Monday, April 19, 2010

RIP Carl Macek 1951-2010

If you don't know who Carl Macek is, you can check out the wiki on your own. Here, in the meantime, is the official press release.

If you were a kid back in the early eighties and liked "Japanimation" then you have Mr. Macek to thank. If you like Anime at all it would not have been possible without the success of shows like ROBOTECH, no matter what your opinion of the program itself is. Sure, Macross is better, but under the circumstances the man was quite successful in developing a continuity across three distinctly different shows, resulting in a sweeping story the likes of which had not been scene during after school programming since Starblazers.

I got to meet Carl at a ROBOTECH convention in '85. It was one of those Creation Cons, the same people who promoted the traveling Star Trek conventions of that era, so it was a decent sized affair with guests and a killer dealers room. Some time between ogling model kits and anime books I went to see Mr. Macek give a presentation which included footage of the upcoming (not really) ROBOTECH movie. He spoke and took questions, and was generally a busy, but decent enough fellow with the public. If it wasn't for that guy so many people wouldn't get to enjoy their hobby of hording neat knick-knacks based on beloved (and localized) Japanese characters they sit in front of a screen watching for hours without end.

I imagine in real life Macek pulled a dick move or two, which would explain the amount of contempt so much of the fan community has for him. Anyone who's been into J-pop for a few decades is aware of the level of animosity directed towards the man, yet so much of it has always been fan boy posturing. It's okay if you get how the original Macross is a masterpiece of entertainment. It's not okay to bash Macek because he tweaked it enough to create an entirely new market for anime in the western hemisphere. I'm pretty sure he didn't personally screw over so many of twenty-somethings who love to slag him on the internet bulletin boards. I'll never know what this guy did wrong, but I know what he did right.

Lots of fascinating stuff in the press release that I didn't know about the man. The video is great, too. No matter what kind of person he was in private, he was the guy that made an entire, currently desperate, industry possible. Thank you Carl Macek for the thrilling adventures.

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