Barren Lands by Brynn Metheney Kickstarter Campaign Launches on October 10th!

Hi, everyone,

Our Barren Lands by Brynn Metheney Kickstarter Campaign Launches on October 10th!

We are incredibly excited to bring you Barren Lands by Brynn Metheney! This book is completely done and we are thrilled to welcome Brynn to the Flesk family. There will be a paperback and a signed hardcover available. The full details will be revealed on the 10th.

Barren Lands is a collection of personal stories and artworks that strives to document the natural phenomena of the American southwest. Brynn is an artist inspired by tall tales and the natural world. Her work focuses on the nuances of evolution and story-telling and where nature and humans fall in-between. She also loves a good monster story.

I look forward to sharing all of the details on October 10th!

Enjoy,

John

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Text copyright © 2023 John Fleskes. Photos by Vicky Lien and John Fleskes and © 2023 . Videos © 2023 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2023 its respective artists. All rights reserved.

Gilt by J.A.W. Cooper is Now Available for Pre-Order on our Flesk Website

Hi, everyone,

Gilt by J.A.W. Cooper is now available for pre-order on our Flesk website!

This book has already been printed and is currently en-route to the Flesk warehouse. There are book tiers ranging from $49.95 to $395.00 to suit all budgets. The books will ship on October 10th.

We’ve made a detailed promotional page on our Flesk website that shows a video and lots of interior book spreads and details about the editions available. Please visit here to learn more.

Enjoy,

John

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Text copyright © 2023 John Fleskes. Photos by Vicky Lien and John Fleskes and © 2023 . Videos © 2023 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2023 its respective artists. All rights reserved.

Mark Schultz Original Art for Sale on our Flesk Website

Hi, everyone,

We have posted new Mark Schultz original art for sale!

We have added a fresh batch of Mark Schultz original art on our Flesk website. Everything that is currently available is posted and 100% of the funds go directly to Mark.

There are published brush and ink pieces, personal carbon art, and works from Storms at Sea. These originals are gorgeous in person!

Here’s the link to view what is available:
https://www.fleskpublications.com/mark-schultz-original-art

Enjoy,

John

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Text copyright © 2023 John Fleskes. Photos by Vicky Lien and John Fleskes and © 2023 . Videos © 2023 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2023 its respective artists. All rights reserved.

Flesk at Baltimore Comic-Con 2023

Hi, everyone,

Baltimore Comic Con is a wrap!

Vicky and I enjoyed chatting with everyone who visited our Flesk booth and those we bumped into in and around the convention center. We have a ton of lasting memories from the show.

Seeing Arthur Adams is always a pleasure. A lot of people shared with us that they are looking forward to his new art collection in October.

Being set up next to Richard and Wendy Pini for three days made for one of the most enjoyable shows we have ever had. We started to tease about the upcoming Elfquest book that we will be publishing next spring.

I was thrilled to reunite with Steve Rude and to have a few extended conversations with him. Steve is awesome and I truly enjoyed the chance to catch up with him.

Hang time with my buddy Frank Cho is also always a pleasure. Frank is a generous and helpful guy who I appreciate greatly.

Again, it was wonderful to see you all! We look forward to Baltimore 2024.

Photo, top, left to right: Arthur Adams, Wendy Pini, Richard Pini, John Fleskes.

bottom, left to right: John Fleskes, Richard Pini, Vicky Lien, Wendy Pini, David Mizejewski.

Enjoy,

John

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Text copyright © 2023 John Fleskes. Photos by Vicky Lien and John Fleskes and © 2023 . Videos © 2023 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2023 its respective artists. All rights reserved.

Flesk August 2023 Update. Upcoming Books and Lessons Learned

A good friend of mine, Jim Reid, often provides me with sage life and business advice. One such Jim-ism–that I am paraphrasing here—is as follows: “Most people try to force things to happen when they would be better served to let things happen.”

I was spinning my wheels trying to force certain things to happen in 2021. I normally thrive when issues arise since I enjoy the creative process in overcoming them. But I was struggling with the reality of the supply chain issues that had driven up the costs of printing and shipping to unprecedented levels. As we entered 2022, I realized that I was not following one of Jim’s golden rules. I needed to ease back and abandon what I wanted to happen, and then to accept what was happening.

I aimed to reduce my anxiety and stress by focusing on what I enjoy doing most—making books. I was working from 10:00AM to past midnight each day all through that January and into early February 2022. We sent the Franklin Booth, Brad Kunkle, and Lupente books to the printer in February. Then Vicky and I focused on the Arthur Adams, and the Rachel & Terry Dodson titles. We were having fun again.

Between that February and the end of the year I did not send any books to the printer. I stopped making announcements for new books. I stopped putting pressure on myself to make 2022 a big and exciting year because it was our 20th anniversary. I realized that if I continued to send books to the printer–that if I tried to force things to happen–that it would hurt the business.

With the Booth, Kunkle, and Lupente books at the printer, and knowing we may not receive them for 8-10 months, I accepted that these would be the only books that I could release that year. This long wait affected my cash flow. I could only tie up a certain amount of money for a specific time frame. I knew what I had to do. And I was not looking forward to it.

I had a talk with Kathy Chu in early 2022. (Kathy, if you are not aware, worked here at Flesk starting in August 2015.) I showed her what money we had. I reviewed the current pricing for getting books made and that it was taking over 8 months for delivery (instead of the usual 3 months). I told her that I was unsure how long I could continue to pay her and highly recommended that she seek out a new job. We had plenty of projects going on. We had, and continue to have, so much goodwill from the community and our customers. We had everything going for us, except the ability to get our books printed and delivered.

Fortunately, I had savings, and the business carries no debt. I was able to pay Kathy until late-June 2022. After nearly 7 years of amazing work to help us succeed and grow, she was off looking for a new job. Kathy asked that I not say anything publicly at that time. She did not want anyone to feel sorry for her and Kathy is a private person. I wanted to respect her wishes. You’ll be glad to know that Kathy found a new job working for another publisher. She loves working in the industry and is doing well. I’m so happy for her.

As a brief segue regarding savings, I follow the advice from Jim Reid to always have $20,000 in a savings account to have available in case of an emergency. I treat this number as zero. Let’s say I have $23,000 in savings. I view my savings as being $3,000, not $23,000. Another Jim, James Bama, taught me the importance of not carrying debt. I believe in working and savings toward something, rather than borrowing and becoming weighed down by debt. Now, back to our main topic.

For the remainder of 2022, and the early part of 2023, Vicky and I kept the business running by selling our existing Flesk books. Plus, through warehouse finds, dinged book sales, and selling some personal stock. It worked. It worked because you all took care of us by buying books on our website. There was never a time when we were in trouble. Month after month we were OK. It felt rewarding to have the support of so many people.

Also, throughout 2022 and up until now, Vicky and I have focused on designing more books. We would finish a new title, set it aside, then start another one. We have completed over ten books that are ready for the printer. We have an additional 15 books in various stages of production. Four of these are almost done.

In the spring of 2023, we launched the Carbon 5 by Mark Schultz Kickstarter campaign. The success of this book served as a fresh starting point for us. Then, we launched the Arthur Adams Kickstarter campaign in May that exploded in popularity. (We still remain in shock at how many people pledged.) I still wake up in gratitude each day, especially when considering just how unpredictable the last few years were.

Currently, the printing and shipping costs have subsided back to realistic levels. Between the popularity of Arthur’s campaign and the production costs dropping, we are in an excellent position to start feeding the press again. It feels incredible to be able to start sharing what books we have ready, and to begin making announcements again. Letting things happen—thanks for the wisdom, Jim.

Here is the list that reveals the next six Flesk books that will be coming out between this fall and the spring of 2024.

The Art of Arthur Adams
Release date: October 2023
This has been well publicized. This book was in development for approximately 4 years. It shows examples of Arthur’s work from 1982-2023. Each piece is accompanied with commentary by Arthur. I’ve been following Arthur’s work ever since picking-up Longshot #1 when I was a kid. This is one of those dream projects that I thoroughly enjoyed working on.

We have another book by Arthur that is completely done, except for the new cover that he will work on when the time allows. Also, the Monekyman and O’Brien big collection is well mapped out. We are hunting down some missing elements and bugging Arthur to draw a few new pieces for the book. We will announce release dates and more details once we have these two totally wrapped up.

Gilt by J.A.W. Cooper
Release date: October 2023

Can you believe it has been since 2018 that we had a new book with Cooper (Pastoral)? And since 2020 since we released the Genesis collection? Cooper took 2 full years off from drawing any personal art. Now, Cooper is back! I’m very excited to share the details for this book. It’s unlike anything we have published before. The two tiger drawings are example of the edition that comes with an original drawings. We will begin to take orders and reveal all the details in late September.

Barren Lands by Brynn Metheney

Kickstarter launch date: October 10, 2023

It is always an honor for me to have an opportunity to publish a new artist for the first time. I have talked with Brynn at various events over the years. She’s such a great person and I love her art. As soon as I stepped down from Spectrum so that I could focus more on working with individual artists, Brynn was one of the first artists who I approached. Luckily for us, she had a few book ideas. Brynn was fun to work with and I’m so very excited to release this book soon. We are launching a Barren Lands Kickstarter event on October, 10, 2023!

The Art of Rachel and Terry Dodson

Kickstarter date: Early 2024—TBA

I’ve been very lucky to have had a friendship with Terry and Rachel for years. We’ve made trips together and visit each other when we can escape our work schedules. We share a passion for nature and the outdoors. They are lovely humans. Vicky and I had a blast making this book and spending time with them. I love being able to highlight friends. This book is done, and we’ll launch a Dodson Kickstarter campaign in early 2024.

The Complete Genesis Collection by J.A.W. Cooper

Release date: March 2024

This book was released in 2020 and sold out quickly. I suggested to Cooper that I wanted to keep it in print. We revisited the book and made some updates for the re-release next spring.

Pastoral by J.A.W. Cooper

Release date: March 2024

The original large format printing of this book was back in 2018. We reformatted the book to the handy 7.5 x 10” size, made some changes, and added some new pieces. This will be released at the same time as The Compete Genesis Collection next March.

We have more books that are done, but I am not ready to announce the release dates or details. I’ll give you a tease though. We have a two-volume set that relates to Elfquest by Wendy and Richard Pini. The new Jeffrey Alan Love graphic novel is almost ready. It’s in the final design stages. We have a new edition of Ambedo by Tran Nguyen and a new book of her studies. The big Comics three volume set by William Stout continues to be in development. Also, future books with Daniel Warren Johnson, Mark Schultz, Gary Gianni, Bruce Timm, Frank Cho, and more!

I’ll share more details about the future once we are ready. Once again, it’s you that makes these books happen. Thank you so much for allowing us to publish the works of these extraordinary artists.

Enjoy,

John

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Text copyright © 2023 John Fleskes. Photos by Vicky Lien and John Fleskes and © 2023 . Videos © 2023 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2023 its respective artists. All rights reserved.

Flesk, Adams, Cho, Pini’s, and Rude at Baltimore Comic Con

We are very excited to be flying to Maryland early next week for the Baltimore Comic Con.

We will have our Flesk booth packed with our latest art books. Arthur Adams, Frank Cho, Wendy and Richard Pini, and Steve Rude are all special guests. This is an all-star line-up that you won’t want to miss.

Each artist will have some goodies available for purchase at their respective booths. You can also bring along some of your favorite comics or books to get signed.

We look forward to seeing you at the show!

Enjoy,

John

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Text copyright © 2023 John Fleskes. Photos by Vicky Lien and John Fleskes and © 2023 . Videos © 2023 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2023 its respective artists. All rights reserved.

San Diego Comic-Con 2023 — Flesk Booth #5019

Showtime!

San Diego Comic-Con starts today! Terry Dodson will be at our Flesk booth #5019 during the entirety of the show. He will have prints, original art, and will be promoting our upcoming “The Art of Rachel and Terry Dodson” collection coming out late this year.

Vicky and I will not be at this event. We are staying at the Flesk office to focus on new books, plus we are finalizing the Arthur Adams bonus items for our Kickstarter supporters.

Here are the Flesk published artists who will be exhibiting–along with their respective booth locations.

Richard and Wendy Pini are scheduled to do two signings at the Dark Horse booth. The first on Thursday from 12:00 noon to 12:45 PM and the second on Saturday from 1:00 to 1:45 PM. Booth #2615

Arthur Adams (with Joyce Chin) will be at booth #4700

Daniel Warren Johnson will be at the Felix Comic Art booth #4612.

William Stout will be at booth #4803

Frank Cho will be at booth #4901

Have fun everyone!

John

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Text copyright © 2023 John Fleskes. Photos by Vicky Lien and John Fleskes and © 2023 . Videos © 2023 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2023 its respective artists. All rights reserved.

Jim Vadeboncoeur Tribute

“go with a good heart”

The literal meaning of Vadeboncoeur.

On Friday evening, July the 7th, my dear friend Jim Vadeboncoeur passed away.

Jim had called me earlier this year to let me know that he was dying. He was told that he had anywhere from two weeks to 10 months. Vicky and I arranged a trip to visit him in Ohio where his sister, Yvonne, was caring for him in her beautiful home with a serene setting. I hope everyone is as lucky as Jim to have someone like Yvonne to care for them on their final days.

The last time that we spent with Jim is something that I will cherish forever. Jim expressed that “knowing” was a blessing. He shared that he was at peace. He expressed how lucky he was to have lived his life as he chose and how fulfilled he was. He was truly happy and we spent our time focusing on the people, moments, and things that we are grateful for. We said everything to each other that we wanted to express. While sad, since I knew that this was most likely the last time I would see Jim, the time together was soothing and warmed my heart. I feel so lucky to have had a friend like Jim. My last mental image of Jim is of him smiling, blowing us a kiss and waving as we left. I miss him dearly.

Jim loved being a part of the fandom community, being a publisher, and a bookseller. He spoke often about how much he appreciated all of the people who he interacted with and made friends with over the years. If you had ever interacted with Jim you know that he thrived in being helpful and appreciated you.

Jim spent his final years living in Paris. He loved walking the streets and sharing meals and wine with people there. He was very happy and grateful up until the end.

On Thursday, July 6th, I had one last chance to tell Jim how much we love him. His reply, his last words that I heard, epitomizes who he is as a person.

“merci beaucoup”

I’m sure Jim is smiling now as he wishes for all of you to “go with a good heart” as you love those around you and extend your help to others.

Peace

John

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Text copyright © 2023 John Fleskes. Photos by Vicky Lien and John Fleskes and © 2023 . Videos © 2023 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2023 its respective artists. All rights reserved.

The Joy in Packing Flesk Books

Hello, all,

I’m always happy when I’m greeted by a fresh batch of Flesk orders when I arrive at the office. The first thing we do each day is to take care of any orders and customer emails. It could take us two hours or ten hours depending on how busy of a day it is. Once we are caught up on office work, we shift our focus to making new books. I like the variety of the day.

Someone once asked me why I pack books instead of leaving it to someone else. Actually, her exact words were, “Don’t you have minions for that?” The simple answer is that I like it. Packing books, knowing that the packages are going to people who allow us to continue this business is rewarding. I look at the names on the order forms and offer a mental thank you to the person. Some names I’ve seen since I started the business 20 years ago, which is pretty amazing.

This picture shows most of the books and prints that were ordered today. I like seeing the mix. There’s Bruce Timm, Allen Williams, Wendy Pini, Mark Schultz, Tyler Jacobson, Franklin Booth, Frank Cho, and Terry Dodson. I had one copy of a signed Craig Elliott book that I added to our website. I realized after someone placed the order that it had a dinged corner. So, I refunded the book cost and mailed it to him for free.

Packing books is fun and it makes me happy thinking of people opening the packages once the books arrive at their homes.

Enjoy,

John

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Text copyright © 2023 John Fleskes. Photos by Vicky Lien and John Fleskes and © 2023 . Videos © 2023 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2023 its respective artists. All rights reserved.

Arthur Adams Kickstarter Campaign!

Hi, everyone,

There is just 1 day left to join our Arthur Adams Kickstarter campaign. This forty-year retrospective on the comic-art career of Arthur Adams comes with a gatefold of the cover art, plus nearly 200 drawings and sketches. Each book pledge comes with a bonus portfolio that includes a signed envelope containing five prints–one of which is signed. You also get two bookmarks.

A huge thanks to everyone who has made this upcoming book a big success! We already have the book at the printer and have approved the proofs. We can’t wait to get Arthur’s retrospective into your hands.

Enjoy,

John

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Text copyright © 2023 John Fleskes. Photos by Vicky Lien and John Fleskes and © 2023 . Videos © 2023 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2023 its respective artists. All rights reserved.