-By Arnie Fenner

Above: John Fleskes (center) with the Spectrum 24 jury. Left to right: Mark Newman,
Victo Ngai, Laurie Lee Brom, JF, John Picacio, and Christian Alzmann.

February 25 the jury convened at the Flesk Publications offices in Santa Cruz, CA to vote on entries to Spectrum 24 and to nominate—and ultimately select—Gold and Silver Awards recipients in eight categories.

Veteran readers of Muddy Colors probably remember my essay about awards and competition in the arts (yep, I approve), but new readers can check it out here. As I’ve said at different times and places, I honestly don’t believe awards are “won”; I believe they’re earned. It’s an accomplishment to receive an award, of course, but it’s also an accomplishment to be nominated, an accomplishment to have work selected for inclusion in the annual, and it’s an accomplishment to simply inspire a juror to stop, look closely, think, and seriously consider an artwork, regardless of the final outcome.

It’s a tough world out there (speaking the obvious) and it can be extremely difficult to break through the 24/7 natter and chatter to call attention to exciting creators and their art: recognition of exemplary work is recognition of our field as a whole. Setting standards of excellence each year helps grow the appreciation of the fantastic arts and its community—which ultimately benefits all.

So without further ado: the finalists!


Kellan Jett
“Hell” (detail)
Edward Kinsella III
“Carnival of Souls”

Bill Mayer

Greg Ruth

Bayard Wu


Richard Anderson
“Red Tide”

Tommy Arnold
“On the Wheel”

* Note: Juror Laurie Lee Brom recused herself from voting in this category.

Edward Kinsella III

Goni Montes


Arthur Adams
“Guardians of the Galaxy #19 (cover)”

Nic Klein
“Drifter #13, pages 8 and 9”

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

David Palumbo
“Swallowed Whole”

Jeremy Wilson
Chimera Brigade #5″


Te Hu
“Secret of Seda”

Tyler Jacobson
“Hill Giant Queen”

Ronan Le Fur
“Fortress Africa”

Iain McCaig
“Minion 5”

Sean Murray
“Court of the Dead: Voxxingard”



Amilcar Fong
“Oglavaeil The Executioner”

Virginie Ropars

Dug Stanat
“The Corruption of Father O’Malley”

Jesse Thompson
“Dress-Up Frog Legs”


Clint Cearley
“Broken Concentration”

Galen Dara
“Seven Salt Tears”

Tran Nguyen
“La Beaute Sans Vertu”

Tim O’Brien
Beyonce “Lemonade”

Armando Veve
“War Music”


Ed Binkley
“William Finds Some Flowers and a Giant”

Wesley Burt
“Accursed Witch”

Bill Carman
“Ms. Hatter and a Smile”

Travis Louie
“Mojo Jojo Circa 1897”

Stephan Martiniere
“Tie Fighter Down”


J.A.W. Cooper

Diego Fernandez

Jeffrey Alan Love
“Orange Skies”

Karla Ortiz
“The Death I Bring”

Greg Ruth

The honorees will be announced at the historic Folly Theater in Kansas City, MO on April 22 during Spectrum Fantastic Art Live. The Spectrum Rising Star Award and the Spectrum Grand Master Award will also be presented during the ceremony. Muddy Colors stalwarts Dan dos Santos, Donato Giancola, and Lauren Panepinto—along with 100s of fellow creatives—will be present to cheer the nominees on. Congratulations and good luck to one and all!