GILT by J.A.W. Cooper arrived at our Flesk warehouse a week ago. For those who placed a pre-order we are almost done packing and shipping all of your books and prints. You will receive an email notification along with a tracking number once your copy is in the mail.
As a reminder, we have made a detailed promotional page on our Flesk website that shows a video, along with interior book spread samples, and details about the editions available. Please visit here to learn more and to place your order. Thanks to everyone who supported this title. We look forward to your packages arriving safely in your hands.
Brynn Metheney’s illustrated book, Barren Lands, is a collection of personal stories and artworks that strives to document the natural phenomena of the American southwest. This title has over 80 drawings and paintings, and is 9 x 12″ with 112 pages. Metheney’s words and pictures will spark the imagination with secret revelations that blur the lines between fantasy and reality and are sure to entertain anyone with a curious mind.
This book is completely done and will ship in December 2023.
The Art of Arthur Adams is in transit from the printer to our Flesk warehouse. The shipper notified us that the books will arrive with us on or around October 25th. We will keep you updated and begin mailing immediately once we receive the pallets. We can’t wait to get these books into your hands!
Once we have shipped all of the orders for these three titles, we will announce the pre-order date for The Art of Rachel and Terry Dodson! This will be our first book coming out in 2024. We look forward to sharing more details about this exciting new collection later this year.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Brynn Metheney will be exhibiting at Monsterpalooza this weekend in Pasadena, California. We will be announcing the details about Brynn’s first book from Flesk soon! You can visit Brynn at this show to see her amazing art in person.
Wendy Pini–Celebrating 45 years of Elfquest!
Did you know that 2023 marks the 45th year anniversary of Elfquest? So exciting! Richard and Wendy Pini are making some appearances this year to celebrate. To start, Wendy will be appearing all three days at áyA Con this June 9-11, 2023. This event is located at the McNichols Civic Center Building in Denver, Colorado.
This will be our first time exhibiting at this show and we’re bringing a variety of art books with us. We’ve heard a lot of great things about this show and look forward to seeing everyone there!
Four artists who we are actively working on new books with will be making special appearances.
Daniel Warren Johnson, who is the artist for this fun Murder Falcon cover, will be at the Felix Comic Art table signing all three days. We’ve been working hard on his upcoming book to have the first pass available to show Daniel when we see each other. Pretty exciting!
William Stout and Mark Schultz (Xenozoic and Carbon art book series) will be with us at our Flesk table throughout the event. Both will be signing and have an assortment of original art with them. We have the massive three-volume Stout Comics retrospective in development, and something planned with Schultz, too.
We’re also fortunate to have Jeffrey Alan Love (Thousand Demon Tree and Notes From the Shadowed City) with us at the show. Jeff will be signing between our table and the Felix Comic Art area. We have a new book with Jeff that is getting very close to being done.
Between now and the show we will be continuing to work on these new books. I’m looking forward to seeing these artists as much as you all must be!
We made a short trip to Southern California to visit William Stout last week. We photographed a bunch of recently completed artwork, filmed Bill coloring in some of his new ink pieces using watercolor, and discussed his new Comics three-volume set.
Bill is like ten artists in one. He can do anything and everything! Each time we visit we come up with a new project to start. I’ll give you an example. As Vicky and I were leaving Bill’s studio I noticed a large stack of recently finished originals that he completed for a project. Vicky and I immediately started brainstorming a book idea. I asked Bill if we could take the art home with us to photograph, and before we knew it we were the caretakers of over 100 originals while driving home and talking about the our approach to the new book.
We aim to bring you a fresh library of new Stout books!
All of the Kickstarter pledges and Flesk online store pre-orders for Carbon 5 by Mark Schultz have been shipped. Thank you so much for making Mark’s latest art book collection a success!
We have approximately 80 copies left of the hardcover signed edition that is limited to 800 copies. This fifth volume in his Carbon art-book series features new drawings and paintings, all created within the last two years.
For those who may want to pick up a copy, here is the link to learn more: