Personal blog - and temporary home page until new website is finished - of writer, editor and graphic artist Christopher Mills

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday Cover: Jon Sable, Freelance

Back in the 1980s - the decade wherein I really got serious about comics - my favorite titles were Grimjack and Jon Sable, Freelance, both published by First Comics. What I loved about Sable was that creator Mike Grell really strove to keep the series rooted in reality, with his only concession to the super-hero crowd being the character's "battlemask" - which wasn't really a mask at all, but a kind of warpaint deal.

The stories were Men's Adventure stuff, and there was a bit of gun porn to it (Grell's a firearms aficionado), but Grell also tried to infuse the series with some depth of characterization.

As to the art - well, I'm a Grell fan, and although his figures could sometimes look rather awkward or stiff, I still enjoyed his sense of design and unique style. Unfortunately, somewhere around the twentieth issue, the interior art started getting progressively sketchier and more rushed-looking. I wasn't very happy about it, but I think it speaks to the quality of his writing and the strength of the character that I stuck with the book through its entire 50+ issue run (and it's relaunch with different creators, for as long as that lasted.)


Scott Salsman said...

Never heard of it, but you've got me really interested! Will have to check this out. Thanks!

Christopher Mills said...

IDW reprinted nearly the entire series in trade paperback. Those should still be available.

Joel Rivers said...


I LOVE Grimjack. Tim was ahead of his time and a lot of hard-edged anti-hero comic characters owe their life's blood to him. Scout was also cool. Truman's mix of genres was way ahead of his time, and I think of things like Steven Kings Gunslinger series and I have to think: hmm. Sable had a great Flash Gordon feel, although I never got into it as much.

Jay Faerber said...

I reread my entire Jon Sable: Freelance collection (including the Sable sequel/relaunch) last year. What a great book. That was one of the first non-DC or Marvel (not to mention non-superhero) books that I ever bought, back in the 80s. It's just a fantastic series. Sadly, I'm not so crazy about Grell's recent return to the character.

Craig Zablo said...

Sable and Scout used to be my favorite books. I stuck with both until the very end. When they were on, they were the best stuff regularly published and when they were off, they were still darn good.