Spectrum 25 Award Nominations

The jury for Spectrum 25: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art has nominated the top five artworks in eight categories for consideration for either a silver and gold award.

Judges Terry Dodson, Tyler Jacobson, Tran Nguyen, Karla Ortiz and Chuck Pyle debated the merits of hundreds of pieces of art before finalizing this list on Saturday, February 24, 2018 at the Flesk Publications offices in Santa Cruz, California.

Established in 1993 by Cathy and Arnie Fenner, the first Spectrum annual appeared in 1994 from Underwood Books; for a quarter of a century it has attracted participants from around the world and has set the standards for excellence in fantasy and science fiction art. John Fleskes became the Director and Publisher of Spectrum in 2014 with volume 21.

The recipients will be announced at the Spectrum 25 Awards Ceremony that will be held at the historic Brookledge Theater in Los Angeles, CA on Saturday, May 5, 2018. The 2018 Spectrum Grand Master Award honoree will also be announced during the ceremony.

The nominated works, along with the complete selections of the jury, will be featured in Spectrum 25: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art published by Flesk Publications and distributed to the trade internationally by Publishers Group West.

All of the award finalists can be viewed via this link.


Laurel Blechman
ComicBase 2018

The Night Mare

Victo Ngai
Mixc World Launch

Greg Ruth

Yuko Shimizu
SK2 cosmetics packaging and POP project


Tommy Arnold
Red Rising

Victo Ngai
Serving Fish

Wesley Burt
A Girl & Her Friends

Gregory Manchess
Above the Timberline, page 118–Heading Home

Petar Meseldzija
The Old Man and the Forest


Alex Alice
Castle in the Stars, Book 2, pages 60-61

Xaviere Daumarie
Ugly Cinderwench and the Very Angry Ghost, page 3

Gary Gianni
Hellboy: Into the Silent Sea, page 11

Erik Gist

Paolo Rivera
Shirtless Bear Fighter #4, variant cover


Wesley Burt
Transformers 5 Canopy

Anthony Francisco
Okoye and Nakia the Dora Milaje

Te Hu
Ganesh Gangis

Nick Keller
Geisha Interior (Ghost in the Shell)

Wangjie Li
Moment of Life


Statue of Peace

Jessica Dalva
I’ll Need Entire Cities to Replace You

Patrick Masson
Life and Death


Forest Rogers
Octopoid Descending


Edward Kinsella
My Whereabouts

Yoann Lossel
The Rise

Victo Ngai

Tim O’brien
Nothing to See Here

Yuko Shimizu
Unconventional Way


Piotr Jab?o?ski
Moaning Wall

Seb McKinnon

Victo Ngai
Three Color Trilogy: Blue

Chris Rahn
Vraska, Relic Seeker

Tianhua X
Dinosaur Hunter


Scott Bakal
Dim Stars: Firing Back

Andrew Hem

Howard Lyon
Ella Standing Between the Earth and Sky

Michael MacRae
Tip of the Spear

Iain McCaig
Star Wars Triptych

[Thanks to Arnold Fenner for the story.]

Pixel Scroll 1/5/18 A Scroll By Any Other Name Would Pixelate Just As Adequately

(1) SETTING A VISION. Author Fonda Lee explains her approach to storytelling in a thread that begins here —

(2) LIBRARY OF CONGRESS HIGHLIGHTS WOMEN ILLUSTRATORS. The Washington Post’s Michael Cavna, in “Undersung women illustrators get their due at Library of Congress exhibition”, reports on a Library of Congress exhibition featuring such significant women cartoonists as Dale Messick, Lynn Johnston, and Lynda Barry.

It is possible, in this era of increasing recognition of women artists, to gaze at the recent prize-laced success of Alison Bechdel and Roz Chast and Raina Telgemeier and Lynda Barry, to name just a few, and consider that the field of illustration is becoming more level along gender lines. But then you consider that only two women have ever won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning, or that The Washington Post runs only two comic strips created by women — and none by a woman of color — and you remember how much further the cause of women artists getting fair representation has yet to travel.

That is a central thread running through “Drawn to Purpose: American Women Illustrators and Cartoonists,” the rotating exhibit of nearly 70 works now up at the Library of Congress’s Swann Gallery from its Prints and Photographs Division.

“This show has been years in the making,” says its curator, Martha H. Kennedy, noting that her vision for “Drawn to Purpose” long preceded 2017’s shifting zeitgeist amid the #Resist and #MeToo movements.

Here’s a link to the Library of Congress webpage about the exhibit.

Features the rich collections of the Library of Congress and brings to light remarkable but little-known contributions made by North American women to the art forms of illustration and cartooning. Spanning the late 1800s to the present, the exhibition highlights the gradual broadening in both the private and public spheres of women’s roles and interests, and demonstrates that women once constrained by social conditions and convention, have gained immense new opportunities for self-expression and discovery.

The exhibit, which opened in November, continues through October 20.

(3) PAPERBACK SHOW. Here’s an updated poster for the 2018 Vintage Paperback Show with the names of participating writers and artists.

(4) BY THE NUMBERS. Here’s an ambitious project – Ross Johnson gives us “Every Episode of Black Mirror, Ranked” at the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog.

  1. “Shut Up and Dance”

Hackers take over a teen’s computer and threaten to expose his solo sexual activities to the world if he doesn’t commit a series of increasingly intense tasks. Commentary on the “for the LULZ” troll culture aside, its an episode that falls victim to the show’s worst impulses: much as in season two’s “White Bear,” the big twist undermines the whole thing, attempting to convince us maybe the kid had it coming all along—after we’ve been lead to care about him. The performances are spot on, and the story’s engaging enough for a time, but the vague moral (“people who are bad deserve absurdly elaborate punishments, or do they?”) is just lazy. This is Black Mirror at its most mean-spirited. (Season 3, Episode 3)

(5) TV SF. Here is “io9’s Ultimate Guide to 2018’s Scifi, Fantasy, and Superhero TV”. For example —


Series premiere: January 21 at 8:00 pm, Starz

The always-great J.K. Simmons stars in this scifi thriller about a pencil-pusher who realizes the government agency he’s working for has long been concealing the existence of a parallel dimension. Things get really odd when his double (a badass secret agent) pops up in his world and enlists him to help catch a killer who’s also slipped in from the other side.

Daniel Dern sent the link with these notes —

  • I’d given up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D ~2 seasons back, but the current one has been worth watching IMHO
  • Legion’s (the Marvel mutant, not DC’s L of Super Heroes (1)) first season was incredible. Halfway through that season, I thought they were going to go yukky-horror, but happily that’s not where they went. Yes, it’s a Marvel mutant, but no, this isn’t a mutant or superhero show per se, more like Number Six’s Last Year In Marienbad.

(6) ANTIQUE COOLTH. Gotta love this. (If you’re a geezer.) “I was there when it was cool”.

(7) NO SPECTRUM FANTASTIC ART LIVE IN 2018. John Fleskes, Cathy Fenner, Arnie Fenner announced on Facebook that they will not be holding a convention in 2018, however, there will be a Spectrum Awards ceremony.

We have (understandably) been receiving a number of messages and emails inquiring about the 2018 dates for Spectrum Fantastic Art Live. While we have worked diligently since the close of the 2017 show last April to come up with something workable this year, we, unfortunately, were unsuccessful. Kansas City is an increasingly difficult venue to find acceptable show dates; we’ve felt lucky to have been able to squeeze in when we could in the past (realizing, of course, that any dates we used put SFAL in conflict with other conventions artists like to attend). With a new downtown convention hotel in the works and a new airport approved by voters, dates in Kansas City will continue to get harder to come by in the future rather than easier as more—and bigger—shows move into the area. The dates, spaces, and hotel prices that were available to us this year simply didn’t work for the vision we have for SFAL.

Reluctantly we’re announcing that there is no Spectrum Fantastic Art Live convention planned for 2018.

However, there IS a Spectrum 25 Awards ceremony in the planning stages for May 2018: we are working with Baby Tattoo’s esteemed showman Bob Self on something pretty wonderful. We’ll be making an announcement once details are finalized in the coming weeks.

But what about another SFAL? Well, we’re working on that, too.

This hiatus is allowing us to rethink the model for an artist convention/fair. While we’re extremely grateful to the 2000+ supporters who turned out for SFAL in Kansas City, we recognize that we were falling short of the event’s potential. Being unable to break through that attendance ceiling has prevented us from achieving the goals we have for the show and community….

Certainly, the social and networking opportunities of any convention or gathering are extremely important—but so are the finances for all. SFAL was never set up as a profit-generator for us, but it has to pay for itself and to provide a reasonable return for exhibitors. Spending time together is always an emotional plus, naturally, but artists paying for their own “party” while an organizer pockets their cash isn’t—and will never be—our purpose. Growing the market and giving the Fantastic Art community the public recognition it deserves are what SFAL, like the Spectrum annual, have always been about.

(8) UP ALL NIGHT. From The Guardian, “Buy a cat, stay up late, don’t drink: top 10 writers’ tips on writing”.

…stay up late as HP Lovecraft did: “At night, when the objective world has slunk back into its cavern and left dreamers to their own, there come inspirations and capabilities impossible at any less magical and quiet hour. No one knows whether or not he is a writer unless he has tried writing at night.”

(9) STEUER OBIT. Jon Paul Steuer (March 27, 1984 – January 1, 2018), known as the first actor to play Worf’s son Alexander Rozhenko in Star Trek: The Next Generation, is dead at 33.


  • January 5, 1950The Flying Saucer opened theatrically.


  • Born January 5, 1914 Superman actor George Reeves.

(12) BLACK PANTHER. Capitalizing on the new film, Marvel will release Black Panther – Star Here, a FREE sampler, on January 31.

Featuring excerpts from Marvel’s current Black Panther ongoing series, as well as World of Wakanda, Black Panther and the Crew, and portions from Reginald Hudlin and John Romita Jr.’s Black Panther run, BLACK PANTHER – START HERE serves to introduce brand new readers to the character’s expansive 50-year Marvel history, while long-time fans will be able to relive some of T’Challa’s most epic adventures.

(13) ADVANCE NOTICE. The New York Historical Society will host “Harry Potter: A History of Magic” from October 5, 2018 through January 27, 2019:

Journey to where magic and myth began! Join us in October 2018 for “Harry Potter: A History of Magic”, a British Library exhibition. New-York Historical Members can reserve tickets starting February 14 at 12 pm. Tickets go on sale to the general public in April.

Capturing the traditions of folklore and magic at the heart of the Harry Potter stories, Harry Potter: A History of Magic unveils rare books, manuscripts, and magical objects from the collections of the British Library, New-York Historical Society, U.S. Harry Potter-publisher Scholastic, and other special collections. Visitors can explore the subjects studied at Hogwarts and see original drafts and drawings by J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter illustrators Mary GrandPré and Jim Kay. Harry Potter: A History of Magic is currently on view at the British Library in London through February 28, 2018.

September 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the U.S. publication of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, following the 20th anniversary celebrations of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the U.K. in 2017.

(14) RELIC OF MIDDLE-EARTH. The New York Times, in “The Hero Is a Hobbit”, has unearthed W.H. Auden’s review of The Fellowship of the Ring from 1954.

Seventeen years ago there appeared, without any fanfare, a book called “The Hobbit” which, in my opinion, is one of the best children’s stories of this century. In “The Fellowship of the Ring,” which is the first volume of a trilogy, J. R. R. Tolkien continues the imaginative history of the imaginary world to which he introduced us in his earlier book but in a manner suited to adults, to those, that is, between the ages of 12 and 70. For anyone who likes the genre to which it belongs, the Heroic Quest, I cannot imagine a more wonderful Christmas present. All Quests are concerned with some numinous Object, the Waters of Life, the Grail, buried treasure etc.; normally this is a good Object which it is the Hero’s task to find or to rescue from the Enemy, but the Ring of Mr. Tolkien’s story was made by the Enemy and is so dangerous that even the good cannot use it without being corrupted….

(15) TIME PASSAGES. In the past Jim Butcher has rarely spoken out about fan controversies (no matter how hard people tried to get him involved), but after reading Larry Correia’s fresh condemnation of the Worldcon banning Jon Del Arroz he made these comments:

Don’t agree with Larry about everything, but when it comes to WorldCon and the Hugos, I think he’s got a point or two which are, based upon my experiences with WorldCon, difficult to refute.

The choices made by various folks involved with WorldCon have, over time, convinced me that there’s quite a few more less-than-nice people there than at other conventions. As I get older, my remaining time gets increasingly valuable. If I went to WorldCon, that’s a weekend I could have spent with some of the many wonderful people in my life, or with excellent and nerdy readers who don’t much care about politics and just want to do fun nerd things. Or I could have spent that time writing.

There’s probably a lot of perfectly wonderful people helping with WorldCon, and there’s certainly a lot of nice people attending. But it’s sort of hard to see them through the crowd of ugly-spirited jerks, and the nice people of WorldCon? They are completely inaudible over the noise the jerks are making.

So for the kind people at WorldCon, I hope you catch me at another con or signing sometime, and thank you so much to those of you who buy my work.

To the jerks, may you meet no one who displeases you, and I hope that your con goes exactly the way you want it to go.

(16) WHEN WAS THE FUTURE INVENTED? Can’t find a record of linking to this when it came out – Adam Roberts’ essay “Till Tomorrow” in The New Atlantis.

So this future, the one Gleick is talking about, is a quite recent technological invention. There is a peculiar irony here: Gleick, who scolds Shakespeare for being stuck in the present, is so attached to our present ideas that when he encounters past views of the future he denies that they count as “the future” at all. If the difference were not framed so absolutely, Gleick would surely be on to something — nobody could gainsay the observation that, at the very least, stories about the future are very common today whereas a few centuries ago they were not. In the hands of a less breathless writer, this might have led to a more fruitful discussion about how our “temporal sentience,” as he puts it, differs from our ancestors’.

But the larger claim is dotty. Can you really imagine any population of human beings living their lives wholly incurious about what next week, or next year, might bring, or thinking that it won’t be different? Think through the practicalities: How could anybody have planned anything, stored grain for the winter, calculated the interest on loans, or mustered armies, if the future truly were indistinguishable from the present?

And this brings us to hunter-gatherers and farmers. It is certainly possible to imagine our hunter-gatherer ancestors living in some bestial, continuous present of consciousness, their experience of time pricked out with moments of intensity — the chase, the kill, the satisfaction of a full stomach — but indifferent to the distant future.

But it is quite impossible to imagine farmers prospering in such a frame of mind. Once we humans began to depend on planted crops and domesticated animals, our new mode of life absolutely required us to think ahead: to anticipate setbacks and think through solutions, to plan, to map out the future world — indeed, many potential future worlds.

Time travel as mental exercise must have begun at least that early. And that makes this focus on recent modernity look a little parochial. We are not so special. Indeed, thinking in this way of the future’s origins might make us rethink some of the metaphors we use to articulate our sense of time. Gleick is good on the limitations of these figures of speech — for example, time, as he shows, is not really “like a river.” Farmers, the original time travelers, are likewise prone to think of rivers not first as modes of transport but means of irrigation. Might time be the same for us — not a vehicle for taking us somewhere, as a horse is to a hunter, but a resource to make fertile what we have and hold dear?

(17) MORE ON SWATTING. According to Vice, “Fatal swatting results in felony charges for gamer but not cop who pulled trigger”.

Barriss has been charged in Kansas, though he’s being held without bail in Los Angeles. He’ll likely be out in Kansas to face trial by early February, according to the Wichita Eagle, and could wind up spending up to 34 months in prison.

The police officer who allegedly pulled the trigger has not been charged, though Finch’s mother is calling for charges against the officer.

“Justice for the Finch family constitutes criminal charges against the shooting officer and any other liable officers as well as damages against the city of Wichita for the policies and practices of its Police Department,” attorney Andrew Stroth, who is representing the family, told the Associated Press in a phone interview.

The Wichita police department claims that Finch was shot after he came to the door and moved his hand toward his waistline. Police Chief Gordon Ramsay called the incident a “terrible tragedy,” according to TIME.

(18) SOUND FAMILIAR? Curvature with Lyndsy Fonseca and Linda Hamilton, is a time travel drama about an engineer who travels back in time to stop herself from committing a murder.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Carl Slaughter, Andrew Porter, K.M. Alexander, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, and Woody Bernardi for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Peer.]

Spectrum 24 Awards

Spectrum Awards by J. Anthony Kosar

The Spectrum 24 Awards were presented at a ceremony in the historic Folly Theater in Kansas City on April 22 during Spectrum Fantastic Art Live.

Gold and Silver Awards recipients were selected by a jury consisting of Christian Alzmann (Senior Art Director ILM), Laurie Lee Brom (gallery painter), Mark Newman (sculptor), Victo Ngai (illustrator), and John Picacio (illustrator) in eight categories. Also presented were the Spectrum Rising Star Award (for an emerging talent) determined by Kristine and Colin Poole and the Spectrum Grand Master Award (for lifetime achievement) selected by the Spectrum Advisory Board.

The awards this year were newly designed, sculpted, and cast by artist, SFX creator, past Spectrum juror, and Face-Off competition-winner J. Anthony Kosar.

The award-winning works and the other art selected by the jury will be included in Spectrum 24: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art edited by John Fleskes and published in November by Flesk Publications.


Alexandra Pisano

Alexandra Pisano – Rising Star Award


Silver Award: Greg Ruth “Daredevil”

Gold Award: Bayard Wu “Hunting”

Bayard Wu – “Hunting”


Silver Award: Edward Kinsella III “Danneee”

Gold Award: Brom “Lamia”

Brom – “Lamia”


Silver Award: Dave McKean “Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul Nash”

Gold Award: Jeremy Wilson “Chimera Brigade #5”

Jeremy Wilson – “Chimera Brigade #5”


Silver Award: Iain McCaig “Minion 5”

Gold Award: Sean Murray “Court of the Dead: Voxxingard”

Sean Murray – “Court of the Desd: Voxxingard”


Silver Award: Akihito “Nephila”

Gold Award: Jesse Thompson “Dress-Up Frog Legs”

Jesse Thompson – “Dress-Up Frog Legs”


Silver Award: Galen Dara “Seven Salt Tears”

Gold Award: Tim O’Brien “Beyonce ‘Lemonade'”

Tim O’Brien – “Beyonce: ‘Lemonade'”


Silver Award: Ed Binkley “William Finds Some Flowers and a Giant”

Gold Award: Bill Carman “Ms. Hatter and a Smile”

Bill Carman – “Ms. Hatter and a Smile”


Silver Award: Jeffrey Alan Love “Orange Skies”

Gold Award: Karla Ortiz “The Death I Bring”

Karla Ortiz – “The Death I Bring”


Bill Sienkiewicz

Grand Master Award – Bill Sienkiewicz

For more information about Spectrum please go to: http://www.spectrumfantasticart.com


Spectrum 24 Award Nominations

The Spectrum 24: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art finalists have been announced.

A jury of Christian Alzmann, Laurie Lee Brom, Mark Newman, Victo Ngai and John Picacio nominated the top five artworks in eight categories for consideration for either a silver and gold award.

Spectrum: The Best In Contemporary Fantastic Art was founded in 1993 by Cathy Fenner and Arnie Fenner. Creators from around the globe participate in the competition each year. In 2014, John Fleskes became director of the competition and editor of the Spectrum annual, and Flesk Publications the publisher of the book.

The recipients will be announced at the Spectrum 24 Awards Ceremony that will be held at the historic Folly Theater in Kansas City, MO on Saturday, April 22 as part of the art-focused convention, Spectrum Fantastic Art Live. The 2017 Spectrum Grand Master Award honoree will also be announced during the ceremony.


Kellan Jett

Kellan Jett
Hell (detail)

Edward Kinsella III

Edward Kinsella III
Carnival of Souls

Bill Mayer

Bill Mayer

Greg Ruth

Greg Ruth

Bayard Wu

Bayard Wu


Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson
Red Tide

Tommy Arnold

Tommy Arnold
On the Wheel



Edward Kinsella III

Edward Kinsella III

Goni Montes

Goni Montes


Arthur Adams

Arthur Adams
Guardians of the Galaxy #19 (cover)

Nic Klein

Nic Klein
Drifter #13, pages 8 and 9

Dave McKean

Dave McKean
Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul Nash

David Palumbo

David Palumbo
Swallowed Whole

Jeremy Wilson

Jeremy Wilson
Chimera Brigade #5


Te Hu

Te Hu
Secret of Seda

Tyler Jacobson

Tyler Jacobson
Hill Giant Queen

Ronan Le Fur

Ronan Le Fur
Fortress Africa

Iain McCaig

Iain McCaig
Minion 5

Sean Murray

Sean Murray
Court of the Dead: Voxxingard




Amilcar Fong

Amilcar Fong
Oglavaeil The Executioner

Virginie Ropars

Virginie Ropars

Dug Stanat

Dug Stanat
The Corruption of Father O’Malley

Jesse Thompson

Jesse Thompson
Dress-Up Frog Legs


Clint Cearley

Clint Cearley
Broken Concentration

Galen Dara

Galen Dara
Seven Salt Tears

Tran Nguyen

Tran Nguyen
La Beaute Sans Vertu

Tim O’Brien

Tim O’Brien
Beyonce “Lemonade”

Armando Veve

Armando Veve
War Music


Ed Binkley

Ed Binkley
William Finds Some Flowers and a Giant

Wesley Burt

Wesley Burt
Accursed Witch

Bill Carman

Bill Carman
Ms. Hatter and a Smile

Travis Louie

Travis Louie
Mojo Jojo Circa 1897

Stephan Martiniere

Stephan Martiniere
Tie Fighter Down


J.A.W. Cooper

J.A.W. Cooper

Diego Fernandez

Diego Fernandez

Jeffrey Alan Love

Jeffrey Alan Love
Orange Skies

Karla Ortiz

Karla Ortiz
The Death I Bring

Greg Ruth

Greg Ruth

[Thanks to Arnold Fenner for the story.]

Pixel Scroll 1/9/17 Old King Cole Had A Merry Old Scroll


(1) SPECTRUM 24 CALL FOR ENTRIES. John Fleskes, Spectrum Director, has issued an invitation for professional and student artists, art directors, publishers and artists’ representatives to submit entries to the 24th Annual Spectrum International Competition for Fantastic Art.

All artworks in all media embracing the themes of science fiction, fantasy, horror and the surreal are eligible for this show. Fantastic art can be subtle or obvious, traditional or off-the-wall, painted, sculpted, done digitally or photographed: There is no unacceptable way to create art, and there are no set rules that say one piece qualifies while another does not. Imagination and skill are what matters. Work chosen by the jury will be printed in full color in the Spectrum annual, the peer-selected “best of the year” collection for the fantastic arts.

Entries will be accepted until January 25. Click here to submit.

The Spectrum 24 jury is a five member panel of exceptional artists working in the industry today, Christian Alzmann, Laurie Lee Brom, Mark Newman, John Picacio and Victo Ngai.

Spectrum represents such a rich visual history and standard of excellence for what we collectively dream in the fantastic art field,” states John Picacio. “I’ve always been grateful any time my work was selected for inclusion in the annual, and it’s a profound honor and responsibility to give back to the book this year as a juror.”

(2) GOLDEN GLOBES. Although there were a lot of Golden Globe nominees of genre interest in the December announcement, all lost except one:

Best Motion Picture – Animated

  • Zootopia

(3) ERIC FLINT HEALTH. Flint did not get the best possible news from his medical tests:

I’ll have more to report by the end of the month, when all the tests and biopsy results finally come in. But here’s what definite:

I do have a form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, although they still don’t know exactly what type. (That’s what’s taking so long for the biopsy to be finished.) Once they know what kind it is, they’ll start me on a chemotherapy program.

Sadly, my hopes in the hospital that since the surgery had gone so well maybe the cancer was completely gone turned out to be childish delusions. (Which I suspected myself, but…) Lymphoma is what they call a systemic cancer, which means that surgery by itself can’t do anything but arrest the malignancy for a while and provide the material needed for a thorough biopsy. But to really fight lymphoma, you need chemotherapy.

The good news is that lymphoma generally responds well to chemo, and it’s not uncommon for people to be cured of the disease altogether. We’ll see what happens in my case, but even in the worst case scenario it looks as if I’ll have quite a few years to fend the cancer off.

However, he says frankly that after chemo he may live for years to come —

if you look at it the right way. I’ll be 70 in a month. I don’t have to fight off lymphona indefinitely. I just have to fight it off long enough for something else to bump me off.

(4) EYES WIDE WHAT? Myke Cole’s next tweet will explain how his stories are like radio except with no sound.

(5) HOMAGE. The late Gordon Archer did a lot of commercial art for Weetabix cereal involving Doctor Who, Star Trek, Asterix and other pop culture subjects which his son now has on display on a website[Corrected, because Archer is still with us, as his son states in a comment below.]


(6) HITLER UNBEARABLE. “A A Milne letter features in Imperial War Museum’s anti-war show”, from The Guardian.

Winnie the Pooh creator’s letter reflects moral dilemma of pacifists faced with rise of Hitler in interwar period

…The Milne letter has been retrieved from its vast collection of documents and reflects the conflict felt by many pacifists who had experienced the horrors of the first world war and earnestly hoped “never again”.

“It encapsulates the moral dilemma that a lot of pacifists had in the interwar period,” said curator Matt Brosnan. “Milne opposed war but increasingly saw Hitler and the Nazis as an evil that had to be met by force.”

In his letter, Milne declared himself a “practical pacifist”, writing: “I believe that war is a lesser evil than Hitlerism, I believe that Hitlerism must be killed before war can be killed.”

(7) KOWAL INTERVIEW IN LOCUS. An excerpt of Locus’ interview with Mary Robinette Kowal has been posted at Locus Online.

The moment I knew I was setting something during the First World War, I knew that darkness was going to be part of it, and that I would have to work really hard to keep the darkness from completely overwhelming Ghost Talkers. When you do any reading at all about the First World War, it becomes very clear why it made such a huge, permanent mark on Europe – and the US less so, because we were not directly touched by it. It wasn’t even the death tolls, because in England a lot of men actually came home, but everyone came home wounded in some way, either physically or emotionally. I read interview after interview of survivors saying, ‘I went over the top of the trench, and everyone in my platoon died. I don’t know why I lived.’ I knew going in that dealing with someone who deals with ghosts as her job, during WWI, would mean a darker book than people are used to from me. On the other hand, the last book in the Glamourist series, I jokingly refer to as ‘Regency Grimdark.’

(8) DIVERSITY DOESN’T JUST HAPPEN. Nalo Hopkinson’s advice “To Anthology Editors”.

But here’s where those voices have a point: if you wait till after you’ve put out your call for submissions to run around trying to fill in diversity slots for your anthology — you know, the “one of each so long as there aren’t too many of them” approach — you will more likely than not end up with a dog’s breakfast of a volume in which it’s clear that you selected writers for their optics, not their writing. That’s tokenism, not sound editorial practice. The time to be trying to make your anthology a diverse one is before submissions come in, not during or after.

On the other hand, if you just put your call for fiction out there and cross your fingers, you’ll end up with mostly the usual suspects. It’s not enough to simply open the door. Why? Because after centuries of exclusion and telling us we’re not good enough, an unlocked door is doing jack shit to let us know that anything’s changed. Most of us will continue to duck around it and keep moving, thank you very much. We’ll go where we know there are more people like us, or where there are editors who get what we’re doing.

So make up your mind that you’re going to have to do a bit of work, some outreach. It’s fun work, and the results are rewarding….

(9) RARA AVIS. Definitely not on my bucket list.

(10) CHRISTENSEN OBIT. Artist Jim Christensen died January 8 of cancer. He was 74.

Christensen saw himself not as the “fantasy artist” label given him, but rather as an artist who paints the fantastic.

“I paint things that are not real,” he told the Deseret News in 2008. “But fantasy often ventures into the dark and scary stuff. I made a decision long ago that I would not go to dark places. There’s a lot of negativity in the world. I try not to be part of it.”

His honors and awards include being named a Utah Art Treasure as well as one of Utah’s Top 100 Artists by the Springville Museum of Art and receiving the Governor’s Award for Art from the Utah Arts Council. He had won all the professional art honors given by the World Science Fiction Convention as well as multiple Chesley Awards from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Christensen had served as president of the National Academy of Fantastic Art, and he co-chaired the Mormon Arts Foundation with his wife, Carole.


Dave Doering paid tribute: “I loved this man. For various years he was our Artist GoH at LTUE but also quite well known in all fantasy art circles.”


  • January 9, 1493 — On this date, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, sailing near the Dominican Republic, sees three “mermaids”–in reality manatees–and describes them as “not half as beautiful as they are painted.”

(12) WORLDBUILDERS. At Tor.com, David Weber discusses five authors who he says are “great world-builders.” All five of the authors are women: Anne McCaffrey, Katherine Kurtz, Mercedes Lackey, Barbara Hambly, and Patricia McKillip:

“[McKillip] is, without a doubt, one of my two or three all-time favorite authors. When I first read The Riddle-Master of Hed in 1978, I immediately went out and found Heir of Sea and Fire and then waited impatiently for Harpist in the Wind. In many ways, the Riddle-Master’s world is less fully articulated than Pern or Gwynedd, but I think that’s because so much of the detail is cooking quietly away in the background behind the land rulers. There’s a sense of an entire consistent, coherent foundation and history/backstory behind all of it, but the struggles of Morgon, Raerdale, and Deth take front stage with an intensity that reaches out and grabs the reader by the shirt collar and shakes him or her to the bone. Patricia’s prose is absolutely gorgeous and evocative and her stories fully satisfy the deep love for the language my parents taught me as a very young reader. I literally don’t think it’s possible to over-recommend this series … and the rest of her stuff is pretty darn good, too.”

(13) ST. ELSEWHERE. But did it work? “This Brazilian Grandma Has Been Accidentally Praying to a ‘Lord of the Rings’ Statuette”  —

Saint Anthony of Padua’s the patron saint of Brazil, Portugal, pregnant women, and the elderly. He wears brown robes, and he usually holds baby Jesus and lilies. And – as one Brazilian woman discovered – a miniature figure of Santo Antônio also vaguely looks like Elrond, the elf lord of Rivendell from Lord of the Rings. Brazilian makeup artist Gabriela Brandao made the hilarious discovery last week and posted about it on Facebook for all to see. Brandao explained that her daughter’s great-grandmother prayed to the Elrond figurine daily, erroneously believing it was Santo Antônio.

(14) IMAGINARY HUGO RECOMMENDATIONS. There is no such work, except in your mind:

Well, and Chuck’s mind.

(15) BRIANNA WU’S CAMPAIGN. She’s already gaining media attention in Boston.

Brianna Wu was at the center of “Gamer-Gate” and received some horrific threats over social media. But instead of keeping a low profile, she tells Jim why she’s now planning on running for Congress.


[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Steven H Silver, Andrew Porter, Rob Thornton, Arnie Fenner, and Dave Doering for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kip Williams.]

Spectrum 23 Signing in SoCal 12/3

spectrum-23-hb-jacket-fleskThere will be a signing for Spectrum 23 at Gallery Nucleus in the Los Angeles area (Alhambra) on Saturday, December 3 from 7-10 p.m. Over 20 artists will be in attendance to autograph copies. Admission is free and there will be free refreshments.

Featured Artists

  • J.A.W. Cooper
  • Alina Chau
  • Craig Elliott
  • Tooba Rezaei
  • William Stout
  • Joseph Sanabria
  • Erik Ly
  • Brian Haberlin
  • Geirrod Van Dyke
  • Chuck Grieb
  • Waiji Choo
  • Julia Blattman
  • Tuna Bora
  • Chris Ayers
  • Bruce Mitchell
  • Vin Teng
  • Richard and Wendy Pini
  • Shane Stover
  • Brynn Metheny
  • Victor Maury
  • Esben Rasmussen


[Thanks to Arnie Fenner for the story.]

Spectrum 23: The Best In Contemporary Fantastic Art Award Recipients

The Spectrum 23 Awards were presented May 7 at a gala celebration at the historic Society of Illustrators carriage house in New York City. Several hundred artists, patrons, and fans attended the ceremony, which also included an introduction by Spectrum Director John Fleskes and a memorial video commemorating creators that had passed away in the last year.

The awards were sculpted by Kristine Poole with appropriately gold or silver patinas by Colin Poole to illustrate the symbol of the artist’s Muse. The statues are 15″ tall and cast in bronze with either silver or gold accents. The Pooles also designed, sculpted, and presented the second Spectrum Rising Star Award to a young artist fresh in their career.

This year’s blue ribbon jury for Spectrum 23 consisted of Dave Palumbo, Cynthia Sheppard, Kirk Thatcher, Charlie Wen, and Terryl Whitlatch and determined Silver and Gold recipients in eight categories. The Spectrum Advisory Board also selected the 2016 Grand Master Honoree.



Nico Delort, The Blessing of Athena

Gold Award

  • Nico Delort, “The Blessing of Athena”

Silver Award

  • Joseph Qiu, “24 Hour Movie Marathon”

Other nominees:

  • Bartosz Kosowski, “Discworld”
  • Colin Poole, “Vishnu’s Third Avatar”
  • Andrew Thompson, “Glitch”



Rovina Cai, “Tom, Thom”

Gold Award

  • Rovina Cai, “Tom, Thom”

Silver Award

  • Karla Ortiz, “Sorcerer of the Wildeeps”

Other nominees:

  • Chris Ayers, “Munchasaurus Rex”
  • Annie Stegg Gerard, “Renard and the Strawberries”
  • Donato Giancola, “Vesuvius”



Daren Bader, Tribes of Kai

Gold Award

  • Daren Bader, “Tribes of Kai, page 41”

Silver Award

  • Nic Klein, “Drifter”

Other nominees:

  • Gael Bertrand, “Island #4 cover”
  • Tyler Crook, “Harrow County #1 cover”
  • Paolo Rivera, “Hellboy 1953”



Vance Kovacs, King Louie’s Court

Gold Award

  • Vance Kovacs, “King Louie’s Court”

Silver Award

  • Te Hu, “Journey to West”

Other nominees:

  • Mirko Failoni, “The Mushroom Forest”
  • Seth Rutledge, “Window View”
  • Bayard Wu, “Dragon Island”



Forest Rogers, The Morrigan

Gold Award

  • Forest Rogers, “The Morrigan”

Silver Award

  • Thomas Kuebler, “Adelpha and Her Sister”

Other nominees:

  • Akihito, “Death Wings”
  • Patrick Masson, “The Blind Death”
  • Dug Stanat, “Meeting Master Jones”



Tran Nguyen, Traveling To a Distant Day

Gold Award

  • Tran Nguyen, “Traveling To a Distant Day”

Silver Award

  • Chris Seaman, “Family Portraithausen: A Tribute to Ray Harryhausen”

Other nominees:

  • Donato Giancola, “Empathy”
  • Greg Ruth, “Finnegan’s Field”
  • Sam Weber, “The Language of Knives”



Tyler Jacobson, Exalted Angel

Gold Award

  • Tyler Jacobson, “Exalted Angel”

Silver Award

  • Julie Bell, “Behind the Veil”

Other nominees:

  • Wesley Burt, “Natural Connection”
  • Bill Carman, “Medieval Batman”
  • Te Hu, “Offering”



Rob Rey, Bioluminescence

Gold Award

  • Rob Rey, “Bioluminescence”

Silver Award

  • Wayne Haag, “Dust Devil”

Other nominees:

  • Dragan Bibin, “Pull”
  • Jaemin Kim, “King Under the Mountain”
  • Greg Opalinski, “Initiate”


  • Victor Maury

Other nominees:

  • J.A.W. Cooper
  • Yoann Lossel


  • Mike Mignola

Spectrum 23 Award Nominations

The Spectrum 23: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art Award finalists have been announced.

Five finalists for a Silver or a Gold award in each of the eight categories were selected by a jury of David Palumbo, Cynthia Sheppard, Kirk Thatcher, Charlie Wen and Terryl Whitlatch.

Spectrum: The Best In Contemporary Fantastic Art was founded in 1993 by Cathy Fenner and Arnie Fenner. Creators from around the globe participate in the competition each year. In 2014, John Fleskes became director of the competition and editor of the annual, and Flesk Publications the publisher of the book.

The winners will be announced during the Spectrum 23 Awards Ceremony that will be held at the Society of Illustrators in New York City on Saturday, May 7. The 2016 Spectrum Grand Master Award honoree will also be announced during the ceremony.


Nico-Delort-BlessingOfAthena-A-Spectrum23-nominationNico Delort
The Blessing of Athena

Bartosz-Kosowski-Discworld-A-Spectrum23-nominationBartosz Kosowski

Colin-Poole-Vishnus-third-Avatar-A-Spectrum23-nominationColin Poole
Vishnu’s Third Avatar

Andrew-Thompson-Glitch-A-Spectrum23-nominationAndrew Thompson

Joseph-Qiu-24HRmoviemarathon-A-Spectrum23-nominationJoseph Qiu
24 Hour Movie Marathon




Chris_Ayers-Munchasaurus_Rex-B-Spectrum23-nominationChris Ayers
Munchasaurus Rex

RovinaCai_TomThom-Spectrum23-nominationRovina Cai
Tom, Thom

Donato-Giancola-Vesurius-B-Spectrum23-NominationDonato Giancola

karla-ortiz-sorcererofthewildeeps-B-Spectrum23-nominationKarla Ortiz
Sorcerer of the Wildeeps

Annie_Stegg-Gerard-RenardAndTheStrawberries-B-Spectrum23-nominationAnnie Stegg Gerard
Renard and the Strawberries




Daren-Bader-Tribes-of-Kai-pg41-C-Spectrum23-nominationDaren Bader
Tribes of Kai, page 41

Gael_Bertrand_cover_Island_Magazine-C-Spectrum23-nominationGael Bertrand
Island #4 cover

Tyler-Crook-HarrowCounty1Cover-C-Spectrum23-nominationTyler Crook
Harrow County #1 cover

Nic-Klein-DRIFTER-7-C-Spectrum23-nominationNic Klein

Paolo-Rivera-Hellboy1953-C-Spectrum23-nominationPaolo Rivera
Hellboy 1953




Mirko-Failoni-The-Mushroom-Forest-CA-Spectrum23-nominationMirko Failoni
The Mushroom Forest

Te-Hu-Journey_to_west-CA-Spectrum23-nominationTe Hu
Journey to West

Vance-Kovacs-King-Luies-court-CA-Spectrum23-nominationVance Kovacs
King Louie’s Court

Seth-Rutledge-Window-View-CA-Spectrum23-nominationSeth Rutledge
Window View

Dejian-Wu-leewiartDragon Island-CA-Spectrum23-nominationDejian Wu
Dragon Island




Death Wings

Thomas-Kuebler-Adelpha-and-Her-Sister-D-Spectrum23-nominationThomas Kuebler
Adelpha and Her Sister

Patrick-MASSON-Blind_Death-D-Spectrum23-nominationPatrick Masson
The Blind Death

forest-rogers-morrigan-D-Spectrum23-nominationForest Rogers
The Morrigan

Dug-Stanat-MeetingMasterJones-1-D-Spectrum23-nominationDug Stanat
Meeting Master Jones




Donato-Giancola-Empathy-E--Spectrum23-nominationDonato Giancola

Tran_Nguyen_TravelingToaDistantDay-E-Spectrum23-nominationTran Nguyen
Traveling To a Distant Day

greg-ruth-Finnegans-Field-E-Spectrum23-nominationGreg Ruth
Finnegan’s Field

ChrisSeaman_FamilyPortraithausen-E-Spectrum23-nominationChris Seaman
Family Portraithausen: A Tribute to Ray Harryhausen

sam-weber-the_language_of_knives-E-Spectrum23-nominationSam Weber
The Language of Knives




Julie-Bell-Behind-The-Veil-I-Spectrum23-nominationJulie Bell
Behind the Veil

Wesley-Burt-NaturalConnection-I-Spectrum23-nominationWesley Burt
Natural Connection

bill-carman-medievalbatman-I-Spectrum23-nominationBill Carman
Medieval Batman

Te-Hu-offering-I-Spectrum23-nominationTe Hu

Tyler-Jacobson-Exalted-Angel-I-Spectrum23-nominationTyler Jacobson
Exalted Angel




Dragan-Bibin-Pull-U-Spectrum23-nominationDragan Bibin

Jaemin-Kim-king-under-the-mountain-U-Spectrum23-nominationJaemin Kim
King Under the Mountain

Greg-Opalinski-Initiate-U-Spectrum23-nominationGreg Opalinski

Rob-Rey-Bioluminescence-U-Spectrum23-nominationRob Rey

Wayne-Haag-Dust_Devil-U-Spectrum23-nominationWayne Haag
Dust Devil

Artwork © 2016 its respective artists. All Rights reserved.

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live Moves to San Francisco

SFAL 2016 logo COMPSpectrum Fantastic Art Live, the artist-focused convention that has been held for the last four years in Kansas City, will be moving to San Francisco in 2016 Spectrum Director John Fleskes announced yesterday. In partnership with the Academy of Art University, the convention will continue growing the public’s awareness of fantasy-themed art while bringing creators from around the world to exhibit and sell their works to collectors and fans in a welcoming atmosphere. The event will be held at the academy’s Jerrold building facility on October 28-30, 2016.

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live (SFAL) is an extension of the Spectrum annual, the award-winning book devoted to the year’s best fantastic art.

Beyond the art exhibition, workshops, panels and demonstrations, the long-term plan is for SFAL to expand to serve also as a trade show and job fair. “Whether it’s for film and television, publishing, comics, gaming, advertising or the theater, Spectrum has always been the home for the best and brightest creators of every type of fantastic art,” notes Cathy Fenner. “The show, like the Spectrum annual, makes it easier for art directors to connect directly with both new and established talent. Similarly, gallery owners and patrons are able to meet and form relationships with artists they might not otherwise know about. ‘More eyes equals more opportunities’ has always been our mantra, and the move to California will help that continue.”

John Fleskes, publisher of Flesk Publications and director of Spectrum, assumed the responsibilities of director and editor in 2013 following the retirement of founders Cathy and Arnie Fenner. He has been meeting with Academy of Art University representatives since 2014 in preparation for the move.

Founded in 1929 in San Francisco, the Academy of Art University is one of the country’s most innovative and creative institutions for higher learning. With nearly 18,000 students, it is the largest privately owned art and design school in the United States.

Cathy and Arnie Fenner have provided additional background in a public Facebook post.

The announcement has been made and we know that there are some that are disappointed that SFAL is moving to San Francisco in 2016 and others who are concerned about the switch to October for the show’s dates.

We don’t talk too much about all the behind-the-scenes stuff in organizing SFAL, but there were a lot of challenges and this year’s show was particularly difficult. It’s really a matter of available dates and venues and it has become increasingly hard in KC to get exhibit space at the same time a theater is available and there are enough hotel rooms for exhibitors and attendees. This year we were forced to change our exhibit space and our dates, which put us opposite the city’s long-running ConQuesT in the same hotel; they were gracious and we worked well together, but we felt like we were intruding on their territory, so to speak. Spring has always been surprisingly crowded for events downtown—we’ve never been able to rent the Music Hall, for example, for the awards ceremony because it’s booked solid with recitals and graduations in May—and with the pending construction of the Hyatt and the completion of the street cars, more and more conventions have been squeezing our dates. The addition of the KCComicon to the city in August along with the annual anime and horror cons—not to mention the World SF Convention in 2016—have made for a crowded genre landscape.

When we learned just before SFAL4 that the organizer of the local Planet Comicon had decided on the sly to move his 2016 show dates from March and secured our traditional dates for the convention center in May, the decision was sort of made for us. Competing for essentially much of the same audience in the same narrow time frame doesn’t make any sense: moving to March in THEIR original spot wasn’t an option for us because of a lack of hotel rooms (the Big 12 Basketball Tournement happens at that time; it didn’t affect the comicon because they draw very few overnight attendees whereas SFAL accounts for over 1000 hotel room nights). Moving to Fall in KC would have brought higher rental prices for a theater and fewer date options (the convention center is a busy place). Because of Planet Comicon’s tactic, the negative financial impact on the city, downtown hotels, restaurants, and businesses will be significant, but…that’s the way things are.

In light of the challenges we faced while organizing the 2015 show, John Fleskes had been exploring the possibility of moving SFAL to California and partnering with the Academy of Art University. Possible dates were explored throughout the lengthy discussions and though we realize that the October slot will conflict with other conventions, big and small, we also ultimately realize that there are conflicts with something somewhere virtually every week of the year. Spring wasn’t an option and October was the only time that worked with the University’s extremely busy schedule—so October it is.

We want to express our deepest gratitude to our KC committee who selflessly pulled together to make the first four SFALs possible: Carl V. Anderson, Amanda Banion, Arlo Burnett, James Fallone, Bunny Muchmore, Lazarus Potter, Jeff Smith, and Shena Wolf are eight big reasons why SFAL was such a positive experience for so many. We’d also like to thank our friends at Liberty Exhibition Services, the staffs at the Midland, Folly, and Alamo Theaters, our liaisons at the Marriott and The Aladdin Holiday Inn Hotel, and particularly John English and his instructors for their tireless support of the show and the hours spent instructing and encouraging young artists during the event. And, of course, we’d like to thank each of you who either exhibited at or attended the Kansas City shows.


Spectrum_Fantastic_Art_Live_Academy_of_Art_University COMP