Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Happy 30th Anniversary McFarland!

Friday, June 19, 2009 is a very special day. That date marks the auspicious 30th birthday of McFarland and Company, Inc, a publisher located here in North Carolina (in Jefferson).

If you enjoy reading reference books about film or television, you certainly know all about McFarland and the company's considerable achievements by now. McFarland regularly produces exhaustive, scholarly books on a variety of cinematic and video ventures, and many of these texts have become reference book standards over the years. Bill Warren's Keep Watching the Skies is one such durable, widely-read classic. As is virtually any book authored by scholars and historians such as Tom Weaver or Vincent Terrace.

Over the years, McFarland has also introduced me to the stellar works of such authors as Eric Greene (Planet of the Apes as American Myth), Paul Kane (The Hellraiser Films and Their Legacy), Joseph Maddrey (Nightmares in Red, White and Blue: The Evolution of the American Horror Film), Paul Meehan (Tech-Noir: The Fusion of Science Fiction and Film Noir), and Alec Worley (Empires of the Imagination: A Critical Survey of Fantasy Cinema from Georges Méliès to The Lord of the Rings) to mention just a few stand-outs. I've become a fan of every one of those authors and I return to their works often.

Reading any of the above-mentioned titles, you can easily detect how careful research, breadth of coverage and intellectual imagination are trademarks of McFarland's extensive catalog.

As hard as it is for me to believe that so much time has passed, I began writing reference books for McFarland way back in 1994, some fifteen years ago. Back then, the company took a gamble on an unknown, twenty-four year-old author writing a monograph about a mostly-forgotten sci-fi TV series, Space:1999. Since that time, I've written approximately a dozen books for the publisher (with three award-winners in the mix...) and McFarland has been a major positive force and influence in my life. From my wedding in 1995 to the purchase of my first home in 1999, to the birth of my child in 2006, McFarland has been there.

So as June 19th, 2009 approaches, I raise my champagne glass to toast McFarland and thirty years of great books. If you want to read more about the company's illustrious history, check it out here. And let's plan on thirty more years of fantastic reading from McFarland...

1 comment:

  1. Gatchamandave11:14 AM

    In a field increasingly choked by episode guides for programmes that are still in production and books that review the same old movies over and over again - will we ever need another guide to Zombie movies ? - McFarland stand head and shoulders above all possible competitors.

    Of course, quality doesn't come cheap but I know when I buy one of their books, no matter how hard a stare the missus might give me at the price tag, I'm going to learn something new, have my mind expanded and my interest rekindled.

    Keep it up, folks, and enjoy your birthday - this fan salutes you !