Introducing Nate Furman!

The Three Fates by Nate Furman. Selected for Inclusion Into Spectrum 18.

The Three Fates by Nate Furman. Selected for Inclusion Into Spectrum 18.

I read a comment on a recent blog post of mine by artist Nate Furman. He praised the likes of Gary Gianni, Franklin Booth and Joseph Clement Coll as inspirations. This was followed by an email to me from Nate. He shared his art, technique and idols with me as well as told me a little about himself. I was impressed by both his creativity and passion, especially after reading his guest blog on the Muddy Colors site. I had not been familiar with Nate before, but I was moved by his energy and glad he introduced himself. (And it helped that he stroked my ego by praising our books.)

I invited Nate to share some samples of his art and some insight about himself for my blog. Without further ado, I turn this over to Nate Furman:

As a tiny child I discovered Al Williamson’s Star Wars strip. I could not put into words the genius of his gestural drawing, weight placement, masterful line work or his black spotting but… I knew he was good! It made me pick up a ball point pen and start making my own creations.

Much later I found Wrightson’s Frankenstein, a worn and road weary copy in a small comics shop, the white cover glowed amongst a sea of four-color covers. That book burned into my brain and I understood the word ‘Illustrator’ for what it should and could be.

When I began my career working on Conan the rpg I met artist Chris Quillams, I told him what a big fan I was of Bernie’s work, how much I Ioved doing pen-and-ink, he mentioned two names to me, Joseph Clement Coll and Franklin Booth. Those particular artists changed the way I saw line work forever. And then I discovered Flesk Publications, This fellow John was bringing all my heroes (and introducing me to new ones) to life in high quality installments! Life comes full circle sometimes.

I wanted (and hope I am) part of this illustrative legacy. After years of studying the artists of “Flesk” I was sitting around one day and all the info in my brain became something… An idea. No one I knew of in the digital field was following the complexity of line work that was the trademark of these artists (proudly carried down from the distant Demi-gods Dore and Durer), what if someone decided to tackle this style in a digital format? Would it work? And how much effort would be needed to pull it off? And if you upped the resolution and dropped your brush size to almost nothing, how many lines could you work with and cause to interact with each other? Could this be a new thing created from the old techniques that I so love?

All these questions went through my mind. So far the reaction from other artists has been amazing and the reaction from the public has been slow but positive.

Please view some samples and judge for yourself if I am on the right track.

To view my process just goto www.muddycolors.blogspot.com and do a search for “Nate Furman tutorial.” To see a bunch more of my works please check out my blog (updated several times a week) www.furmanportfolio.blogspot.com.

A big thanks to John Flesk.

Cheers all,

Nate Furman

Thanks, Nate! See below for a direct link to Nate’s blog and his posting on Muddy Colors. You can see much larger versions of his art to better see the details on his blog.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Links:
Nate Furman’s blog
Nate Furman’s post on Muddy Colors

Mark Schultz Discusses Paper Type for Carbon and Wolff Pencils

A Flesk customer, Peter Taylor, recently wrote to me with a question for Mark Schultz, which I was happy to pass along to Mark. I found both the question and Mark’s answer intriguing, and something I thought would be of interest to others. With both Peter and Mark’s permission I am sharing their dialog here. A couple of Frederic R. Gruger originals supplied by Schultz helps to compliment the dialog. Gruger is regarded as one of the best at using carbon pencil.

Artwork by Frederic R. Gruger.

Artwork by Frederic R. Gruger.

Taylor: I have a technical question regarding Storms at Sea (Schultz’s latest book in development) and what sort of paper the art is being executed on? I’ve been using the carbon pencils quite a bit and trying it out on different surfaces and it doesn’t seem to like many of them, a lot of grainy powder and uneven finish. Oddly cheap newsprint works quite well (Life drawing was where I first started using them). Anyway I’d love to know since I’d like to continue exploring the possibilities of this interesting medium.

Artwork detail by Frederic R. Gruger.

Artwork detail by Frederic R. Gruger.

Schultz: I, too, have struggled to find the right surface for the Wolff pencils. The master of the that media, Fredrico Gruger, used a cheap photograph mounting stock called “railroad board” that gave him the surface quality he wanted, but that’s apparently no longer available. Wolff pencils seem to do best on a relatively soft drawing or pastel paper–Canson Mi-Tientes for instance–but, as I like to put a watercolor base underneath, paper doesn’t have the strength I need to handle the wet.

I have been using Strathmore bristol, plate, 4 ply; or Strathmore illustration board (use either side). The problems I’ve had with these, though, are the same as yours, I suspect–uneven finish as the already hard surface gets burnished by repeated applications. I’ve found that as I build up and get darker with my pencils that the General carbon sketch pencil, or a simple charcoal pencil, lies better, more evenly. So I’ve been experimenting with these to get a better finish. If I were you I’d just pick up a variety of carbon, charcoal or conte pencils to see if any of these give you the effects you want. For me, the solution seems to lie in mixing a variety of carbon media.

Unfortunately, the quality of the tools and surfaces today are not what they were back in the golden age of illustration. I’m still looking to find that perfect surface.

Thanks again to Mark for the tips!

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
©2010 respective writers

Illustration Magazine #30 Now Available! See Our Flesk Ad!

The latest issue of Illustration Magazine has come out. This thirtieth issue includes an article on Edwin Georgi and Ellen B.T. Pyle. We have a full-page Flesk advertisement in this issue as well. You can visit the Illustration Magazine website for ordering details and to see a digital version by clicking here.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Illustration Magazine #29 Now Available – See Our Flesk Ad!

Illustration Magazine #29 is hitting the stores and subscribers mailboxes now. I just received my copy today. As usual, Dan Zimmer has produced another superb issue. This one includes a feature-length article on pulp artist H.J. Ward by David Saunders. You can get your copy direct from the Illustration Magazine website here, or from Bud’s Art Books here. Also, be sure to check out our Flesk advertisement on page 15.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

New Bud’s Art Books Catalog Features Al Williamson’s Flash Gordon on the Cover!


I was thrilled to receive the new Bud’s Art Books catalog in the mail featuring our Al Williamson’s Flash Gordon book on the cover. I was a nice surprise. This is the first time one of our books has been on the cover of their main catalog.

I consider Bud’s Art Books to be the best resource for obtaining art books that meet my interests. You can view their entire stock online, or request a catalog by visiting their website here.

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

James Bama Original For Sale!

James Bama

Fred Taraba of Taraba Illustration Art has announced the availability of this beautiful original James Bama painting for sale. It was used for the paperback book cover Go To the Widnow-Maker by James Jones (author of From Here to Eternity). Mat opening is 16.5 x 13″. Art is in excellent condition and signed lower right. It’s not framed.  Fred has this priced at $5,200 which includes FedEx shipping to a domestic address.

The art was reproduced in its paperback book form on page 96 of our James Bama: American Realist book.

If you are interested, you can contact Fred at fred@tarabaillustrationart.com, or by phone at 307-333-2517. You can also visit his website for more great original art for sale by clicking here.

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Norman Rockwell Museum Article in the New York Times!

Alice Carter, a trustee at the Norman Rockwell Museum, sent me the following email and link.

“I was delighted this weekend when the New York Times published an article on the museum, its signature artist, and the field of illustration in general. In case you missed it, here is the link.”

It’s a nice article that is worth reading.

Enjoy,

John

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Robert McGinnis Documentary by Paul Jilbert Now Available through www.theillustratorstv.com!

Robert McGinnis: Painting The Last Rose Of Summer is now available to purchase. Price for the DVD is $28.00 plus shipping from www.theillustratorstv.com. This is an amazing new documentary by filmmaker Paul Jilbert who brought us the James Bama: American Realist documentary. I highly recommend picking up a copy.

Paul Jilbert sent me the following details and thoughts.

The documentary Robert McGinnis Painting The Last Rose Of Summer is now available to purchase. I expect McGinnis fans will be excited to see the retro artwork shown in “The Art Of Hollywood” segment that highlights Bob’s icon movie poster art of James Bond of the 60′s and the Dangerous Beauties segment highlights his beautiful Femme Fatal women that adorned detective paperback covers of the 50′s and 60′s.For the first time McGinnis speaks on camera about his James Bond movie poster art and other poster art.

Most notably fans will enjoy the fantastic original retro style music composed by Stephen Greaves for these segments. Steve’s music for the James Bond movie poster segment is a stand out piece that will take you right back to that era of great spy music of the 60′s His music for the “Dangerous Beauties” chapter is homage to the seductive but deadly Basic Instinct feel but it is own and gives the segment great style and scope. Like McGinnis’s images the Beauties music brings you right into the world of dangerous dames. So if you have an upcoming project that is need of this very cool retro style or contemporary music he is the man for the job. You can listen to his current CD music at http://www.myspace.com/thesgsound Composer Ed Hartman created a classic 60′s spy movie song with vocalist Cheryl Johnson in the style Our Man Flint. Ed can also create great retro music for your film project at www.edhartmanmusic.com The McGinnis documentary DVD is available at: www.theillustratorstv.com.

Robert McGinnis film by Paul Jilbert!

Coming this summer is a new film on Robert McGinnis by Paul Jilbert. Paul is the filmmaker who made the James Bama documentary, which, to date is only available with the James Bama: American Realist limited edition book (of which we have a few copies left here).

Jilbert is producing this new documentary titled, Robert McGinnis: Painting the Last Rose of Summer. I’ve seen a preview that is absolutely amazing. There’s footage of McGinnis painting and discussing his work. I highly recommend it. It will be available for approximately $24.95 on DVD in July. For more information on this film, please visit Paul’s website here. While you’re there, check out the cool Shag clip.

First Look! Gary Gianni’s finished cover painting for the upcoming Twenty-Thousand Leagues under the Sea book!

Gary Gianni just finished the cover painting for his upcoming book adaptation Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. He sent me the following jpg. I thought it might be fun to share this piece with all of you.

It has been a few years since Gary executed a painting. Since he last worked in oils, back when he completed his pieces for the The Complete Conan of Cimmeria Volume Two, he has been busy with black and white work. He admitted he had to switch his brain gears back and forth while working on this piece, and his weekly Prince Valiant strips throughout the last month. He explained to me that the approach and manner in executing the two creative styles are very different. It certainly doesn’t look like he took any time off from color work. Enjoy!

Any Plans to Publish Books on Classic Illustrators Again?

Absolutely. I have a long list of golden age and classic illustrators I would enjoy publishing books on. The time period I favor is from 1880 to 1950. My lack of time is the major obstacle for my not being able to pursue this field as much as I want to. I have two pen and ink books I’ve been wanted to get to for quite a while, and am planning on two collections on illustrators who worked in color. The first of these should come out in about two years time, with the rest following as I find free time. For now, these titles will remain a secret until I get them to a stage where they are ready to announce. Sometimes it takes a year or two just to gather the information and artwork. The actual designing and writing goes fairly quickly once all of the elements are in place. Until then, I hope you enjoy our titles on contemporary artists coming out this year.

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea adapted by Gary Gianni Coming This Summer!

If you are like me and can’t get enough of Gary Gianni’s art, then you’ll be pleased to know The Prince Valiant Page is not the only book we are publishing of his this year. In addition, we will be putting out a full color hardbound edition of Jules Verne’s Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea adapted by Gary Gianni. Some of you might recall a self-published edition of this adaptation put out by Gianni in 2001. This was sold at comic shows in which Gianni attended, as a limited edition black and white softbound format book.

Some of you might be wondering how Gary’s original version and this 2008 version differ? Let me explain. This newly revised Flesk published edition will be fully colored and designed by Jim Keegan. This is the first time it has been colored. Also, it will be in a handsome hardbound book format. And, in the back of the book, Gary has provided ten new illustrations to accompany the short story The Sea Raiders by H.G. Wells. Keegan is coloring these delightful pen and ink drawings, too. The book is 64 pages, at 9″ X 12″. The full details and sample pages will be up on the Flesk website by April.

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Robert Wagner writes introduction to The Prince Valiant Page!

The Prince Valiant Page by Gary Gianni has been dropped off at the printer. I don’t think either Gary or myself expected this book to take so long to put together, although both of us are extremely happy with it. The street date is set for June 15, 2008. I fully expect it to be in your local book or comic store by that time.

Besides the generosity of Mike Mignola writing a foreword to the book, we are honored to have Mr. Robert Wagner provide the introduction. Mr. Wagner only had three weeks to provide us with his written oration, and he came through like the seasoned professional that he is. Mr. Wagner, to our delight, wrote about his experiences while playing the lead role of Val in the 1954 feature film. It’s a wonderful piece, in which we are grateful to have included in the book.

And for those of you who don’t know, there will be 50 copies containing an original pencil preliminary by Gianni to one of the Prince Valiant strips. These will come in a special cloth slipcase. The art will be tipped into the book. I have not advertised this edition until now, but somehow the word got out there (which is great!). Forty copies are already reserved. If you want one, please send me an email. The books will be priced between $250.00 and $300.00.

Check out The Prince Valiant Page this June! For full details on the book, visit the Flesk website.

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Franklin Booth and Jordi Bernet books from Auad Publishing

There’s a new book on Franklin Booth available from my good friend Manuel Auad at Auad Publishing. The title of the book is Franklin Booth: American Illustrator. This book has no overlap with my book Franklin Booth: Painter with a Pen. Together, they compliment one another.

Manuel also has a terrific book on Jordi Bernet. Jordi is just now starting to get some attention in the US. He’s an amazing artist who is popular in Spain for his Torpedo and Clara works, to name a few. I’ve always loved his mix of gritty and tongue-in-check illustrations.

Lately, Jordi Bernet has been doing work for DC Comics Jonah Hex comic series where he illustrated the first origin of Hex. He also did a nice fill-in story for a recent Spirit comic. I suspect Bernet’s popularity will continue to grow in this country.

If you are just learning about Bernet’s work, Auad’s collection of his art, much of it translated for the first time, will serve as a wonderful collection to any comic library. The book is 240 pages and contains 11 complete stories and many pin-ups.

Franklin Booth: Painter with a Pen Reprint

I have reprinted my inaugural title, Franklin Booth: Painter with a Pen. It has been out of print for about half a year. I am pleased to have continued interest in the book. Besides being moved by Booth’s art, I am emotionally attached to this title as it is my first book, and it kick-started my publishing business.

So, why the new cover, and is there anything new inside the book?

I wanted the reprint to appeal to an audience that is not familiar with Franklin Booth. The original cover had Booth’s signature, which is not instantly recognizable or easy to read for the casual browser. Since I recently signed with SCB distributors, who are now placing our titles in the book trade, I felt it was a good idea to make the cover more readable.

I asked Randy Dahlk to update the design of my original cover, while keeping the basic look intact. The result is a more appealing cover, with warm rich colors. Randy found the color swatches from some books from the early twenties, which is during Booth’s prime.

The interior of the reprint is identical to the previous printings. I did not want those who supported me in the beginning to feel like they had to buy a revised edition, or feel cheated after buying the first one. Rest assured, if you have the first or second edition, you have the same guts.

William Stout Murals at the San Diego Natural History Museum

Last November I took a trip with my family to San Diego. Besides the obvious reason of spending some relaxing time with my wife, son, and mother-in-law, I wanted to see William Stout’s murals at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Stout is nearing completion of twelve murals for the museum. To date, eight are finished, with the remaining four scheduled for completion in the coming months.

The Natural History Museum is located in San Diego’s Balboa Park. I have been attending the San Diego Comic-Con every year since 1994, and I never realized just 15 minutes away was this incredible park filled with 15 museums, concert halls, gardens, and the SD Zoo. The park was originally built to hold an exposition in celebration of the completion of the Panama Canal in 1915.

The Natural History museum is worth a visit, especially if you are a dinosaur enthusiast. Stout’s murals hang as backdrops to the skeletal displays, allowing you to visualize how these giants might have looked.

If you find yourself in the San Diego area, or attend the San Diego Comic-Con, I highly recommend a trip to Balboa Park, and the Natural History Museum.

Now for the rally exciting news. I will be publishing a book on all of William’s mural work. He will be writing the book to include his process and stages of each piece will be showcased! Visit the Flesk Publications website for details in the coming months!

Jim Vadeboncoeur’s Images Magazine!

Images Magazine is back! After a sojourn away, while working on his Everett Raymond Kinstler book, Jim has just released his latest issue of Images Magazine. This eighth issue harkens back to the artist who initiated the first issue of Images, by featuring Heinrich Kley.

The Vadeboncoeur Collection of Images started from Jim’s desire to reprint a rare issue of Jugend from 1910. This magazine featured Kley exclusively. Jim found this issue of Jugend at an ABAA rare book show we were attending in San Francisco in early February 2001. At the time, we would never have suspected that this magazine would serve as a catalyst for Images, which then inspired me to do my Franklin Booth book and kick start Flesk Publications.

Coming back to the current issue of Images, we see a different side of Kley’s work. Before the satirical and whimsical style prevalent in most of our minds as the definitive Kley, there was an artist of industry, landscapes and architecture. These works are of great beauty and fine craftsmanship. They prove Kley’s adeptness at a wide range of subject matters and mediums. If you are expecting alligators dancing with scantily clad women, you still will not be disappointed by this rare artwork uncovered from the Vadeboncoeur collection.

To order Images visit Jim’s site at www.bpib.com.

Gary Gianni on Prince Valiant

For just over four years now, Gary Gianni has been illustrating the Prince Valiant Sunday strip. At this point, it is really becoming his own. Initially, he remained faithful and respectful to both Prince Valiant’s creator, Hal Foster, and his successor John Cullen Murphy. I’m not saying he is not doing so now, but what is happening is a leaning towards Foster’s early fantasy themes, through his own storytelling and interpretation. The current strip displays a respectful revamping of sorts for today’s readers. With Mark Schultz at the writing helm, and Gary’s brush and pen breathing life to the valiant prince, a refreshing and exciting transformation is occurring. I feel Gary’s draughtsmanship and skill has grown considerably in the last few years. My only disappointment is it is so hard to find in a newspaper. After four years on assignment, Gary is still asked by inquisitive fans about what he is up to these days? For those willing to hunt down the Sunday newspapers, it’s worth checking out. The last few episodes can be seen online at www.kingfeatures.com. A full year can be viewed at www.dailyink.com.

I’m working with Gary to bring forth better exposure to his work on Prince Valiant. Stay tuned in the coming months for an announcement for “The Prince Valiant Page” written by Gary Gianni. It will serve as much as an art collection, a historical look at the artists associated with the strip, and a how-to book as Gary explains his apprenticeship under John Cullen Murphy to his working relationship with Mark Schultz, and how he creates the strip from scratch.