Sunday, December 19, 2010

Heavy Metal Magazine v5 #6: "The Eye Of The Goddess Isliah"

Download Heavy Metal #52

More or less an American version of the French Métal Hurlant, the magazine first Appeared in 1977. Initially made up of translated reprints, Heavy Metal showcased the work of such European artists as Moebius (Jean Giraud), Philippe Duillet, Jacques Tardi, and Enki Bilal. At that time most readers in this country were not familiar with the work of such artists. Metal Hurlant (Screaming Metal) had been launched in France two years earlier by writer Jean-Pierre Dionnet and a group that included Moebius and Druillet. Licensed by Leonard Mogel, publisher of The National Lampoon, the American Metal started as a monthly comic book in the Lampoon format. Among the early U.S. contributors were Richard Corben, Vaughn Bode, and Berni Wrightson.

Aimed at an older audience, Heavy Metal initially offered continued tales of fantasy and science fiction. Gradually over the years, there was an increased emphasis on sex. Covers started featuring a sparsely clad and busty female each issue. Artists with experience with erotica were added, including Milo Manara, Paolo Serpieri, and Juan Gimenez. Dionnet recently commented that the American edition "(much to my horror) plummeted to a drooling esthetic . . . truly cheesy . . . with flying horses and sterile images of bimbos with perfect hairdos."

Be that as it may, Heavy Metal continues to appear, a monthly once again after a long spell as a bimonthly. Kevin Eastman, one half of the Ninja Turtles creative team, became the publisher in 1991. Sci-fi and pinups continue to share the magazine's pages. In 2002 Humanoids Publishing (USA) introduced an English language edition of a revived Metal Hurlant. Moebius, as a writer, is once more a contributor and Fred Beltran, who specializes in both science fiction and sexy women, is a regular.

Note: this was originally posted on 8/13/09, but a software conflict forces me to post it anew.


Cover painting: Chris Achilleos
Script: Jaime Brocal Remohi
Pencils and inks: Jaime Brocal Remohi

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Creepy #65: "The Land of Bone"

Download Creepy #65

By the Nine Bloody Gods! When I was a kid growing up in small-town rural America, there was this kindly young woman who lived up the block from me who advertised used comic books for a dime. That was unusual for the small city, but being a comic book fanatic I jumped for joy, rode my bike to her house and eagerly knocked on her door. She brought out this large box of comics for me to peruse and, while we were swapping stories about our favorite comic books, she abruptly announced that she was a witch! That really surprised me, but she went on to regale me with tales of her supernatural powers, none of which I privately believed. Still, she was one of the most interesting people I had ever met and very friendly, too. I had nearly forgotten about her, until I decided to upload this particular issue of Creepy.

I purchased Creepy #65 from my friendly neighborhood "sorceress" for only a dime, which I thought was a steal of a deal even back in 1974. I also thought that this was one of the slickest magazines that I had ever read and I was no fan of "mere black and white" back then either. I drooled as I was witness to fantastic and gorgeous art by illustrators I had never heard of before, such as Esteban Maroto, Ramon Torrents, José Luis García-López, Reed Crandall, Auraleon, Felix Mas, Jose Bea, Jorge B. Galvez, and Jamie Brocal. All of this was topped off by that beautiful Ken Kelly cover painting. I was in heaven! While I was downright fanatical about keeping my comic book collection in near mint condition, I literally read and reread this magazine until the cover fell off, it was that good.

The first two stories are "The Land of Bone" by Buddy Saunders & Esteban Moroto and "Star Slaughter" by Richard Margopoulos and they are the two best. I have often debated with myself whether or not "The Land of Bone" is what all sword and sorcery stories should strive to be, or is nostalgia coloring my thoughts? I will say it's my personal favorite from the entire genre, but everyone is different and please share your thoughts by commenting on what your favorite swords and sorcery story is. "The Quaking Horror" by Gardner Fox and Auraleon is also very good, all of which I will upload here in time.

Please enjoy "The Land of Bone."

Note: this was originally posted on 7/14/09, but a software conflict with a widget forces me to post this anew.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Creepy #71: "The Song of Alan Bane"

Download Creepy #71

Warrior Poet Dept. Sword and Sorcery is the order of the day and here's Creepy #71, with a stunning Ken Kelly cover. Fortunately for us kids who had been burned too many times in the past, the interior of this magazine actually has a story relating to the beautiful cover art. James Warren was pretty good about that sort of thing, to his credit. The story in question is "The Song of Alan Bane," which was written by Gerry Boudreau and drawn by Luis Bermejo. In fact, this is an all-Bermejo issue. Also included is Nathaniel Hawthorn's "The Minotaur." Overall this issue is pretty good! Check it out for yourselves.

Note: I originally posted this on 7/25/09, but a technical glitch forces me to post it anew.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sword of Sorcery #5: "The Sunken Land"

Download Sword of Sorcery #5

#5: November-December 1973
"The Sunken Land" — adaptation of Leiber's story (1942 Unknown) — featuring a romantically inclined, but mute, bird woman

* Story: Denny O'Neil, Fritz Leiber
* Art: Walter Simonson, Al Milgrom

"The Mouse Alone" — original story by George Alec Effinger — exploring the Gray Mouser's introduction to thievery — cameo appearance by Marvel Comics' Conan the Barbarian (second page, third panel)

* Story: George Alec Effinger
* Art: Jim Starlin, Al Milgrom
* Cover: Walter Simonson (pencils & inks) (uncredited)

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