Mark Schultz Various Drawings Volume Five – The Creation of the Cover!

This summer, I will be publishing the fifth volume of Mark Schultz’s Various Drawings. Over the course of the last few weeks, book designer Randy Dahlk and artist Mark Schultz have been working on the cover design and art. While I have been included in the email correspondence between these two gentlemen, my input was been zilch. They know what they are doing and have an organic working relationship, especially after already having worked together on the first four volumes of Various Drawings and the Xenozoic collection. I had the good fortune to sit back and watch these guys correspond and pass email attachments back and forth. What I’ve done here is share some of the details, sketches and finished cover for Various Drawings Volume Five.

All artwork copyright © 2011 Mark Schultz.

This first sketch shows Mark’s idea for the jacket artwork. You’ll notice Mark has been zooming in closer to Jack and Hannah with each of the five successive Various Drawings collections. This is intentional. He planned this from the start. For the goal of this cover Mark said, “I wanted sort of a suspense pulp thing happening.”

Two hours after receiving Mark’s sketch, Randy responded with this idea for the cover. It’s not uncommon for Randy to shoot back with three or more cover ideas, but this time just the one came back, and I felt like he nailed it. Multiple cover variations were not needed or missed. Mark agreed. Randy kept with the established design style of the book series, a Russian Constructivism look, the cream color and futura font you will find on each, and the ongoing geometric shapes, rules and solid panes of color.

Twenty-three days later Mark sent us the finished art for the cover. I recognized immediately the style was reminiscent of Mark’s Conan book illustrations with the gritty look, mood, and feel to the piece. There’s a definite noir look to the work, which turned out to be responses Mark was hoping to hear. You will notice Mark wasn’t keen with the original positioning of Hannah in the initial sketch and remedied the art to his liking.

Randy had the final cover design wrapped up by the day after receiving the art from Mark. With both my and Mark’s approval on the initial design sketch, it was a matter of plugging in the art and adding the colors. It looks fast and easy, but is more work to wrap up than you might think. The above samples show the front cover, followed by the front and back cover with partial flaps.

Mark Schultz Various Drawings Volume Five will be available in July 2011. I’ll have full details on the book and sample art on the Flesk website by March 2011.



John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Spectrum 18 Call For Entries – Art Submissions Due January 28, 2011!

The Call For Entries is still open for Spectrum 18, but not for much longer. You still have time to submit your art in the Advertising, Book, Comics/Graphic Novels, Concept Art, Dimensional, Editorial, Institutional and Unpublished categories. Any published or unpublished art must have been finished or first published between January 1, 2010 and January 1, 2011.

For more details visit the Spectrum website here, or jump to the entry form in a PDF format here.

The annual Spectrum collection is dedicated to promoting the fantastic arts for contemporary artists. Submissions for Spectrum 18 will be voted on by Julie Bell, Nathan Fox, Gregory Manchess, Brandon Shiflett, Jarrod Shiflett, Boris Vallejo, and Shena Wolf.

I’m putting my package together right now. I’ll be submitting various works on the artist’s behalf that I have published. If the art is selected, I consider it a great advertising tool, a good way to promote the artist through increased exposure, and a possible opportunity to grab the attention of an art director or client, or a fan wanting a personal commission, to get them more work.

Good luck to those who submit their work!



John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Flesk Publications Books Breakdown 2002-2010!

The following details comprise a list of books I have published since starting Flesk Publications in 2002. I did this to document the month and year for each book release, and out of curiosity to see the number of books and total combined page count published each year. It was easy enough to write some extra details and post it on my blog in case others would find this information of interest.

Besides a jump between the total number of books I published in 2010 compared to 2009, a gain in the combined books total page count increased 33%. Here’s a break down.

2010 Flesk Titles

1. Blue Book by Mark Schultz, March 2010, 16-pages
2. James Bama Sketchbook, May 2010, 144-pages
3. Hallucinations by William Stout, July 2010, 48-pages
4. Al Williamson Archives, July 2010, 64-pages
5. The Legend of Steel Bashaw by Petar Meseldžija, October 2010, 64-pages
6. Inspirations by William Stout, November 2010, 48-pages
7. Xenozoic by Mark Schultz, November 2010, 352-pages
8. Harvey Dunn by Walt Reed, November 2010, 304-pages
9. Jungle Girls by Jim Silke, December 2010, 84-pages

Total 2010 page count is 1124 pages.

Now, let’s compare to the previous year.

2009 Flesk Titles

1. Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne adapted by Gary Gianni, January 2009, 64-pages
2. Prehistoric Life Murals by William Stout, February 2009 (indicia states January 2009, but it arrived in stores in February), 144-pages
3. Major Thrill’s Adventure Book by Gary Gianni, July 2009, 32-pages
4. Mark Schultz Various Drawings Volume Four, August 2009, 48-pages
5. Al Williamson’s Flash Gordon: A Lifelong Vision of the Heroic by Mark Schultz, June 2009, 256-pages
6. New Dinosaur Discoveries A-Z by William Stout, December 2009, 64-pages
7. Dinosaur Discoveries by William Stout, December 2009, 144-pages

Total 2009 page count is 752 pages.

Going by the pages numbers, that’s a workload increase of 372-pages comparing 2010 to 2009, and an additional two books for 2010. I should note, books are worked on from anywhere from three months to four years. It’s not like the production of all of these books fit within an actual calendar year. As a publisher I am involved in all aspects of each book. There’s editing, reviewing the art scans on each page to make sure it meets my standards, in some cases designing the book myself, proofing, and all sorts of little things that need my attention. Increasing production by a 33% page count was a lot of hard work, but worth it. (I do have help. I don’t do this all alone. Bill Baker, Randy Dahlk, Dave Stier, Martin Timins and James Walker II all make solid contributions.)

2010 represents a pace I would like to continue. Ultimately, I would like to slowly increase the amount of books coming out each year. The quantity will be based on many factors including my budget, my time, the support from people buying our books, the economy, and those unknown factors that lurk up to challenge me.

I am already working on my 2011 schedule and firming up the details on a handful of projects with artists I am having the opportunity to work with for the first time, and those I have been fortunate enough to have worked with in the past. It seems my brain is always six months ahead of the actual real-time date. I will have some exciting news to share by March 2011, when I will have much of the new title details wrapped up. You will see more diversity to the line-up.

While I’m at it, here are the remaining books I have published over the years. (Note: I was laid-off from Sun Microsystems on January 29, 2009, which also marked the date I began working Flesk full-time. I was at Sun for 10 years. This explains the jump in new titles for 2009 and 2010.)

2008 Flesk Titles

1. The Prince Valiant Page by Gary Gianni, June 2008, 112-pages
2. Xenozoic Tales Print by Mark Schultz, July 2008, 1-page

Total 2008 page count is 113 pages.

2007 Flesk Titles

1. Mark Schultz: Various Drawings Volume Three, August 2007, 48-pages
2. Steve Rude: Artist in Motion by Steve Rude and John Fleskes, December 2007, 208-pages

Total 2007 page count is 256 pages.

2006 Flesk Titles

1. Mark Schultz: Various Drawings Volume Two, July 2006, 48-pages
2. James Bama: American Realist by Brian Kane, October 2006, 160-pages

Total 2006 page count is 208 pages.

2005 Flesk Titles

1. Mark Schultz: Various Drawings Volume One, July 2005, 48-pages

Total 2005 page count is 48 pages.

2004 Flesk Titles

1. Joseph Clement Coll: A Legacy in Line, July 2004, 208-pages

Total 2004 page count is 208 pages.

2003 Flesk Titles

1. Joseph Clement Coll: The Art of Adventure, July 2003, 168-pages

Total 2003 page count is 168 pages.

2002 Flesk Title

1. Franklin Booth: Painter with a Pen by John Fleskes, March 2002, 112-pages

Total 2002 page count is 112 pages. My first book!

That wraps up all of the books I’ve published to date. A total of 25 books and one print. I’m looking forward to adding more to this list this year!


John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Flesk Publications is pleased to announce Jungle Girls by Jim Silke!

The latest Flesk email newsletter was sent out today. I’ve posted it in this blog entry as well. If you would like to join our newsletter for future notifications, you can click here to add your email address. Jungle Girls and our other Flesk books can be purchased at our online store.


John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Jungle Girls is a celebration of that impossible, loony, glorious nonsense that Jim Silke somehow finds essential!

Jungle Girls unleashes over fifty never-before-seen images of the fabulous and provocative female inhabitants of the fictional world’s steamier climes, all created by that renowned modern master of the pinup, Jim Silke.

This sumptuous volume celebrates literature’s original “natural woman” in all of her varied and glorious incarnations. From earthy jungle goddesses and sensual jungle queens to bedazzling slave girls and haughty harem damsels; from resplendent tropical tramps and beguiling dragon ladies to brazen, semi-clad barbarian babes to Silke’s versions of the modern, bold, daring and dangerous beauties that prowl his imagination. They’re all here—including H. Rider Haggard’s She, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Jane and Hedy Lamarr’s Tondelayo. Each and every one of these delectable and decidedly dangerous beauties has been wholly captured— heart, body and soul—by Silke’s lush lines and brush strokes.

Jungle Girls showcases 52 all-new, simply stunning Silke illustrations, supplemented by an extensive selection of movie stills and other rare images from private collections, all of them carefully chosen to further heighten the reader’s enjoyment. As with all Flesk Publications, each and every page of this book will be reproduced, presented and printed on the best-quality paper to meet the highest, most exacting of standards, all to ensure that Silke’s “Jungle Girls” are presented to their best advantage.

In a playful tone Silke often refers to his fascination with jungle girls as “nonsense.” “Nonsense has been with us since the first bad joke was told, so the Jungle Girl nonsense that charmed my life in the early 1940s might just appeal to today’s young people, after all the video games and movies they enjoy today are almost all absolute nonsense," jokes Silke.

In reference to the gorgeous models that inspire his art, Silke shares, “Thank God for beautiful women, particularly those that pose for me."

When confronted by the possibility of distributors and retailers finding the cover artwork for Jungle Girls a bit too revealing Silke explains, "Looking at the book, now that it’s printed, it occurs to me that I spent an awful lot of time placing strings of beads on my gorgeous brown skinned girls in precisely the right place so the book could get past the censors."

Jungle Girls is 84-pages with two gatefolds at 8.5 x 11”. The softbound edition is $24.95, ISBN: 978-1-933865-32-4.

The hardbound deluxe edition is limited to 500 copies with jacket. Exclusive to this edition is a bound in plate reproducing an unpublished illustration. Each copy is numbered and signed. The cover price is $44.95, ISBN: 978-1-933865-33-1. Only 100 copies of this edition are left for sale.

About Jim Silke

Jim Silke served as the Executive Art Director at Capitol Records. He is the creator and editor of the magazines Cinema and Movies International, novelist (the Death Dealer series), and screenwriter (Sahara, King Solomon’s Mines, Revenge of the Ninja, etc.). His books include, Bettie Page: Queen of the Nile, Bettie Page: Queen of Hearts, Bettie Page Rules and Pin-Up: The Illegitimate Art. Silke has won many awards, including a Grammy for the cover of Judy at Carnegie Hall, an Emmy citation for AFI’s James Cagney Life Achievement Award, and citations from The Society of Illustrators, and the Los Angeles Art Directors’ Club.

Full details and sample pages for Jungle Girls and all Flesk Publications titles and our most recent news can be found on our website, and on publisher John Fleskes’ blog. Jungle Girls and our other Flesk books can be purchased on our online store. Thank you for your support! Feel free to contact us with any questions and interview requests.