April 2008 marks the sixth anniversary of Franklin Booth: Painter with a Pen, and along with it Flesk Publications. Interestingly enough the idea for the Booth book came before the notion of forming a publishing company. Flesk Publications came about as a way of self-publishing the Booth book. I never considered approaching another publisher. I always knew I would self-publish. The notion of doing more books, and publishing others books had not come to mind until after I put out the Booth book in April 2002.
Let me move back a few months to late 2001. My friend Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr.’s first issue of his ImageS magazine, and Dan Zimmer’s Illustration Magazine #1, both come out in 2001. These were very inspirational to me as two people who decided to self-publish magazines on their passion. At the same time, I’ve always loved collecting books on illustrators, and was waiting for someone to put out a book on Franklin Booth. While talking to Jim about this, I decided to do my own book. I was naïve enough to think, if these guy’s can do it, so can I. During the course of six months I learned InDesign and Photoshop, and the details about how to scan and prep the art (Jim was a tremendous help in this area), compiled the art and information, and had the book printed. Both Diamond Comic Distributors and Bud’s Art Books (formerly Bud Plant Comic Art) took the book to get me started. Looking back, I had no idea what I was doing, but it didn’t seem to stop or discourage me.
I found that I absolutely loved publishing and haven’t stopped since.
We are always looking for high quality scans of superb examples of Mark Schultz artwork for upcoming Various Drawings books. Chances are, if the piece is four years old or less (2004 to today), Mark already has a scan. If it is older (pre-2004), he probably does not. If you own an original Schultz that falls into this category, and are willing to share, please let me know. If we use your piece, we will add your name in the acknowledgments section and provide you with one complimentary copy of the deluxe edition of the book.
Besides having the scans for future book projects, Mark appreciates them as a record of his work. Up until the last five years, or so, prior to the convenience of computers and scanning, much of the artwork was not permanently recorded for his records. For many pieces from the eighties and nineties, the best record he has is a simple photocopy. Again, if you are willing to help, we would greatly appreciate it.
Scanning requirements are full color (RGB), 400dpi, as TIF files, at the original size. FTP server, email, or mailing a CD are all options for delivery. Costs for items mailed will be reimbursed.
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!
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.
Summer 2009 is our goal. Throughout this year, Mark Schultz is focusing entirely on his upcoming illustrated novella Storms at Sea. This leaves little room for producing new work for the Various Drawings series. When Mark and I first started talking about his Various Drawings collections, we always knew a quality collection came before getting out a collection each year. In both of our opinion, each volume should be an improvement on the previous collection, both in artwork and in the books production. The last thing either one of us wants to do is scrape around his studio for anything laying around to fill the pages for the sake of getting out another book in 2008. Quality comes first, always. If all goes according to plan, we will have Storms at Sea and Various Drawings Volume Four out in 2009. The wait will be worth it!