It’s customary for many comic book artists and illustrators to publish “sketchbooks”, collections of sketches and drawings of varying degrees of finish, which are frequently more of interest to their dedicated “must have anything” fans than to the more general readership.
And then there’s Mark Schultz.
Flesk Publications, a small artbook publisher who has a record of publishing beautiful volumes of work by terrific illustrators and comics artists, has been publishing collections of his drawings for some time.
It’s worthwhile noting that these collections have been titled “Various Drawings” rather than “sketchbooks”, and very appropriately so; not only are Schultz’s sketches and preliminaries more highly developed than many artists’ finished drawings, his finished drawings are exquisitely finessed.
These volumes include both — Schultz’s beautifully finished brush and ink drawings, and preliminary drawings, usually in pencil, that were done in preparation for the final.
The subject matter follows Schutz’s fondness for adventure fantasy, pulp novels, science fiction and, of course, dinosaurs.
For the uninitiated, Schultz is the creator of the wonderful comics series Xenozoic Tales, a version of which was known for a time as “Cadillacs and Dinosaurs”. I reviewed Flesk’s beautiful collection of the strip last December. The book has since then sold out of its initial press run, but Flesk has just announced that it is again available in a second printing.
Fan’s of Schultz’s comic art, among which I certainly count myself, have long waited for him to return to the series, which is still unfinished. Until he does, there is great delight to be taken in these collections, and they would also be of interest to anyone who enjoys superbly realized action adventure illustration.
I was delighted to receive a review copy of the latest collection, Mark Schultz: Various Drawings Volume 5, which continues to maintain the high level of terrific drawings showcased in the rest of the series.
Some of the drawings are commissions, many referencing existing adventure fantasy characters and stories, including Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, for which the image above, third down and the detail crop below it are of one of several preliminary drawings. The finished brush and ink drawing is presented in the book as a stunning double page fold-out.
All of these collections are an absolute treat. Mark Schultz: Various Drawings #1 and #2 are sold out, volumes #3, 4 and of course this new volume #5, are still available and can be ordered through the Flesk Publications store, along with the Mark Schultz: Blue Book (a collection of his preliminary drawings in non-photo blue pencil), a Xenozoic Tales print and the new printing of the Xenozoic collection.
In addition to the preview images available on the publisher’s pages for the individual titles (which have fortunately been getting a bit larger in more recent presentations), there is a general gallery of Schultz’s work on the Flesk site. Schultz, as far as I can determine, does not have a dedicated website or blog of his own.