Friday, November 28, 2014

'Heavy Metal' magazine November 1984

It's  November, 1984, and on MTV and on FM radio, you're more than likely to hear the latest single (off the Big Bam Boom album) from Hall and Oates: 'Out of Touch'. The video is deliberately cheesy, and it's a great song.

The latest issue of Heavy Metal magazine features a front cover by Olivia, and a back cover by Voss.

This issue has new installments of Jeronaton's 'The Great Passage', Schuiten's 'The Walls of Samaris', Thorne's 'Lann', "The Hunting Party' by Bilal, and 'Tex Arcana' by Findley.

However, the November issue also has the opening installments of Daniel Torres's 'Triton', and Joost Swarte's 'A Second Babel'. These strips reflected the advent, in the early 80s, of the ligne claire, 'clear line', drawing style that was coming back into vogue in European comic books (bandes dessinées )

The ligne claire style, of which Herge's 'Tintin' comics is the better-known example, had dominated European comic publishing in the postwar years, but fallen our of favor by the early 70s. By the early 80s, however, many European artists were seeking to adopt a ligne claire artistic sensibility to comics aimed at adult audiences. This resulted in a novel juxtaposition of an art style historically associated with comics for a juvenile audience, with content that featured sex and nudity and, in some instances, graphic violence.

While these retro-style comics do feature some interesting approaches to composition and art - Torres's work, in particular, epitomizes a revival of Art Deco consciousness - they aren't really sf or fantasy. 

Nonetheless, HM's Editor-in-Chief Julie Simmons-Lynch is preoccupied with running this sort of material in the magazine. It soon comes to dominate HM in 1985 and after. The content that made the magazine so noteworthy in its first few years of publication - content from stalwarts like Druillet, Nicollet, Suydam, Caza, etc. - was to be dropped in favor of long-running installments of these new 'Art Deco' strips.

The best of the comic / graphic features in the November, 1984 issue is Paul Kirchner's black and white strip, 'Critical Mass of Cool', which I previously have posted here.

Rather than re-post 'Cool', I thought I would instead post two of the interviews that appeared in the November, 1984 issue; there is one with Tanith Lee, and another, with director John Waters.

1 comment:

fred said...

thanks for your insight into the ligne claire style. I liked Torres' stuff, and this entry was the first of many to be in HM over a number of years. The Swarte in this issue was ok, better than the Jopo de Pojo that was in December 1985, the last monthly issue.
While I liked the Jeronaton Great Passage, the Tex Arcana still ends up my favorite in this issue.
I think Dossier is out of hand here, but I liked the funny letter from "Andy Kaufman" in the Chain Mail saying he's not dead yet.