Sunday, 8 March 2015

Mack Bolan needs a new home

Mack Bolan #1 by Don Pendleton
On March 6, fellow blogger Evan Lewis reviewed a Mack Bolan action-thriller The Executioner 42: The Iranian Hit by Stephen Mertz on his blog Davy Crockett’s Almanack. There, thanks to a comment by Steve Lewis, I learned that Gold Eagle, publisher of The Executioner series, had decided to close down, leaving Mack Bolan homeless, at least for now.

I completely missed Gold Eagle’s announcement, June 12, 2014, on its website—“Gold Eagle will be closed down in December 2015. All of the series belonging to Gold Eagle have been cancelled. Whether Mack Bolan will find a new home with a different publisher remains to be seen.”

When Gold Eagle says “All of the series belonging to Gold Eagle have been cancelled,” I assume it includes, apart from the 400-plus Mack Bolan novels, spinoffs like Super Bolan, Able Team, Phoenix Force, and Stony Man.

Mack Bolan, universal soldier, is a fictional character originally created by American writer Don Pendleton (1927-1995) who wrote 37 of the novels before selling his rights to Gold Eagle in 1980. The latter went on to publish some 700 novels, more than half of which include Mack Bolan standalone adventures. All of these have been written by a number of ghostwriters like Stephen Mertz, Mike Newton, Thomas Ramirez, and Mel Odom.


Mack Bolan #442 by Mike Newton
I first read Mack Bolan in the mid-eighties, when I was in my teens. I saw this paperback, whose title I don’t remember now, sticking out from under a pile of books at a private circulating library. I took it out and said to myself, “I can draw this picture.” In those days drawing and painting was a serious hobby, influenced by professional artists on my mother’s side. I found the cover attractive and proceeded to replicate it in an A4-size drawing book.

I don’t know what happened to my illustration but I read the novel and was hooked to Mack Bolan—the warrior, the one-man army, the fighting machine. After that, I forgot all about The Executioner until the close of the last decade when I revived my interest in Mack Bolan and the spinoffs. The books are not easily available in India but over the years I have managed to collect some two dozen novels from used bookshops.


Even if Mack Bolan doesn’t find a new home soon, I still have plenty of his books to read and I will continue to be on the hunt for more titles from the Gold Eagle stable.

10 comments:

  1. I haven't read a lot of the Executioner series. I've got a dozen or so around here and have read a few. I've generally enjoyed them. I liked the Destroyer series better.

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    1. Charles, I don't remember the Destroyer series and it's something I'd certainly like to read.

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  2. Amazing how this series has continued for so long. I will be interested to see if there is a new publisher for the series.

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    1. Tracy, I have read less than half of the 400-plus Mack Bolan novels, so I'll have plenty to read even if the series doesn't find a publisher, though I hope it does soon.

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  3. I have WAR AGAINST THE MAFIA to read courtesy of Net Galley. I hope I enjoy it, but I doubt I'll read more in the series - no time and too much other stuff waiting already.

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    1. Col, I read and reviewed WAR AGAINST THE MAFIA sometime back. It's quite unlike the other Mack Bolans that follow. For instance, this novel has romance and sex which I don't recall reading about in the ones that followed

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  4. Wow, could be the end of an era - surely somebody will pick thes eries up, right?

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    1. Sergio, I believe there is a steady market for The Executioner series which means it is still a money-spinner. I'm sure there'll be a new publisher around soon.

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  5. I am always amazed by the whole worlds out there I know nothing about, and now I can add Mack Bolan to the list.... Interesting.

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    1. Moira, you'll find a lot of action in Mack Bolan. I see it as two to three hours of nonstop entertainment where you don't have to think about either the characters or the plot.

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