Founded in 2002, Flesk Publications is still a relatively young company with less than twenty releases under its belt. But the astonishing work contained in these books display such an incredible degree of talent and wealth of beautiful artwork that they are, without a doubt, amongst the very top-tier of publishers of illustrative and fantasy art in this country. With a focus on some of the best American illustrators of the past and present, Flesk gives the heavily detailed art found in their collections the beautiful reproductions that the subjects so richly deserve.
From Franklin Booth and James Bama to William Stout and Gary Gianni, these artists are simply the best of the best in their respective fields. This also easily applies to the creator I’d like to spotlight today – five time Harvey and two time Eisner award winner Mark Schultz, in the recent Flesk release Mark Schultz: Various Drawings Volume 4.
Finding inspiration from the great illustrators of the past such as Howard Pyle and Dean Cornwell, as well as the peerless E.C. Comics greats (particularly Wally Wood and Al Williamson) Mark Schultz is perhaps best known for his beloved comic book series Xenozoic Tales (aka Cadillacs and Dinosaurs.) In it, mankind emerges from underground cities centuries after an unspecified worldwide cataclysm to find Earth in the midst of a new pre-historic era, complete with rampaging dinosaurs. Sadly for fans there has not been a new issue in well over ten years, but images of main characters Jack Tenrec and Hannah Dundee (as well as hungry saurians) are numerous in Various Drawings.
Various Drawings highlights Schultz’s meticulous creative process in several before and after examples in which we see how early pencil experiments lead to his masterfully executed finished pieces, many of which employ the dry-brush technique he has grown to favor in recent years.Shultz’s art (and writing) has always displayed a distinctive pulp influence and pieces reflecting this directly are also to be found in Various Drawings.
This is a golden time for lovers of American illustrative and fantasy art. These genres are enjoying not only a newfound (and long overdue) respect in the art world in general, but have also attracted a new generation of fans interested in where the fields are headed and where they’ve been. Those interested in learning more on the subjects will find no better place to start than the books of Flesk Publications, and perhaps no better jumping off point than the Various Drawings collections by Mark Schultz.