Heavy Metal Magazine
Heavy Metal Magazine is an American icon inspired by a French explosion of artistic creativty.
Founded in the 1970’s Heavy Metal is a cult-pulp science fiction and fantasy comics magazine, known primarily for its stylized blend of raw, dark fantasy/science fiction and erotica. In the mid-1970s, then publisher of National Lampoon, Leonard Mogel was in Paris where he discovered the French sci-fi & fantasy magazine Métal Hurlant which translates as “Howling Metal.”
Mogel saw an opportunity to capitalize on in the US and he licensed the American version, which he renamed Heavy Metal. It was first published in America in April, 1977 as a glossy, full-color monthly–which is still the case today. Initially, it displayed translations of graphic stories originally published in Métal Hurlant, including work by Enki Bilal, Jean Giraud (Moebius), Philippe Druillet, Milo Manara, Philippe Caza as well as Stefano Tamburini and Tanino Liberatore’s ultra-violent RanXerox. With a sexually free, and artistically driven European flavor, Heavy Metal took root in America. It soon became very popular for stories with hot women, cool sci-fi and a limitless creative expression allowed for the artists and writers that contributed to it.
Heavy Metal’s high-quality artwork is recognized worldwide and and adored by many fans both men and women. Work by international artists such as Hajime Sorayama, Simon Bisely, Terrance Lindall, Bris Valejo, Lorenzo Sperlonga, Nathan Fox, Alex Ebel, H.R. Giger, Luis Royo, Richard Corben, Don Ivan Punchatz, Dan LuVisi and Esteban Maroto have been featured on the covers of various issues.
In 1981, an animated feature film was adapted from several of the magazine’s serials. Made on a budget of USD$9,300,000, under production for three years, Heavy Metal featured animated segments from several different animation houses with each doing a single story segment.It gave the feeling of the magazine itself and the different styles and stories that appear in it regularly.
The highly acclaimed animated film featured such SCTV talents as John Candy, Eugene Levy, Harold Ramis and Ivan Reitman. It did reasonably well in its theatrical release and later gained something of a cult status, partially because a problem with music rights resulted in a delay of many years before the film became available on video. The soundtrack was also very popular featuring DIO, Blue Oyster Cult, Devo, Stevie Nicks and much more.
Publication of the French magazine ceased in 1987. It resumed in July 2002 under the French name Métal Hurlant, edited by Les Humanoïdes Associés.
The magazine is currently owned and published by Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Eastman has continued the tradition of Heavy Metal and has expanded the boundries of it even further.
In addition to publishing the monthly magazine, Heavy Metal also publishes collections of art work by its artists such as Simon Bisley, Luis Royo and Lorenzo Sperlonga. Recently Heavy Metal published a very hot book by Dan LuVisi entitled LMS. Dan LuVisi and his book LMS was recently signed a development deal with Paramount marking the first book ever, by Heavy Metal Magazine to be optioned by a major studio, aside from the Heavy Metal animated film.
Now Heavy Metal embarks on their very first journey into the digital world with Hal Hefner’s Sci-Fi web comic book, Gates.