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.