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Behold, the Heavy Metal Cover Contest Winner!

Taarna Returns by Patrick James Reilly

We have a winner, folks: Patrick Reilly’s “Taarna Returns” has taken top honors in the first-ever Heavy Metal Cover Contest, a joint production with The announcement took place during San Diego Comic Con, where t-shirts bearing Reilly’s art and that of two runners-up were on sale.

The contest was a roaring success, receiving over a thousand submissions. You can see them all on the official page at Threadless.

“Some of my earliest memories of Heavy Metal were the covers during the mid- to early-‘80s,” Reilly tells Threadless in an interview. “This was back when Frank Frazetta, Boris Vallejo, Richard Corben, Hajime Soroyama, etc. were the dominant forces in fantasy sci-fi cover art. I tried submitting pieces that retained that style and encompassed the subject matter of that era. I wanted to recapture the earlier style of Heavy Metal; the barbarian going into battle, a robotic humanoid soldier, a warrior in a life or death struggle with a supernatural beast, a sexy female scout surveying a mysterious alien landscape.”

Reilly submitted several entries demonstrating those themes:

Submissions by Patrick Reilly

Heavy Metal cover submissions by Patrick Reilly

Taarna was basically a must. “The Heavy Metal film was obviously the inspiration and it was one of my cult favorites growing up,” Reilly says. “While B-17 was my favorite story, Taarna is basically the mascot of the film so I decided to revisit her to see what sort of adventures she’s up to these days.”

Here’s the winning entry—for more of Reilly’s art visit

Taarna Returns Heavy Metal

Grand Prize: “Taarna Returns” by Patrick James Reilly

We also honored two other designs as runners-up. One is “Afternoon Coffee” by Patricia Smith, whose work you can see at and

Heavy Metal Afternoon Coffee

Runner Up: “Afternoon Coffee” by Patricia Smith

The other runner up is “Sugar Rush” by Dan Burgess. You can see more of his stuff at and his Tumblr feed.

Heavy Metal Sugar Rush

Runner Up: “Sugar Rush” by Daniel Burgess

Congratulations to Patrick, Patricia and Dan, and a big thank-you to ALL the participants. The quality of the submissions and the enthusiasm was staggering. Check out all 1000+ at

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