Friday, June 11, 2010
Heavy Metal from Metal Hurlant
Heavy Metal is an American science fiction and fantasy comics magazine, known primarily for its blend of dark fantasy/science fiction and erotica. In the mid-1970s, while publisher Leonard Mogel was in Paris to jump-start the French edition of National Lampoon, he discovered the French science-fantasy magazine Métal Hurlant which had debuted December 1974. The French title translates literally as "Howling Metal."
When Mogel licensed the American version, he chose to rename it, and Heavy Metal began in the U.S. on April, 1977 as a glossy, full-color monthly. Initially, it displayed translations of graphic stories originally published in Métal Hurlant, including work by Enki Bilal, Jean Giraud (also known as Moebius), Philippe Druillet, Milo Manara and Philippe Caza. The magazine later ran Stefano Tamburini and Tanino Liberatore's ultra-violent RanXerox. Since the color pages had already been shot in France, the budget to reproduce them in the U.S. version was greatly reduced.
Heavy Metal's high-quality artwork is notable. Work by international fine artists such as H.R. Giger and Esteban Maroto have been featured on the covers of various issues. Terrance Lindall's illustrated version of Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost appeared in the magazine in 1980. Many stories were presented as long-running serials, such as those by Richard Corben, Pepe Moreno and Matt Howarth. Illustrator Alex Ebel contributed artwork over the course of his career.
The magazine is currently owned and published by Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Publication of the French magazine ceased in 1987. It resumed in July 2002 under the French name Métal Hurlant, edited by Les Humanoïdes Associés.