Announcing the New Spectrum Fantastic Art Advisory Board!

Spectrum-21-Call-for-EntriesI just sent out my first official newsletter as the new Spectrum Fantastic Art director. Here it is in case you are not on the email list. You can sign up to receive future newsletters by email here. — John

A Message from the New Spectrum Fantastic Art Director, John Fleskes

Greetings, all,

I would like to welcome you to the first all-new Spectrum Fantastic Art newsletter. My name is John Flesk . You might have heard the announcement from Cathy & Arnie Fenner regarding the transition of Spectrum Fantastic Art into my hands as the new director, editor and publisher. I would like to share the latest Spectrum news with you, as well as properly introduce myself. And I would also like to formally announce the new Spectrum Advisory Board.

The first item I would like to share with you is that the revamped Spectrum Fantastic Art website is now live! There are many new features, including a video section offering a series of interviews with twenty-four of the participating artists and special guests from Spectrum Fantastic Art Live earlier this year. I invite you to take a look.

In just over a week from now I will be sending out a newsletter announcing the Spectrum 21 jury and the opening of the Call for Entries for the Spectrum 21 submissions. New for this year will be an option to submit your entries online, in addition to the traditional option of mailing hard copies. Details will be coming soon!

You can typically expect one to two Spectrum newsletters a month, depending on how much is going on at the time. If you would prefer to not receive these newsletters, or would like to fine tune what type of announcements you will receive, please follow the link provided to manage your newsletter subscription.

Let me tell you a little about myself. My name is “Fleskes,” but you’ll notice I mostly refer to myself as John “Flesk.” “Flesk” is the nickname by which my close friends call me. You can feel free to do the same. In 2002 I formed my art book company, Flesk Publications, out of a desire to create the kind of books that I wanted to see. These are books of a high quality that serve as an extension of the artist. I have had the good fortune to work with artists with wide-ranging focuses, including comics, fantasy, illustration and fine art. I also enjoy working with those from the film and animation industries. After eleven years, I still have the same passion and fire within me for publishing and working with artists. Now, with Spectrum, I am thrilled to be engaged with a much larger art community as I discover the good things we can do to raise positive awareness for the fantastic arts, to the benefit of both the community and the individual artist.

Arnie and Cathy Fenner have been preparing me for the role of director for the last five years. I’ve been working in the background during much of this time. I have seen the inner-workings of Spectrum and gained an intimate knowledge of what is required to take on this role. Will it be easy? No. Will it be challenging and fun? Absolutely.

With the transition of Spectrum Fantastic Art into my hands, I took the opportunity to assemble a new Spectrum Advisory Board: Please join me in welcoming Brom, Mark Chiarello, James Gurney, Charles Kochman and Iain McCaig to the Board. These five gentlemen are pillars in their respective fields. I am very pleased to have the combined knowledge of these seasoned professionals—whose expertise includes illustration, writing, editing, teaching, art direction, and film concept and visual development—providing advice as we move into Spectrum’s future. Full biographies can be found on the new Spectrum Fantastic Art website.

The work of building a new board is not done: There will be ten Advisory Board members total. I am in the process of selecting the other five who will help steer the direction of Spectrum for the next decade.

The Advisory Board will assist me in a range of roles. This includes answering questions regarding our relevancy within the industry, providing integral information imperative to an ongoing awareness of the current state of affairs in the many fields Spectrum represents, identifying areas of neglect that require attention, and encouraging creative discussion within the group regarding the selection of jury members and potential future categories for submission. Most importantly, they will offer advice on how Spectrum can better help both the community and individual artists. And, as always, the Advisory Board will select candidates and vote upon the Grand Master Award recipient each year.

My thanks to Brom, Mark Chiarello, James Gurney, Charles Kochman and Iain McCaig for already providing me with valuable feedback regarding Spectrum.

I look forward to building upon the high level of quality that has been established by Spectrum’s founders, Cathy & Arnie Fenner, over its first twenty years. It is a humbling experience to become the caretaker of Spectrum and the community it represents. With the assistance of the Spectrum Advisory Board, and the support of the Fenner’s, I feel confident that I have the guidance required to guarantee the success of this wonderful institution well into the future.

To learn more about Spectrum, the Spectrum Advisory Board and the Spectrum Call for Entries, please visit

Best Regards,


John Fleskes
Flesk Publications
Flesk Publications on Facebook
Spectrum Fantastic Art
Spectrum Fantastic Art Live on Facebook
Text copyright © 2013 John Fleskes. All Rights Reserved.
Poster art “Pareidolia” by and © 2013 by Android Jones. All rights reserved.