest” 18 x 24 inch signed deluxe print.

6. Xenozoic signed bookplate included with all pledges for the paperback or hardcover Xenozoic book.

7. Free shipping for all orders in the U.S.A.

So, with the final few days left, we’re adding one final stretch goal to our campaign: If we hit the $61K mark, we will add a third 8 x 10 inch signed print featuring Mark’s watercolor and carbon pencil illustration, No. 1 (as seen in Various Drawings Vol. 5, page 11).

mark-schultz-no-1No. 1 print image

And, as a reminder, Carbon and Xenozoic are both wrapped and on the press. All continues as scheduled. All goes according to plan. Cue mad laughter.

Thanks, everyone. More updates coming later this week.

John Flesk and Mark Schultz

———-

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
text copyright © 2013 John Fleskes and Mark Schultz. Art copyright © 2013 Mark Schultz

Links:
Mark Schultz Kickstarter Campaign
Mark Schultz books from Flesk Publications

Flesk Exhibiting at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2, Schultz Kickstarter Update

Greetings, all,

Last week I sent out the following email newsletter. If you are interested in joining the newsletter list, you can add your email address here. I send one or two out a month.

April 25, 2013 Flesk Newsletter

sfal2This is John Flesk and I have a lot of great information to share. I’ll cover our exhibiting at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2, the artists that will be at our booth, the new SFAL2 commemorative book, details about Mark Schultz’s new book Carbon and new printing of Xenozoic (including deluxe signed hardcovers), plus a Schultz Kickstarter update, and provide a link to a new Schultz interview conducted by myself. Let’s start with my favorite event of the year, Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2!

Flesk Publications will be exhibiting at the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2 event in Kansas City, Missouri on May 17-19. I wrote details about the show and what will be happening at the Flesk booth on my blog. You can read it here.

In brief, we will have Brom, Bill Carman, Peter de Sève, Craig Elliott, Gary Gianni and Mark Schultz at our booth (#500). We have some other guest appearances which I will announce as we get closer to the show.

“Easy Being Green it is Not” by Peter de Sève. Artwork used with special permission and © Disney.

“Easy Being Green it is Not” by Peter de Sève. Artwork used with special permission and © Disney.

I’m honored to have had the opportunity to produce the SFAL2 book. Spectrum Fantastic Art Live, Volume Two commemorates the second annual Spectrum event by celebrating the work of the exhibition’s six special guests: Jon Foster, Peter de Sève, Tara McPherson, Charles Vess, Michael Whelan and Terryl Whitlatch. This 80 page, 9 x 12 inch hardbound collection will premiere at the show. All pre-orders will ship immediately after. Click for full details and to pre-order.

Mark-Schultz-Carbon-coverThe new art book, Mark Schultz: Carbon, collecting Schultz’s most recent works and the new printing with a new cover of Xenozoic is off to the printer. Our advertised release date is August 1st, but we are hoping to have copies at our Flesk booth at Comic Con International in San Diego. (I’ll keep you updated.)

You can pre-order copies of Carbon and Xenozoic at our Mark Schultz Kickstarter campaign, which gets you a special early-bird price and bonus goodies such as a signed print and access to watch a brush and ink demonstration video for free. (Click here to visit.) Afterward, the books will be available for pre-order from our website, although without the Kickstarter bonus items. Thanks so much to all of our supporters who have made the special signed editions possible through Kickstarter funding. You have our gratitude.

I have conducted an interview with Mark about his new art book, Carbon, and what you can expect to see inside. I have posted it on my blog for your enjoyment. You can read it here.

Another newsletter will be coming in two weeks. It will fill you in on all of the last minute details for SFAL2 and the Schultz Kickstarter campaign.

Thanks, everyone!

Enjoy,

John

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

Interview with Mark Schultz about his new art book, “Carbon”

The new art book, Mark Schultz: Carbon, collecting Schultz’s most recent works is off to the printer. Our advertised release date is August 1st, but we are hoping to have copies at our Flesk booth just in time for the San Diego Comic Con. (I’ll keep you updated.)

You can pre-order copies at our Kickstarter campaign, which gets you a special price and bonus goodies. (Click here to visit.) Afterward, the book will be available for pre-order from our website, although without the Kickstarter goodies.

I have conducted an interview with Mark about his new book and what you can expect to see inside.

John Flesk: Carbon will contain material completed over the last two years. What can one expect to find within the book?

Mark Schultz: I’m focusing more on process than ever before. The feedback I get from readers in general is that there is a great interest in seeing the work that goes into creating the finish. So, in Carbon, I consciously tried to give a little more information on the steps that lead to the finish. There’s an entire section showing, step by step, the visual evolution of the newly identified dinosaur I rendered, along with text describing my work with the paleontologist.

There’s a greater concentration on my evolving use of color, too. The subject matter, I admit, is pretty much what would be expected of me: lots of adventure, speculative fiction stuff and tough girls.

JF: When did you start experimenting with watercolor highlights in your works and can we expect to see a shift to more color in your art?

MS: Defining, modulating and sharpening watercolors with carbon pencils is something I’ve been playing with for several years now. At first, I was pretty conservative with the color, as you suggest, doing more tinting of carbon pencil drawings than anything else. Recently, though, I’ve gotten a little more confident and have started leaning more on the color and less on the drawing. The cover to Carbon is my most extensive shift to color yet.

It’s an evolving process and my goal is to get to the point where I feel I can, when I choose, ditch the use of the pencils altogether and achieve the effect I want with the watercolor alone. Its part of my bigger plan to loosen up, become a bit more painterly and not so constrained by “line” when a particular piece would work best that way.

JF: Why have you worked primarily in black and white for much of your career?

MS: When I started my career in comics, with Xenozoic Tales, working the story in black and white was the only avenue open to me. That’s what my publisher at the time, Kitchen Sink, could offer. Which was not a problem—I’ve always loved monochromatic work, whether it be in comics, illustration, prints or movies.  When you get rid of color, there is a greater emphasis placed on composition, lighting, and texture—and you can achieve all sorts of atmospheric stuff with those elements.

When I was later given the opportunity to do Xenozoic in color, I chose to continue it in B&W, because that is how I’ve come to see it. I can’t imagine drawing the comic’s series as anything other than a monochromatic work.

Don’t get me wrong: I like working in color, too. But I feel a certain affection for B&W because it has become, I think, marginalized in our world where color is now so easily achievable in any media. People have come to think of B&W work as representing a drop in quality, not as an aesthetic choice. I want to see that attitude change.

JF: Do you have an interest in expanding into doing more color works in the future, either by adding watercolor to your brush and ink works, or full watercolors or even oil paintings?

MS: I absolutely do want to have the ability to create color work when it’s needed. It’s a matter of me putting in the reps and getting my technique to where I feel comfortable with my chops. Right now, my focus is on developing more command of watercolor—specifically transparent watercolor, of which Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent were perhaps the absolute top practitioners. (And I am very well aware that, with those two, I have picked impossibly high standards to shoot for.) I have this idea of where I want to go with color illustration done in transparent watercolor—and its great ability to duplicate the quality of natural light—that could nicely compliment my brush and ink illustrations.  I hope.

JF: When comparing your art from three to four years ago to something you are working on today, how do you feel you have grown artistically in this time frame? Why?

MS: I don’t know if I’m the right person to ask. It’s all too close to me. I do feel that I’m getting closer to achieving the moods and feelings I want in my work, but I’m not sure how others perceive it.

Having said that, from my perspective, the last few years have seen a lot of growth in my work. I’m happier with what I’m producing today than I ever have been before. It sort of feels like the first twenty years of my career was all about laying groundwork and trial and error, and in the last few years I’ve been able to actually move forward into something I feel is my own.

And having said that, I’m always miserable about not getting on paper what I’m seeing in my head. (Not an uncommon condition among artist-types.)

JF: Your brush and ink art appearing in Carbon is a bit looser than pieces completed in the past. Has this been a conscious decision?

MS: I’m glad you think so—loosening up is something I’ve very much wanted to move toward. I drive myself crazy with my tendencies to carefully control every line I lay down. It’s obsessive and drains energy from finishes—and is one reason I think many people tend to like my preliminaries more. So, yes, I have been very consciously working on strategies to help me keep my finishes looser and livelier. The goal is always to create an illusion of movement and energy in a still image.

JF: How much does the imagery depicted within Carbon reflect your personal interests?

MS: Hmm—let’s see: dinosaurs, warrior women, Vikings, kitty cats, the sea. Pretty much 100% personal interest. I’m trying to think if there’s anything in here that I would have chosen not to do, if I had the choice. I don’t think so. I think that, if you take on the work of creating something, it’s your job to find a way of making it personal—making the piece something that has meaning to you, regardless the subject matter. If you can’t figure a way of doing that, the project probably isn’t right for you.  Uh, oh—I’m starting to lecture…

JF: Then I’ll change gears. How do you think Carbon differs from any of your previous art books?

MS: Bottom line, it’s bigger and more comprehensive. I think the production is stepped up a big notch, along with my showcased works. The 12” x 9” dimensions and the extra gatefolds really allow us to impressively expand the size of some of the pieces—sometimes close to the original dimensions. The use of color throughout—even the black and white pieces that are reproduced in color so that the paper tone and blue line work pop out—is more extensive and better balanced that ever before. And, as I mentioned elsewhere, there’s a greater focus on my process, both with preliminary and production works and in text.

I wanted the Various Drawings collections to have the quality of museum exhibition catalogues, and I think we achieved that in spades. I want Carbon to be a looser, more varied, more immersive experience.  I think we’ve hit that, too.

JF: I do too, Mark. Thanks for your time!

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Interview copyright © 2013 John Fleskes and Mark Schultz. Art copyright © 2013 Mark Schultz

Links:
Mark Schultz Kickstarter Campaign
Mark Schultz books from Flesk Publications