Thursday, February 11, 2016

HM tumblr

It took the HM website putting up a feature about for me to notice it, which indicates I should really get out more.
It's pretty neat that this guy is posting various page scans of Heavy Metal Magazine, apparently once a day for a few years now, from his complete collection, starting with the second issue.  It seems he got his start with his father's collection, and he got into them at an early age, and it seems to have been influential.
Mr Rhodes appears to be a comic artist, and his (assuming it's He) comments show a critical but appreciative eye.  I enjoy his perspective and how it differs from mine, his coming to HM later in its life, and mine while they mags came out (though he's up to 1991 now, he's already passed the point in time when I had lost interest and had stopped buying them).  He's also pointed out a few articles he'd written about comics and HM's place in them.  He has a better perspective than mine, of HM in the context of comics, than mine of remembering the times when HM was an actual cultural force.
The scans are a bit low-res and some show interference-pattern type texturing, but they get the point across.  To be honest, there have been several images that I don't specifically recall, but I can't be surprised, given my advanced years, and that some issues I have only read once, when I completed my own collection just a few years ago. 
I have not paged through them all, I may not ever get all the way through, but I'll look frequently.  I envy this kind of dedication and time to spend, but that's not where I'm at.  Someday I may make take the time to seek out some of my favorite images from the mag and put them up, but not today.
So thanks for the heads-up HM website guys, and thanks Mr Rhodes for sharing your interests.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Heavy Metal #278

Cover by Tom Jilesen and Fabian Schlaga - 7 - a nice and busy Joan of Arc - looking cover, related to the Court of the Dead entry in this issue as it's the same artists.  This appears to be the "newsstand" cover, there are also some variant covers noted inside.  One is called Mermaid Hunt by Tom Wood and is apparently for subscribers, and there's some exclusive / special edition wraparound cover by Ian MacDonald with another Court of the Dead treatment.  The variants do look pretty nice, but since I get my copies at a bookstore, I will likely only ever see the variants on the internet.  I'm not interested enough to seek out variants to add to my "collection", but apparently this is a thing in comics now.  If it helps them sell more copies and keeps them printing the paper mag, then great, but I will keep looking for the new issues in the bookstore as long as I can get them there.

Inside, another "Metal for your Eyeholes" ad, with a few images that are actually on the website, and few that aren't.

The contents page also has an illustration that looks intended for a cover, by Simeon Aston, who is also in a story.  Also noteworthy is Frank Forte and R.G. Llarena are credited as content editors.

Julia and Roem by Enki Bilal - 7 - Julia and Roem return, looking like an art film now.  Brooding and introspective with a tiny cup of coffee.  Unspeakable love.  Self-referential as the characters get the Romeo and Juliet connection.  Perhaps less mysterious now, though I wonder how this can play out, besides the obvious multiple emotive deaths.

Then Came the Squid by Abraham Martinez, Milton Sobreiro, Emmanuel Ordaz, and Jame - 6 - The story is almost as funny as the title.  Maybe they could have gotten more out of the premise; the art left me wanting.

The 49th Key part 6 by Erika Lewis, J.K. Woodward, Deron Bennet - 4 - This entry starts with a boat chase to retrieve a kidnapped Bodi, apparently taken during the museum robbery?  It's such a jump from where this left off that it's almost like they missed a chapter.  Maybe it'll look better if this screenplay actually makes it into a movie.  It's too bad I'm so turned off by how this translates to a comic.  The printed "letters" from the 16th century really bug me.  A fantastic twist involving Queen Elizabeth and an underground civilization might be interesting, but I'm not enjoying reading this one much.

Gene Kong by Pepe Moreno - 7 - Set in New York City in the mid 80s, this even starts with a disclaimer stating it's fiction and it's not meant to portray anyone in an undesirable light.  Then it's on to the rough streets of the city.  I like how there's a personal feel to this, like some of the artist's experiences seem to make it into the art and story.  But there's plenty of fantasy, and the art is vividly colorful.  Our hero is a janitor and rogue biochemist, conducting genetic experiments on the sly, but it all goes wrong.....  As this is part one of two, I'll leave it at that.  I will say that Pepe Moreno had a bunch of stuff in HM in the 80s, notably in Rebel, that had a good run in 1985, set in a future NYC.  It's interesting that Gene Kong is set around the same time Rebel was produced.

Artist Gallery by beinArt Collective - 8 - Surreal art in quantity and quality, extra points for the page after page of thought-bending images.  There are more on their web site, it's worth a look if you enjoy this kind of thing.  I can enjoy the surreal, a lot of it is very imaginative, but sometimes it can be disturbing or pointless or both, so I gotta watch out for that.

I Win, We All Lose by R.G Llarena and Gil Agudin - 7 - With some well-executed art, a stylized gladiator setting, and a thoughtful Llarena story.  It seemed to me this aspires to be a profound statement on ego and human nature.  I would rate this one higher but I felt it was a bit short of its aspirations.

Metal Made Flesh by Simeon Astin and Jeremy Biggs - 7 - Subtitled Infection.  Cool looking and imaginative, interesting color pallete for much of it, almost pastel.  The story's another comment on isolation in urban decay, but it's well-stated.  Gotta like a line like "fragile meat prisons".

Court of the Dead by Corinna Bechko, Landry Q Walker, Nat Jones, Fabian Schlaga, Tom Jilesen - 5 - This appears to be some franchise, by the look of the ads in the mag for sculpture and a quiz contest on their dotcom, and variant cover, and the title page with others credited, including Pat Brosseau and "story and characters by Tom Gilliland".  The story here looks alright and does the job, but the art just doesn't thrill me, and the story starts as Joan of Arc vs more zombies.  It picked up a bit with a "welcome to the land of the dead", but stopped there.  If the story continues in the mag I may think more of it, but here it looks like another promo for something I won't see again.

Several nice bits in this issue, a couple I'm not thrilled with, but it's been nice to read over again over the weeks while concocting this review.  Missing though, is part four of Aftermath-the Big Clean, which had ended part three in # 276 with a "continued in #278" which it is not.  The internet told me there are five parts completed for this one, and since I enjoyed it so, I hope the next two parts make it to the mag.