Flesk Ebay Original Art Auctions

I have a few pieces of original art up on Ebay this week. The three pieces of art at auction are the original preliminary back cover artwork to Spasm by Jeffrey Jones, a cool pin-up by Michael Kaluta, and a color drawing of Uncle Scrooge by Don Rosa. These are all terrific pieces and worth checking out.

You can search for the auctions by our Ebay user name “fleskpublications” or by using the artists names in the keyword search. The proceeds will help to fund Flesk promotional material for our 2008 titles. By winning the auction you get a great piece of art, and help support Flesk.


John Fleskes

Flesk Publications to Exhibit at Super-Con – Booth # 302

We will be exhibiting at Super-Con this weekend, May 17 and 18, 2008. Stop by to pick up our show specials and latest titles, as well as to see our previews of upcoming books. We’ll have Mark Schultz Storms at Sea and Gary Gianni The Prince Valiant Page posters for $5.00 each, or one free with any purchase. These posters are only available through us at events we exhibit at.

Super-Con has been gaining momentum in the Bay Area. Their guest list is impressive. Based on my artistic preferences, I think it is better than WonderCon’s 2008 guest list. Adam Hughes, Frank Cho, Sanjulian, Dan Brereton, Jim Silke, and many more will be there. Super-Con will be held at the San Jose Convention Center. For more details visit their website at: http://www.super-con.com.

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Six Years of Flesk Publications

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.

Looking for Quality Mark Schultz Artwork for Upcoming Books

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.

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

First Look! Gary Gianni’s finished cover painting for the upcoming Twenty-Thousand Leagues under the Sea book!

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!

Any Plans to Publish Books on Classic Illustrators Again?

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.

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

When is Mark Schultz: Various Drawings Volume Four Coming Out?

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!

John Fleskes

Flesk Publications

What I’m Up To

I thought some people might find it interesting to know what I’m up to right now.

I sent Gary Gianni’s The Prince Valiant Page book to the printer last month. I’ve gone over all of the proofs, approving everything except for the dust jacket. I’m still not satisfied with how the colors are coming out. They’re a little too dark and flat. As soon as we wrap up this final proof, the book will go to press. The book is definitely on track for its June 15, 2008 release date.

I recently had to have all of our book covers and book descriptions for our 2008 titles delivered to SCB Distributors, who handles our book trade sales. It’s always a challenge to prepare this material so far in advance. But ultimately, I am happy to have this information prepared and available for advance solicitation. I’ll have the Al Williamson’s Flash Gordon, Gary Gianni’s Twenty-Thousand Leagues under the Sea adaptation, and William Stout’s Prehistoric Life Murals book covers and details up on our Flesk website soon.

Randy Dahlk is designing Stout’s Murals book right now. He also designed the three Mark Schultz: Various Drawings books, and will also design the Williamson Flash Gordon book. I really love the work he does and I’m grateful he has the interest to work on these projects.

Jim Keegan has spent over a month, so far, coloring the pages to Gianni’s Twenty-Thousand Leagues under the Sea adaptation. Along with his wife Ruth, they are doing a phenomenal job. Jim showed me his newly finished colors to page three; pointing out the top panel crowd scene took him eleven hours to color! Jim went in and colored all of the people individually. I’m looking far back into the art, and these miniature people have their hats and faces colored. Most colorists would just run a flat color in the background and be done with it. Jim’s a true artist. He’s never satisfied until the art looks as best as it can.

I received the first draft of Mark Schultz’s text for the Al Williamson Flash Gordon book recently. One thing I appreciate about Mark is his ability to be objective. His goal was to produce a piece that did not come across as written by a fan. It points out Williamson’s accomplishments as well as weaker moments. The history of Al’s association on the character is fascinating as well. Mark completely leaves his own opinion out of it, providing succinct and interesting facts, allowing the reader to form their own opinion. Mark is touching up the text for the book, and should be finished in the next week or two. Looks like we’ll have everything in place for Randy to start the designs as soon as he finishes Stout’s Murals book.

That’s what’s going on right now. Be sure to check out the website in a few weeks to see more news and future book updates.

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

WonderCon 2008 — Flesk Report

It was bound to happen. After more than 15 years of attending various book and comic shows I was sick for the first time. I was fairly “out-of-it” during the whole show. My voice went out Thursday night, and I could barely talk for much of the show. I was disappointed for a number of reasons. I could only talk for short spurts until my voice went out. I couldn’t talk to anyone who approached the booth, meaning, no promoting, no selling, no answering questions, no talking about all of our exciting new books we are working on, no sharing of our new Steve Rude: Artist in Motion book with friends. For the most part, I sat in a chair in the booth, doing my best not to look as bad as I felt. I hear this bug is going around. With me, it went around and around and around again.

Fortunately, our books managed to sell themselves at the Flesk booth. We had a good number of people picking up the exclusive Mark Schultz Storms at Sea and Gary Gianni The Prince Valiant Page exclusive show posters. Randy Dahlk sold out of his show exclusive Mark Schultz Various Cutie’s magnets.

Schultz was present at our booth during the entire show. He brought along five finished art samples of his upcoming Storms at Sea book. They received much praise and attention. These pieces are unbelievable.

With WonderCon being my local show, I always enjoy the mellow atmosphere and seeing many of those “once-a-year” acquaintances. To me, this was the first year that the show lost its intimacy. On Saturday, the crowds moving through the aisles looked more like the San Diego Comic-Con show. This doesn’t’t bother me; it’s just growth and change, which is inevitable if the show organizers are doing a good job at promoting, which they are.

I noticed a large TV and movie star guest list for this year. I rarely watch TV, so the stars and shows were completely unknown to me. This, I would imagine, was the reason for the large attendance on Saturday.

We were set up next to Stuart Ng Books. Stuart carries a wide assortment of new art books and graphic novels that are hard to find in the States. I picked up Melange and Mandy’s Shorts, two collections on Dean Yeagle. Also, Droles de Pin-Up by Erroc & Herval, Belladone with art by Pierre Alary, and Songes Coraline by D.P. Filippi and Terry Dodson. I absolutely love what Dodson is doing in this French album. This is the first of three albums planned, and there is a Songs sketchbook, too. As far as I know, Stuart is the only US source for purchasing this book right now.

The next show we will be exhibiting at is Book Expo America at the Los Angeles convention center starting May 29. William Stout will be present for a signing to promote our upcoming William Stout: Prehistoric Life Murals book. We will also have exclusive posters promoting Gary Gianni’s The Prince Valiant Page and Mark Schultz’s Storms at Sea available to attendees. See you there!

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea adapted by Gary Gianni Coming This Summer!

ntitled DocumentIf you are like me and can’t get enough of Gary Gianni’s art, then you’ll be pleased to know The Prince Valiant Page is not the only book we are publishing of his this year. In addition, we will be putting out a full color hardbound edition of Jules Verne’s Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea adapted by Gary Gianni. Some of you might recall a self-published edition of this adaptation put out by Gianni in 2001. This was sold at comic shows in which Gianni attended, as a limited edition black and white softbound format book.

Some of you might be wondering how Gary’s original version and this 2008 version differ? Let me explain. This newly revised Flesk published edition will be fully colored and designed by Jim Keegan. This is the first time it has been colored. Also, it will be in a handsome hardbound book format. And, in the back of the book, Gary has provided ten new illustrations to accompany the short story The Sea Raiders by H.G. Wells. Keegan is coloring these delightful pen and ink drawings, too. The book is 64 pages, at 9″ X 12″. The full details and sample pages will be up on the Flesk website by April.

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications