Flesk at Comic-Con in San Diego. New Books and Signings. Booth #5019

Hi, everyone,

It’s Comic-Con time! Here’s a selection of goodies and signings that will be happening at our Flesk booth #5019.

Carbon-2-Mark-Schultz-webNew books that you can find at our booth are Carbon 2 by Mark Schultz, Elfquest: The Art of the Story by Richard and Wendy Pini, Notes From the Shadowed City by Jeffrey Alan Love and The Nexus Chronicles by Steve Rude.

dam-keeper-flesk-print-sdccWe will also have fresh copies of Arthur Adams Monsters Attacks!!! and copies of The Art of The Dam Keeper with an exclusive 5 x 7 inch print signed by Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi!

A batch of new free promotional postcards for Spectrum 23, Notes From the Shadowed City and more will be at our booth. Stop on by and they are yours!

Which artists will be at Comic-Con in San Diego that I work with? A bunch! You can meet Arthur Adams, Daren Bader, Frank Cho, Terry Dodson, Craig Elliott, Gary Gianni, Richard and Wendy Pini, Mark Schultz, Jim Silke, William Stout and Bruce Timm! Please feel free to stop by our Flesk booth #5019 to check on signing times and to ask for directions to meet all of these wonderful people. They all sit nearby us and we can direct you right to them.

I’ll be moderating a panel on Thursday. After its popularity last year we are continuing our discussion about what it’s like to work independently on creator owned properties. Here’s the official description. Take a look at the lineup of creators that will be speaking with me! Here’s the location, time and description.

Making the Leap to Creator Owned Properties: Tales from the IP Jungle, Thursday, 7/21/16, 3:00p.m. – 4:00p.m., Room: 28DE

Moderator John Fleskes (Flesk publications) leads a rousing discussion with Frank Cho (Liberty Meadows, World of Payne, Savage Wolverine), Terry Dodson (Princess Leia, Red One, Uncanny X-Men), Wendy and Richard Pini (Elfquest) and Mark Schultz (Storms at Sea, Xenozoic) about the differences between working for major publishers and shepherding through their personal projects. The pros, the cons, the triumphs, the tears! Plus, panelists share the latest news of upcoming projects.

See you at the show!

Enjoy,

John

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Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Photos © 2016 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

The Nexus Chronicles by Steve Rude with Free Bonus Nexus Strip!

Nexus-chronicles-steve-rude-fleskHi, everyone,

I talked with Steve Rude this morning about what type of bonus item we can include with Flesk direct orders of The Nexus Chronicles. Steve graciously offered his Nexus strip!

Every order of The Nexus Chronicles placed through Flesk comes with a free Nexus full size 17 x 22″ newspaper strip! It’s 10 pages including the covers.

We will receive our copies of the book any day now when we will immediately begin shipping the orders. We’re very proud of this book and look forward to hearing your feedback.

Order on the Flesk website here!

Enjoy,

John

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Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Photos © 2016 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Spectrum 23 Done! Sent to the Printer!

Hi, everyone,

Spectrum 23 is wrapped up and has been sent to the printer. In the past I had finished the book by July 1st, but this year took me ten extra days to complete due to some extra design work and new ideas I implemented. I want the book to continually evolve and grow with each year. I’m very happy with how it turned out!

Spectrum-23-HB-jacket-FleskHere’s the hardcover jacket design for Spectrum 23. This is last part of the book that I worked on, which is one of my favorite things to design.

On the front cover we have “The Year of the Ram” by Android Jones.
The back cover features “Behind the Veil” by Julie Bell.
The back flap highlights “Cathy’s Ghost” by Laurie Lee Brom.
The front flap showcases “What Lies Beneath” by Miranda Meeks.

There are also a number of fresh quotes that I would like to thank the following artists for providing: Marc Scheff, Terryl Whitlatch, Virginie Ropars, John Picacio, Jeffrey Alan Love, Victo Ngai, and The Shifflet Brothers.

Spectrum 23 comes out this fall. It can be pre-ordered at a special price direct from the Flesk website here.

Enjoy,

John

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Text and photos copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Notes From the Shadowed City by Jeffrey Alan Love Now Available!

jeffrey-alan-love-signing-notes-shadowsNotes-blurbsNow available from Flesk! Notes From the Shadowed City by Jeffrey Alan Love. Jeff was at our office last week signing all of the prints.

We are shipping all of the pre-orders now. All hardcovers ordered through Flesk comes with a unique signed print.

Notes From the Shadowed City is the travelogue of a young man who sets off on a journey to research magical swords. He finds himself stranded in a land he does not know and enters a city with no name over which looms an ominous floating citadel. As he seeks a way home, he fills his notebook with drawings and observations of his life in this strange place. It is full of masked swordsmen, cities that walk, ancient gods, swords made from petrified trees and dragons that move mountains. There’s also a mysterious woman who captures his heart.

From the imagination of award-winning artist Jeffrey Alan Love comes this illustrated tale of swords and magic, memory and loss, and the overwhelming desire to find a way home no matter the cost. His first book detailing this fantastic journey, Notes From the Shadowed City is told through small moments that create a larger narrative. Love employs his renowned artistry to create a heavily visual narrative boasting more than seventy illustrations, and every spread features his art along with handwritten text—a captivating journal entry that expands into a visual symphony. As you follow in the footsteps of this young man, you’ll be intrigued to seek out the Shadowed City.

You can order the book at the Flesk website here.

Enjoy,

John

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Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2016 Jeffrey Alan Love. All Rights reserved.

Notes From the Shadowed City by Jeffrey Alan Love: Original Art Edition!

Notes-blurbsHi, everyone,

Update: Trade edition now available for pre-order.

I’ve posted the $24.95 hardcover trade edition of Notes From the Shadowed City by Jeffrey Alan Love on the Flesk website for pre-order. I talked to Jeff today and he has agreed to include a unique signed 5 x 7 inch print with this edition.

You can learn more here.

http://fleskpublications.com/flesksite/index.php?route=product/product&path=18_98&product_id=177

Update: Sold Out in 11 hours. Thank you!

We have a special treat for you today. Jeffrey Alan Love has produced 100 original paintings that come with his Notes From the Shadowed City Original Art Edition!

There are only 100 copies available. Each copy includes an original piece of art by Love. The paintings were completed using acrylic and ink on 5 x 6 inch stonehenge paper. Each painting is unique and different at approximately 4 x 5 inches.

In addition, the book comes with a 5 x 7 inch print. Both the print and book will be signed and numbered. Watch the video to see the 100 originals.

Order at the Flesk website here:

http://fleskpublications.com/flesksite/index.php?route=product/product&path=18_98&product_id=175

Enjoy,

John

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Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2016 Jeffrey Alan Love. All Rights reserved.

New Mark Schultz Kickstarter Campaign Launched

Hi, everyone,

Our latest Kickstarter campaign is now live. This one features two books by Mark Schultz. The first is his latest art book Carbon 2, which collects his most recent work into a single volume. The second book is for an oversized limited edition of his Storms at Sea book. Both titles can be pre-ordered using our Kickstarter campaign. We have free bonus items, free shipping in the U.S. and stretch goals in place for more upgrades and bonus items as the campaign grows.

Here’s the Kickstarter link:

Carbon 2 is done, while we will be designing the deluxe Storms at Sea this month.

Thanks for taking a look.

Enjoy,

John

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Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2016 Mark Schultz. All Rights reserved.

Notes From the Shadowed City by Jeffrey Alan Love Book Proofs Approved

Flesk-Shadows-proofs shadow-proofsHi, everyone,

I’ve just wrapped up reviewing and approving the proofs for Notes From the Shadowed City by Jeffrey Alan Love. It is scheduled to go on the press early next week.

We will be making the 100 copy special edition that comes with an original piece of art by Jeff available on Monday, May 16 at 10:00AM PST. You will want one! We will be giving ample notice before it is available on the Flesk website so that you have every opportunity to get one before they sell out.

I’ll make an announcement on our blog once it is available.

Enjoy,

John

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Notes From the Shadowed City by Jeffrey Alan Love

Notes-blurbsHi, everyone,

I’ve sent our latest book off to the printer! Notes From the Shadowed City by Jeffrey Alan Love is coming this summer from Flesk!

The first time I saw a piece by Jeff I knew I was looking at an artist who was unique, different and special. Then when I met him in person for the first time I understood why his art is as sophisticated and captivating as it is. Jeff has an inner driven force of creativity and vision that rarely manifests and matures in an artist without having experienced, conquered and triumphed over life’s harshest challenges. I knew at that moment that I wanted to work with him at some point.

This brings us to Notes From the Shadowed City. From the imagination of Jeffrey Alan Love comes this illustrated tale of swords and magic, memory and loss, and the overwhelming desire to find a way home no matter the cost.

Stay tuned for the full details about the book and our special edition that will be available with an original piece of artwork this summer. You won’t want to miss it!

Learn more at: http://www.jeffreyalanlove.com/

Enjoy,

John

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The Making of Steve Rude’s “The Nexus Chronicles”

Nexus-Chronicles-cover-webMany of the projects that I work on are sparked during a simple dialogue. The Nexus Chronicles was initiated in this way. I was talking with Steve Rude over the phone in 2013, probably about some new illustration book that came out or his giving me a motivational talk, or going back and forth about projects we are working on–all of which are regular conversational themes–when one of these sparks caught my eye.

To put this spark in its proper perspective it’s necessary to talk about how I’m inspired by the packaging of certain French Albums. In particular Soleil published a special edition of Belladone in 2004 that showcases the art of Pierre Alary. Included are the preliminary penciled pages and rough layouts alongside the finished inks for the entire story. It was done in an elegant design and still remains a favorite book of mine.

Going back to the phone call with The Dude, the topic of the preserved copies of his pencil work came up, as did the possibility of the inks being accessible to some of our favorite stories that he inked. That’s when I initially brought up the idea of The Nexus Chronicles.

This book also coincided with the decision by Steve and his wife Jaynelle to sell the originals for the four issue Next Nexus story. This comes to about 100 pages inked by Steve. Issue #1 was sold as a set, while the rest were broken up and sold as individual pages. While the pages were still accessible, they were scanned for archival purposes. It was natural for me to propose the idea that we reproduce Next Nexus in its entirety with its pencils side-by-side the inked pages.

After discovering the other Nexus stories that were accessible in its original form we decided to focus on a more overreaching look at Nexus by including Nexus: Wages of Sin #1 and Next Nexus #1, both of which are shown with their pencil and finished inked forms facing one another to highlight the process. Nexus #50 and the rarely seen eight-page “All in Sundra” are reproduced from their inked originals. Also featured is the previously unpublished Nexus #99 in pencil form and the fully painted Sundra story “When She Was Young,” and more. The book comes to 304 pages. It’s a mighty fine collection.

A few stories showcase a story in pencils and inks to show the process, some as just pencils and others solely in its final form. This was Steve’s idea to allow a contrast and variability to the presentation to make the book more interesting. I have to agree, it was a good call.

My favorite story reproduced is the unpublished Nexus #99 story that was abandoned after Steve completed the pencils. This was intended to be the first of a four issue series that would be published by Dark Horse Comics. Unfortunately, the series was cancelled due to low overall sales of Nexus. Steve was informed prior to finishing issue #1, yet he decided to finish it on his own accord. I first saw these originals when I was working with Steve on Artist in Motion. I made a vow to myself to find a vehicle to get this in print one day. If Next Nexus was the catalyst for a collection, “The Root of Evil” was the foundation.

The Nexus Chronicles represents a promise to myself, a format I’ve been longing to design and featuring an artist whose work I am passionate about. I’m very pleased with this combination and the outcome of the book.

As with most artists that I know there is no clear date for how long I’ve known them. For instance, I was first introduced to Steve Rude in 1985 through the early Capital published comic book Nexus. I met him for the first time in person when he made an appearance at Wondercon in San Francisco in 1997. Then I have known him since 2004 which is when we first talked about working together during the San Diego Comic Con. This led to our first book Artist in Motion, which was published in 2007.

Regardless of how long we’ve known each other, this book has been in the works since 1985. I just didn’t know it at the time.

The Nexus Chronicles is off the press and is shipping to our distributor. I expect our copies to arrive in June. Everyone who buys a copy direct from Flesk will receive a free signed print. More details on this coming soon! Pre-order the book here.

Enjoy,

John

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Text copyright © 2016 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

 

Spectrum 23 Judging Event Pictures!

Hi, everyone,

The Spectrum 23 jury is reviewing the submissions right now! Here are pictures of the esteemed group in action at this moment. Thanks to David Palumbo, Cynthia Sheppard, Kirk Thatcher, Charlie Wen and Terryl Whitlatch for spending the day here at the Flesk offices during this beautiful day in Santa Cruz, CA. More photos will be posted here throughout the day.

Spectrum23-judging-event-001 Spectrum23-judging-event-002 Spectrum23-judging-event-003 Spectrum23-judging-event-004 Spectrum23-judging-event-005The Spectrum 23 jury consisting of David Palumbo, Cynthia Sheppard, Kirk Thatcher, Charlie Wen and Terryl Whitlatch are currently selecting the five nominees for each of the eight categories! The nominees for the Advertising, Book, Comic and Concept Art categories are wrapped up. The full list will be posted on Monday.

Spectrum23-judging-event-006

Enjoy,

John

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Elfquest: The Art of the Story–The Backstory

Art-of-the-Story-Elfquest-cover-webIn early January 2015 I was working on the basic template for The Art of Elfquest. Richard and Wendy Pini were visiting on the 14th and 15th. I wanted to make sure the book map was in a presentable form to review with the Pini’s once they arrived. Richard had sent me a hundreds of scans to process, consider and utilize for The Art of Elfquest, yet something was just not working. I had 304 pages to work with–a hefty amount –although far more art than I could use. Normally I would trim the art down by selecting the best of the best and condense the book down to the essentials. But, what is normally a process that I am good at was proving difficult.

With about four days to go before the Pini’s arrived I began to layout a second book. It included the Hidden Years 9 1/2 pencil pages by Wendy and a few other self-contained Elfquest stories that I am fond of. I now had the 304 page Art of Elfquest roughly laid out and a second title that came to about 176 pages.

Not too long after Richard and Wendy arrived I let them know of my dilemma: I wanted to see more art that could fit into The Art of Elfquest and came to the conclusion that we had to have two books. I presented them with what would later become Elfquest: The Art of the Story. It was Richard who came up with this title. To my delight they signed off on the book.

Most of our time during the reminder of their visit focused on The Art of Elfquest. We gathered the quotes through interviews, received feedback about art placement and grouping, and got much of the core layout completed during those two days.

Once The Art of Elfquest went to the printer, we pulled out The Art of the Story and got to work. Our goals were to not treat it as a simple reprint book. We didn’t want it to compete or overlap with any of the Dark Horse collections. We also wanted a unique art book approach to it. It was during this time that I suggested that we show the original artwork on the right hand side and the printed page with the type and commentary on the left hand side. Richard ran with it. He scanned all of the originals, plus the printed pages and worked with Wendy to provide the commentary. This book came out far greater than I could ever have imagined a year ago. It is simply gorgeous. The narrative alone between Richard and Wendy for every page of story alone is impressive. As you turn the book pages it’s as if they are sitting and reading the story with you and offering every backstory and note about each nuance of the story and art. There are a few areas where Wendy gets emotional while reminiscing about certain story situations. It will make your eyes water.

The stories within this collection include Heart’s Way, Little Patch, Rogue’s Curse, The Jury and Wolfwood and “Rogue’s Challenge” from Hidden Years 9 1/2. Richard was even able to obtain an afterword by John Byrne whose inked pages for “Rogue’s Challenge” are included in the book.

I’ve got to add one more thing, which is that this book was not going to be published unless our Kickstarter campaign was successful. This is truly a book that was born out of passion and appreciation for Wendy, Richard and Elfquest. Thank you, everyone!

I sent the book to the printer over the weekend. I ended up spending four full days reviewing every aspect of the book and color adjusting the artwork. The book has been beautifully designed by Arpad Terek. The next step is to review the printer proofs. Once approved, the book will go to press.

I want to thank Wendy and Richard for allowing me the honor to publish this book. It’s going to be a pleasure to deliver the book to our Kickstarter supporters and to those who pre-ordered.

Enjoy,

John

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The Spectrum Judges

spectrum-22-judgingHi, all,

I’m taking a short break from processing Spectrum 23 submissions to reflect on the judging event held last year. From left to right, we have Justin Gerard, Greg Ruth, Annie Stegg Gerard and Virginie Ropars (plus Dice Tsutsumi) as they narrow in on the nominations for the silver and gold awards for the eight categories for Spectrum 22. They went well into the evening as they shared passionate discussions regarding the merits of each piece. It was a blast to sit in and observe the lively discussion.

Spectrum-23-juryI’m looking forward to bringing the jury for Spectrum 23 together on February 27th to review the submissions for the latest annual here in our office located in Santa Cruz, CA. This includes David Palumbo, Cynthia Sheppard, Kirk Thatcher, Charlie Wen and Terryl Whitlatch! You can read more about them by following this link.

Enjoy,

John

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New Mark Schultz Books for 2016

MS-artMark Schultz and I have been talking on the phone over these last few weeks about his new books for 2016. In the works is Carbon 2, the latest home for his collected works to bring us up to date since his last Carbon collection that came out three years ago.

The second collection will be a deluxe edition for Storms at Sea. This will be a very limited oversized edition that will come signed by Mark. I wanted to release it last year, but time was an issue as I was juggling other projects.

Our plan is to offer the Carbon 2 and Storms at Sea deluxe editions as a set through a Kickstarter campaign. I’d like to have the books available in July for our summer season.

At the moment I’m focused on Spectrum 23 submissions and the judging event which will be held on February 27th. The Kickstarter campaign for Schultz’s books will commence at some point to be determined in the near future.

Click here to see all books available on Mark Schultz from Flesk.

Enjoy,

John

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Elfquest Coloring Book Has Arrived

Elfquest-coloring-book-web

Elfquest Coloring Book cover by Wendy Pini with colors by Laura Martin.

art-of-elfquest-deluxe-picture

The Art of Elfquest deluxe edition with slipcase.

elfquest-kickstarter-package

The Art of Elfquest trade and deluxe editions with its Kickstarter bonus rewards.

Hi, everyone,

The Elfquest coloring books have arrived! This was the last item that we needed to begin shipping the Art of Elfquest books to our Kickstarter supporters. The coloring books, three bookmarks, five postcards and two prints are all free bonus items to those who pledged for the book through our Kickstarter campaign. I love it when we can include so many free goodies! The Flesk crew and I will be packing and shipping books all week! I still like boxing books once in a while. We have about 700 packages to put together. I expect they should all be in the mail by early next week.

Those who pre-ordered the book through our website will also have their books shipped this week.

Enjoy,

John

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In the Spirit of the Season, Being Grateful

In the spirit of the season, and a bit of a forced break which is not too common for me, I felt the urge to sit down and write about those people who I am grateful for. After all, if I’m not doing something I get a little stir crazy.

This is in no means written in any particular order, but instead just as the names come to mind.

I am grateful to the artists who I work with and publish. Frank Cho, Mark Schultz, Jim Silke, William Stout, Craig Elliott, Gary Gianni, Richard and Wendy Pini, Arthur Adams and Joyce Chin, James Bama, Terry and Rachel Dodson, Bruce Timm, Bill Carman, Warren Chang, Daren Bader and Lance HaunRogue, Petar Meseldzija, Steve Rude, Brom, Dice Tsutsumi, Robert Kondo, and Al Williamson’s wife, Cori. Many of them I have been fortunate enough to become friends as we share a bond bound in passion while in life’s journey.

I am grateful to the Spectrum Advisory Board. These are exceptional people who serve as mentors and help guide the future of Spectrum and advise me in business and in life: Brom, Alice “Bunny” Carter, Mark Chiarello, Rebecca Guay, James Gurney, Charles Kochman, Iain McCaig, Virginie Ropars, Harlan Ellison, Tim Underwood as well as Cathy and Arnie Fenner.

I am grateful to the Spectrum community. All of the artists who take part in the Spectrum annual each year, those who attend the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live event and Spectrum Awards Ceremony and to its many fans. This is a beautiful community that I feel lucky each and every day to be a part of. I will continue to work toward a better community where we can share and grow together and keep the door open to all to enter.

I am grateful to Arnie and Cathy Fenner who saw something in me, opened their hearts and brought me into the Spectrum community as its current caretaker. The have all my love for being so good to me.

I am grateful to the dedicated and wonderful crew who helps run Flesk and Spectrum. This includes Keith and Rachel Silva, Josh Ford and James Walker who are the core regulars.

I am grateful to the many supporters of Flesk and Spectrum who buy our books which allows us to continue doing what we love. None of this could happen without you.

I am grateful to Colin and Kristine Poole who are far more to me than just the pair that creates the Spectrum Awards each year.

I am grateful to Greg Preston for his friendship and for helping to capture the Spectrum community through his brilliant and gorgeous photography.

I am grateful to my close knit group of friends who have stood by me for an eternity, offered their help when needed, and who have kept me grounded and balanced. This includes friends and mentors Jim Vadeboncour, Jr., Manuel Auad, Dick Swan, Art Lim and Jim Reid. And I have a few dozen old school friends in my private life that I grew up with that I can mention–you know who you are.

I am grateful to my coach Monica Carson who keeps me mentally and physically fit to take on all of life’s daily challenges while feeling great.

And most importantly, I am grateful for being blessed with having a terrific son, Ocean, who keeps me happy and full of youth by helping me to see all of the splendors of life that adults sometimes have a tendency to become blind to. Being a dad is something I am very grateful for.

It feels good to write this down as a reminder at how good the people in my life are and how much I appreciate them. Thank you all!

Enjoy,

John

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The Art of The Dam Keeper Shipping Update

Art-of-the-Dam-Keeper-webThe-Art-of-the-Dam-Keeper-2Hi, all,

I have an update regarding the shipping dates for The Art of The Dam Keeper.

December 9th Update:

Over 100 boxes have been packed and will be shipped today. All 200 advance copies will be shipped by this Friday.

December 7th Update:

Dice Tsutsumi and Robert Kondo have signed the advance copies and print for the special pre-order edition.  We are numbering the books and prints today and will immediately begin to pack them on Tuesday.

December 1st Update:

I dropped off the books and prints for the special early-bird signed and numbered version at Tonko House on Tuesday. Dice Tsutsumi and Robert Kondo will have them signed by this weekend when we will immediately begin to pack them. The first set of books will go in the mail next Monday.

For those who ordered the regular book, these will be arriving with us around the third week of December. We will start to pack and ship those immediately upon their arrival.

Thanks to everyone who has pre-ordered the book. It’s proving to be quite popular. I’ll post more news as I learn more.

Enjoy,

John

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Flesk Books Update for December 2015

Greetings, everyone,

This year has proven to be our most ambitious and versatile to date. It’s also been one of the most challenging years to balance as I juggled my Spectrum and Flesk Publications duties.

Running a business is not easy. It involves hours upon hours of action, effort, decision making and the help of many to be successful. Every morning I wake up excited thinking about all of the things we can create during the day. Fortunately, I absolutely love my “job,” this art community and the books that we make. I’ve surrounded myself with smart, positive and wonderful people who share my passion for having fun and for making beautiful books.

Storms-at-Sea-by-Mark-Schultz-webWe started off the 2015 by publishing two illustrated books with new stories. This includes Storms at Sea by Mark Schultz and The Book of Giants by Peter Meseldzija. Shortly after, Tribes of Kai and the supplemental collection Pridelands: Rival Tribes, an all-new graphic novel written by Lance HaunRogue and painted by Daren Bader, was released. These books are the result of years of work by these creators. It’s my pleasure to serve as the publishing vehicle to make these stories a reality to share with you all.

Mark-Schultz-Portfolio-Complete-webSoon after, Portfolio: The Complete Various Drawings by Mark Schultz debuted. I started thinking about this book a few years back. I knew that if we were going to recollect the five book Various Drawings series that we had to start from scratch and rethink everything about it. We updated all of the scans, printed everything bigger, added a handful of new pieces to fill in pages and completely redesigned the book in its new oversized format.

Arthur-Adams-Monsters-Attack-cover-webMonsters Attack!!! By Arthur Adams and Surrender, My Sweet by Bruce Timm were both big summer hits. Getting the chance to work with Arthur and his wife Joyce Chin to get Monsters Attacks!!! done in time for the San Diego Comic-Con show was a mad dash, but worth the effort. Mark Schultz offered the title suggestion. Mark said that it’s very important to add the three exclamation points in the title, which we made sure to do. I asked the designer, Arpad Terek, to give it a Japanese monster packaging feel, then Laura Martin colored the cover to give the book it’s final packaging.

Surrender-my-sweet-Bruce-timm-cover-webWith Surrender, My Sweet, Bruce Timm sent me his latest batch of new works and some layout guides, design ideas and copy notes to give this title a fresh look. I suggested to Bruce that we create a whole new series title and format for this year. We came up with the digest sized collection that proved suitable for the dimensions of the originals and offered a throwback to the paperbacks from the fifties and sixties. I’ve learned more about how to design from Bruce than from anyone else.

The Flesk blank sketchbooks were a bit of an experiment. I buy journals and sketchbooks often for writing. I thought, why am I buying these things–I’m a publisher, I’m going to make my own! I asked Frank Cho, Terry Dodson, Petar Meseldzija, Iain McCaig, Mark Schultz and Bruce Timm to provide some art and I got them made in the handy format that I like most.

Art-of-Elfquest-webThe Art of Elfquest is our first of three books to celebrate the art and career of Wendy Pini. We should get our copies of the book anytime now. We will immediately begin to ship the books to our Kickstarter supporters and to those who pre-ordered the book direct from us when they arrive.

We’re hard at work on Elquest: The Art of The Story and Line of Beauty: The Art of Wendy Pini for next year. Did I mention how great it is to work with Richard and Wendy Pini? I can’t say it enough. I think it is safe to say that Richard is Wendy’s biggest fan.

Nexus-Chronicles-cover-webThe Nexus Chronicles is running behind schedule. It is almost done and we plan to send it to the printer soon. Just a few small details left to do. It’ll be worth the wait. The new release date is set for spring 2016.

Spectrum-22-cover_webSpectrum 22: The Best in Contemporary Art is available. We’ve shipped out the artist copies and pre-orders. We received our copies at the Flesk warehouse about a week before our distributor, which gave us a jump on our direct orders. Every artist that is included in Spectrum receives a free copy of the hardcover.

As Spectrum 22 makes its way into your hands, I’m already well into the planning stages for Spectrum 23 and working on the rough draft for the 2015 Year in Review. Spectrum is a tremendous amount of work, yet incredibly satisfying to be a part of. I’m already playing with some new design variations, too.

I hung out with Frank Cho for a few days recently. We got caught up on the next two projects that we will be working on together. We both have big things that we will do in the next 4 to 10 years. I’ve always been able to think we’ll into the future, as has Frank. I think he’s just getting started and can’t wait to see the future projects that he will be presenting to us.

Mark Schultz is currently working on an all-new 60 page Xenozoic story to re-introduce the series to new readers while setting the stage to finish the last storyline cliffhanger from 20 years ago. I’m not joking–I’ve seen the first five pages. It’s happening! We are not making any promises or setting any schedules. It will come out when Mark is done. This initial new story could take anywhere from 2 years (that’s when Mark thinks he will be done) to 4 years (that’s when I think it will be done) for Mark to complete. He’s finished the thumbnail drawings for the entire story and done a series of new character and environment designs. I’ve seen these, too. I ain’t kidding!

Spectrum-23-CFE-posterMoving on to a new topic, each year, one of the benefits of being the Spectrum director involves choosing who to contact to create the Spectrum Call For Entries poster art. I’ve been lucky so far in that my first artist choices for Spectrum 21-23 have said yes. Generally, I start thinking about a few names early in the year, then let their art percolate in my head for a while and then narrow the list down to one person. Contacting Android for Spectrum 21 and Victo Ngai for Spectrum 22 were clear and quick choices. For the Spectrum 23 poster I wanted to look outside of the typical Spectrum field and find a fresh voice. I asked someone who is a contemporary legend and who is highly regarded by professionals and fans alike, while being a constant source of inspiration. I got the chance to meet Claire Wending during a rare U.S. appearance at the Big Wow Comic fest in San Jose, CA. It was the highlight of the show when I had the chance to meet her in person and ask her if she could produce the art. The poster was mailed to the 5000 people on our mailing list in early October. All you have to do is sign up on our website to receive one for free in the U.S. For our international friends we have an online PDF that you can download.

carman-cover-webImagery From the Bird’s Home: The Art of Bill Carman is one of those special dream projects. Bill and I served on the jury of Spectrum 17 together and we got along well and have kept in touch ever since. This book was designed by Bill and perfectly captures his art. I could say this about all of the books that I’ve published, but this is one of my favorite books.

Art-of-the-Dam-Keeper-webOur latest book is The Art of the Dam Keeper. It is a behind the scenes collection that serves as a time capsule to the Academy Award nominated short animated film directed by Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi. Chapter introductions and interview material with Robert, Dice and the essential crew who worked on the film, plus a wide assortment of drawings and art are gift wrapped together in this charming and unique collection. Furthermore the formation of Tonko House and a glimpse into future projects are covered.

The history behind this book began when I inquired with Dice Tsutsumi if he would be willing to be a part of the jury for Spectrum 22 in July 2014. A few months later, in October 2014 I met Dice for the first time in San Francisco during the APE event at Fort Mason. I knew that Dice had left Pixar earlier that year, that he and Robert had completed their first film together and were touring the film circuit, and that they had formed Tonko House. I asked Dice if they had thought of making an art book for The Dam Keeper and if they would be willing to work together on one? He and Robert agreed, and production begin in earnest during the summer of 2015. We are all very pleased to offer this book. It’s a personal one that captures the heart of Tonko House and gives the viewer a genuine look into the beginnings of this new journey for Tonko House.

For 2016, I’ll be working just as hard as in 2015. We have the pair of Wendy Pini books to finish. I’ll also be intensely involved in the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live show in San Francisco. As Arnie Fenner always tells me, it’s all about details, details and more details!

I’ll have some new books to announce next year. I’m turning down all book proposals, and putting new projects on hold until I get caught up on my current obligations. I prefer to letting the books take their own time and not setting schedules. Personally, with the exception of Spectrum, I prefer to not set schedules. I think this is one of the reasons why I get along with the artists who I work with so well. None of us like deadlines. But somehow we still manage to get books out. Go figure?

Enjoy,

John

John Flesk

Flesk Publications
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Spectrum Fantastic Art Live on Facebook

Text and photos copyright © 2015 Flesk Publications. Videos © 2015 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2015 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

The Art of The Dam Keeper Book Premieres at CTN This Weekend!

The-Art-of-The-Dam-KeeperThe printer shipped us advance copies of The Art of The Dam Keeper just in time to premier at the Tonko House booth at CTN Animation Expo! I’ll be there with Dice Tsutsumi and the Tonko House crew to share the book with people for the first time. We hope to see you there.

Robert-KondoI met with The Dam Keeper co-director Robert Kondo last night who signed the copies for the show. Dice can sign copies at the event to make your book complete.

You can pre-order the book direct from our website here.

Enjoy,

John

John Flesk

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

Text and photographs copyright © 2015 Flesk Publications. Videos © 2015 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2015 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

 

The Art of Elfquest/Wendy Pini Kickstarter Campaign Ends This Thursday

Three-booksHi, Everyone,

We’ve had an amazing run with our Art of Elfquest/Wendy Pini Kickstarter campaign over this last month. We are down to our final two days of the campaign. It comes to a close this Thursday at 8:00pm PST.

We’ve decided to offer one more stretch goal. I love giving stuff away and creating more goodies to excite and thank people for participating.

If we reach $100K, every pledge of $50 or more will receive a Kickstarter exclusive bonus pack of five postcards and three custom designed bookmarks. In addition, Wendy will produce a brand new black and white drawing that will be included in the coloring book.

Please see update #8 for the full details.

As always, thanks so much for all of your support.

Best,

John

John Fleskes

Flesk Publications
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Spectrum Fantastic Art
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Spectrum Fantastic Art Live on Facebook

Text and photographs copyright © 2015 John Fleskes. Videos © 2015 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2015 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

New Wendy Pini Drawing Cutter Demonstration Video

Hi, everyone,

I have a special treat for you today. During a visit with Wendy Pini she was gracious enough to walk me through the process of drawing and coloring Cutter from Elfquest using her Cintiq tablet. I filmed the process and am making it available for all of you to watch.

Relating to her upcoming books from Flesk, we hit our second stretch goal on The Art of Elfquest & Line of Beauty Kickstarter campaign adding 16 additional pages to the deluxe editions of the Wendy Pini art book trilogy. These extra pages will not be included in the trade editions. More elves! More art! More Wendy!

The next stretch goal will be a free Elfquest coloring book for each backer contributing $50 or more to the campaign. Furthermore, one coloring book will be included with every book purchased from the Kickstarter campaign. Wendy planned to release a coloring book many years ago, but it was never realized. Let’s make it happen!

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 © 2015 John Fleskes. Videos © 2015 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2015 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

 

Frank Cho, Terry Dodson and Mark Schultz Sketching Videos

Hi, all,

Frank Cho, Terry Dodson and Mark Schultz sketch in our Flesk blank sketchbooks at our Flesk booth during Comic-Con International in San Diego. The sketchbook/journal features a durable and flexible protective cover with individual wraparound illustrations by all three.

The sketchbooks contain 48 plain pages waiting to receive your illuminations and creations. It is comprised of 140 GSM woodfree stock acid free paper which works well with pen and pencil. Available now at the Flesk website.

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 © 2015 John Fleskes. Videos © 2015 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2015 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

The Art of Elfquest and Line of Beauty by Wendy Pini Kickstarter Campaign

 

Three booksHi, all,

Today we have launched The Art of Wendy Pini Kickstarter campaign. (Click here to view the campaign page.) We are making available three different and amazing books that showcase the career of Wendy Pini. These three titles combined contain over 900 pages of material that comes direct from the Pini archives. Almost every piece has been scanned from the original artwork, meticulously preserved by the Pini’s since the 1970s.

The Art of Elfquest, Elfquest: The Art of the Story, and Line of Beauty: The Art of Wendy Pini together present an unprecedented look at a career that has spanned over 40 years and has warmed the hearts of generations of fans.

Hardcover trade editions and special deluxe limited editions are being offered. This Kickstarter campaign, if successful, will guarantee the creation of three gorgeous premium editions, plus give you terrific rewards.

Our goal is simple: to give you great value for your support. Please visit our campaign page to learn about the details of each book, the Kickstarter exclusive bonus prints, our stretch goals, the release schedule, and a bit about Wendy and Richard Pini. (There’s much more from and about them in the books!) Plus, we have plenty of sample art for you to view. We appreciate you visiting.

You can visit the campaign page by clicking here.

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 © 2015 John Fleskes. Videos © 2015 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2015 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

 

New Tribes of Kai Videos. Daren Bader Sketching!

Hi, all,

We had a great time at the Flesk booth during the Tribes of Kai book release signing at Comic-Con International in San Diego. Artist Daren Bader and writer Lance HaunRogue were there to celebrate the event. We’ve put together two new videos for you to enjoy.

Daren Bader and Lance HaunRogue book signing at the Flesk Publications booth during Comic-Con International in San Diego.

Daren Bader draws one of his characters found in Tribes of Kai inside a Flesk blank sketchbook.

Tribes of Kai is comes in a trade hardcover and special deluxe hardcover versions. This book is available now at the Flesk website, where we also have a third video which includes interview and process footage. View it here.

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 © 2015 John Fleskes. Videos © 2015 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2015 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

 

The Art of Elfquest by Richard and Wendy Pini, Kickstarter Campaign Starts Next Week

Hi, all,

Next week we will be launching a new Kickstarter campaign for a trio of stunning hardcover deluxe limited edition books that will focus on Wendy Pini’s entire career. The Art of Elfquest, The Art of the Story: Elfquest and Line of Beauty: The Art of Wendy Pini combined make up over 900 pages of her works reproduced direct from the Pini archives.

We are working on building the campaign page and making the promotional video right now. You’re going to love the bonus goodies that we have in store for our supporters.

More details coming soon.

Three booksEnjoy,

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 © 2015 John Fleskes. Videos © 2015 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2015 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Petar Meseldzija Interview Video!

During my most recent trip to The Netherlands I had the opportunity to film Petar Meseldzija in his studio. Over the course of a few days I filmed him painting and was able to capture a series of interview segments. The core of this material has been turned into a painting demonstration that has been made available for free to our The Book of Giants Kickstarter supporters. There was enough extra footage to create this second video highlighting bonus interview footage that showcases some of Petar’s works. This we have made available for your viewing pleasure here and on the Spectrum Fantastic Art website.

To view our books on Petar and to watch another video, please visit here.

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 © 2015 John Fleskes. Videos © 2015 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2015 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.