Heavy Metal (magazine)

Heavy Metal
Heavy metal magaz logo.png
Editor In ChiefGrant Morrison
FrequencySix times per year
PublisherKevin Eastman
FounderLeonard Mogel
First issueApril 1977
CompanyHM Communications, Inc. (1977–1992)
Metal Mammoth Inc. (1992–present)
CountryUnited States
Based inheavymetal.com
0885-7822

Heavy Metal is an American science fiction and fantasy comics magazine, known primarily for its blend of dark fantasy/science fiction and erotica and steampunk comics. In the mid-1970s, while publisher Leonard Mogel was in Paris to jump-start the French edition of National Lampoon, he discovered the French science-fantasy magazine Métal Hurlant which had debuted January 1975. The French title translates literally as "Howling Metal".

When Mogel licensed the American version, he chose to rename it, and Heavy Metal began in the U.S. in April 1977 as a glossy, full-color monthly. Initially, it displayed translations of graphic stories originally published in Métal Hurlant, including work by Enki Bilal, Philippe Caza, Guido Crepax, Philippe Druillet, Jean-Claude Forest, Jean Giraud (a.k.a. Moebius), Chantal Montellier, and Milo Manara. The magazine later ran Stefano Tamburini and Tanino Liberatore's ultra-violent RanXerox. Since the color pages had already been shot in France, the budget to reproduce them in the U.S. version was greatly reduced.

Publication history

Mogel published Heavy Metal under the name HM Communications, Inc. After starting as a monthly, beginning with the winter of 1986, Heavy Metal dropped back to a quarterly schedule, continuing until March 1989, where it then switched over to a bi-monthly publication period. HM Communications published 136 issues in 16 volumes from April 1977 – March 1992.

Meanwhile, the original Métal Hurlant had ceased publication in France in 1987. It resumed in July 2002, published by Les Humanoïdes Associés.

Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, had grown up reading Heavy Metal, seeing in its pages European art which had not been previously seen in the United States, as well as an underground comix sensibility that nonetheless "wasn't as harsh or extreme as some of the underground comix – but . . . definitely intended for an older readership."[1] Eastman took over publication of Heavy Metal with volume 16 in May 1992, under the name Metal Mammoth, Inc.

Eastman sold the magazine to digital and music veteran David Boxenbaum and film producer Jeff Krelitz in January 2014. Eastman continued to serve as publisher of the magazine and is a minority investor in the new Heavy Metal.[2]