It’s issue 283 of Heavy Metal Magazine, the Fear Issue. You can find a copy at your local comics shop, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, or the Heavy Metal shop. But what’s inside? As a shattered visage once said: Look on these works, ye mighty, and despair!
We’ve got three collectible covers for you—horror-riffic and spook-tastic scenes by David Stoupakis, Rob Prior and Justin Cherry.
Within the mag proper, Editor in Chief and Head Lunatic of this asylum Grant Morrison launches into a 6-page reminiscence that might explain a lot about this issue and even more about the next.
This is the Fear Issue, remember. Don’t get too cozy with it. You could lose a finger, or a limb. This thing has sharp teeth. They’re bared in the first story, “Das Fischerhaus”:
Survive that one and you’re on to a feature about cover artist David Stoupakis, who descrives his epiphany as a painter: “it felt like a relief, it felt like therapy, like punching something and reducing it into pieces, although rather than destroying the object of my obsessions, I then opted for a more ‘alchemic’ manipulation.”
Still with us? Read “Nightfeed,” a chompy, superbrief tale that might be the heart of the whole damn issue, but don’t dawdle — the limbs, remember, you want to keep your limbs from the teeth that gnash. On to “The Smile of the Absent Cat,” set in some alternate Interwar period, starring a feline detective who has a sixth sense, if not nine lives.
Written by Morrison, it’s a classic chat noir, with a missing heiress and a wicked pack of cards and a dark rite. And before the blood has a chance to dry, we’ve moved on to a garden of deadly delights: The artwork featured in the Morpheus Gallery:
Up next is “Constriction,” by Mike Walton and Daniel Govar, and if you’re thinking it’s the pleasant sort of constriction, well, you need a dictionary. Constriction is only ever pleasant if you’re a masochist. But we’re no one to judge. Read on…
Next it’s “Semiautomagic, by Alex de Campi and Jerry Ordway. “I’m Alice Creed,” says a mysterious woman to a Hollywood producer. “I’m here to talk about what’s eating you.”
Yes, eating, again—more chewy intrigue and gnawing terror. This would be a good time to count your fingers, make sure they’re all present. Moving on to an interview with tattoo artist Tim Lehi:
Bear in mind, the Lehi feature is called “Guts ‘n Blood” — so yeah, we’re not done with the carnage just yet.
Diego Agrimbau and Gabriel Ippoliti touch upon a memorable panic for their “Holiday Offering,” and there’s no blood at all! Ok, that was a lie, there is blood. But nobody eating anyone else.
In the latest installment of John Mahoney’s “Zentropa”, there is much exquisitely-drawn space-drifting, but again — nobody getting eaten! Or even stabbed. A feature on our cover artist Justin Cherry is also relatively bloodless.
Well, yeah, that appears to be a figure stabbed with four swords. Or maybe just three swords and a big knife. No stabbing with swords or knives in the latest chapter of “Salsa Invertebraxa” by Mozchops. No, that’s a mighty friendly looking centipede…
…though we’d be lying if we were to say it wouldn’t hurt a fly. Tom Burns, Maxx Marshall and Chris Chuckry’s “Felt” is one of those stories that’s just too sweet to be true. Young and cute Betty wants a prom date, and everyone in her world is a Muppet-like fuzzy character.
What could possibly go wrong for Betty? What could possibly go right? That brings us to the last story in this edition, “Gutt Ghost” by Enzo Garza. And if you were thinking there’s no more chomping and ingesting, you’d be wrong about that.
Well, that finishes off this gruesome meal of an issue. Unless anyone has room for dessert…?
Get your copy of Heavy Metal 283 at your local comics shop, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, or our own Heavy Metal store, which carries the variant covers as well as the subscriber/newsstand edition.