Flesk’s BEA Experience

This years Book Expo America was held at the Los Angeles convention center. It ran from May 30 to June 1, 2008. This was my second year as an exhibitor and my third time at the show. I was set up again with my distributor, SCB Distributors. I liked the proximity of the show to my distributor and our place of business, although I missed the public transportation and restaurants in NYC. I would like to cover a few topics in my write-up of the show. As I spent ninety-five percent of my time behind my booth, my thoughts will revolve around my experience as an exhibitor, and not that of an attendee.

Friday was exceptionally busy. The day flew by, as I rarely had a break. William Stout was at our booth for a few hours. He brought the original art for his quarter scale Mastodon painting, which will be featured in his upcoming William Stout: Prehistoric Life Murals book, coming this fall. The art must have been close to four feet tall. The piece was incredible to see in person.

Saturday was slower, but still a steady stream of people came by. Sunday was very slow (not just our booth, but the entire show in general) and gave me a chance to visit my neighbors and see what they are offering. This seemed to be the first chance exhibitors had the time to enjoy the show as patrons, as it seemed many people walking around had exhibitor badges.

One of my favorite things to do at the BEA is to pick up catalogs from publishers who inspire me. I started with Chronicle Books who were right behind us, and wow, they have some great titles coming out. Their entire book line has some of the best cover designs and aesthetically are very attractive, in my opinion. I found myself picking up titles I had no interest in purchasing, like books on cooking, knitting, and babies just because of the cover. Someone’s doing their job right. With my being an avid surfer, the new Kelly Slater book with an introduction by Jack Johnson will be a must buy for me.

The four publisher’s, who I believe are putting out the most amazing visual books are National Geographic, Insight Editions, Rizolli (the Pirelli Calendar book is stunning), and Abrams. All four of them produce absolutely beautiful art and photography books. I was thrilled to discover that Abrams is coming out with a new book on J.C. Leyendecker. It’s about time Leyendecker gets the attention he deserves, and knowing Abrams quality, this will be a true treasure in my collection. Also, the new Jack Kirby book looks amazing. More and more mainstream publishers are putting out books on artists previously relegated to fanzines. Good times!

In the two short years I have been an exhibitor at this show, one topic of discussion is always in the air. Is the BEA worth the time and expense to set up at? It’s not cheap, then add traveling expenses, and lost time at the office. It’s really hard to get an immediate sense of how it helps the business. Unlike the shows open to the public where you actually sell the product as well as promote your company, you can count your money after the show and immediately have a sense if the whole thing was worth it or not. With BEA, for me, it’s about promoting the company, artists, and product line, making business deals, gaining contacts, and scoping out the competition for inspiration. These are all great and fun things to do, and necessary to have a successful company. But, is the BEA a viable expense that is justified through increased sales directly related to the show? Can the expenses for BEA be redirected to other marketing ideas and be just as, or more successful?

I left the show feeling good about the experience. I received much positive feedback and excitement about all of our current and upcoming books. Ultimately, I’m glad I was there. I do hope to eventually find out if it was worth the costs involved. Only time will tell. And, being patient will help.

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

The Prince Valiant Page by Gary Gianni — Now Available!

Flesk Publications is pleased to announce The Prince Valiant Page by Gary Gianni. Foreword by Mike Mignola. Introduction by Robert Wagner. Books ship June 15. Pre-orders direct from Flesk receive free shipping and The Prince Valiant Page promotional poster. This offer is only good until June 20.

The Prince Valiant Page gives an informative look at Gary Gianni’s rendition of the Prince Valiant Sunday strip. Entertaining and insightful text accompany Gianni’s artwork to reveal his creative process from script to finish.

Full details on the book and sample images can be found on our website.

112 pages, 9″x12″, black and white, hardcover. Color cover with dust jacket. Three gatefolds in color. Available June 15, 2008. $29.95 hardbound trade edition, ISBN: 978-1-933865-04-1. $39.95 hardbound limited signed edition in slipcase, ISBN: 978-1-933865-05-8. The deluxe edition is limited to 1000 signed and numbered copies in slipcase.

For your convenience Gary Gianni’s The Prince Valiant Page is easy to pre-order direct from Flesk. For phone orders please call 408-206-2346. Paypal orders can be accepted using our email address: info@fleskpublications.com. Please visit our website for additional payment methods. While you are there, see what else we have to offer.

Book trade orders: our titles are distributed to the book trade by SCB Distributors. You can order The Prince Valiant Page direct from your local bookstore. Or, give SCB Distributors a call to order the books for your store at 1-800-729-6423.

Comic book store retailers can order The Prince Valiant Page through Diamond Comic Distributors.

As always, feel free to call us with any questions. Thanks for your support!

Best,

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Super-Con Report

I was set up at Super-Con in San Jose, Ca last month, running from May 17-18. I heard a few complaints from people about the attendance being small, and from it being too warm inside the tent. I cannot deny both of these were true. Sure, it would have been nice to have it a bit cooler, and from a dealer standpoint a few more people in attendance, but this did not stop me from enjoying the show.

Super-Con had an amazing list of comic artists in attendance. Dan Brereton, Dean Yeagle, Jim Silke, Stephen Silver, Russ Heath, Frank Cho, to name a few. The amazing thing to me was the appearance of the Spanish artists. Esteban Maroto, Alfonso Azpiri, Juan Gimenez, and Sanjulian were all there. These guy’s are phenomenal, and a few of them were visiting the US for the first time. The chance to meet each of them at a mellow show was a highlight for me. If you go to San Diego or WonderCon, it can take a long time waiting in line to talk to an artist, or even to try and get on a sketch list. I saw Adam Hughes with only five guys around him. Usually you can’t even see Hughes behind a the typically thick crowd of fans. At Super-Con, as a fan, I was enjoying the show and the easy access to talk to and get some art from these guy’s. I’m way too busy to ever get this opportunity at San Diego or WonderCon these days, since I am stuck behind my booth the whole time.

As a dealer, the show was slow and hard to justify setting up. As a fan, it was incredible. I should mention that the guy’s running the show were great. They would check in and see if I needed anything and it was easy getting in and out of the show. They really worked hard and despite the attendance, put on a good show. I’m certainly looking forward to next year, especially since Mark Schultz will be a guest!

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Flesk at BEA – Meet William Stout on Friday, May 30!

Flesk Publications will be exhibiting at Book Expo America, along with our distributor SCB Distributors. The show runs from May 29 to June 1, 2008 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. We will be at booth #’s 2601-2614.

We will have sample copies of our new book The Prince Valiant Page by Gary Gianni available to view. Our latest titles will all also be on hand, including Steve Rude: Artist in Motion, James Bama: American Realist, and the Various Drawings series by Mark Schultz. We will also be eager to share details about our upcoming books Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea adapted by Gary Gianni, and William Stout: Prehistoric Life Murals.

William Stout will be making an appearance at our booth on Friday. This is a great opportunity to meet the artist who created the murals for both Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, and the San Diego Natural History Museum. These venues can both be enjoyed during your visit to the LA area for BEA.

In addition, Flesk has produced special posters for Mark Schultz’s Storms at Sea and Gary Gianni’s The Prince Valiant Page. Theses exclusive items are only available from our booth.

We look forward to your visit. Feel free to take a copy of our new Flesk 2008 catalog while you are there.

We hope to see you at the show!

Sincerely,

John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

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.

Thanks!

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