Carl Macek, who is credited with helping to start the anime boom here in North America when he put together the Robotech syndicated series from three different mecha anime in the mid 1980s, has died from a heart attack at the age of 58.  The news of Macek’s untimely death was reported by animation historian Jerry Beck on his blog.  Macek and Beck were partners in Streamline Pictures, which they formed in 1988.

While Robotech was crucial in spreading interest in anime to a wide audience and somewhat controversial (especially to purists) in the way that it manipulated pre-existing anime series, Streamline Pictures released a host of brilliant anime productions on VHS tape that established the reputation of Japanese animation in North America.  The high quality Streamline releases helped to create a devoted fan base for challenging adult animated stories that targeted a mature audience with sophisticated, often science fiction-themed sagas such as Akira, Robot Carnival, Lensman, Doomed Megalopolis, Twilight of the Cockroaches, Wicked City, and Crying Freeman. Streamline also released Miyazaki’s brilliant Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro, and Carl supervised the original English dub track of My Neighbor Totoro.  Streamline was purchased by the financially shaky Orion Pictures in 1996 and disappeared with the demise of its parent company.

Macek returned to animation production in the late 1990s acting as a consultant for the Heavy Metal 2000 animated film, and writing the anime adaptation of Brian Pulido’s Lady Death for ADV.

At the time of his death Macek was helping to create the English dub version of the Bleach anime series for Viz Media.