Publication Dates: June 1983 – February 1988
Number of Issues Published: 56 (#1 – #56)
Dimensions: Standard Modern Age U.S.
Paper Stock: Glossy cover; Newsprint interior (#1-33); Baxter Interior (#34-56)
Publishing Format: was ongoing series
Publication Type: magazine
Primarily a direct sales comic; copies did appear on Chicago newsstands.
Information thanks to the Grand Comics Database
Jon Sable Freelance is an American comic book series, one of the first series created for the fledgling publisher First Comics in 1983. It was written and drawn by Mike Grell and was a fully creator-owned title. Beginning in November 2007, it was published as an online comic series by ComicMix.
At a convention in the late 1980s, Grell stated that his idea for Sable was heavily influenced by Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels as well as drawing on pulp fiction crime stories saying “something like a cross between James Bond and Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer.” Also, many of the stories of Sable’s hunting exploits in Africa were influenced by Peter Hathaway Capstick’s novels.
Jonathan Sable was a bounty hunter and mercenary who previously had been an athlete in the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. After witnessing the terrorist outrages at those games, he married a fellow athlete and they relocated to Rhodesia, where Sable became an organizer of safaris for tourists, and later a game warden. It was during this time his family was murdered by poachers. After avenging his slain family, Sable returned to the USA and became a freelance mercenary.
He also has a double identity as a successful children’s book writer under the name of “B.B. Flemm.” Unlike many such characters, his literary agent is aware of his other identity’s activities, but is most persuasive in enforcing his writing contract obligations as well.