Spectrum Fantastic Art Live This Weekend–Artists at the Flesk Booth

It’s time for some Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 4 news!

The show will be in Kansas City, MO in the Bartle Hall Grand Ballroom running May 22-24, 2015. The five special guests of the show are Karla Ortiz, Tim Kirk, Scott Gustafson, Donato Giancola and Julie Dillon.

In addition, the Flesk/Spectrum booth will be hosting a group of thirteen more artists: Daren Bader, Brom, Bill Carman, Frank Cho, Craig Elliott, Gary Gianni, Jim and Ruth Keegan, Aaron Lopresti, Iain McCaig, Victo Ngai, Steve Rude, Mark Schultz, plus SFAL guest Karla Ortiz.

Furthermore, there will be over 200 artists exhibiting at the show. We’re also organizing far more workshops than before. We want everyone to have the opportunity to grow, learn and to be inspired. We have top artists in the industry giving extended live presentations. These are at no additional cost to the already affordable entry cost.

You can learn more about how to attend and exhibit at “The Art Fair With a Sense of Wonder” at the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live website.

Here is a map showing where the artists can be found a the show and some information and sample art by those artists who will be at the Flesk booth. (The five special show guests are already highlighted on the SFAL site.)


TOK-cover-webDaren Bader. For the past 20 years, Daren Bader has been an art director for the video game and entertainment industry, working with a large variety of companies, including Disney, Nintendo, and Capcom. Currently he is the Senior Art Director for Rockstar San Diego and is best known for his work on the critically acclaimed Red Dead Redemption, which won over 150 Game of the Year awards in 2010. On the weekends, Daren is a freelance illustrator for various trading card games such as Magic: The Gathering and World of Warcraft, amassing well over 200 cards in the field. He has also done the occasional book cover, including a series of covers for fan-favorite R.A. Salvatore. Daren’s work can also be seen in 14 of the 21 Spectrum Annuals, as well as in his monographs “The Art of Daren Bader” and “one hundred drawings.”

Bill Carman
Art by Bill Carman

Bill Carman has worked as a designer, illustrator, and art director at universities, ad agencies, publishing houses and for large corporations. Since graduating with a BFA in visual communication/illustration and an MFA in painting he has always free-lanced and exhibited. Bill is currently a professor teaching illustration at Boise State University. He has been featured in many exhibits and publications including Society of Illustrators New York Annuals (gold medal, silver medal), 3×3 Magazine professional annual, American Illustration and Spectrum (silver medal). He is the recipient of the bronze, silver and gold medals from CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education). Bill authored and illustrated a children’s book, What’s That Noise?, published in 2002 by Random House Books. Painting for exhibitions and commissions continues to be where most of Bill’s time is spent when he is not fishing.



Frank Cho never had any formal training in art but taught himself to write and draw by reading art books and comics. He launched the comic strip Liberty Meadows on March 31, 1997, distributed worldwide by Creators Syndicate. From day one, the strip was a critical success, hailed for its hilarious writing and superb art. In 2002, Cho moved the hugely successful strip to Image Comics.

Impressed by his comic’s writing and art, Cho was recruited by Axel Alonso, editor-in-chief at Marvel Entertainment. Since then, he has worked on many top-tier books at Marvel, including Spider-Man, The Mighty Avengers, Hulk, X-Men, Shanna the She-Devil and Savage Wolverine.

In his spare time, Frank Cho works on video-game designs, movies and oil paintings for various art-gallery shows. He also works on his creator-owned projects, such as Guns & Dinos, Zombie King, Skyborne and the upcoming World of Payne with famed novelist Thomas Sniegoski.

Frank Cho has won many awards, including the prestigious Emmy, the National Cartoonists Society’s awards for Best Comic Book and Best Book Illustration, the Eagle Award, the Charles M. Schulz Award for Excellence in Cartooning, the Scripps-Howard Award for Best College Cartoonist, the College Media Association award for cartooning, Spain’s Haxtur Award for Best Artist, and the Max & Moritz Prize, Germany’s highest award for an international comic strip. He also was nominated for the coveted Harvey and Eisner awards.

Craig Elliott
Craig-Elliott-Forest Awakening-SpectrumFAL3-art-sample
Art by Craig Elliott

Craig Elliott has worked primarily for Disney and Dreamworks, designing their animated films such as Hercules, Mulan, The Emperor’s New Groove, Treasure Planet, Enchanted, Monsters vs. Aliens, The Princess and the Frog, Rio and The Lorax. Craig has also done fully painted comic book and cover artwork. A multi-faceted artist, he is also an accomplished landscape architect, fine artist, sculptor and most recently, jewelry designer.

Flesk-Publications-Comic-Con-San-Diego-2012-101ggGary Gianni has adapted and illustrated a wide variety of books, including John Henry, Kidnapped, Moby Dick, The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane, The Complete Conan of Cimmeria, and more recently, Michael Chabon’s Gentlemen of the Road. His comic’s work includes Classics Illustrated, The Shadow, and The MonsterMen. He won an Eisner Award for his illustration of Heroes, a tale included in Batman: Black and White. Gianni served as the illustrator of the Prince Valiant Sunday comic strip for nearly a decade, an endeavor which also served as the subject of his, The Prince Valiant Page.

Keegan,_Jim_and_RuthEl_BorakJim and Ruth Keegan are the creators of The Adventures of Two-Gun Bob, which appears in every issue of Conan, Solomon Kane, or Kull from Dark Horse Comics. They’ve also illustrated several books for Del Rey including Crimson Shadows and Grim LandsThe Best of Robert E. Howard, Volumes One & Two. Their work has appeared in the Spectrum annual, and has been exhibited at The Society of Illustrators in New York. al-picAaron Lopresti’s first big break came in 1993 when Publisher Dave Olbrich and Editor-in-Chief Chris Ulm hired Aaron to draw Sludge for Malibu’s new Ultraverse comic line. One thing led to another and soon Aaron had a full blown career in comics. Aaron’s career in commercial and comic art has continued on for more than 12 years. In that time Aaron has worked on a wide variety of characters including: Spiderman The X-men, The Hulk, The Avengers, Batman, Plastic Man, Green Lantern, Superboy, Xena, Star Trek, Gen 13, Mystic, and the self published Atomic Toybox (just to name a few). In 1995 he founded the successful comic art studio, Studiosaurus that lasted until 1998. Aaron lists his art influences in two categories, comic and illustration. His comic fluences are: Frazetta, Berni Wrightson, Neal Adams, Michael Golden, Steranko, Brian Bolland, and anyone else who is good. Illustrators who have influenced Aaron over the years are: Frazetta(again), James Bama, William Stout, JC Leyendecker, Brian Froud, Robert McGinnis and Chuck Jones.

Iain McCaig
Art by Iain McCaig

Iain McCaig divides his energies between a lifelong love of storytelling, and a passionate belief that everyone in the world can learn to draw. McCaig is best known for his cover art for Jethro Tull’s Broadsword and the Beast and his Star Wars designs for Queen Amidala and Darth Maul. His other films include Interview with a Vampire, Dracula, Terminator 2, Hook, Peter Pan, Charlotte’s Web, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and Disney’s John Carter. He is also a Chesley nominated illustrator, having illustrated books ranging from Fighting Fantasy to J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Hobbit. Shadowline: The Art of Iain McCaig, a 28 year retrospective of his film and publishing work came out in 2008. Currently, McCaig is developing an original live-action feature film, Book of Secrets.

Spectrum-22-Call-for-Entries-FleskVicto Ngai: Forbes 30 Under (Art and Style) honoree and Society of Illustrators NY Gold Medalist Victo Ngai is a NY based illustrator from Hong Kong, graduated from Rhode Island School of Design. “Victo” is not a boy nor a typo, but a nickname derived from Victoria – a leftover from the British colonization.

 Victo creates art for newspaper and magazines such as the New York Times and the New Yorker; makes books for publishers such as the Folio Society, Abrams and Tor Forge; and works on advertisement campaigns with companies like the McDonald’s, IMAX, MTA Art for Transit (New York subway), Lufthansa Airline and General Electric.
Apart from drawing, Victo’s biggest passions are traveling and eating. She’s hoping that one day she will save up enough to travel around the world and sample all kinds of cuisine.
Steve Rude
Steve Rude
Art by Steve Rude
Art by Steve Rude

Steve Rude’s career began in 1981 with his and co-creator Mike Baron’s groundbreaking Nexus comic series. This space saga catapulted Rude into the field of comics, where he became highly sought after by major publishers. During his first few years in the industry, Rude’s efforts led to numerous awards, such as the 1984 Russ Manning Newcomer Award, the Kirby Award for best artist in 1986, and numerous Eisner’s for artistic achievement. For over two decades, Rude has drawn hundreds of comic’s greatest iconic heroes, and has galvanized the art world as a comic magazine artist and illustrator.

Mark Schultz
Mark Schultz
Art by Mark Schultz
Art by Mark Schultz

Mark Schultz is a storyteller by nature as well as by profession. He could always draw and his storytelling tends to lean toward the visual, although he can cobble his ideas into words as necessary. His interests in adventure fiction and the sciences led him to create his award-winning Xenozoic Tales comic series. He has illustrated a collection of Robert E. Howard’s Conan of Cimmeria and written the science primer graphic novel The Stuff of Life: A Graphic Guide to Genetics and DNA. Between scripting the weekly newspaper adventures of Prince Valiant and producing images for his art series collection, Carbon, he continues to chip away at the illustrations for his novella Storms at Sea.

I’ll have a few more artists announced who will be appearing at our booth as we get closer to the show date.



John Fleskes
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Text and noted photographs copyright © 2015 John Fleskes. Art and photographs copyright © their respective owners. All Rights Reserved.