After successful Kickstarter campaigns to revive Mike Grell’s MAGGIE THE CAT and his collaboration with actor/writer Mark Ryan on THE PILGRIM, Grell’s Masterstroke Studios imprint is giving one of his most popular creations a massive new release: JON SABLE, FREELANCE.
JON SABLE, FREELANCE, the story of a former African hunter in the concrete jungle, was one of the earliest successes among independent comics of the 1980s helped redefine what the medium could achieve.. A top seller, SABLE often saw higher sales and critical praise than Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Avengers, and many other mainstay titles.
Grell left art duties on JON SABLE, FREELANCE with issue #44, but continued to write the title through issue #56 before leaving to do GREEN ARROW: THE LONGBOW HUNTERS for DC in 1987 (the same year SABLE became a short-lived TV show on ABC, co-starring newcomer Rene Russo), continuing to push the boundaries of comics within the major companies thanks to the independent comics’ influence.
It is notable that SABLE has never gotten the Deluxe Hardcover Omnibus treatment it deserves. IDW released a series of trade paperbacks in the early 2000s, and Comicmix published smaller sized paperback omnibus editions in the last decade. Masterstroke is upping the game by going for over-sized editions that will be definitive versions of the legendary series.
Each of the planned five volumes will clock in at around 400 pages each. They will be larger than we’ve ever seen SABLE, measuring approximately 8.5 by 12.25 inches (the same size as the DC Comics Absolute Edition releases) with glossy interior pages, rare materials (including never before seen artwork), all new covers, and dust jackets that will line up to form a complete image when placed in order on a shelf. Each volume will retail for $100.
Masterstroke will release the omnibus editions, first via Kickstarter campaigns, then through wide distribution. Kickstarter backers will get them first, and with a variety of additional perks available only through the campaigns.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. The companion books that will be part of the Kickstarter campaigns will include the original Freelance Writing letters columns, a guide to the characters, guns and gadgets, creator commentary and new art from Grell. More will be announced as the campaign gets underway.
Grell fans have been clamoring for a return of Jon Sable for many years. This omnibus collection will not only immortalize the iconic run of the character, but also pave the way for new Sable stories from Grell.
Look for the JON SABLE, FREELANCE Volume One THREE WEEK Kickstarter to launch in time for Christmas 2020, with an early Spring 2021 release date. All five omnibuses will be released over the two years that follow, culminating in Volume Five being published to celebrate Grell’s 75th birthday in 2022.