Sunday, July 30, 2023

The end of Heavy Metal magazine

The End of Heavy Metal Magazine

Over at Fred's HM Fan Blog, comes word that Heavy Metal magazine has ceased publication.

I haven't bought a copy of the magazine in over a decade. Fred's honest reviews of recent issues didn't give me a powerful reason to run out and spend $15 for the magazine. At the same time, I'm sad to see the magazine fold, as in its heyday it was a touchstone of sci-fi / Baby Boomer / stoner culture, an enterprise that revolutionized the presentation of graphic art and comics-based storytelling when it first appeared in April 1977.

For nostalgia's sake I opened up a copy of the August, 1980 issue and read, with some affection, Lou Stathis' pretentious review of 'Rok Muzick' recorded by the New Wave band The Residents; Steve Brown's scathing dissection of Robert Heinlein's turgid novel 'The Number of the Beast'; and Jay Kinney's overview of the comix scene. There are good pieces from Druillet ('Salammbo'), Bilal ('Progress'), and Ribera and Godard ('The Alchemist Supreme'). There's an interview with Moebius, in which he spouts all manner of bullshit, trying too hard to present himself as the eccentric (but visionary) comics artiste.

The minor one-page and third-page comics that were used to max the layout come across as silly, but sometimes interesting, little exercises in art and storytelling. They're part and parcel of a media package that did quite a lot for sci-fi fans back in the day. I'm skeptical that the floundering magazine market here in the U.S. will allow for any kind of resurrection of the magazine, but I know Fred will keep an eye out for any developments........


Turtle said...

Said to hear the end of thje era

Timothy S. Brannan said...

End of an era to be sure.

fred said...

yep, it's a cryin' shame. Nothing last forever in this world, but I'm sad it's finally gone, and annoyed it ended so stupidly.

The August 1980 issue is a good one from Heavy Metal Magazine's greatest years. I enjoyed Moebius acting too cool for school, that great Salammbo episode, and Rock Opera being existential, and Li'l Tiny Comics got pretty crazy, and there were ads for actual movies (in theaters!) and records (vinyl LPs!). What a time.

thanks, fred