“James Bama: Personal Works” — Three New Flesk Publications Titles Coming in November 2012

There are three new Flesk titles coming out in November 2012. The Jim Silke Sketchbook, James Bama: Personal Works and Naughty and Nice: The Good Girl Art of Bruce Timm Big Pocket Edition. I’m doing a three-part blog today to share the details.

James Bama: Personal Works is a 144-page, 9 x 12 inch, hardcover book with jacket. The cover price is $45.00.

Originally this was going to be a 112 page book, and then I bumped it up to 128 pages. During the final week of production it finished at 144 pages. Two things happened that made this book expand by 32 pages.

The first reason was my essay–which was originally planned on being around one or two thousand words–finishing at just over 7600 words. I’m generally not a wordy guy and have never written something of this length before. But what I came to realize is that due to my close friendship with Jim Bama and from how often we talk, that I have heard quite a number of stories from him that I felt needed to be shared. As I talked with Jim more about this book and the paintings included, I discovered there was a good story worth telling. With Jim’s permission to share, I began writing. Over the course of a month of writing and talking to Jim I sent him what I came up with. He clarified a couple of factual details, expanded on another topic, and with a few slight adjustments I had a finished piece approved by Jim. It’s great to have Jim’s involvement to make sure the piece is accurate and truly represents him. I’ve included many quotes direct from Jim and tried to keep the tone in a natural style that retains my voice, is informative, yet tells a good story. Thankfully I had Marty Timins, Jonathan Leveck and Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr. all read it over and give me valuable feedback. I enjoyed the challenge of what I consider to be my first in-depth piece of writing. I learned a lot about writing with this piece, but I still have much to learn.

So, not only will this be the first time that these paintings will be published, but it will have this new essay covering areas of Jim’s life and paintings that have never been shared before.

The second reason for the book being expanded came a little late in the game. I asked Jim if he could send me some of his pictures that he has taken over the years to complement some of my text, his paintings and give a better overall picture of how Jim works and sees people. When I received the photographs I realize how stunning they are in their own right. Jim is an amazing photographer and could easily have gone into that professional had he not become a painter. The new 16 pages feature a gallery of his photographs. And you get these extra 32 pages without the cover price being increased!

The best part of this book is that I am able to publish it on a friend. The book is important to us both and we hope others will enjoy seeing these personal paintings. The only people who have seen them before are those who happened to see them at the gallery where they hung prior to being sold. Almost all are in private collections.

Here’s some details about the book:

A living legend’s most personal and cherished images … revealed for the first time!

An acknowledged master of his craft, James Bama began his legendary career with atmospheric, dynamic and dramatic paperback book covers that fired the imaginations of generations of readers, even as they inspired countless youths to become illustrators themselves. His later body of work, which distilled the spirit of the rapidly disappearing American West by focusing on the rugged individuals who still inhabit those vast and empty plains, has similarly enthralled another generation of fans and artists.

Created entirely for personal pleasure over the course of five decades, these portraits capture the lives of the people Bama encountered during his trips to Tibet, Mexico, Japan, China and elsewhere. Most of these images have never been published and have only been seen by the artist’s immediate circle of family and friends. All are lush, staggeringly beautiful evocations of a moment and place, and they are accompanied by Bama’s commentary and an essay by Flesk publisher, John Fleskes.

I’ll post some previews and have the book available for pre-order on our website very soon.



John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
text and photos copyright © 2012 John Fleskes. All rights reserved. Artwork copyright © 2012 James Bama. All Rights Reserved.