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.
Vicky and I enjoyed chatting with everyone who visited our Flesk booth and those we bumped into in and around the convention center. We have a ton of lasting memories from the show.
Seeing Arthur Adams is always a pleasure. A lot of people shared with us that they are looking forward to his new art collection in October.
Being set up next to Richard and Wendy Pini for three days made for one of the most enjoyable shows we have ever had. We started to tease about the upcoming Elfquest book that we will be publishing next spring.
I was thrilled to reunite with Steve Rude and to have a few extended conversations with him. Steve is awesome and I truly enjoyed the chance to catch up with him.
Hang time with my buddy Frank Cho is also always a pleasure. Frank is a generous and helpful guy who I appreciate greatly.
Again, it was wonderful to see you all! We look forward to Baltimore 2024.
Photo, top, left to right: Arthur Adams, Wendy Pini, Richard Pini, John Fleskes.
bottom, left to right: John Fleskes, Richard Pini, Vicky Lien, Wendy Pini, David Mizejewski.
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.
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.
The Telegraph Wire #19 cover by Arthur Adams and Mike Mignola. February-March 1985. This was a promotional giveaway from the Comics & Comix stores in the Bay Area. This Longshot and Rocket Racoon piece is a very early collaboration by these two legends!
We’ve been working hard here at Flesk on the upcoming The Art of Arthur Adams: A Forty-Year Retrospective book. This collection will show examples from each year of his career that spans from 1982 to 2022. I had a call with Arthur that lasted almost five hours last Friday to gather stories to use as captions. I have the captions for the first 100 pages typed up so far. The book has been fully mapped out and all of the art has been selected. Just as soon as I am done writing up the remaining captions, we will pour our energy into the book design. I can see it very clearly in my head, so the design work will flow nicely.
This is a really fun book to work on. We’re shooting for a mid-June delivery date to the printer, followed by a Kickstarter launch once it is on the press. I always feel much more comfortable when a book is done before launching a campaign.
Besides this book, our Rachel and Terry Dodson book is coming along very well. I mapped out their book and have one-third of their captions typed up. And, two other books that I have not even announced yet are almost done!
This is a brief overview of our year and what you can expect to see from us.
I’ll start with the photo. It was taken during a visit to the Al Williamson studio a few years back. Being able to see the “Savage World!” original art was a special moment. Especially while the pages were resting on Al’s drawing table.
Here’s a shipping update on the Williamson and Mark Schultz books.
If all goes well, we will have Al Williamson: Strange World Adventures, Carbon 4 by Mark Schultz, Xenozoic by Mark Schultz and the Al Williamson and Mark Schultz Astounding Sketchbook next week. The books are still at the port waiting to be offloaded from the shipping vessel. We will begin shipping our Kickstarter pledges and Flesk online pre-orders just as soon as they arrive.
As for our next wave of Flesk books, we have five other books at the printer. These include The Drawings of Edwin Austin Abbey, Covenant: The Art of Allen Williams, new books with Frank Cho and Gary Gianni, and a new printing of the Bruce Timm Naughty and Nice collection. Once the books have been printed and are being shipped to us I’ll reveal more and open them all up for pre-orders. We would like to see how the shipping transit times are looking before we announce the release dates.
In the meantime, we are working on the new Franklin Booth book, two new Arthur Adams books, three new William Stout books, plus we are wrapping up two books by a pair of new artists. Then we have the J.A.W. Cooper book to start in June, plus two other new artists who we will start working with in the summer. Then we will have more books featuring Mark Schultz and Al Williamson to work on for 2022. There’s more, but this is what we can share to date.
For the rest of 2021 we do not have any plans to exhibit at any shows. This includes the San Diego November show that we will skip. We will start fresh with events in 2022. Until that time we will continue to make the best books that we can.
The Marvel Art of Arthur Adams is freshly signed and being sent to everyone who places an order from us. This is published by Flesk Publications. We are thrilled to have this opportunity to make it available to you all!
The Marvel Art of Arthur Adamshighlights fifty finished comic-book covers completed over the last decade for Avengers Classic, Guardians of the Galaxy and Secret Avengers, plus an assortment of X-Men and other standout titles. Many of the covers are accompanied by preliminary compositions or the penciled underdrawings made prior to inking. Every work has been scanned directly from the original and appears in its native form prior to coloring to showcase Arthur’s exquisite ink lines. Each also is accompanied by the artist’s commentary, as he takes the unique approach of walking the reader through the creative process for every image.
Line of Beauty: The Art of Wendy Piniprovides a comprehensive look at rare material from Wendy’s two Beauty and the Beast graphic novels, her Galaxy and If magazine covers and interior art, and preproduction art from the animated The Lord of the Rings film. It highlights ambitious projects such as Masque of the Red Death and Law and Chaos, includes exquisite art from the Land of Myth series of prints, and much more. The highest quality of reproduction is made possible through direct access to the original art or the best original source material, which has been made available from the Pini archives.
Frank Cho, the acclaimed creator of Liberty Meadows, shares his secrets to drawing the lovely women he is renowned for with his Drawing Beautiful Women: The Frank Cho Method. His exquisite line and masterful brushstrokes are explored to give the beginning artist, along with the most advanced professional, all the tools and knowledge needed to draw beautiful women.
This publisher’s edition hardcover includes a new revised jacket and an extra 16 pages, and is only available from Flesk and Cho. You get the extra content which includes bonus artwork and an exclusive Frank Cho interview, plus an alternate designed jacket and book boards for only $5 more than the hardcover trade! This edition will not be available through the book trade.
All pre-orders begin to ship by the end of this week.
I have the absolute pleasure of announcing that our latest book The Marvel Art of Arthur Adams is now available for pre-order on our Flesk Publications website. This 9 x 12″ book has 80 pages, and features 87 images. You can order it here.
Here’s the book description.
For over three decades, Arthur Adams has served as one of the most revered artists in the comic-book industry. Much of his career has centered on his immense and highly popular body of work for Marvel Comics. These last ten years have been no exception, as Arthur has continued to produce exceptional covers that earn praise among his fans and peers. His ability to render our favorite superheroes as emboldened single figures or in intricate group scenes has resulted in awe-inspiring works of art that captivate his audience.
The Marvel Art of Arthur Adams highlights fifty finished comic-book covers completed over the last decade for Avengers Classic, Guardians of the Galaxy and Secret Avengers, plus an assortment of X-Men and other standout titles. Many of the covers are accompanied by preliminary compositions or the penciled underdrawings made prior to inking. Every work has been scanned directly from the original and appears in its native form prior to coloring to showcase Arthur’s exquisite ink lines. Each also is accompanied by the artist’s commentary, as he takes the unique approach of walking the reader through the creative process for every image.