Monday, November 12, 2018

Outland by Jim Steranko

A very nice article about Jim Steranko's Outland, from Heavy Metal Magazine in '81 and '82, Inventing Sci-Fi Noir, is featured on We Are the Mutants.  I liked the direct HM reference, and I enjoyed the informative background of the context of the times, and how Mr Steranko took the gig. 

I'll note that the presentation by Mr Steranko of this adaptation as mostly double-page splashes, as the article notes, would be next to impossible these days, since the mag has been edge-glued ("perfect" binding) for years, rather than stapled ("saddle stitched") as it was in its first years.  My opinion is that the ability to really use double-page presentation, was one of the strengths of Heavy Metal Magazine's first era.  That and the monthly publication, and the large amount of work that made it able to present.

I also liked the rather bold choice of the article, to include an image from the story from the mag, which anticipates and depicts not only future widescreen tv but also widespread pornography.  Such transgressive content surely excited very young adult me, and this image of the future was also anticipated by a similar scene in the October 1980 "Special Rock Issue", in "Rock City" by Moebius.  Seeing these images then, and knowing that they now reflect our amazing sci-fi reality, is another example of how I'm actually living in the future.

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