Flesk Publications Store Updates

I’ve made some updates to the Flesk Publications Online store.

Our upcoming book, Warren Chang: Narrative Paintings is now available for a special pre-order price. The book ships in mid-January. Click here for book details.

Reveries by Terry Dodson is back in stock. Click here to order.

I’ve made a new section on the Flesk store listing books by publisher friends of mine. To start I have copies of two titles from Dan Zimmer at The Illustrated Press (The same publisher that brings you Illustration Magazine).

H.J. Ward by David Saunders. Click here for full book details and to order.

Masters of American Illustration: 41 Illustrators and How They Work by Fred Taraba. Click here for full book details and to order.

I’ll be adding more titles to this store section in the months to come.

I also put up three original sketches by Adam Hughes up on Ebay. I bought a sketchbook by Hughes back in 2001 and have decided to sell off a few pieces. Here are images of the three pieces. Click on them to be taken to the Ebay auction, which ends on Sunday, December 4. All proceeds go towards future Flesk books. My Ebay user ID is “fleskpublications”

Be on the lookout for a new blog coming soon showing samples from the upcoming Bruce Timm book. I received my sample copies and am anxious to provide a sneak peak. It looks amazing!



John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

The Art of Craig Elliott Advance Copies Arrived and A Little History Behind the Book

The Art of Craig Elliott and its three covers. (Click all pictures for larger views.)

I received the sample copies of The Art of Craig Elliott from the printer yesterday. A stroke of good fortune is that Craig happened to be in my area and stopped by today. We went over the book together and gave it a close inspection, to both of our delight.

It’s not often I get to sit with the artist and view a book fresh from the printer right away like this. There is a tremendous amount of work that goes into the creation of a book. Factor in the years Craig committed towards producing a body of work deserving of a collection, to Craig and me pairing up, then to having the book designed and written and printed. It can take two or three years from the initial idea to completion. When all is said and done it’s a rewarding feeling to be holding the actual book. Even with our working on this book over the course of this year and having viewed the pages and art on the computer screen frequently, seeing the actual book is like seeing Craig’s work in a completely fresh viewing. We’re both very pleased with the book; especially the colors and details that held up in all areas, including the darker shadow regions. Having Craig available to review the proofs and help make adjustments for the printer was a bonus. It was a close collaborative project between artist, publisher and printer.

The Art of Craig Elliott three variant jackets

I got to know Craig in 2008 at Comic-Con in San Diego on the Thursday of the show. Just prior to meeting Craig, I had a steady stream of people stopping by to show me unsolicited book proposals. Thursday is always our busiest day for answering questions and selling books, and not a good time to try and hold a long conversation with me. One person in particular was extremely aggressive about showing me his three ideas, all of which I had no interest in. He did not take “no” very well and was getting angry with me that I would not give him more time. After he left I turned to my friend James and told him I will not be looking at any more book proposals for the remainder of the show and to not direct anyone to me. Right on cue, up walks Craig Elliott. He asks me if he can show me his portfolio and wanted to inquire about the possibility of discussing a book project. Rather bluntly, I told him I was not reviewing portfolios or taking on any book proposals. Undeterred and with a friendly approach and smile he let me know that is no problem and went on to praise the books I have published and said some very flattering things about me that showed that he had an awareness of who I was and what my goals are. Then, he offered his portfolio to me again to view, just to share his work with me. I opened his portfolio and viewed “Caryatid Path” and immediately invited him behind the booth. He came around and we ended up chatting for about 30 minutes. Funny how I went from not wanted to see any portfolios or talk book proposals at all one minute, then the next I am sitting with Craig at length. It shows his professionalism as well as his creative ability to back it up and an honest to goodness friendliness.

The Art of Craig Elliott book boards sans jacket, red cover and back cover

Now that you have the back story about how we met, I’ll share some behind the scenes tales. The reason it took since 2008 for the book to be made is due to my previous commitments and workload. I can only take on so much work at a time and I am extremely grateful to be in a position to pick projects that truly excite and inspire me. I continued to stay in touch with Craig and beginning this year the book went into high gear. This is the first book that I published that was designed by the artist. I love what Craig did. He wove his art from page to page using words and unique background designs to create a truly expressive vision reflecting who he is. I always work closely with the artists when designing a book, but this was extra special in that Craig put so much of himself into the book.

The Art of Craig Elliott red and bra covers and opened gatefold page

The Art of Craig Elliott has four gatefolds that work in an interesting way that I have not quite seen before. It took us some time to figure out the proper sequencing, then making sure the printer could pull it off, so a good pre-communication to map out the book beforehand was imperative. What you will find is the landscape pieces that take advantage of the gatefolds look glorious at the large size, rather than being relegated to being printed small on a single page with a lot of open space at the top and bottom. I told Craig that since he was designing the book, given the time and expense it saves me or Randy designing it, that I would go ahead and put some extra funds into the book production. We have a nice hardbound book at 9 x 12 inches with the four gatefolds and hardbound boards more in the style of a museum book. We selected thick paper that would hold up well, especially when opening the gatefolds. We put a lot of time into the planning, look and feel of this book. It’s all quite exciting. A big part of the books that I publish is that they should reflect the artist. With The Art of Craig Elliott I feel we achieved this goal.

The Art of Craig Elliott topless and bra covers and opened gatefold page

I’ve mentioned the three covers in a previous blog. As a quick recap, there will be the topless cover, the bra cover and then the red cover. The bra cover will be the version available to the book trade. The topless and red covers you can get direct from us or Craig. Craig and I just sorted out what we will be doing for the special signed edition. The details will be shared soon and will involve a personal touch done to a few hundred copies of the red cover.

Craig came up with the idea of contacting Iain McCaig to write the introduction, which I am happy about. Iain’s aptitude in the arts and his writing ability is excellent. Big thanks to Iain for his willingness to be a part of the book. I am also grateful to Brom, Mark Schultz and Peter de Seve for their time in writing blurbs.

Now for the fun part which is to share this book with the public. The books are shipping to our warehouse from Hong Kong. I should have them by the third week of December and will immediately start shipping out the pre-orders. The book should start hitting the stores by the end of December.



John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
text © 2011 John Fleskes
The Art of Craig Elliott book details
Order The Art of Craig Elliott
Craig Elliott website

Flesk Book and Print Sale! Runs November 25-30.

Here’s a little special deal for those that read my blog. I thought I would try something new and offer a sale on Flesk books starting on Black Friday. Blog readers can take advantage of this right now.

Order any two books and get a third for free, equal to the value of the lower of the two cover prices. This does not apply to pre-order books and only books currently in stock. For example, order a $39.95 book and a $24.95 book, then you get another $24.95 cover price book for free. Also, you get free shipping! Just enter promotional code “fleskbf” during checkout and make a note in the customer comments specifying the free book you want. Order online here. Sale ends November 30.

Nov. 23 Update: Free shipping only applies to U.S. orders. International orders to pay exact shipping charges. You can email us for an exact quote based on the weight of the books you would like to order. And this offer can’t be combined with other coupon codes.



John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

Flesk Publications Online Store

William Stout, Production Designer of “The Return of the Living Dead” Interview

The Return of the Living Dead production designer, William Stout. Photo by John Fleskes.


Since its release in 1985, The Return of the Living Dead’s cult status among zombie filmgoers and inspiration upon subsequent zombie movies has continued to grow at a sharp rate. 2011 has proven that people can’t get enough of the film. A handful of sold out appearances of the entire cast and crew at horror shows and film events, the success of the book, “The Complete History of The Return of the Living Dead” that was released in early 2011, and with rave reviews for the new documentary, “More Brains! The Definitive Return to the Living Dead Documentary,” have all proven this film is not about to fade into the past anytime soon.

I took the opportunity to contact William Stout, who was the production designer of the film, to ask him some questions about his contributions to the film, and how he feels about the recognition he is receiving for work he did over 25 years ago. Stout opens up in the following interview to give us his insight into the film and even a new never before told story.

Flesk: You were the production designer for The Return of the Living Dead. Can you give me some insight into what a production designer does?

William Stout: The production designer functions as the eyes of the director. He is responsible for everything you see on the screen except for the performances of the actors. As production designer I oversee all of the set designs, creature designs, special effects, props, costumes, set decoration, storyboards, make-up and special make-up effects. I usually have about 1200 people working under my supervision.

Tar-Man production art by William Stout for The Return of the Living Dead. Artwork © Stout.

Flesk: What type of role did you play on the film?

Stout: I directly designed most of the sets, the special effects shots, a lot of the set decoration and all of the zombies. I storyboarded several crucial scenes as well.

I’m a very hands-on production designer. I was under the gurney of the Half Corpse, for example, making her spinal cord flop around and ooze spinal fluid. I was on set every day of the shoot, which was easy when we were shooting interiors. I just had to step out of my office to be on set!

It was my idea to have a butterfly collection come alive at a crucial point in the film. I built it, cutting paper butterflies from butterfly books, then pinning them to a collection board. When it was time to shoot it, I was the guy behind the camera waving a clipboard at them to make their wings appear as if they were fluttering.

I have a cameo in the film as the alcoholic bum the punks step over in the beginning of the movie. I designed my own make-up and wardrobe! I was originally cast by the director to be the shopping cart bum who gets bitten by Trash (Linnea Quigley) but our producer nixed the idea. He figured (quite rightly so, I believe) that I had enough on my plate as production designer. I sculpted Trash’s face for that scene. I rarely sculpt — there are other people who are better and faster than I am — but Dan O’Bannon, the director, insisted.

Flesk: Did you ever expect for The Return of the Living Dead to become a cult favorite and receive the type on ongoing attention that seems to continually grow?

Stout: Not at all! I don’t care who you are in the Film Biz; no one knows if they’ve got a hit or a miss until they have that first screening with a real movie audience — and even then they might not know! It amazes me that The Return of the Living Dead is more popular now than when it was first released and that its popularity shows no signs of letting up. It’s the best movie ever made for a lot of people. That blows my mind, as I think everyone should realize that the 1933 King Kong is the best movie ever!

Flesk: What do you think it is about The Return of the Living Dead when compared to the many other horror and zombie films that have come out that makes this one stand out as such a cult favorite?

Stout: 1) It’s really scary. 2) It’s really funny. Very few films have ever pulled that off. The only other ones that immediately spring to mind are Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, a real favorite of mine, plus that great opening to An American Werewolf in London. Both films play the horror aspects very seriously, which creates a nervous tension that makes the funny stuff even funnier.

Flesk: How rewarding is it for you to have the recent group events with the entire cast of The Return of the Living Dead?

Stout: It’s a total blast! I’ve worked on over forty feature films, yet TROTLD is the only one out of all those films where I have stayed really close to the cast. We’re all such good buds; we love being with each other. To use a show biz cliché, we truly are like family.

Director Dan O’Bannon gave us a tremendous gift when he fought for — and got — two weeks of rehearsal prior to shooting. Since the film hadn’t been totally cast, I stood in for some of the roles during rehearsal. During those two weeks the cast and I all bonded as friends. I think it made the performances much more believable in the movie. These characters really feel like they have a past together.

Flesk: There was a recent book about the making of The Return of the Living Dead and now the new More Brains! documentary. Do you feel they both captured the process well and the stories behind the film?

Stout: Both the book and the DVD are terrific; everyone really did their homework. While not every great story regarding the making of TROTLD was told, between the book and the DVD, most of them were. Making that movie was a wild experience from start to finish, mostly thanks to Dan O’Bannon.

Flesk: When you were hired as the production designer I believe you were the youngest in film history to assume that role. Were you intimidated by the position and responsibility?

Stout: Yes and no.

Yes, because despite having already worked as a designer on several major films (Conan the Barbarian, Raiders of the Lost Ark, First Blood, Conan the Destroyer, Clan of the Cave Bear), I was always working under a top production designer. I paid attention on those films and learned as much as I could. TROTLD, though, was the first movie in which I was the guy who would be completely responsible for what ended up on the screen.

No, because I was young and pretty cocky. I thought I could do anything! I had also spent the two years previous to TROTLD as the production designer on an American Godzilla movie that, unfortunately, never got made. I gained tremendous confidence working on that film. On Godzilla I got to hire the cream of the Movie Biz’s top talent: guys like Rick Baker, Dave Allen, Dave Stevens, Doug Wildey and Stephen Czerkas, for example.

Flesk: How did you approach such a massive undertaking?

Stout: Fortunately, TROTLD’s line producer sensed how green I was. He assigned me Robert Howland as my art director. Robert was such a great, seasoned pro; he saved my designer butt on a number of occasions. I used Robbie again as my art director on Masters of the Universe. I miss him and his great sense of humor enormously. He died from AIDS after Masters.

Flesk: Were you ever concerned that the film would be considered campy due to the comedy infused in the film? Did you feel like you were creating a serious work at the time?

Stout: We took our little film — and its comedy — very seriously. Dan pushed the actors to go a bit broader than I would have but he knew exactly what he was doing. I don’t really consider TROTLD to be “camp” and, actually, I don’t think I’ve ever heard it referred to as being camp. Funny, yes; irreverent, yes; imaginative, yes; outrageous, yes; scary, yes. But camp? No. I think it’s just damn good. It accomplishes what it set out to do.

Flesk: Do you have a memorable story from working on the film that you can share?

Stout: Let me see if I can think of a TROTLD story I’ve never told before…

Because of the nature of the film, it could be pretty creepy on set. We were shooting at the downtown Los Angeles location of the Uneeda Medical Supply warehouse (actually a downtown loft apartment). It was beginning to get dark. While waiting for the lights to be set up, I began poking around our location. Amidst a small pile of rubble, I spotted an anomaly. It looked like there was some blond hair slightly sticking out from the top of a cardboard box. Upon closer inspection, it looked like the beautiful blond hair of a woman. I feared I might have just discovered a decapitated and clumsily discarded severed head. This was downtown L. A., after all, so it was in the distinct realm of possibility.

I sought out the police officer we had employed on set and brought him over to the box. He approached it very cautiously, drawing his weapon. With the barrel of his gun he nudged open the cardboard flaps of the box.

Inside was a very blond, very dead…longhaired cat.

Oh, the things one imagines when making a horror movie!

Flesk: Thanks for your time, Bill!



John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Interview copyright © 2011 John Fleskes and William Stout
William Stout photograph © 2011 John Fleskes
William Stout Tar-Man artwork © William Stout

The Complete History of The Return of the Living Dead book
More Brains! The Definitive Return to the Living Dead documentary
William Stout website
William Stout books at Flesk Publications

More Brains! The Definitive Return of the Living Dead Documentary.


The Complete History of The Return of the Living Dead book cover

William Stout and Craig Elliott Appearing at CTN Animation Expo This Weekend

William Stout and Craig Elliott will be at the CTN Animation Expo in Burbank, California running November 18th to the 20th. Stout will be speaking at the Creature Design panel and will have a table with books, prints and original artwork. Elliott will have a new display of his animation and games design work, as well as books and prints. Sample pages from the upcoming Flesk book release The Art of Craig Elliott will be on hand. He will also be taking a limited number of commissions at the show. Stuart Ng Books will be present with a sampling of Flesk Publications titles for sale.



John Fleskes
Flesk Publications

William Stout at Flesk Publications
William Stout’s Website
Craig Elliott’s Website
The Art of Craig Elliott
CTN Animation Expo
Stuart Ng Books

Strip Festival Breda, The Netherlands 2011. Flesk Publications Pictures and Stories

This write-up on my trip to The Netherlands in early September 2011 is a long time coming. Upon my arrival back home I was backlogged with books that needed to be completed, which required my focus and prevented me from sharing photos and stories earlier. Finally, I have a brief respite and can write about what was possibly one of my best trip / convention combination experiences. Click on all photos for a larger view.

Top row, left to right: Petar Meseldžija, Gary Gianni, Craig Elliott. Bottom row, left to right: William Stout and Mark Schultz.

Mark Schultz, William Stout, Gary Gianni, Craig Elliott and myself all travelled to The Netherlands for a little vacation, to attend my first Flesk event, “An Evening with Flesk Prime” and exhibit at the Strip Festival Breda 2011. Local artist Petar Meseldžija joined us once we arrived.

Mark Thelosen and Mark Schultz.

Before I begin, I would like to extend my most gracious thanks to our sponsors and friends Mark Theloson and De Stripspecialist store owner, Guido de Bue, for being our local contacts. They played a huge role in organizing the trip and making sure we were taken care of while there. Having these two gentlemen tend to our every need for one week, as well as have their responsibilities to the Strip Festival show, is something the entire Flesk group appreciates. One more person I want to point out for his help is Fons von Erp. He is a great guy who we were all grateful for his time.

Petar Meseldžija posing with his “The Bull Fight” painting.

Story time!

I flew in a few days early so I could adjust to the time zone and spend some personal time with my family, Petar Meseldzija and his wife Anita, and see some of The Netherlands before the events began. I’m glad I did this as it allowed me not only the time to adjust (it always takes me a few days), but also to shake off all of the lingering work that I left behind. I was roughly 2-3 days away from finishing the Bruce Timm book. Once I was on the plane I accepted the fact that I was heading towards a fun adventure and had to put my life and work back home on pause.

Upon landing we happened to bump into Craig Elliott at the baggage area. He also opted to arrive early. He wanted to visit some galleries before we met up in Breda on Wednesday. Petar, Mark Thelosen and Guido were there to provide a hearty welcome and transport us to our respective destinations. Petar guided us to his home for a two day stay.

Enjoying the hospitality of Petar and Anita for a few days was a delight. We toured Amsterdam, visited the Artis Royal Zoo, walked the streets, ate great food, enjoyed the Dutch culture and had long talks. Sure, Petar is an artist I have published, but our friendship goes beyond the professional courtesy. I find we have much in common and we can have all sorts of discussions about random topics that roll from one to another. We never seem to get bored or at a loss of words when we are together. He’s both serious and seriously funny.

On Wednesday afternoon I met up with the five artists in Breda in preparation for “An Evening with Flesk Prime” on Thursday night. I’ve documented this in detail in a previous blog post with pictures that you can read here.

Gary Gianni and William Stout viewing Petar Meseldžija’s “The Bull Fight” original painting.

Jumping forward to Friday, it was a day to relax and enjoy the downtown area of Breda. As with my previous trip to Breda in February 2010 with Schultz, I found the locals to be extremely friendly and warm. The overall pace was much slower than I am accustomed to. I tend to work at a fast (I’ve been told) and focused pace. This is just my pace, and I am comfortable with it. I found myself constantly holding myself back and doing my best to slow down to match the local speed limit. It took me a few days, but I started getting used to it. I rather enjoyed it actually. (That didn’t stop me from hitting the gas when I got back home though.) My point here is that if you want to relax and have some kind people to talk to, then I would recommend visiting Breda.

Craig Elliott preparing his prints and original artwork for the show.

Saturday and Sunday were spent at the Strip Festival in Breda. We had a large Flesk Publications stand courtesy of the event, and Mark T. and Guido. Guido did a remarkable job in having the booth completely set up prior to our arrival. We had an area for our entire line of books and a space for each artist, Schultz, Elliott, Gianni, Stout and Meseldzija, to sit. Once they arrived the crowd formed quickly and never diminished throughout the two days. Having all five artists together was quite remarkable.

An interesting aspect is our placement was next to large windows. I have never exhibited at a show with natural light before. It was a welcome pleasure to not depend upon artificial lighting. I found it helped the mood overall.

Petar Meseldzija imitating the expression of his latest giant.

As I mentioned before the local people are exceptionally outgoing and friendly. There is one difference between the U.S. shows when compared to our Breda experience. It seems like many people expected free sketches, whereas in the U.S. people expect to have to pay for them. Also in the U.S. many artists do not sketch. Each artist handled this differently in Breda. They all have plenty of convention experience to know how to handle this expectation. Most fans are excellent and were able to work with the artists to get what they wanted in a reasonable fashion. I did, however, see a few highly aggressive individuals try to get the best possible sketch out of each artist for absolutely nothing. Now, I’ve been to a lot of shows with artists and seen first-hand all the tricks and stunts people play to try and get a freebie, but a few things I saw in Breda were new to me. Rather than point out what happened I would like to share my thoughts on the matter.

William Stout drawing the Crypt Keeper in a copy of the book “Tales From the Crypt: The Official Archives”

An artist is a working professional. Their artwork is not only a passion and something they love to do, but also their income. Just like whatever anybody else does for a living is an income. I don’t think it is fair to ever expect an artist to give you a free drawing. Is it right to ask any professional, for example, a dentist, doctor, lawyer, computer tech, car mechanic, plumber or any other person with a specific skillset for their services for free; Especially if you don’t even know that person? Where does the assumption that an artist owes you a free drawing come from? Let’s use some common sense here. That sketch can be worth a lot of money. I’ve seen people who beg, or use unsavory tactics or get highly aggressive, who may get a sketch then flip the art on Ebay. The artists know this. Here’s a simple rule. Be prepared to pay, and ask and don’t expect.

If you really want to support an artist give them payment for their services. I want to reiterate that the people who I am talking about are very few. The vast majority are understanding and gracious. It’s those few that were the cause for much discussion after the Breda show and they can affect the situation for the whole.

Another aspect of the expectation of free sketching that I feel can hamper an overall fan experience is that when artists are sketching full time it makes a handful of people really happy, but a potentially large group is unable to squeeze in and get a quick signature or say hello for a few minutes, or even be introduced to the work for the first time–especially when considering a sketch can take 15 or minutes to produce. If you are third or fourth in line, that’s a lot of wait time just to get a signature or meet someone. That’s it from me on this topic.

Gary Gianni sketching in his book “Into the Land of Shadows.”

On another subject, due to Guido’s efficiency in setting up the booth and his unwavering energy level and assistance in getting helpers at the Flesk stand, it freed me up to actually relax and do other things at the booth. One thing I managed to do was film each artist while drawing. I have roughly four hours of sketching footage that I will begin posting on the Flesk Publications website once the new video friendly site goes live. I also took a lot of pictures, a few of which can be found on this blog. I also got about an hour long interview with Petar about The Legend of Steel Bashaw and many other subjects. I can’t wait to share it.

Petar Meseldžija drawing a barbarian.

The show ran very smoothly. I was happy to see both Geoff West of The Book Palace and the many exciting projects he is working on, as well as Nick and Arno from Alca in Paris. I was also happy to see many familiar faces from the “An Evening with Flesk Prime” event that was held a few days prior. What a great group of people.

Craig Elliott shows off his latest commission.

On the Saturday night of the show the event organizers invited Stout, Schultz, Gianni, Petar, Elliott, myself and our families that came along to an exclusive private dinner with all of the show guests and their invitees. It was a memorable evening of lively discussion and exceptional food. On behalf of all of us, we were all grateful for the invitation and had a wonderful time. We are all touched by the hospitality and kindness of the organizers and all they did for us over the course of the weekend.

A bonus for me was seeing Paul Renaud again this year. Paul was also at the dinner on Saturday evening and we had the chance to catch up, share our thoughts on the industry and discuss all of our likes and dislikes in an open discussion that stimulated my perception of certain subjects. I always feel like I’ve come away more enlightened after talking to Paul.

Mark Thelson, Petar Meseldžija and John Fleskes at the Flesk Publications stand.

The show ended up being very successful in that we all got to spend an intimate time together in a lovely country. It was like being on a vacation together and no part of the journey felt like work. Usually at shows like Comic-Con in San Diego, we all might spend five days together, but we are so swamped with work, talking to people and running the booth that we don’t get to interact that much. I don’t know how many times Schultz and I have stood side by side for two or three days, then called each other after the show is over just to get a chance to talk. Strip Festival Breda was unique in that we could give the fans and patrons time and we still had time for each other. This was definitely a plus.

On Monday, Schultz, Gianni and I all met up at the Rijks museum to see the Rembrandts, among other masterpieces. Going to a museum with an artist is always an educational experience. They appreciate certain qualities of the art that I am not aware of, or even think about, and communicate them to me in a fascinating way.

Later that evening we all went out to dinner with Petar and Anita before going our separate ways. Afterwards, I spent another few days at Petar’s home. We had long discussions, and I viewed many of his originals, then talked some more. Petar read aloud his first draft of his new illustrated story “The Giants” and showed me many of the drawings he has worked up for it. I had a great time.

Then, before I knew it, I was back home; The trip being a pleasant memorable dream. I jumped right back into wrapping up the Bruce Timm and Craig Elliott books, both of which are being printed right now.



John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Text and photo © 2011 John Fleskes

Strip Festival Breda
Flesk Prime
An Evening With Flesk Prime event

Mark Schultz Interview and Xenozoic Book Review at Comics Bulletin

The Comics Bulletin website has posted both and interview with Mark Schultz by Jason Sacks, and a book review of Xenozoic.

I’m not sure that “Book review” is the appropriate term since Danny Djeljosevic and Jason Sacks do so much more than simply review the book. They use a unique discussion approach of sharing their thoughts about Schultz and his epic story.  Danny and Jason offer a very detailed and clear understanding of the art and story within, as well as share interesting opinions about the collection, all the while bouncing thoughts off of each other. Whether you are familiar with Schultz or new to Xenozoic, this discussion review will grab your attention and be worth your while to read. They obviously invested a lot of time into this review.

Secondly is the Schultz interview by Jason Sacks. Jason met up with Mark and me at my Flesk booth at Comic-Con in San Diego on the Friday afternoon of the show. I sat next to them as the interview was being conducted. I was very impressed with Jason’s knowledge of Schultz and the comic field as a whole. He asked great follow-up questions without skipping a beat. He questions were clear without hesitation. Jason is good at what he does.

Links can be found below.



John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Text © 2011 John Fleskes

Danny Djeljosevic and Jason Sacks book review of Xenozoic at Comics Bulletin
Mark Schultz interview by Jason Sacks at Comics Bulletin
Xenozoic by Mark Schultz

Spectrum 19 Call For Entries Now Open

The Spectrum Fantastic Art website has recently announced that the Spectrum 19 Call For Entries is now open. This year’s poster is by Rebecca Guay, who in my opinion produced an stunning and beautiful work of art.

Spectrum Fantastic Art co-director Arnie Fenner posted a blog about the back story and creative process of this latest poster on the Muddy Colors blog. You will find some variations and thumbnails showing alternate versions.

Interesting enough I was at the Spectrum 17 dinner Arnie mentions when Bill Carman, Rebecca Guay and Iain McCaig all volunteered to do the Spectrum 18, 19 and 20 posters, respectively. I’ve enjoyed seeing how that evening of good conversation has led to the two posters so far, with still a third to come.

The Spectrum 19 jury consists of Scott Gustafson, Peter de Sève, Jeremy Cranford, Jon Schindehette, and Dawn Rivera-Ernster. Visit the links below to learn more about Spectrum and for entry information.



John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Text © 2011 John Fleskes

Muddy Colors blog with back story by Arnie Fenner
Spectrum 19 Call For Entries details
Spectrum Fantastic Art website

Petar Meseldžija at Illuxcon 4 This Weekend

Petar Meseldžija will be at Illuxcon 4 running from November 3-6, 2011. Petar will have original paintings and drawings on display and for sale, as well as copies of The Legend of Steel Bashaw and Flesk Prime. Petar is a good friend and phenomenal artist. He is a delight to converse with. If you are fortunate enough to make the show you’ll definitely want to make a point to meet him.



John Fleskes
Flesk Publicaitons
Text © 2011 John Fleskes. Artwork © 2011 Petar Meseldžija

Illuxcon website
Petar Meseldžija blog
The Legend of Steel Bashaw
Flesk Prime

Congratulations to Kelly Slater! 2011 ASP World Surfing Champion. Congratulations to Gabriel Medina, Winner of the Rip Curl Pro Search 2011

Today’s blog post diverges away from art and books to focus on my first and foremost passion—surfing.

Kelly Slater 11 Time ASP World Surfing Champion

I spent the day on Wednesday at the Rip Curl Search at Ocean Beach in San Francisco to witness a monumental event in surf history. With beautiful blue skies, perfect weather in the low seventies, no wind to slight off-shore winds, and perfect head high waves, I was present to see Kelly Slater claim his 11th ASP World Title. This is the first time a World Title was handed out in the mainland U.S.. I’m stoked to have had the opportunity to bear witness. A big congratulations goes out to Kelly Slater on his unprecedented amazing achievement.

Owen Wright. Current #2 rated surfer in the world.

I also had a great time taking over 400 photos over the last two days, and am looking forward to more excitement when the contest continues.

Nov. 4, Update: It turns out that due to an ASP oversight in computing the ratings, they were premature in announcing Kelly Slater as the 2011 World Champion. He stills needs to make it through one more heat this year to clinch the title. The only way he would not win the title is to never win another heat this year and for Owen Wright to win the final two ASP World Tour events, then for the pair of them to have a tie-breaker heat to decide. This is very unlikely and the chances are high we will see the “real” awards ceremony in San Francisco again in the coming days. I’m all for it. I had a blast the first time around. A second ceremony will be all the sweeter. There’s nothing like a little drama to spice things up.

Kelly Slater officially wins his 11th world title

Nov. 6, Update: Kelly Slater officially won the World Title on Sunday! Congratulations again!

Gabriel Medina wins the Rip Curl Search 2011

Nov. 7, Update: Congratulations to Gabriel Medina for winning the 2011 Rip Curl Search event in San Francisco!

Gabriel Medina, winner, and Joel Parkinson, runner-up, to Rip Curl Search 2011
Rip Curl Search 2011 trophy
Taylor Knox, the fittest 40 year old on the planet




John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Text and photo © 2011 John Fleskes