Joshua Stone writes for Bleeding Cool:
Flesk was one of the most enjoyable panels I attended at the 2012 SDCC, relive it here, so I was really pleased to be able cover it again this year.
The panel consisted of comic greats Mark Schultz – Xenozoic;
William Stout – Legends of Blues;
Terry Dodsen – Red One and Uncanny X-Men;
Brom – The Art of Brom, Krampus;
John Flesk – Flesk's Publisher, Spectrum Fantastic Art Director
The panel started out with Brom discussing his very successful Kickstarter from this past year, which raised over $235,000. Brom thought of the idea of running the Kickstarter campaign for his new book because he thought it would be a good way to promote the book. John, at the time, didn't know what Kickstarter was.
Brom was given the 2013 Grand Master award at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 2.
Brom also was asked if he was going to have a new novel soon. He said he was working on a new one, it was going to have 10-12 full color paintings mixed in with a number of black and white pieces. He also said it would be a dark and sinister story, and that it was about a year and half away.
Terry Dodson was premiering his new sketchbook, Bombshell 7, at this show. He said about 95% of his sketchbooks are from his own sketchbook and work that has never been seen by anyone. He also said he had a creator owned title being released in both Europe and America, called Red One. He said he also had some of issues of X-Men coming up, and was doing the covers to Ghost for Dark Horse.
Mark Schultz then talked about how busy his year has been for him. His Kickstarter campaign, for his new art book Carbon and ended up including as an additional reward a new hardcover of the complete Xenozoic. The campaign was quite successful. As part of the Kickstarter, one of the items being given to backers was a video inking demonstration, which he just finished. Mark would love to see a whole series of these videos from different artists. John said he has a whole archives of these videos from different artists that he has collected over the years. He mentioned Steve Rude and a whole hour of Will Eisner talking.
Besides the Kickstarter, Mark has an IDW Artist's Edition of Xenozoic that is premiering at this convention. Mark said the two projects have created a financial cushion for him with very little work necessary on his part. This cushion, he's hoping, will allow him to focus on getting Storm of Seas completed. I asked him if, with the interest that clearly exists in Xenozoic with the Kickstarter and Artist's edition, if he was going to be doing more Xenozoic. He shared that Sea of Storms actually takes place in the same world as Xenozoic. He hopes that this time next year he will complete Sea of Storms and that when he is done he plans to start working on the new Xenozoic book. He figures it will take 4-5 years to complete and he is still not sure whether it will be a comic or novel with a lot of illustration.
Just to add, after the panel, I collected my Kickstarter books, as I contributed to the campaign, from the Fleskes booth downstairs, and Mark spent some time talking to me. He was so appreciative of me as fan and he took some time to further personalize the books, and was wonderful to talk to.
William Stout then discussed his work in the past year. The real big news was that he and Fleskes would be doing a Kickstarter for his next book which will be focusing on his work in comics over the years. This will be the second of a multivolume series of autobiographic books that covers his work over the years, and is broken up by work type. William is also is also working on a new cover for the rerelease of Alien Worlds, and John shared that he recorded the drawing process and it will be used as a reward as part of a future Kickstarter from William, whether this one or another.
William talked about working for John and Fleskes, and that John was the most hands on publisher he has ever worked for. William said that next year he will be releasing his twentieth 50 Convention Sketches sketchbook.
During the question and answer period, I thanked William for some sketchbooks I had ordered from his site a few months ago and said how wonderful they were. William discussed how excited he was to have done his first poster for Mondo Tees for the original King Kong movie and it premiered at this convention. After the panel William approached me and thanked me for the compliment regarding his sketchbooks and he shared with me that besides the King Kong for Mondo, he will be doing a Nosferatu poster for them next.
John Flesk talked about working on the Kickstarter projects and how much work it takes to manage the fulfillment of the campaigns. He had just finished working on a fulfillment the last several weeks, so SDCC feels like a vacation by comparison. John said Fleskes is going to be working on a second art book with Steve Rude. They're looking to reprint a lot of Nexus and Steve has thankfully saved complete pencils of Nexus stories.
Again a very enjoyable panel, and hopefully I will get the chance to do it again next year.