John Fleskes Interview at Comics Bulletin by Jason Sacks!

I recently had the pleasure of talking with Jason Sacks at Comics We spoke about William Stout and my passion for his art, as well as my working relationship with him. It was a fun experience. The interview has just been posted on the Comics Bulletin website. You can read it here. Thanks to Jason for the great questions and for taking his time to put the piece together.



John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter by James Gurney Book Review!

With the holidays behind us, this is an excellent time to focus on a good book for yourself. I recommend James Gurney’s new book, Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter.

Within this book Gurney explores how our visual perceptions perceive color and light given various situations, and how to master these combinations to elicit the proper mood and atmosphere into a work of art. Along with his previous book, Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn’t Exist, Color and Light is broken down into a coherent structure with succinct dialog and numerous examples to illustrate each topic.

Chapters within examine sources of light, light and form, elements of color, paint and pigments, color relationships, visual perception and much more.

I found myself intrigued by the examples of light and color and how they change and morph depending on the surrounding colors. I learned that many of the examples covered are things I took for granted before. I never fully realizing how correlations between the sky, ground, and surrounding structures, both man made and natural, play important roles in the way colors are emitted. I had ideas of how color worked before, but with this book’s articulate reasons, it proved I had much to learn.

I read one or two topics within the book an evening over the last month to allow my brain to fully absorb each. I find this book fascinating. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not an artist, but I am passionate about photography, as well as being an art book publisher. I find art books help me a great deal in improving my photography, as well as producing better art books. Besides these two, I’ve long taken a great interest into the various approaches of creative people. My point being, you don’t have to be an artist to benefit from this book.

Outside of all the beautiful art within Color and Light, you will get a better understanding of how smart Gurney works to achieve a finished painting, making him the exceptional painter that he is.

Color and Light is a 224-page softcover book with over 300 illustrations in full-color running $24.99. You can get signed copies direct from James Gurney’s website here. You can also read Gurney’s daily blog here.


John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Jim Silke’s Jungle Girls Has Arrived!

This is a quick note that Jim Silke’s Jungle Girls has arrived at our warehouse. I’ve added the book to the Flesk store. Jim is signing the deluxe hardbound copies today. All deluxe orders will begin shipping tomorrow (Tuesday, Dec. 21).

The softbound edition will begin hitting stores in about a week. An official press release will go out right after Christmas. We’ll be shipping Monday to Thursday this week, then taking Friday and Saturday off for Christmas, then right back at it all next week.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!



John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Unk! by Petar Meseldžija! Petar Now Taking Commissions!

I just received the original art for a commission from Petar Meseldžija titled “Unk!” Needless to say, I’m a satisfied customer. I laughed for quite some time when I first saw the piece. Petar told me he experimented with this drawing in using more tones than he normally has in the past. I love what he did.

My only direction to Petar was the elements I wanted in the piece. I asked for a tree (he does amazing trees), a giant, noble hero type and a woman. As far as the composition and direction I gave him no feedback. I’m not an artist, so why limit him with my imagination.

I’ve seen people give artists lengthy instructions and even stick figure sketches showing what they want for a commission. I would never do this. To me, when you commission and artist to do a drawing or painting you are not only getting an artists original work, but their creativity and imagination. I do everything possible to keep myself out of it. I’ve heard the argument that if you are going to pay money for a personal commission (and at times this can be a substantial amount) that they want to get exactly what they want. I understand this, but it isn’t my style. Outside of the subject matter, I don’t want exactly what I want, I want exactly what the artist envisions. (Art for publication is a different matter, as there are certain factors and goals in mind that an art director will want met. That’s another topic.)

Another thing is I want to make sure the subject matter is something the artist will get excited about, pushing them to do their best work, with creative freedom.

Petar has posted some notes, the initial sketch and big views of the art on his latest blog, which you can read here.

Thanks to Petar for doing this beautiful drawing for me! Oh, and by the way, Petar is taking on commissions. You can contact at for inquiries and pricing.



John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Announcing Harvey Dunn: Illustrator and Painter of the Pioneer West by Walt Reed from Flesk Publications!

Flesk Publications is pleased to announce the availability of Harvey Dunn: Illustrator and Painter of the Pioneer West by Walt Reed. The introduction is by Lynn Verschoor, director of the South Dakota Art Museum. This is the definitive book on this powerful painter, illustrator, and teacher!

Harvey Dunn was one of twentieth century America’s most powerful illustrators, painters and teachers. This comprehensive volume covers a major portion of his illustrations and paintings for the first time. Content includes illustration art, pioneer and western works, and his powerful World War I pieces inspired by his battlefield sketches. Also included are the rarely seen nudes, portraits, and murals. Paintings from museums and private collections showcase the full range of this talented American artist.

For this book, many original paintings were tracked down and re-photographed in order to reintroduce the work of this important artist. Until now, most of Dunn’s paintings and illustrations have been unavailable to the public in their original form.

Locations of pictures in public collections are listed, as are the original publication dates and places. Additionally, a section is devoted to the artist’s working and teaching methods. Also included is a reprinting of Dunn’s “An Evening in the Classroom,” compiled from notes made during critiques, passing on his inspirational teaching philosophy. A comprehensive list of Dunn’s students with sample art is included as well.

This massive collection features 294 color and 73 black and white plates within 304 pages. The book dimensions are 12.5” x 9.75”. Two editions are available; A hardbound with jacket (ISBN: 978-1-933865-19-5) with a cover price of $50.00 and a Deluxe Limited hardbound with slipcase (ISBN: 978-1-933865-20-1) with the cover price of $125.00. Sample pages for the book are available on the Harvey Dunn book featured page on the Flesk website. Visit the Flesk online store to order, or view our contact page for more options. This book is not available to the book trade, including Amazon. For individual store orders, please contact John Fleskes for details.

Deluxe Edition Details (View multiple pictures of the Deluxe Edition at the Flesk website)

This special edition is limited to 350 copies in slipcase, signed by the author and specially bound and numbered. It contains the proof of an undated photo of Harvey Dunn. It also contains the image of Dunn’s previously unpublished experimental painting “Romance,” from the 1920s. Only 100 copies will be for sale through Flesk. The remaining copies will be reserved for the South Dakota Art Museum and Illustration House, NYC.

Praise For Harvey Dunn

“N.C. Wyeth, my father, was a great friend of Harvey Dunn and thought highly of his work—I feel the same way and think his work is very powerful.”

—Andrew Wyeth
Chadd’s Ford, PA

“South Dakota has every reason to be proud of Harvey Dunn. Born and raised in a homesteading family, he painted an authentic and artistic record of the settlement of our great state that will continue to inspire us for generations to come.”

—M. Michael Rounds
Governor, State of South Dakota

“We take great pride in our native son Harvey Dunn and have had the privilege of knowing his work intimately through the Museum Collection. Now we can share that pride with the rest of the country through the handsome reproductions of his work in this volume. After this introduction we invite you to visit us in person.”

—Lynn Verschoor
Director, South Dakota Art Museum

“I had always been drawn to Howard Pyle and his outstanding disciples, but my first introduction to Harvey Dunn’s paintings was a revelation; dramatic and colorful, combined with a dedication to truth and I am proud to have his work in my collection.”

—Richard Kelly
The Kelly Collection of American Illustration

“This work definitively brings to light the life and art of one of this nation’s greatest painters, illustrators and teachers. Dunn believed in the usefulness of pictures and that their primary motive was to convey feelings that is universal to all mankind.”

—George Fernandez
Professor, SUNY—Farmingdale

About Walt Reed

In 1974 Walt Reed founded Illustration House, Inc. Reed was part of the instructional staff of the Famous Artists School. There he worked with some of America’s most prominent illustrators, including Norman Rockwell, Stevan Dohanas, Robert Fawcett and Albert Dorne. His previous books include, The Illustrator in America, Harold von Schmidt Draws and Paints the Old West, Great American Illustrators, and The Art of Tom Lovell. Reed was editor for North Light Publications in 1972-1976. He designed the Bicentennial 50 State Flag stamps and has been a consultant on several subsequent stamp projects.

Full details and sample pages for Flesk Publications titles and our most recent news can be found on our website, and on publisher John Fleskes’ blog. Thank you for your support. Feel free to contact us with any questions.

John Fleskes

Flesk Publications
P.O. Box 3174
Santa Cruz, CA 95063
(408) 206-2346
Monday through Friday
11:00AM to 6:00PM PST

New Publisher “Picture This Press” Releases Three New Titles in Thier “Lost Art Books” Series!

I received the following press release from Joe Procopio announcing his foray into the publishing world. His company Picture This Press has debuted three new titles as a part of their Lost Art Books series.

Joe’s efforts are a welcome addition to any collector of early 20th century illustration and cartoons, as well as an important part of preserving artists of the past for recognition and rediscovery. I am excited by this news of a new company dedicated to preserving this field I am so passionate about. Good luck Joe! — John Fleskes

Contact: Joe Procopio,, (240) 643-8714
To download a PDF of this press release:

New publisher Picture This Press debuts with three titles on forgotten masters of graphic art
Lost Art Books series devoted to preserving early 20th century illustration and cartoons

SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND–Picture This Press, a new publishing house devoted to the graphic arts, has simultaneously released its first three volumes in its Lost Art Books series, an imprint that focuses on the illustrators and cartoonists who were nationally known figures in their day but have since slipped into obscurity. After several years of laying the groundwork for the press’ launch, gathering a vast library of material and developing a significant network of outside resources, The Lost Art Books imprint made its public debut last month at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland, joining the ranks of independent publishers passionate about these past masters of illustration and cartoon art.

The Lost Art of Zim–Cartoons and Caricatures revives for modern audiences the hard won wisdom of a founding father of American cartooning, Eugene ‘Zim’ Zimmerman. This centennial edition collects material from America’s earliest correspondence course on how to be a cartoonist. More than a simple collection of “how to” lessons, Zim outlines an entire philosophy of life for would-be cartoonists, sage advice from decades of experience. The book is rounded out with an introduction by Zim scholar Walter Brasch and a rare biography on the artist’s life.

The father of caveman-and-dinosaur comics gets the deluxe treatment in The Lost Art of E.T. Reed–Prehistoric Peeps with a comprehensive introduction by artist/writer Stephen Bissette (Swamp Thing). This strip, which first appeared in Punch magazine, was the first to stumble upon the comic goldmine of throwing prehistoric men and dinosaurs into anachronistic situations. It became hugely influential, and a clear line can easily be drawn from Reed’s Prehistoric Peeps straight through the decades to television’s The Flintstones. Reed deserves further celebration for the remarkable draftsmanship he brought not only to Prehistoric Peeps but also to the cartoons he produced as a parliamentary caricaturist and social satirist, all of which are examined in this volume, the first of its kind ever devoted to Reed and his work.

A neglected master draftsman finally receives the attention he deserves in The Lost Art of Frederick Richardson. This volume presents over a hundred illustrations from his prolific final years as a newspaper artist for the Chicago Daily News. All that is known about Richardson’s life can be found in the introduction by fantasy writer Ruth Berman and well-known mathematics and science writer Martin Gardner. This collection-the first of its kind in well over a century-will leave modern readers wondering what today’s newspapers might be like if they aspired to this level of enchantment and artistry.

Picture This Press founder Joseph Procopio along with his co-publisher Ellen Levy have a combined 35 years of publishing experience, having worked as editors and writers and directed publications departments for a variety of organizations. Matching this level of expertise with their passion for the material will result in many more books aimed at introducing modern readers to these great artists of the “golden age” of cartooning and illustration.

About Picture This Press is dedicated to broadening the appreciation and awareness of the artists who work in the fields of illustration, cartooning, graphic arts, photography, and poster design.

Lost Art Books, the flagship series from Picture This Press, collects and preserves the works of illustrators and cartoonists from the first half of the 20th century. Too many of these artists have gone under appreciated for too long, with much of their work uncollected or unexamined for decades, if at all. The Lost Art series of books aims to preserve this cultural heritage by re-introducing these artists to new generations of working artists, historians, and admirers of things beautiful.