“Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2” Commemorative Book Cover and Details

“Easy Being Green it is Not” by Peter de Sève. Artwork used with special permission and © Disney.

The Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2
book is wrapped up and running on the printing press. I approved the last of the proofs at the end of February. The title will premiere at our Flesk booth at the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live show in Kansas City Missouri on May 17-19.

The cover for the book is titled “Easy Being Green it is Not” and is by Peter de Seve. Back in November when I was starting to put the book together I asked Peter if he was willing to provide the cover artwork. I’m a huge fan of his work. I first became aware of Peter with the release of the Disney film art book on The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which showcased his visual art contributions. I’ve followed his career since, enjoying his other film work, The New Yorker covers and his other miscellaneous work. I find him to have a massive wit and creative spirit. When I asked Peter if he had any art in mind for the cover of this second “Spectrum Fantastic Art Live” book, he suggested using “Easy Being Green it is Not.” This art was originally done for Star Wars: Visions published by Abrams in 2010. A big thank you goes out to Disney for providing permission for us to use the piece.

The book consists of a gallery section on each of the six special guests of the show. They are Peter de Seve, Tara McPherson, Charles Vess, Jon Foster, Terryl Whitlatch and Michael Whelan. I had a great time working with all of them. Anthology books involve a lot more planning and coordination compared to doing a book on a single artist. In this case, there are the six artists, eight people writing introductions, artwork permissions to get approved, on top of all of the editing and designing work that is required. And everything has got to get done, and the book printed and delivered in time for the show. There’s no time allowed for nitpicking or extended deadlines. But, I’ve got to say, it’s a fun process. It allows me the chance to work with a group of professionals that I admire, most of whom I had not met before. And the limited time frame keeps me focused.

You can pre-order the book on our website. It ships immediately after the SFAL2 event. Here’s the official book description. You can follow the link at bottom to find it at the Flesk store.

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2

Hardbound with jacket, 9 x 12 inches, 80 pages, $29.95

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live, Volume Two commemorates the second annual Spectrum event by celebrating the work of the exhibition’s six special guests. Jon Foster, Peter de Sève, Tara McPherson, Charles Vess, Michael Whelan and Terryl Whitlatch have hand-picked a diverse assortment of images for inclusion in this volume—a collection of six individual galleries with artist statements scattered throughout.

Jon Foster’s work has graced the pages of a vast array of publications, from National Geographic to DC and Marvel Comics to nearly all the book publishers of fantasy and science fiction. Jon teaches art and illustration across the country and has received two Silver and three Gold Spectrum Awards.

Perhaps best recognized as a regular cover artist for The New Yorker and for his character designs for blockbuster animated films such as Ice Age and Finding Nemo, Peter de Sève is widely recognized as an icon in contemporary illustration. Peter’s many distinctions include the Hamilton King Award from the Society of Illustrators, a Clio Award, a Spectrum Gold Medal and an Emmy for Outstanding Character Design.

Equal parts whimsical, thought—provoking and seductive, Tara McPherson’s works have adorned the walls of art galleries around the world and, through her poster art, plastered the brick-lined streets of the American indie rock scene. Her work has been featured in numerous publications as well as the Oscar-winning film Juno, the Eisner Award-winning anthology Popgun 3 and the permanent collection of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Haunting and ethereal, the art of Charles Vess has long defined fantasy illustration and comic art. He has brought visual life to the works of such authors as Neil Gaiman, Jeff Smith and Charles de Lint. Awarded an Inkpot for excellence in comics and multiple Eisner and World Fantasy Awards, Charles is one of the most distinctive and admired artists in the industry.

Michael Whelan has defined the visual aesthetic of some of the best-known science-fiction authors of the past thirty-five years, including Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury and Stephen King. Among a myriad of other distinctions, he has been presented with three World Fantasy Awards, fifteen Hugo Awards and thirteen Chesleys. Michael is a Spectrum Grand Master and was the first living artist to be inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.

Best known in the entertainment and publishing industries for her work in creature design, Terryl Whitlatch seamlessly blends her technical knowledge of paleo art with her passion for the fictitious. Her film work includes her role as principal creature designer for Star Wars: Episode IThe Phantom Menace and concept art for Disney’s Brave and Brother Bear.

Few artists so interweave the fabric of contemporary fantastic art as these six. In honor of their contributions to the industry, several of their contemporaries have provided introductions for this volume. Artist and novelist George Pratt (Wolverine: Netsuke, See You in Hell, Blind Boy), master painter and illustrator Gregory Manchess (National Geographic, Robert E. Howard’s Complete Conan of Cimmeria, Volume Three), illustrator and creator of the Artist as Brand workshop Greg Spalenka, novelist and professor of folklore and mythology Ari Berk (Undertaken Trilogy), publisher Bob Self of Baby Tattoo books, and creature concept designer Bobby Chiu (Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland) have all brought their unique professional and personal perspectives to discuss the works of this extraordinary panel of artists.

The experience of “Spectrum Fantastic Art Live” has been likened to the act of walking through the Spectrum annual itself: a living, breathing extension of all that Spectrum has come to mean for the world of contemporary fantastic art. With this volume we explore a cross-section of this extraordinary movement’s visionaries and invite you to imagine, wonder and—above all—enjoy.

Enjoy, indeed


John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Text copyright © 2013 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2013 their respective owner. All rights reserved.

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