Sunday, December 5, 2010

'Heavy Metal' magazine December 1980

‘Heavy Metal’, December 1980, features a cover illustration by Chris Achilleos titled ‘Elle’, and a back cover illustration by Alex Nino titled ‘Finally’.

There are major editorial changes announced with this issue. After only a year as Editor, Ted White is leaving, to be replaced (at least temporarily) by publisher Leonard Mogel. While White’s departure is glossed over as a decision he made to pursue a novel-writing career, it’s clear that the readership has been less than pleased with White’s introduction of columns for comics, SF, film, and ‘rok’ criticism. In a response to a reader’s letter, Mogel announces that "We found, through surveys and the like, that Heavy Metal readers prefer strip work to columns…Heavy Metal is an illustrated magazine, and prose seemed to be getting away from that concept.” 

For all the staff changes, this issue of HM is disappointing. There is a new series by Richard Corben, ‘Bloodstar’, but the dire Lupoff and Stiles strip ‘Professor Thintwhistle’ continues to appear. ‘Mary Quite Contrary’ by Ted White and Terry Lindall, is a cheesy smut piece trying to be arty. A ‘Valentina’ comic by Crepax uses blue ink on a gray background and is visually unreadable. Even the Schuiten Brothers, normally great contributors, strike out with ‘The Cutter of the Fog’, a disorganized tale that doesn’t do much other than provide some mediocre girlie art.

There are one or two worthy pieces and ‘Man’s Best Friend’, a black and white comic by Dick Matena, is one of them. I’ve posted it below.


dr.carmus said...

Hi, great blog and you may be able to help solve a quest. Trying to figure out if this was the issue of HM I had as a kid for about a month before mom destroyed it on me. The cover looks right, especially the back (usually kept stuff like this face down!). The one comic I recall from the issue had to do with two guys who worked in a nuclear plant & get fused together in an accident. Is that in this issue? or if not, does it ring a bell enough to point me to a different issue?

Thanks much in advance, and happy new year!

tarbandu said...

Hi Dr Carmus, unfortunately, your plot synopsis doesn't bring any of the Heavy Metal stories I read from '78 - 80 to may want to look at:

and see if it recovers any clearer memories,


dr.carmus said...

Thanks man! You did rattle my memory enough to buy a copy of this, it's definitely one of the issues I owned. I'm also wondering if maybe the strip was in a High Times, I had a few of them which ended up in the trash too.

Cheers again and thanks for helping me find this one! ;]