Wednesday, November 28, 2012

and ... ?

So, if I'm counting right, #259 was the fourth issue of HM in 2012.  Ever since the specials were stopped, there were still supposed to be six issues a year, so supposedly we should see two more yet this year.

The internet doesn't tell me anything about #260 being in the works, so I'm pretty skeptical we'll see it in 2012, let alone #261 to get in all six.  Good thing I don't have a subscription, else I'd feel pretty ripped off by now, instead of just annoyed and disappointed.


I stand corrected:

That might count for 2012, but ...

and #261?  It's encouraging, but I'll believe it when I see it.

(edit again)

this is the letter to fans by Mr. Eastman, that was the editorial in issue #259 (with a few small edits):

I'll try to remain patient.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


After months of delay, another issue at last.

Issues will now simply be numbered, distribution was changed, it'll be great, we are told.  We get a note from Mr. Eastman, describing the changes, thanking Dave Elliot for guest-editing, and directing our attention to the official web site for future updates.  Meanwhile, my favorite local bookstore never got this issue, so I got it, bagged, at a mainstream store.  The web site only shows this issue on the sales page, the 4 Horsemen still dominate the main page.

I think this is the most direct communication to the magazine's readers from Mr. Eastman in a couple years.  It's interesting that he is pictured with an apparent turtles sketch in front of him.  My impression is that his attentions have been, um, divided, and as such he hasn't given my favorite adult illustrated fantasy magazine the attention I think it deserves.

However, Mr. Eastman can do what he wants, and if the changes allow the print magazine's continued existence then I'm all for it.  We'll see what the future will bring.

For this issue, difficulties are apparent, and I think I'm lucky this one even made it.  Ad for SDCC events in July, page announcing back cover contest winners for the "three different front covers for this issue" (as far as I can tell there's only one), more 4 Horsemen stuff.  At least it says "Monster Massacre Special" and there are actually monsters in it.  The promotion of DeviantArt and inclusion of some prose work may be signs of good things coming.  I do miss a couple things, like Animal'z by Bilal and Metal Media, that I had hoped would continue.

Cover - 6 - It's ok, hope it sells.

The Weirding Willows:   Where Dwell Monsters - 6 - The Horley page was good, the rest of it was ok.  Too bad it was just a small part of the story.

The Empty Sisters - 6 - It tells such a horrible story in such a sparse way.  I like the idea of the occasional written piece with a picture or two, this one was a bit flat.

Ira Gershwin Monster Puncher - 7 - The monster fight is fun, the story is pretty funny, it's not exactly thought-provoking, but that's ok.

Odyssey - 6 - Tries to tell me something but I'm not quite getting it all.  This is an origin of a Captain America redux?  The art doesn't draw me into it.

The Weirding Willows: Russell's Son - 6 - Badgers and weasels and, what - irresponsibility?  oh my.  Too bad it's not a continuation of the first part of the story we saw.

The Meeting - 7 - I like black and white, I like the execution, it's a nice little story told with just one word.  It says Chapter One, it'd be nice if we actually saw the next ones, but I enjoyed this one just fine if we don't.

Cthulhu is still calling - 7 - Short but intriguing essay about this guy's view of fear of the "other" and how he thinks Lovecraft's character represents an example of a universal mythos.  Picture's pretty cool too.

El Zombo Fantasma - 5 - A couple moments of fun don't really make up for how little this appeals to me.

Pair of Rogues - 7 - Pretty good, looks ok with a bit of imagination and fun.  "I'll have my way with both your corpses!"  now there's a threat for ya.

Odyssey - 7- This one's a bit better, the art is more sketchy than I like but it does well to bring me to the story by the way it's shown to us.  Not needing to look realistic it can convey more immediate emotion.

Weirding Willows:  The Uninvited! - 6 - More uninteresting critters, the story told in the story was pretty good though.

Bandits - 7 - Nice to look at, pretty silly story. 

Back Cover - 5 - Not bad, not great.  I think I would have preferred one of the others.

other reviews

So while looking around the internet for something, I found this guy who wrote a bunch of HM magazine reviews, he called them "recaps", starting with the first issue.  He made it through about a dozen of them.  It's amusing to me that his first impression of HM appears to be the 1981 movie and how it colors his viewpoint, especially how he seems to read them from a present day perspective (he wrote them a couple years ago), without considering the context of the time they were produced.  
He hates Barbarella and doesn't get 1996 (I enjoyed Barbarella, though it was often dumb, and I thought 1996 was hilarious, and it seemed so far in the future then).  
However, they are thorough and well written, and even have scans of pages and covers.  It's an admirable effort, and I think it's worth looking at.  (link starts at the first review and you can go backwards from there):