We are saddened by the news that Alfonso Azpiri, frequent Heavy Metal contributor in the 1990s and early 2000s, died of cancer in Villalba, Spain, on Friday August 18. (His death has been covered in Spanish-speaking press, but we don’t have a link to an English-language obituary.)
Azpiri’s most famous creation was Lorna, a sexually insatiable space adventurer (often compared to Barbarella), accompanied on her travels around the galaxy by a pair of artoo-threepio-ish robots named ADL and Arnold. Azpiri will also be remembered for Mot, a more family-friendly series about a boy who has adventures with his huge monster companion.
Azpiri’s earliest published work was done for Italian horror titles in the ’70s, but he expanded into fantasy and science fiction, with erotic themes a constant across all his work. He made his Heavy Metal debut in the July 1984 issue with a story called “Daymares/Nightdreams.” In all, his work appeared in over 30 issues of Heavy Metal; on three occasions, major chunks of issues were given over to Lorna stories (September 1998, March 2002, and March 2006). Heavy Metal also published hardcover English-language versions of his Lorna stories, as well as sketchbooks and portfolios. As with more than a few Heavy Metal artists, Azpiri saw some of his more explicit work published in Penthouse Comix, notably the recurring strip Bethlehem Steele.
Azpiri’s creations found their way into other media as well: Mot was made into a cartoon series that ran for 26 episodes, and both Mot and Lorna were translated into video games. Azpiri was also frequently hired by video game companies to create box cover art.
Below is an assortment of images by Azpiri. If you’re interested in picking up some of his Lorna stories or other assorted works, we’ve got a bunch of them in our online store, and they happen to be steeply discounted for our warehouse-closing sale: Azpiri in the Heavy Metal Shop.
Vaya con dios, Azpiri; thanks for gracing our pages with such unforgettable images.