Spectrum Fantastic Live Podcast #1 – Arnie Fenner
April 2, 2014

This is the first in what I hope will be a series of podcast interviews with the people behind and the participants in the upcoming Spectrum Fantastic Live 3 convention.   Spectrum Fantastic Live 3 is a new kind of convention unlike what fans of art and pop culture are used to.  It’s a unique show, with a unique vision to give fans and professional a one of a kind to opportunity to interact and learn.


I’m starting the series of interviews with the man who started it all: Arnie Fenner who, along with his wife Cathy, created the Spectrum art publication over 20 years ago.   Spectrum was established in 1993 with the intent of providing creators with a regular showcase for the best fantasy, science fiction, horror, and otherwise uncategorizable artwork created each year.

Arnie is the kind of guy that I could talk to all day.   He’s not just a professional artist in the industry, he’s a huge fan of all aspects of fantasy art and that love and enthusiasm for the topic is infectious!   It would be worth going to the show to just sit at the bar and talk to him!

I don’t feel like I need to do a huge introduction for Arnie, because anything I type here will pale in comparison to the conversation I have with him in this podcast.   So, you should stop reading this now, listen to the interview podcast below, then come back and read all the information about the show.  Then make your plans to attend! There really is something there for everyone!


Spectrum Fantastic Art Live will be held:

May 9-11, 2014
Bartle Hall Grand Ballroom
Kansas City Convention Center
301 W. 13th St. Kansas City, MO 64105

“Spectrum Fantastic Art Live is the Sundance of Illustration.”
—Gregory Manchess


To celebrate fantastic art and its creators and to allow fans a unique opportunity to experience and collect fantastic art. In short, our goal is to honor the artists and put on an awesome fantasy art convention that anyone can enjoy.


Spectrum Fantastic Art Live! is envisioned as a fantasy-focused art fair, in which creators will be able to sell originals and prints and fans will be able to experience the wonder of fantastic art. There will be something for everything – presentations, panels, displays, portfolio reviews and educational opportunities. There will be an awesome party. It’s going to be amazing and you’re going to want to be a part of it!

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live! is a natural extension of the eighteen-year success of the award-winning Spectrum art annual. As an international melting pot of talent, Spectrum: The Best In Contemporary Fantastic Art has come to symbolize the vibrancy, diversity, and overall excellence of the creative community. The popularity of the books has steadily increased over the years, and Spectrum exhibits at the Museum of American Illustration in New York City in 2005 and 2009 shattered attendance records, leaving artists and the public clamoring for more. Spectrum Live Fantastic Art!, in collaboration with Bob Self and Baby Tattoo Books, is an answer to that call.

Special guests include:
Wayne Douglas Barlowe
Tim Bruckner
Frank Cho
Camilla d’Errico
Justin Sweet

For more details go to www.spectrumfantasticartlive.com

While you are there look over the names of the guests and tell me who you would like for me to interview in the next Spectrum Fantastic Live podcast!



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Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website www.ActionFigureInsider.com. Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on MSNBC.com, Time.com, The Wall Street Journal, The Saturday Evening Post, CNN.com, AssociatedPress.com Wired.com, Fark.com, Boing-Boing, Gizmodo.com, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
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