Friday, April 5, 2013

'Heavy Metal' magazine, April 1977

April, 1977, and on the FM radio stations, David Soul is getting major airplay with 'Don't Give Up On Us'.

I didn't know it at the time, but the very first issue of Heavy Metal magazine was on the stands, and with it, a revolution in the way graphic art and comics were presented to readers in the US. 

Issued by National Lampoon publisher and owner Leonard Mogel, HM was the American incarnation of Metal Hurlant, a magazine Mogel had seen on newsstands in France.

The inaugural issue staff included Sean Kelly and Valerie Marchant as Editors and Julie Simmons (who would go on to be Editor herself in several years) as the Associate Editor.

The 'Origins' statement provided in the first issue lays out - in exaggerated 70s hipster style - how this all came to be....

I didn't buy an issue of HM until November 1978, mainly because I had limited money in my pocket (I was only 16 years old) and what money I did have was spent on sf and fantasy paperbacks.

 It's too bad I didn't pick up, and save for posterity, the first issue of HM; copies in good condition go for $50 on up to greater than $100 on eBay.

Issue 1 contained the opening episode of Corben's 'Den', an outstanding installment of Gal and Dionnet's 'Conquering Armies', an 'Arzach' episode by Moebius, and a first look at Terry Brooks's 'The Sword of Shannara', featuring illustrations by The Brothers Hildebrandt.

And, of course, a great comic from Sergio Macedo: 'Selenia', posted below. This is the kind of stuff late 70s stoners went goggle-eyed over, as they drew a toke on their joint or their bowl.....ray guns, spaceships, giant robots, and A NUDE CHICK !

All of this cripsly rendered in black and white / graytone on 'magazine stock', glossy paper....!

Unlike the non-Comics Code black and white magazines from Warren and Marvel / Curtis, HM was definitely European, and definitely adult, in content. During the first few years of its existence, it was mailed, in brown wrappers, to subscribers in some areas of the country. Since I was only 16 in April, 1977, I'm not sure if I actually could have purchased the inaugural issue of HM in those more innocent times.....


mahendra singh said...

That first issue was a blast. I was 17 at the time, my step-father was an AD at Ft Belvoir and one day he brought home that very issue if HM, telling me that all the young fellers at the art-shop were "grokking" this … then he told me to hide it from my mom.

corvideawarness F said...

Macedo's artwork is still incredible to this day. I loved getting stoned to his works in the first year of HeavyMetal.