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Unearthed: Heavy Metal #3

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My apologies for the delay in getting this up; personal issues prevented its timely delivery. Keeping this one short, too, as I’m behind on my own deadline for this week’s Marvel Retold (debuting on Friday!). So! Let’s get to it.

Moebius cover! The things he just throws away.

You know you’re an Artist when you create a title that others can’t read. The hell IS that? It’s like a tag you’d find on a wall somewhere.

I don’t know this for sure, but my belief is that Druillet just draws this stuff apropos of nothing, then invents a story out of whole cloth to tie it all together.

And you know what? Doesn’t matter, when you get things like this.

Ah, yes, the good stuff. Look at how LURID these colors are!

Hey, does that bat look familiar? Den thinks so. It may be because Corben also did the cover for this album:

Yissss. If you didn’t have this album in the 70s you weren’t really into rock ‘n’ roll.

Ever see Heavy Metal: The Movie? The Den story in that is basically this moment. In the film, you hear “OO-LA-TEC”, so it’s not clear that they’re chanting “Cthulhu” backwards, as it’s clear here. Or “Cthulu”, as they spell it above.

You should be afraid of a man who fights with his penis forward.

Check it out! C’thulhu!

Out of context, this is hilarious. Hell, IN context it’s pretty funny.

And to finish it all off, some lovely Moebius.

Man, what is it about naked dudes being aggro?

Oh no! Birdie dead!

Yay! Birdie alive! All in a day’s work for Vague Mechanic Guy!

And that’s all the Heavy Metal we got… for NOW. Join us here on Wednesday for a new comics title!

Unearthed: Heavy Metal #2

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Welcome back to the weird and wonderful Heavy Metal magazine! This second issue continues stories begun in #1, but also gives us rare nuggets of only the finest French science fiction. Let’s dive in.

Cover by Moebius. It’s true! Doesn’t really look like the work we normally know him by, but there you have it.

When was the last time you were shamed into drinking a Grecian liqueur? Too long, methinks.

Oh man. If you’re touting playing The Eagles, Boston and Peter Frampton as NOT “the same old song”, you must be in the 70s.

We didn’t get to him last issue, but this here’s the work of Vaughn BodÄ“. You may have seen knock-offs of his stuff on street walls among other graffiti. For some reason his art just struck a nerve with indie wall artists. His stories are complete nonsense, but they’re fun in their own way.

But hey, more Druillet weirdness. I’ll be honest, if there’s deeper meaning to his tales, they escape me. If there’s any actual substance, it escapes me. But wow, look at this fever dream imagery.

And how often do you see a two-page vertical spread? Not nearly enough!

And now Den gets punched by a lizard man! Which, as we all know, is a sure-fire way to jog those ol’ memories back into place.

Man, the colors! THE COLORS!

I fear to guess the hours it must have taken to render this spider’s web, much less the entire comic. DON’T MAKE ME

Amazing light and shadow work in that first panel, and the MOVEMENT in that last panel!

Okay, and now, what the hell is going on? Please tell me I won’t be hearing “Roger, I want your ass!” in my dreams tonight. Please. I can’t… I’m too fragile.

I feel that there’s some metaphor dancing just beyond my awareness here. Probably you all get it, right? That makes me happy. Okay. Moving on.

Hey! It’s Moebius! My happy place! Giant alien orangutan/gorilla dong, a bit less so. But, y’know… French.

My grud, the line work. Painstaking. And remember, that’s pronounced “pains taking”, not “pain staking”. You’re not staking pains, you’re taking pains. Always bothers me when people say it wrong. And because this is my platform, I get to vent about it. Woo!

And finally, a word of caution to black and white artists: if you don’t vary your line weights, your details all blend into each other, making it extremely difficult to understand what you’ve drawn. Good luck!

See you all Monday for issue #3!

Unearthed: Heavy Metal #1

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Continuing on with our look at comics that we WON’T mock, we come to the infamous French comics collection Metal Hurlant, or as it came to be known in the United States, Heavy Metal!

I guarantee you, nobody in the US had ever seen anything like this when it hit the stands in 1977. And while it may have been surpassed in the intervening years by stories that were more graphic and extreme, really nothing can capture the extreme weirdness of these early tales.

And just as a feel for the times, here’s an ad for a science fiction book club. Herbert’s in there, Asimov, Niven, Pohl… hell, I’d join this book club NOW.

And then THIS bit of psychedelia hits your eyeballs, and you know you’re not in Kansas anymore.

And THEN… FULL FRONTAL MALE NUDITY! Dammit, I love the French. Welcome to the meaty art of Richard Corben. He always draws the THICKEST people.

But also, look at this amazing panel. Despite its solidity, it still communicates emptiness. Not going to go into more of the story… you’ll have to find a collection somewhere and just dissolve into it.

Following Den would be difficult for any story, so why not just give readers this bit of nonsense?

… yeah. From the sublime to the stupid in .5 seconds. That’s Heavy Metal.

And just when you think you’ve figured out the tone this magazine’s trying to go for, you get this hyper-realistic rendering style.

I mean, holy crap, it’s gorgeous.

Seriously. LOOK AT IT.

The textures, the chiaroscuro, the linework… just amazing.

But hey, you wanna talk about TEXTURE, give it up for Moebius (or Jean Giraud, as his mother knows him). This is jaw-droppingly wonderful stuff.

Over the course of his career he slid easily between drama and humor, realism and fantasy, and it all looked just incredible.

Also, and I’m not certain of this, I believe he’s using watercolors most of the time, which is a whole other level of mastery.

I’d put this on my wall.

And it’s not just crosshatching or stippling, either; there’s variance of line weight in there too. It’s just so subtle you might not consciously notice it.

And then he hits you with the absurd. And that’s Moebius. This won’t be the last time we get to see his work, trust me.

Let’s throw in one last ridiculously detailed robot, and call it a day.

Join us on Friday for Heavy Metal #2!