Thursday, December 18, 2014

HM Dec 84 preview

I don't care for the HM website in its present form.  It seems to be a pile of slightly HM related stuff thrown up all over.  It loads like crap on my dinosaur machine.  There's little in news announcements or updates.  It seems to grab some heavy metal music stuff too.  It just doesn't seem to have any purpose.  There was an "Issues" section when it was revamped, that could have put some focus on individual past issues, but it disappeared quickly.

There are sometimes some interesting bits.  An occasional comic or short story is sometimes nice.

Something I did enjoy, is a preview of the December 1984 issue, billed as a holidaze gift from "30 years ago today", that is available as a .pdf of a scanned magazine.  It's not at all perfect, a couple pages are misarranged or misaligned, and not all pages are included.  It's not one of the mag's finest issues either, as it neared the end of its monthly run.  However, it is a nice opportunity for anyone who doesn't have this issue to see some of it, and it does have a few good parts, including a Corben cover, an interview with Frederico Fellini, an installment of "An Author in Search of Six Characters" by Milo Manara, and some Tex Arcana and Rock Opera.

(it was funny that at first the link for the download went to some sort of web email launcher, instead of the download, but it seems to work now.)

So I'd recommend anyone interested to go to the HM website and grab this free preview, before it disappears in the disjointed mess the site is now.  There's a link on my "Links" page, or you can use the awesome power of the internet to find it yourself.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Heavy Metal # 271

It says "Asylum Press Special".  Frank Forte is credited as Guest Editor.  The Co-CEOs are credited again.

Cover by Aly Fell - 7 - While the pose is a bit stiff, and the background was a bit sparse in contrast to the subject, I liked how the subject itself was so carefully crafted, and was clever enough to gain my interest.  It's so ridiculous it's amusing that such a (very pretty) young woman would be an officer on an airship (that only happens in the movies), and the uniform mashup of Nazi Germany and Elizabethan England, and a peace sign, is so meticulously rendered, that I really enjoyed it.  Someone else pointed out that she's holding the saber in the wrong hand, for pulling from the scabbard it would seem, for me it just adds to the sillyness.  Aly Fell did the contents page art as well, it appears to be from '07, it has a different energy.

An ad for a Batman vinyl bank?  Does "collector quality sculpting" means the molded wrinkles?  Someone might actually buy this?  Now I can imagine Mr West is getting a piece, but what about Robin and the Joker?

Prayer... by Steve Mannion and Frank Forte - 7 - A Fearless Dawn story, referred to elsewhere as an homage to Möbius.  I do like the style, it looks hand drawn and it does resemble an older HM story, it's almost wordless.  It could almost work in black and white, except for the glowing green orb that's almost certainly a lochnar reference, and it tells a light but enjoyable story.  And there are tentacles.

Dangerous Curves by Dwayne Harris - 6 - Post apocalyptic delivery probably isn't nearly as much fun as it looks.  Digitally-aided art works pretty well here, nice details and coloring, it enhances the rather thin story, still liked it.

Pond Scum by David Hartman - 3 - It looks nice enough, but I thought using caged girls for bait was unfunny.

Gallery by Ben Olson - 7 - A few covers and a few portraits, in an almost classic style.  There are monsters and clowns and a few things in between.

Priests of the Black Death by William Broad - 4 - The art is rather flat, and this could be just another example of victimization and wanton abuse, but for a supernatural vengeance twist .

Warlash by Frank Forte and Nenad Gucunja - 7 - This has a subtitle The Transformation of Eduard Yan.  Warlash seems to be a crime-fighter in a decrepit Pittsburgh, but the star of the show is a junkie, perhaps it's Mr Yan.  Junkie gets cut up for a debt and is dumped into the sewers, managing to shoot up one more time before he falls.  Must've been some good stuff, since he turns into a tentacled monster.  So when he attacks some hookers, enter Warlash.  Fight ensues, monster is defeated, but threatens vengeance.  Art's pretty nice, energetic storytelling.

Separation Anxiety by Robert Steven Rhine and Frank Forte - 7 - Love, betrayal, and vengeance, at the Circus.  The art's alright and the storytelling is straightforward but brisk.  The story itself is out there enough.  Freaks gettin' freaky and a horrifying twist at the end. 

Mother by Mark Covell - 7 - Boy robot gets the Mommy Dearest treatment.  The story and some of the art are sort of murky, but I liked it.

Feast by Royal McGraw, Adauto Solva, and Frank Forte - 6 - Blackmailed by yakuza, a chef gets some zombie vengeance.  Pretty nice art with a simple story.

The Green Fairy by Jason Paulos - 7 - Some old school black and white art with some comic-style dot pattern shading.  A fairly involved story for a 7-page comic.  A tortured artist gets the fame and fortune he desires, at the cost of his soul.

Swamp Girl by Frank Forte, Fabio Nahon, and Liezl Buenaventura - 6 - The art is alright and colorful, the story is just another love triangle.  A few strategically placed word balloons diminish the impact.  At least there are more tentacles.

Short Circuit by Elizabeth J Musgrave, Frank Forte, and Beth and Frank - 6 - Rather superficial story but I liked the joke anyway.  Somehow telling it from the stripper-working-her-way-through-college's viewpoint made it more reachable for me.

Evaluation by Hilary Barta and Davpunk - 5 - The art's done well, the story is thin and unclear, though it has a cynical view.

another version of the Heavy Metal dot com ad, less mindblowing than the last one.

Mutation by Frank Forte and J C Wong - 6 - The art has much to recommend it, but the story, while having some imagination, ends up being another victimization, that's not justified by how "she likes it" at the end.  More tentacles though.

Allison by Frank Forte, Timothy B Vigil, and Joe Vigil - 7 - While satanic rituals to bring back the dead don't interest me much, this one had more to the story.  Drug overdose, love triangle, vengeance and surprise, all this and more.  Well, a little bit more anyway.

an ad for Girls and Corpses dot com.  looks like it might be an actual magazine.  it might be funny, but I don't think I'll go there.

Incident on Alpha Proxima by Frank Forte - 5 - monsters in space is kind of cool but there's not much to this one.

Artist's Studio by David Lebow - 8 - Lots of nice looking painting with fantasy, and fantastic women, and skull-faced robots.

Sacro Profano by Mirka Andolfo and Roberto Branca - 6 - looks nice but it's just a joke, might be one of several stories of angel-devil love.

back cover by David Hartman - 6 - kinda neat, way better than I could do for sure, but rather sketchy for my liking.

A great number of stories in this issue, with Mr Forte's tentacle-prints all over it.  I may not like everything he's done, but there's so much that there's quite a variety, so there's something for everyone.  Recurring themes are pain, vengeance, victimization, and tentacles.  There wasn't anything that really excited me, but many enjoyable entries.