For Heavy Metal 296, the Street Art Special, artist DEIH does double-duty with a cover image and a story inside the magazine’s pages. In some ways, DEIH is what it’s all about. An accomplished street artist from Spain, DEIH has splashed his cosmic visions on buildings, walls and other surfaces all over the planet. The images DEIH presents are fascinating on their own, and they seem to add up to a universe he’s only starting to explore. Strangers in strange lands that seem like lost covers of unwritten sci-fi paperbacks. Giants who are full of stars like the monolith of 2001 or Eternity from Dr. Strange. Crystals of unusual size and undetermined powers, recalling late-’80s Moebius. There are threads here, there are rules to this world, but the narrative remains mysterious.
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Heavy Metal 296: The Street Art Special cover C by DEIH
These figures and scenes, executed at massive scale (we’re talking bodies that stand several stories tall), have that comic-book look, and DEIH isn’t pretending they don’t — on his Instagram page, you’ll find an early version of the painting on Heavy Metal’s cover, mocked up as the cover for a comic book called “Cosmos,” and featured at an art show paying tribute to Jack Kirby. You’ll find other clues to his artistic evolution — an old Daredevil cover by Barry Windsor-Smith, a long-lost issue of Atari Force, a pile of favorites that includes Frank Miller’s Ronin and works by Moebius, Sergio Toppi and Mike Mignola.
He’s a comic-book fan who went into street art; did he dream of making it into Heavy Metal? Do androids dream of electric sheep? Hell yeah. “DREAM COME TRUE!” he announced when he posted his cover, “You can not imagine how happy I am with this amazing hit in my life. … Most of my favourite comic artists and illustrators began in this magazine, and I discover them there when I was a child. Definitely from Heavy Metal comes most of my science fiction influence that model my own style till now and NOW I am inside with a 12 pages comic story and THE COVER! I have no words just to say THANKS TO COSMOS FOR SHARING YOUR SHINE WITH ME.”
The pleasure and privilege is ours — we are truly intrigued by DEIH’s vision, and look forward to the stories he has yet to tell. For now, we can enjoy the one in issue 296, “In Charon’s Orbit” and these glimpses of others — for more, be sure to follow DEIH on Instagram @deih.xlf and DEIH on Facebook.