Hats off to R.M. Rhodes*, who is engaged on a massive and fascinating project all about Heavy Metal magazine. Rhodes inherited his father’s collection of Heavy Metals, which was complete through the mid-90s; add that to his own collection (the 2000s—present) and some issues from his cousin (to fill in the late ’90s) and the guy has a complete run of Heavy Metal from issue #1 to present day. At his heavymetalmagazine.wordpress.com blog (and previously on his Tumblr blog), he’s posting a page from Heavy Metal every day, starting with the early issues and moving forward. He’s not publishing them in strict order, nor is he publishing complete stories—the effect is a pastiche that gives a general sense of what Heavy Metal was at any time and how it’s evolved.
And he’s publishing all sorts of pages—not just illustrated ones but also articles and reviews, and bits of interviews. And advertisements. Advertisements are interesting documents because they paint a portrait of who the Heavy Metal reader was thought to be. The 23 movie ads below cater to the Heavy Metal audience of the mag’s first decade—put simply, you won’t find ads for Annie Hall, Ordinary People, or Terms of Endearment.
How many of these have you seen—how closely does your taste track with the (presumed) taste of Heavy Metal‘s readership from 1977-1988? These are mostly mainstream releases, so we expect some readers will score very high—although #10 might prevent anyone from getting 100%. Give it a shot.
*This is a tentative “hats off,” until or unless our lawyers advise us otherwise.