New “Naughty and Nice: The Good Girl Art of Bruce Timm Teaser” for Summer 2012 from Flesk

Back and front cover to the Bruce Timm 2012 Teaser

For those that didn’t get enough of Bruce Timm’s art with the 2011 Naughty and Nice Teaser, and the big Naughty and Nice: The Good Girl Art of Bruce Timm, we have a new 2012 Teaser coming this summer. We will premiere this 5.5 x 8.5 inch, 16-page saddle-stitched paperback collection featuring twenty all-new pieces by Timm at the Comic-Con International in San Diego. There, you can find it at our Flesk booth and direct from Bruce Timm at his spot at the Naked Fat Rave booth. The price will be $15.00.

This new 2012 Teaser will be signed by Timm. It will be limited to 1000 numbered copies. We’ll have some copies for sale direct from our website at the cover price immediately following the show.

This year will feature a double cover. What do you do when you have two terrific options for a cover? You run them both, one on the front and the other on the back.



John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Text © 2012 John Fleskes. Art © 2012 Bruce Timm. All Rights Reserved.

Naughty and Nice: The Good Girl Art of Bruce Timm book from Flesk

New Jim Silke Sketch and Concept Art Book Series. First Volume Coming Fall 2012 From Flesk

I recently began work on a new Jim Silke art book that will focus on his sketches, preliminary and concept works. Last summer, while flipping through one of Jim’s portfolios and seeing some of his pencil drawings, I asked Jim if he would be interested in having this type of book made. He let me know he would. I had quite a bit of projects on my plate at the time that prevented me from immediately following-up. We agreed to talk more in the future once I had wrapped up the trio of books requiring my focus.

When I saw Jim at WonderCon in May he asked if I still wanted to do the book. I sure do! With the Bruce Timm, Craig Elliott and Warren Chang books all done I am free to get going on Jim’s new sketchbook. The plan is for this to be an ongoing series, much in the same way as the Mark Schultz: Various Drawings title that comes out every year or two.

I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to publish Jim’s Jungle Girls book. The entire process was a pleasure. The chance to work with Jim, and learn from him, is like having a one-on-one instructional course with a legendary art director and artist. I have a tremendous amount of respect for what he has accomplished with his career and who he is as a person. My hope is with this new book that I can further showcase what makes Jim such an exceptional creative individual.

The drawings that will be in this collection, besides being a testament to his artistic skills, will also serve like a journal of sorts as his process is shown for all of his projects since his becoming a “hot” new artist in the early nineties with the release of his Rascals in Paradise comic series. While Jim has always drawn, it wasn’t until his late-fifties that he entered the comic field followed by his series of art books from Dark Horse. We should all be so lucky to have a retirement such as his.

The book title is still up in the air. I’m not the type to create a template and stick to it. Most often I let the artwork dictate where the book should go. We decided on a 64-page book at 9 x 12 inches. There are plenty of sketches and pencil preliminaries for finished comic-pages and personal works, and more. I roughly designed the first two volumes last week. I found it just as easy to do both at the same time as it would have been to do one of them only. This also allowed me to pace the two volumes appropriately. The next step is for Jim to review my layout, then based on his notes I will tighten it up from there.

I’ll share more information, including a release date, once I have sorted out all the details. I prefer to take my time and not to feel rushed. I want this book to be special and pay tribute to this important artist and fine gentleman.



John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
text copyright 2012 John Fleskes. Artwork copyright 2012 Jim Silke. All rights reserved.

Jungle Girls by Jim Silke from Flesk
Jim Silke official website

“Warren Chang: Narrative Paintings” Reception at the Pacific Grove Arts Center with Pictures

Friday, April 13 was the opening of Warren Chang’s ten-year retrospective “Narrative Paintings” at the Pacific Grove Arts Center. I met with Warren just over an hour before the opening reception that ran from 7:00-9:00pm. He was upbeat and basically himself. He expressed to me his happiness that the selection of his original works on display includes all of his major paintings. In addition, the hanging and presentation of them are professionally done and meet Warren’s approval. This combination all led to Warren being calm all throughout the evening.

As I was entered the gallery housing the forty-six original works, I further understood Warren’s relaxed demeanor. A large crowd was present in the rectangular shaped oversized room. A small island wall was present with two paintings on each side. A row of forty-two paintings wrapped around the four walls. As a bonus, Warren provided the occasional commentary–all of which read best when you view the paintings in order starting with the first painting as you enter.

As I continued within the gallery I felt as if I stepped into Warren’s real life environment in which his paintings depict. I could sense the richness of the vegetable fields and sweat of the migrant workers he portrays. I had to look behind me to make sure I wasn’t tracking mud through the gallery. I didn’t see his paintings, I entered them. From his studio works, to his portraits and self-portraits, and the occasional landscape, Warren gives us a sincere expression that is a joy to experience.

The Annand Gallery. Paintings by Namgui Chang.

In the adjacent Annand Gallery, the first exhibit of Warren’s father, Namgui Chang, is running during the same time period. Paintings spanning five decades are present for your viewing edification. They are a beautiful array of landscapes of his Korean birthplace and of the natural wonders surrounding his Monterey home. I enjoyed how different these two artists view their subjects through paint. They cannot be compared, nor should they. Each artist has his own voice.

I encourage you to make a trip to Pacific Grove to view this exhibit. It’s easy to find, close to Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the viewing is free. It’s the perfect afternoon or day trip from the Bay Area. The exhibit runs until May 24th. They also have copies of our Flesk book, “Warren Chang: Narrative Paintings” available for purchase.

If you can’t make it, I hope you enjoy the pictures and that they serve as a small substitute.

Warren Chang shares some insight behind his paintings with his good friend Mark Roberts.

Namgui and Warren Chang.



John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Text and photographs © 2012 John Fleskes. All rights reserved.
All art © 2012 Warren Chang and N Chang. All rights reserved. Photographed with permission.

“Warren Chang: Narrative Paintings” book
“Warren Chang: Narrative Paintings” exhibit at the Pacific Grove Art Center
Warren Chang interview by John Fleskes

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live! Commemorative Art Book Preview. Now Taking Pre-Orders.

I received my sample copy of the Spectrum Fantastic Art! commemorative art book from the printer. I am exceptionally pleased with how it looks.
We now have this title available for pre-order at our Flesk store. All orders will ship by June 1. It is limited to 2000 copies and is not available on Amazon or to the book trade. I have it listed in Diamond Comic Distributors April 2012 Previews (order code: APR12-1355). The comic shops should get the books by mid-June.

The book will premiere at the “Spectrum Fantastic Art Live!” event in Kansas City, Missouri on May 18-20. For those lucky enough to make the trip, you can pick up the book at our Flesk booth and then get it signed by all five event guests. (I’ll see if I can post the times and locations for the artist signings as we get closer to the show.)

If you are just learning about this special show collection, it is a hardcover art book that features the five special guests: Android Jones, Phil Hale, Mike Mignola, Iain McCaig and Brom.

Here are some more pictures showing the actual book and some spreads. Follow the links at the bottom for full details on the show and this book.


John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
text and photos copyright 2012 John Fleskes. All artwork copyright 2012 their respective artists. All rights reserved.

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live! commemorative art book details
Pre-order the SpectrumFantastic Art Live! book
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live! event details
Learn more about Spectrum Fantastic Art

Warren Chang Exhibit at the Pacific Grove Art Center from April 13th to May 24th. Over Forty-Five Original Paintings on Display!

Warren Chang

Beginning this Friday, the Pacific Grove Art Center located in Pacific Grove, California will host a ten-year retrospective on the fine artist, Warren Chang. There will be forty-six of his original paintings on display. The dates are from April13th to May 24th. All of his best works, hand selected by Warren himself, will be arranged for public viewing.

The opening reception will be on Friday, April 13th from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Warren Chang will be present. This will be a rare opportunity to meet the artist while surrounded by his paintings. (See the links at bottom for directions and the PG Arts Center website.)

In conjunction with Warren’s showing will be a selection of paintings by his father, Namgui Chang, featuring “Scenes of Old Monterey.” This first exhibit of his art will feature 25 of his paintings spanning the last 50 years. Namgui’s exhibit will be held in the Annand Gallery, also within the PG Art Center. Namgui will also be present during Friday’s reception.
There will also be copies available of Warren Chang’s book Warren Chang: Narrative Paintings (Flesk, 2012) throughout the five-week exhibit.

On a personal note, I have viewed some, but not all, of the paintings that will be on display. I am very eager to see forty-six paintings all in one place. I find Warren’s paintings to have a warmth to them. Each subject is rich with his specific palette of colors and honest narrative. I feel Warren’s paintings define what the meaning of being “genuine” in painting is. I am looking forward to marveling at his work. The opportunity to view such an abundance of his original work direct and up close is something not to be taken for granted. Combine this exhibit with the beauty of Pacific Grove, and neighboring Carmel and Monterey, and you have all the ingredients for a wonderful day.

The following is the official text detailing the Warren Chang and Namgui Chang exhibits with information about the artists.

About Warren Chang and the Exhibition:

Warren Chang:Narrative Paintings is the first retrospective of this acclaimed American realist as well as the largest collection of his paintings ever exhibited, many on loan from private collections.

Born and bred in Monterey, California, Warren Chang (b. 1957) graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena in 1981, where he earned a B.F.A. in illustration with honors.  He thrived for two decades as an award-winning illustrator in both California and New York, when he transitioned to a career as a fine artist starting in the year 2000.

Chang has become renowned for his art since his transition to fine art 12 years ago, earning many awards and honors, which include induction as Master Signature member of the prestigious Oil Painters of America, the largest organization of oil painters in the United States.  He is one of only 50 to receive this honor.  His awards also include Best of Show awards in the Salon International in 2003 and the Raymar Contest in 2009.  In addition his work has been profiled in many publications, including the covers of American Artist and International Artists magazines accompanying his articles on instructional painting.  Now based in his Monterey studio, he is an inveterate and popular teacher, currently affiliated with San Francisco’s Academy of Art University.

His work can be categorized into two main categories of biographical interiors and his paintings of fieldworkers. His interest in interiors reach right back to 16th century artist Johannes Vermeer, and include subjects of self-portraits, family, friends and students in the interior environments of his studio, classroom and home.  His intent is to create mood and emotion through his manipulation of light and use of close value relationships and subdued color.

Perhaps best known for his paintings of fieldworkers from the Monterey County area, this subject harkens back to such forerunners as Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Jean-Francois Millet, Winslow Homer, Eastman Johnson and Thomas Hart Benton. Chang’s depiction of unidealized fieldworkers are unsentimental, yet at the same time celebrate the human spirit.  Chang admits being inspired and influenced by the novels of John Steinbeck; books he read in his youth as well as the general ambiance of growing up in Monterey.

Coinciding with this exhibition of his works, is the publication of a 112 page monograph book, Warren Chang: Narrative Paintings on his work published by Flesk Publications, Santa Cruz, California.  This handsome coffee table book covers the majority of this exhibition and more, with essays by art dealer Steve Hauk, New York social realist Max Ginsburg and the president of the Allied Artists of New York, Thomas Valenti.  Chang’s commentary on his own paintings can be found throughout the book.

About Namgui Chang and the exhibition:

Namgui Chang (b. 1925, in Korea) has been a lover of art and music throughout his life, drawing and painting since he was a young man.  Even today, at the age of eighty-seven, his artistic interests have not waned, and he continues to paint using various media and styles more than ever.  He has been a life-long student of history and philosophy, but he has never formally studied art.  He graduated from Seoul University in 1949, and came to America as a graduate student in U.C. Berkeley in 1950.  When the Korean War broke out later that year, he joined the faculty of the Defense Language Institute. After his wife and eldest son arrived in the area, he settled in Pacific Grove where he raised his family including Warren Chang, his youngest of four children, who became a professional artist.  Chang senior continued his post-graduate work as a part-time student in U.C. Berkeley, and received a PhD in Linguistics.  He retired from his job in 1990, at the age of sixty-five, so he could enjoy his true passions of life–reading, painting, listening to music, and strolling in the forest and coast-lines with “Monty” and “Baby blue,” his beloved Scottish terrier companions.

Art, for him, is beyond anything, a timeless universal means of mysterious communication among mankind. The artist reveals his vision from his inside, not from the outside like in ordinary talks. We get the totality of what an artist presents all at once, directly, and exhaustively. It is something inexpressible by ordinary language or concepts. Even poetry and literature, though they use words, cannot be understood if one takes anything literally or discursively.  Art has its own logic, unfolding, developing to its conclusion.

What of artistic geniuses among us?  Art certainly requires extraordinary talents, geniuses.  But in his opinion, geniuses belong to all of us, otherwise, how could we understand their works at all?  When we appreciate and celebrate geniuses among us, we are all artists together.  A genius has an enhanced consciousness with imagination to see the universal in particulars, by wiping off dusts and smudges of given regional and time-bound cultural irrelevances.  Art has no boundaries.

In his view, art may even be part of “the thing-in-itself,” as Kant, Schopen –hauer, and others grappled and struggled to identify the underlying “reality” for the world of sense-perception, the human phenomena.  He believes, with Schopenhauer that the artist and viewers alike must suspend the immediate worldly concerns and expectations driven by “will and desires,” by cleansing of our consciousness, through meeting the tragic condition of human existence or by heightened vision of the beautiful. He wonders, “Could it be that art is a bridge between the empirical world and the world beyond?”


John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Text copyright © 2012 John Fleskes. Artwork, photo and Warren Chang and Namgui Chang press releases copyright © 2012 Warren Chang and Namgui Chang respectively.

Pacific Grove Art Center website
Pacific Grove Art Center directions
Warren Chang: Narrative Paintings book details
Warren Chang Interview by John Fleskes

Flesk Trip to Emerald City Comicon in Seattle, Washington

Last weekend I flew up to Seattle, Washington to attend the Emerald City Comicon. This is the first time I had attended a show in which I was not set up as an exhibitor since 2004. I had heard great things about Emerald City and decided to take a three day weekend and check it out.

It is not uncommon for me to remain so focused on running my booth that I miss a show entirely. This is despite my spending three to five days there. Comic-Con International is a perfect example. I’m lucky to see the row behind me and the row in front of me. This trip allowed me to walk the floor with no pressure, no chain attaching me to a booth and no responsibilities. My initial problem, though, was my not knowing what to do with myself. I have grown accustomed to working shows and sort of forgot what it was like to just have fun at one. Complete freedom? What is that? I found out in Seattle.

It didn’t take long to fall into a groove as familiar faces appeared. Bob Chapman at the Graphitti Designs booth, who is an icon and an inspiration to me, was quick to welcome me inside. If you exhibit at enough shows you will get to know many of the usual suspects. I’ve been helping friends with their booths since the early nineties. I have known many of the comic dealers since before I had any plans to be a publisher. Having this experience and the support of an experienced group helped tremendously when it became time for me to find my own voice.

The show was great. You can see the whole event floor in one day at a leisurely pace. There are tons of quality artists to meet and plenty of rare comic dealers. Bud Plant was there with an excellent selection of art books. The only type of vendor that was missing that would round out everything I like to see at a show is an original art dealer. However, with the artist representation so strong this absence of a dealer was minor.

A consistent expression from the artists was how well the show treats them. Whatever the organizers are doing, the artists like it.

A quick observation I made, stimulated by a comment by someone I know about the isles not being as wide as WonderCon or Comic-Con, is how every booth is a corner. This is welcome as a dealer since you are essentially doubling your table space when compared to a regular aisle booth. The show felt very packed with people. Much of this, I feel, comes from all of the corner booths and narrow aisles. Without any long rows, every twenty feet is an intersection with another aisle. There were constant cross-flows of people wanting to go in four different directions at every turn making for some interesting, yet necessary, navigational techniques. I say all this as an observation and without any criticism. It is what it is.

Bruce Timm was there as a guest. At times there were large “walls” of people waiting in line to meet him—for a very good reason.

I had the opportunity to meet two amazing artists I admire greatly. The first being Kevin Nowlan and the second is Phil Noto. I also enjoyed meeting Michael Cho, Eric Larsen and a host of others I never normally get to see.

I had a terrific time with Terry and Rachel Dodson, along with Aaron Lopresti, during a Saturday evening dinner. One of the main reasons I went to the show was to have some time to go over a few book projects with Terry. We hashed out our plans for some titles which I am anxious to share at the appropriate time. More on these projects will be shared in a few months.

This picture is looking up from across the street from the entrance of the convention center hosting the show. The path under the archway is the indoor entrance to the exhibitor hall.

This picture is standing by the front doors of the exhibit hall about 10 minutes before opening time on Sunday. It was packed with people. I didn’t have my wide angle lens on me, otherwise I could show the full crowd which is far greater in number than this picture conveys.

Here’s Bill Martinez who is a terrific guy. Billy runs Neko Press and is an amazing artist. I was happy to pick up his new book In Your Face.
Bob Self, publisher of Baby Tattoo books. Bob is one of the most creative people I know. His books are of the highest quality and we share a passion for the arts. He is one of the nicest guys out there. I am particularly happy with how this picture came out. Bob is very easy to photograph. He is among the rare person completely comfortable with a camera pointed at him.

I had a fun time at the show. I look forward to going again next year.

Now it is time for a little self-indulgence. There is much to do in downtown Seattle. This was my third trip to this city but, only my first spent at length in downtown. Early Sunday morning I walked down to the Pike Place Market. The skies were clear and the lighting excellent. I was predicting some good conditions to do a bit of photography.

I am not a shopper. I avoid shopping and going to stores unless absolutely necessary. What drew me to Pike Place were not the items I could buy, but instead the subjects I could photograph. I walked in to discover a beautiful array of colors all around me. I was in awe. Here are some of my pictures.
This first one is not impressive. It was of the main sign as I was leaving. I looked for a non-traditional angel to shoot it, although the lighting was no good at that moment. In general I do not like having to alter my photos in Photoshop. I like the challenge of nailing a shot with manual settings. I used a fixed 50mm f1.8 lens that forces me to move around and pay attention to my composition. The only adjustment I made to these photos is a very slight lightening on some of them, otherwise they are fully raw.
This was the only picture I took of the seafood stand that is famous for throwing the fish. I immediately became focused and fascinated on not the stand but the large crowd of people that was standing there in anticipation of seeing the workers toss a fish to one another. The people watching were giddy with excitement as the moment was about to happen. I focused on the people as the fish flew and got exactly the picture I wanted in the first attempt. I wanted the whole background to be in soft focus with the backs of the people sharp. If you look under the letters “CA” in “CAFÉ” and just under the lights you will see the profile of the fish flying through the air.

Here are some more pictures from that day without commentary. The photos speak for itself.


John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Text and photographs © 2012 John Fleskes. All Rights Reserved.

Emerald City Comic-Con
Baby Tattoo Books
Kevin Nowlan
Billy Martinez / Neko Press
Graphitti Designs