Friday, September 22, 2023


Just a handful of HM-related Bits I've come across in my wandering the desolate wasteland that was once my Heavy Metal Magazine fanboyhood.  It's a cryin' shame what they did to my favorite mag (Medney and Erwin?  Yeah, fuck those guys).  

The only news things I found were a report of old inventory being destroyed, rumor mongering about someone maybe buying HM, and the HM-branded weed seems to still be a thing.  Sigh.

Oddly, traffic on my miserable blog is high, but it's mostly some robot that says it's from Singapore hitting it about a hundred times a day or more, randomly.  Not a fan.

Ferran Xalabarder is still around.  I found him selling art as of this year via his Fbook:

R.G. LLarena hasn't been a part of Heavy Metal for a couple years, but it appears he's still working.  He would actually comment on my blog a bit way back when.

I did also notice that besides being on Twtr, Philippe Druillet is on Iggrm and also has a website, which is in French but still really cool.  I figure to add to them the Links page on my little blog, along with a few others that are out there.

Anyway, here's hoping that, like me, anyone reading this has more to their lives than mourning the death of Heavy Metal Magazine, and perhaps some may enjoy my little stumbles across the wastes of the HeavyMetalpocalypse, searching for more traces of the mag's past existence.  Every now and then I'll come across another Bit, and I'll post about some of them.

Friday, August 11, 2023

HM Article

RM Rhodes of fame, wrote an article on "The Uncertain Death of Heavy Metal Magazine" on Comicsbeat.  I thought it was pretty good, it's pretty long and informative, there's some chronology, and some Opinions that I even agree with sometimes. 

He brings up a good point, that there's been nothing "official" from anyone actually in Heavy Metal Magazine about the mag's demise, just the announcement from Massive that's they won't publish Vol 2.  Besides the note about Mr Lees taking over in February (still up on HM's Igram), the only other thing I've seen was the bit about HM branded weed, which seems to still be on the market.  (Getting a HM lighter or "rolling tray" with HM on it would be pretty cool, but I'm not likely to get to MA anytime soon.)

It's fun to speculate that the lack of "official" information hints at a possible re-birth being negotiated, but more likely it's due to the thorough degradation of the magazine as an institution and people keeping quiet to avoid being caught up in any legal fallout, or to avoid any accountability for its demise, that there's nothing left to be re-born.  Again, fuck those guys.

But it's nice to read an article with some affection and some information on my departed favorite magazine, and RM Rhodes does it well.  He's written quite a bit about my favorite magazine, and if the book he's talked about ever materializes I'd like to get a copy.

Until then, I'll enjoy looking through old mags and remembering, and finding new connections and threads through them, and concocting new things to write about on my puny blog.  The blog's due for some updates too, updating links and info etc, I'll have to figure out what they will be.  

Monday, July 24, 2023

That's All Folks!

RIP Heavy Metal Magazine.

It only took about a week for me to notice, but it's out that Heavy Metal Magazine has been dropped by Massive (formerly Whatnot Publishing), who had been slated to publish the so-called Vol. 2.

It will not.  Heavy Metal Magazine is no more.

Bleeding Cool apparently broke the news, I saw something on Multiversity Comics, and there's some reddit on it.  (edit)  I finally found the Massive announcement.  There's more out there I'm sure.  I don't expect many eulogies, but there may be some, and those will usually be incomplete and inadequate, or sometimes so stupid that it should be criminal.  (An example I came across demonstrates the Artificial Stupidity reinforced by the modern media landscape, of dimwits parroting stupidities fed to them.  I knew this clown was one of them, when he complained about Taarna wearing clothes, but couldn't even spell the name right.)  I doubt I'll do a complete retrospective either, but I may have more thoughts to share someday.

Mostly I will be grateful for my many years of fanboyhood, and take comfort in my hundreds of magazines.  

I will also say "Thank You" to all those who worked to produce the mag over the decades, from the beginning to the end, and especially to Kevin Eastman for keeping it going well past its expiration date.

I'll also have a big fuck you to the clowns and jokers who were in charge the last few years.  It didn't have to end this way, but it did, and it's your fault.  May the poor slobs victimized by your hubris and incompetence find solace and comfort, somewhere.  May your names forever live in infamy in the sordid history of Heavy Metal Magazine.

While Heavy Metal Magazine may not be back, I will.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Heavy Metal #320

Almost five months after I got HM #319, I was pleasantly surprised to find #320 in existence, so I ordered it immediately.  I had truly thought it would never happen.  Heavy Metal Magazine seemed to crumble at the end of 2022, faltering through the last few issues, and shedding a CEO, then going silent, and I felt I had witnessed the end of an era.  In fact I may have, but at least this issue exists, and I'll be grateful for that here, and I'll keep small hope for it to continue (the still-mythical Vol. 2 is showing release in late August per

$14.99 USD with 144 pages.  I got the Cover B by Greg Hildebrandt.  I'm glad I did.  Rating?  8.5 from me.  I like the originalist depiction of Taarna with her mount, fighting an awesome-looking dragon head, which is connected to a dragon body on the back cover, with a black-knight character as Taarna's adversary.  I enjoyed seeing canvas and brush textures in the image of the painting, and I was quite intrigued by the the logo treatment, wondering if it was part of the painting.  Though the wrap-around cover is unviewable without destroying the binding, there's a small reproduction of the full painting from which this cover image was made, on the Contents page:


Peter Kleinman is credited with Logo Enhancement here, which made me think the enhancement is digital, and it's cool how the canvas texture comes through it.

I also enjoyed comparing this #320B cover with Simon Bisley's #316B cover:

Two Heavy Metal cover artists that have produced classic art for the magazine over decades.  Both covers painted with different but compelling visions of Taarna.  My thanks to them both.

The contents page has the same names as #319 so long ago, with no indication of the teetering uncertainty of the magazine's condition.  That however is vaguely addressed with a "Message from Heavy Metal" that follows:

Signed with "The Heavy Metal Team", it's more vacuous corporate buzzspeak that does not reassure me.  Though they only use the word "brand" twice, I've considered how that word was largely absent from HM until the ill-fated Medney era, and why it bothers me so much.  For one thing, to me it indicates a marketing perspective, rather than a creative perspective, and I think this has shown in much of the stories chosen for the magazine in this era.  More style than substance, repetitively formulaic compositions rather than imaginative art or thought-provoking storytelling.  For another, Heavy Metal Magazine is an anthology, from the very beginning, with the work of many many different creators (usually) telling many different stories in many different ways, which itself defies refining into a particular product or style or feeling that one would call a "brand".  There's much more to be said about the magazine's character and history over the decades, and how we got here, but it's my opinion that perceiving and presenting Heavy Metal as a "brand" to be "leveraged" is the central flaw of the Medney era.  (Maybe someday I'll write more of my thoughts on what happened on Medney's watch, but that's the big one.)  My feelings are that this "Message" is an attempt to whitewash the recent past (or red-wash, considering the unfortunate shade added to the classic So Beautiful and So Dangerous and Taarna images), and to "move forward", while seeming to re-commit to the "brand" expansion of the previous regime.  Sigh.

Daunted but not deterred, on to the magazine.

"WireMonkeys" by Dan Schaffer, Fabrice Sapolski - 7 - Subtitled "3. Samsara".  Maybe I don't think that surviving traumatic death repeatedly is quite the funny concept that I may have in my long-gone irreverent youth, but I'll give this credit for leaning in to the bit.  The line "They're EXASPERATING!  So many cycles yet they have experienced no illumination." gave me a laugh.

"The Axe - Part 6" by Joe Trohman, Brian Posehn, Scott Koblish, Diego Fichera, Lucas Gattoni, Morgan Rosenblum - 6.5 - With another Special Thanks to Maya St. Clair.  This story does indeed have an end (but for a "More Tales from The Axe to Follow" at its conclusion, we'll see about that).  I didn't think this was always great, but it was often pretty good, and for me it succeeds by maintaining the energy it started with, fun with pain and suffering, in the art and the writing.

"Space Pirates Unit Dolores Chapter 4 - The Last Bullet" by by Didier Tarquin, Lyse Tarquin, Ivanka Hahnenberger, Jame, Fabrice Sapolsky - 5 - I was so wrong again, I thought this ended in HM #319, but here is another exciting climax (maybe), 46 pages worth.  More bloody drama, the story maybe continues, perhaps it's better than I think, it may continue even more, how would I know?

"The Beholder" by The Dahli, Przemyslaw Klosin, Morgan Rosenblum, Steven Orlando - 6 - One Western-themed cyborg post-apocalyptic zombie hellscape, coming up!  Not bad, a couple bits of good.  The jokes are dry and gore-dripping at once.

"Special Preview - A Darker God" by Homero Rios, C.F. Villa, Jame.  After a one page preview in HM #318, which ended with "Coming Next Month" (hmmmm), 8 months later we get a four page preview that ends with a "Coming Soon in the New Heavy Metal #1".  I'll decline to try to rate this.

"Something Seems Off" by Chris Anderson - 8 - This story is a bright spot in the mag's bumpy road over the past year or so.  Imaginative and enjoyably weird, it's growing feelings now.  And growing the story too.  A dramatic flashback, extreme sex euthanasia, and Darla unmasked!

"Death Defied Part 3" by Joe Harris, Federico Pietrobon, Lee Loughridge, DC Hopkins, Joseph Illidge - 6 - Returning after 11 months, last seen in HM #316.  A complex weave of flashbacks and otherworldly revelations.  This has an ambitious story and more-than-serviceable art, but for me these two elements are both on the flat side in their execution, though with notable bright spots.  It will be interesting to see if and when and how we ever get to see more that might tie this together.

I haven't noticed the ads in HM much lately, since they've been almost all ads for HM titles published separate from the magazine, some with and some without any kind of preview, that mostly haven't interested me much.  In this issue I counted 15 pages, including the inside covers, including the one for Cold Dead War twice.  I wonder if the complete lack of ad revenue over recent years factored in to HM's apparent demise, but I think it's just a small piece of the puzzle, a puzzle made up of bits from other incomplete puzzles in the wrong box, and missing many important pieces from the original box.

Welp, that's #320.  What's next?  Your guess is as good as mine.  Maybe more Heavy Metal Magazine will happen?  Maybe this year even?  Maybe the once-planned #321 and #322?  Maybe the oddly repetitively titled Vol 2?  Many maybes, but I haven't abandoned all hope, yet.

Saturday, April 22, 2023


I have acquired some more Things, things with more or less connection to Heavy Metal Magazine, though all are at the margins.

First and foremost, I went and purchased a copy of "A Complete Concordance to the First Thirty Issues of Heavy Metal":

I first saw it on, though I didn't end up getting it there.  It was pricey enough for me to feel extravagant buying it, but my curiosity was piqued, so I convinced myself.  It has "Heavy Metal" in a hand-drawn logo in a future-ish font, it says "Compiled by Larry Stark", it's from 1979, and it looks every bit like a bunch of typewritten sheets photocopied (we called it a Xerox machine back then) and stapled together:

I think it's this Larry Stark, though I'm not 100% sure.  If so, Mr Stark has done much more with theater than with Heavy Metal Magazine.  Indeed, I found very little on the internet about this "Concordance", which appears to be a cross-referenced index of the magazine issues, stories, and creators (I guess it's a thing from the pre-searchable-database days).

It's mostly pretty dry, with just index entries, but there are some noted scattered through.  Many are clarifications, some are thanks, some are snark.  My favorite is where he invents a term "interweave" for a story told with words and pictures woven together on the pages, rather than straight text with illustrations or comics with word balloons.  I think it's a pretty appropriate term, though there are few examples in the mag's recent years that I can recall as I write.

The level of detail in the concordance and its notes is astonishing for me to consider.  This must have been a great deal of work, to page though mags, making lists and notes, and somehow typing it up in a sort of format.  I like that kind of thing, but even at my best I doubt I could have done this as well as Mr Stark did.  It looks pretty thorough, and pretty accurate, with a few typos, though I didn't check everything.  But I did see the references to one of my favorite stories, "Shattered Like a Glass Goblin" are all spelled "Shatter Like a Glass Goblin", which I found curious.  And since this only covers the first thirty issues, only through September 1979, I think I can understand why any hinted-at annual supplements haven't come to light.  Besides, Mr Stark seems to have worked much more on writing about theater over the years, generating a substantial legacy, so he had other priorities.  Still, I enjoyed this, in that it's a unique and rather obscure bit of very early HM history.  Indeed Mr Stark appears to be still around, so I would thank him for this small bit of his life's work.

Besides that, I came across a couple older Corben mags.  One is a Rip In Time #1, from a bookstore that closed when the owner passed, and years later had a clearance sale.  I found it for a buck in a box of comics, but didn't look much further.  When I went again for another try, the entire box was gone.  It's pretty cool, from 1986, with a nice story setup and other stuff, but it's short and black and white:

Even cooler is a DenSaga #4 from 1994 from a resale shop, not as cheap, but nicer and I enjoyed it more, as it added to the Den story that of course came to my attention first through my favorite Adult Illustrated Fantasy Magazine, way back 45 years ago.  Richard Corben is another foundational contributor to Heavy Metal Magazine, whose work extended far beyond the pages of my favorite mag, and spanned his entire long-but-too-short life.

Cool mag:

Horrifying story too.

Pretty neat Rip in Time ad on the back:

I also got a copy of The Rise #1, mostly because it was there and cheap.  I won't usually look out for these more recent HM books, and this is just a print of what was in #302 (21 pages of story plus 10 pages of ads), but it was one of the better recent stories in the mag, and it looked good on its nice slick paper.

Lastly, I found a Heavy Metal sweatshirt:

I guess they're called hoodies these days.  Pretty cool.  It looks pretty new, but I'm not completely sure it's not a knockoff.  There's just the logo, I didn't see any other mark or label besides the shirt tags, and the print is maybe slightly off-center, but it's hard to say.  HM is still selling shirts etc, but I didn't find anything that looks like it's this one, online or paging through magazines, back just past #300 at least.  I wouldn't buy a Heavy Metal shirt new, from HM or elsewhere, especially not during these interesting and uncertain times, but I've been looking through shirts at resale shops for a while, thinking I may come across one someday, and it actually happened, much faster than I'd imagined.  Pretty amusing, especially since it was at the same place I got the Nash the Slash CDs back when.  I'll wear it in public someday, but not in polite society, just when I'm ready to be asked about my favorite magazine by some random person.  (Narrator:  no one will ask.)

It's fun gathering things, enjoying the limited amounts of cool they they can provide to my Heavy Metal collection, considering connections and the passage of time, and enjoying the ability to gather them at this time late in my life in the future.  Next should be a review of the actually-real issue #320, stay tuned!

Sunday, April 16, 2023


Heavy Metal Magazine #320 exists.  I was so wrong.

I heard about it on Thursday and it hit my sticky little fingers minutes ago:


I truly believed it would never happen, that it was lost in the winds of time, with only the rumors of a rebirth in the still-mythical Vol 2, remaining as Heavy Metal's hopes for redemption.  I am quite happy to be wrong about that.

I got mine from, it appears to be available at MidTown Comics as well.  Maybe even in actual stores, though I haven't looked yet.

I'm very curious about what happens next, if anything.  I'll put together a review, but it'll take me a while.  After over four months since #319, I want to enjoy this issue in the context of not knowing what happened that it took so long (but having some pretty good ideas), and not knowing if there will ever be another issue (but still hoping so).  Until then, I'll have another post about Things to put up soon.  But then, only heaven knows.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023


I'm trying to wait patiently for Heavy Metal Magazine to reappear.  The new Whatnot Publishing issue Vol 2 # 1, starting with 5 different cover variations (sigh) continues to slip on its published release date, too much like issue #320 did, until that no longer existed (double sigh).

HM's public internet presence has shriveled to nothing since the announcement of the new CEO in January.  And groping blindly through the interwebs doesn't find me anything about when the new Volume 2 will exist.  I'd think if something was happening with the mag they'd say something about it.  The best luck I have for info is watching comic sites (like and to see if anything changes about new magazines coming.  And it's depressing that all I see are release dates slipping from February to March to ... ?

Then this happened.

Really?  From the smouldering wreckage that was once Heavy Metal Magazine, the first sign of life is, HM branded weed?

They're getting a lot of play on the weed media, for example here.

Heavy Metal's history is littered with ideas big and small that didn't quite work out.  Going from monthly to quarterly publication after 1985 claiming readers wanted complete stories rather than serials (yeah right).  Kevin Eastman was pretty good at big ideas, a Fistful of Blood movie and a new HM movie that sort of became "Love, Death + Robots" were two notable entries on the list (to be fair, Mr Eastman did actually do things, such as the Heavy Metal 2000 movie, and Eyebrow Tuna, and much else, but most of all just keeping the mag going for decades past its expiration date).  More recently there was Heavy Metal branded coffee, with Dark Matter and GeekGrind, that may have actually existed, but I never saw them.  I even went to the Dark Matter store when I was in the neighborhood around the time, didn't see it.  And of course there were the breathless announcements at the 2022 NYC Comicon about a new Taarna movie and other stuff by the old Big Shots, before they sucked the mag down the whirlpool with themselves.

And then there was the weed "edutainment" magazine that Jett Lucas was supposed to be part of, while he was listed on the HM masthead as Creative Executive or something, in late 2017. It'd be funny if this is actually related to the current branding effort (5+ years later).

Nothing against weed and Heavy Metal, nor against HM trying to make a buck, but I gotta admit I'd much rather know if and when there may actually be a rebirth of Heavy Metal Magazine, than some other niche branded product I'll never see.  And I wish I had more confidence it would actually happen.


Thursday, February 16, 2023


A few articles I've come across the last few months, some older than others, interesting to me with their Heavy Metal Magazine connections.

Heavy Metal magazine plays a part in this guy's comics journey:

Nice article about Richard Corben, from shortly after his passing:

A pretty recent interview with Kevin Eastman, with a good deal about his time owning Heavy Metal Magazine.  I was impressed that he steered clear of an opportunity to trash Heavy Metal's current state, despite reading "and suddenly the Heavy Metal I had an ownership in doesn’t exist anymore" about how he was pushed aside.  (though this interview was before HM's even more recent accelerating collapse into itself):

A very long article about Jean Giraud/Gir/Moebius, which illustrates how, despite Moebius being one of the pillars of creation for Heavy Metal Magazine, he had vastly more work in his life than what appeared in Heavy Metal's pages:

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Interzone - The Venus Interface

I was looking through some old mags, and the ad for "Interzone", a Heavy Metal graphic novel by Lou Stathis, caught my eye:

It occurred to me that I didn't recall ever seeing anything about an "Interzone" graphic novel actually existing.  It wasn't on Lostboy's excellent, and I didn't really find anything elsewhere when I searched the interwebs.  So I looked through more mags and found a few things out.  The first ad for Interzone was in the Winter 1989 issue, which also had a mention of it in the editorial by Julie Simmons-Lynch:

There were a couple more of the same ads in March 1989 and May 1989:

Then in July 1989, the same ad appears, but it says "The Venus Interface" instead of "Interzone":

And this July 1989 issue also has an entry titled "So You're Traveling to the Interzone" by Lou Stathis, Michael Uman, and Jim Fletcher.  There's some pretty neat world building in it, parts amusing and parts interesting:

I liked the ads at the end, since we have inhalants in the future too.

But for the brief mention in the editorial, I saw nothing else about why the name for the graphic novel was changed. 

The Venus Interface graphic novel came out around this time.  There's a "Retailer:  Display Until August 15, 1989" note by the bar code on it:

Quite a different cover from the art in the magazine ads, but it's by Olivia so it's pretty good.

Besides that, there's an ad for The Venus Interface graphic novel in March 1990:

And in March 1991 there was "Welcome To The Interzone: Inkangaroous" by Lou Stathis and Dan Steffan, another story about the Interzone, that bears little resemblance to the story in July 1989 or the graphic novel (though it was kind of funny in its own right).

So I found out that the reason I didn't recall seeing "Interzone" is that the title was changed to "The Venus Interface", but I didn't find out why the title changed.  It was fun to dig into this little topic anyway.  But since I saw precious little on the internet about The Venus Interface, I thought I'd go into it here.

The story itself?  I enjoyed it on reading it again.  I had not seen this one until I got into collecting after 2005, since I had lost interest in the mag by 1989.  And I'd only read it through before briefly, probably once I got it in the early haze of incoming mags when I started collecting them.  So it was good for me to read it again more closely this time, since I saw a bit more.

It's an ambitious project, almost an anthology, with seven artists each doing a part of the story, presented as the protagonist Sheldon endures physical transformations at each step of the tale.  The capacity for physical transformation is not only essential to this story, but is also a nice device to transition between artists.  The story takes place in a future where the Interzone is one of those space station / planetoid amalgams filled with beings from across the galaxies (it's actually described in more detail in the "So You're Traveling to the Interzone" in the July 1989 issue, than in this story), and each transformation takes the protagonist to a different environment/reality.  And while each section is quite different from the others, the story is told sequentially, and Sheldon gains understanding and perhaps some redemption, and it progresses to a neat conclusion.  

The story has Sheldon contracting with some old wealthy guy to gather samples from individuals across the Interzone, but I'll just put up a handful of page photos showing some of the transitions:


Introducing the artists with images they did of Sheldon in character is clever and useful in following along.  

The line "Heavy Metal's The Venus Interface is volume 5, number 4 in a series of special editions published four time a year by Heavy Metal Magazine" at the bottom of the masthead page is pretty silly.  One could count this as the 6th HM special edition magazine, after The Best Of in 1982, Even Heavier Metal in 1983, Son Of in 1984, Bride Of in 1985, and The Best Of #2 in 1986, and the magazine volume number had already hit XIII by 1989 (like it's also silly that the hopefully forthcoming Whatnot Publishing editions of Heavy Metal Magazine will start with Volume 2 Number 1, since they already had one of those with May 1978).  And there weren't any other Special Editions released in 1989.  (Lostboy's has a FAQ page that has a little bit about The Venus Interface and how it fits in as a special edition.)


Some cool stuff here.  The art is overall good and sometimes very good, across a wide range of styles and techniques, and the different artists' styles add dynamism to a story with change at its core.  The character Sheldon gains some new experiences in their transforming through the story, and the different perceptions described in the different realities/environments worked to enhance the character.  Though the conclusion may have been a bit too neat, I did quite enjoy Lou Stathis's writing.  It was consistent throughout, keeping character along with Sheldon's transformations, and sometimes referring to apparent changes in the art with the changes in locale.  It did well to tie the story together through the different artist's sections.  

There's even an amulet that the protagonist's character has, a little green triangle, usually worn as a necklace, that helps with identification in the different scenes.  It's another neat storytelling device, and the amulet and the anthology aspect made me think of the Heavy Metal movie from 1981, with the Loc-Nar doing the travelling between stories.  It's even green!  But I thought The Venus Interface did a better job telling a coherent story with the different parts of the anthology than the Heavy Metal movie did.

So I found The Venus Interface enjoyable, and it fits into an interesting place in HM history, one of the earliest "special editions", as the mag changed to bimonthly publication from quarterly, and not long before it was purchased by Kevin Eastman.  I enjoyed re-reading it, and putting this little post together, and I bet many other fans of Heavy Metal Magazine would enjoy The Venus Interface too.  It appears readily available to those who would seek it out with the global communication and consuming technologies of our present future.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Heavy Metal #319

I received my copy of HM #319 in late November 2022.  144 pages and $14.99 cover price.  It ended up being released on Nov 16, after the release date kept getting pushed back from mid-September, following the release of HM #318.  Three months between issues isn't the longest gap in HM's publication history, four months between #292 and #293 in early 2019 was the longest before by my count, and then it was on a six issues per year schedule (but not really; starting from #259 when issues were first numbered in 2012, I only got six issues in a year three times.  Then they tried to go monthly in late 2020 but have only come close with 10 in 2021).  #320's release date is also slipping, so I doubt I'll get it in 2022, making seven issues I'll see this year.  That's actually really bad for a mag that still sells 12-issues-per-year subscriptions, and its inability to stabilize the publication and operation is a big part of why I'm concerned about the mag's continued existence.  They announced a deal with Whatnot in October to publish the mag starting in 2023, but I haven't seen anything yet that makes me confident it will really happen.  But I hope it does, and I hope they do a better job running the mag than the current big shots.  

Now to this issue #319 of Heavy Metal Magazine.  I got the cover A by Pascal Blanche, who has done a few covers, front and back for #270 (also with a Gallery) and #303, and I liked the 3D modeling techniques, I thought they were well done.  Photo of my copy:

I'll give it a 7.5, and I can assure you it looks better on the cover than in my lame photo.

The first page is an ad for yearly subscriptions.  Unbelievable and also lame.  The second page is "In Honor of Ken Kelly" with the cover image of Taarna from #308Mr Kelly passed away this year, and was only in the mag a few times, besides #308 he also did the cover for #284, and had a Gallery in the March 1998 issue.  But he was apparently prolific and well-known for album covers.  RIP.  

The third page has an ad for some graphic novel called Stable from Hero Projects, not really from HM but with a couple of known suspects, then the Contents page, so we miss out on Big Shots' editorials again.  Thank goodness.  

Then the sixth page has an "In Memorium, TSALE, An Artist for All Seasons".  

I have no idea who this is.  Oh well, RIP.

"Vasator and Crunch:  Into the Valley of Ash" by David Erwin, Andrea Romano, Saida Temofonte, Morgan Rosenblum - 6.5 - Maya St. Clair gets a "special thanks".  Maya St Clair has been listed on the masthead, up until #318 as Junior Executive Assistant, but I stopped watching the masthead the past several issues, since there's been less churn.  Fifth installment, fifth different artist.  One of the bros gets distracted by a pretty girl, again.  This time in a dead forest made of bones, maybe not the best choice.  This may be the best one yet though, the art works hard and delivers, and the story attempts introspection with a somewhat better result than before.

"Space Pirates Unit Dolores Chapter 3 The Red Crystal" by by Didier Tarquin, Lyse Tarquin, Ivanka Hahnenberger, Jame, Fabrice Sapolsky - 5 - This finishes with 62 pages in two parts in the mag, oddly noted as "Part Three Chapter One" and "Part Three Chapter Two" in the Contents page, as someone pointed out.  I get the feeling this is better than I think it is.  The artwork is skilled and intense, there are human boobs and inhuman violence, the storytelling is brisk, it has some of the old mag's serialized euro-art feeling, but these separate aspects don't really synergize for me.  Thanks anyway.

"Dark Wing - Chapter Eleven" by Matthew Medney, German Ponce, Andrew Dalhouse, DC Alonso, Saida Temofonte, Joseph Illidge, Bruce Edwards, Pete "Voodoo Bownz" Russo - 5 - This installment is the "End Book One".  The Dark Wing is welcomed at the planet of benificent aliens (you can tell they're good since they have elf ears with their dark magenta skin and deep turquoise hair, and the wise words in balloons), some inhabitants choose to stay and some choose to continue, so at the end the Dark Wing launches to the next supernova.  The art is sometimes bright and energetic, sometimes not.  The storytelling is rarely engaging.  I'll bet any continuation doesn't ever appear in the mag, if it even continues to exist.  Also in this one, there were some odd light spots in the art, mostly but not always on the main friendly alien:

I didn't see it elsewhere in the mag, so maybe it was on purpose?

"Something Seems Off" by Chris Anderson - 8 - More intensely weird action with Ricky and Darla, fighting huge beaked and taloned monsters, when we see Fador, or the top half of 'em anyway, in machinations in the hellish underworld they was banished to in #314, when this marvelous story began for us.  Things don't start out looking good for Ricky, maybe not Darla either, but there are lots of neat sound effects.  What can possibly happen next?  Well, this ends with "Answers Abound In The Next Weird Issue" so maybe we'll actually find out.

"The Axe - Part 5" by Joe Trohman, Brian Posehn, Scott Koblish, Diego Fichera, Lucas Gattoni, Morgan Rosenblum - 6.5 - This may not be my favorite story ever, and there are some apparent text mixups here, but I'll give it some credit for how hard it works, with fun monsters and jokes that keep coming, like needing quills from the "Gore-Cupine".  Though they must come to an end somehow, I'm sure.  Right?

"The Adventures of Adrienne James - Chapter 5" by Matthew Medney, Bruce Edwards, Santa Fung, Lucas Gattoni, Morgan Rosenblum - 5 - This one also gets a "Special Thanks to Maya St. Clair".  But I still don't enjoy it.  It ends with "Will Return Soon!" but I won't hold my breath.