HEAVY METAL #272 Preview

Ron Leary

Our December issue is hot off the presses and shipping now! Join us and our merry stable of creators for 112 pages of happy holiday bliss! Featuring Enki Bilal, Katie Houghton-Ward, Sacha Bryning, Tayyar Ozkan, Christian Krank, Matthew Farrell, Mario O.M.G. Gully, Dan Chudzinski, Jim Webb, Homero Rios, Jose Garcia, Renato Guerra, Zeljko Pahek, Vittorio Astone, Rebecca Yanovskaya, Enzo Rizzi, Nathan Ramirez, Wren, JD & JMB!

Kick the New Year’s ass with HEAVY METAL!


272 cover by Ron LEary
Cover by Ron Leary

"Julia & Roem" by Enki BILAL
“Julia & Roem” by Enki BILAL

"Khulan" by Katie Houghton-Ward
“Khulan” by Katie Houghton-Ward

"R.I.P." by Matthew Farrell & Mario O.M.G. Gully
“R.I.P.” by Matthew Farrell & Mario O.M.G. Gully

Gallery by Dan Chudzinski
Gallery by Dan Chudzinski

"Deviant Strain: Rescue!" by Jim Webb
“Deviant Strain: Rescue!” by Jim Webb

"The Giver" by Homero Rios, Jose Garcia, & Renato Guerra
“The Giver” by Homero Rios, Jose Garcia, & Renato Guerra

"Robeo and Ruliette" by Zeljko Pahek
“Robeo and Ruliette” by Zeljko Pahek

"Moth" by Vittorio Astone
“Moth” by Vittorio Astone

"Heavy Bone" by Enzo Rizzi & Nathan Ramirez
“Heavy Bone” by Enzo Rizzi & Nathan Ramirez

"Ensign Haley" by Wren
“Ensign Haley” by Wren

"The Age" by Tayyar Ozkan
“The Age” by Tayyar Ozkan


4 thoughts on “HEAVY METAL #272 Preview

  1. A Review of #272

    Long time reader (since 1976), first time writer.
    Heavy Metal, like all anthologies, has its blessings and its blights. Like SNL, it goes through doldrums that bring a few great talents to the fore, these talents help influence lesser talents to better work, and we get a highpoint. So, I don't expect to love everything about the magazine. On the other hand, I expect to see some stand-out works and some familiar greats in each issue. While I couldn't pick a clearly outstanding work in this issue, I was pleased with at least a consistent quality.

    So we come to #272. Ron Leary's cover surfaces from the lake of ordinary covers with a strong sense of narrative. Don't get me wrong, and I apologize to the offended, but I love titties and all (remember "Why Johnny Reads Heavy Metal?"), but so many covers are "more of the same". To stand out among HM covers, you have to have a unique medium, style, or idea. I could never look at another tattooed and peirced angel winged woman again and not miss it. Leary's Astrud seems embroiled in the middle of a great tale, even if we have seen giant snakes since the first Conan comics; fine craft aside, this cover steps out of the genericism of pin-up art in which HM is usually mired.

    Enki Bilal always delivers on the art end, Though I am tiring of the limited pallettes, his craft is more elegant and discrete than ever before, and he sure knows how to control pencil and chalk. Unfortunately, the stories he illustrates have been frustratingly obscure. "Animalz" delivered the same bizarre imagery I expect in HM, but little narrative sense. I am hoping "Julia and Roem" will be a little more accessible.

    "Deviant Strain", "Robeo and Ruliette", "The Giver", "Moth" and "Khulan" all exhibit the qualities of story and art I expect in every issue of HM. Each has a unique art style, intriguing imagery, and the irony I expect from single-issue stories. Who knew there was another way to look at superheroes? Webb did, managing to find one more niche for zombies and superheroes in "…Strain". "Robeo and Ruliette" reminds me of several of the regular European artists and writers of previous years with its mix of comic and tragic sci-fi. "Moth" offered a great creature and a sad and eerie, but hopeful (?) ending. "Khulan" featured some interesting color work; hard to work with all that black, but it comes off well. Finally, "The Giver" satisfied most. Where "Robeo…" has especially traditional linework, the self-color of "The Giver" creates a clean and fresh texture that allows the fine detail of glyphs in the Giver's aura to shine through without becoming muddy or distracting.

    "Heavy Bone" seems like something that I have to expect in HM, and while on one level it is a bit simplistic, I can't complain about the heavily textured black and white of Rizzi's art.

    I have always loved the page and half-page works in HM, like Kirchener's "The Bus" and Jefferey Jones' "I'mage", so I enjoy Ozkan's "The Age". Though there is only the one joke, it is always true. "Dead Earth" is my current favorite one-pager and Kristian Krank's shattered lines and red-and-black give it a punk punch that is always a pleasure. I would love to see our girl in some longer adventures though. As for MI-9, meh.

    Please have more of Wren's work; something in a longer form so we can enjoy the fine draftsmanship and expressive watercolor with a more weighty story. This work is always spot-on.

    Dan Chudzinski's Gallery appearance was just what was needed to stretch the HM ouvre. His three dimensional works fit the genres of HM but open us up to the possibilities of different media. Has anyone ever tried making a photo-comic like this? Chudzinski's characters in models photographed for an HM story would work like a charm, though it would probably be a pain in the ass to do. Keep looking for Gallery features that show unusual approaches, not just skills, but ideas that diverge from the press of deviant-art pinups we usually see.

    I have two gripes; one is Farrell's text story. I was a little iffy about it, 'cause I don't like text in my comics, but I was determined to give you fair reading. Gully's art was typical but worthy of Image works like "The Darkness" and "WitchBlade"; competent though nothing out of the ordinary. Better art than mine of course. But RIP was painful to read. Wordy, repetitive, and awkward, it slogged its way through a story that, while I could see a decent idea, I could not stomach the writing itself. At best, amateurish, Farrell tells instead of shows, undercuts his power with modifying phrases following the stronger elements of his prose. And "the voice appeared only inches away"??? Really, really bad. Please, no more. Mr. Farrell is in serious need of revision. Sorry, man. I speak out of love.

    The second is the high occurrence of proofreading errors; come on guys, you are supposed to be professionals. I have begun counting these, since I notice so many. Hardly a story appears that doesn't have a spelling error or a missing word. Sure, some of these stories are coming from non-English speakers, but someone has to be reading these works before they go to press.

    Overall, I hope you will continue the mix of continued stories, complete tales and one-page stories (and if you wish to include text stories, come on, Eastman, did you read this one first? Did anyone? This is the editor's responsibility). I wish you would bring back movie, game and book reviews, and reintroduce a lettercol. Regardless, I will be waiting anxiously for my next issue.

  2. Howdy Griffin,

    Thank you for the thoughtful feedback. I’m sorry that you didn’t dig Matt’s story. I’m glad you liked the feature on Dan and it has been our aim to branch out into other mediums for the gallery sections – although most of the submissions we receive are traditional 2D illustration. The typos are entirely my fault – I know I miss some every issue, but thought I’d caught most of them this time. I am trying to improve on this, but obviously I have a long way “too” go. If we hear from more readers that they want reviews and a letters column to return, we’ll reintroduce them, but with the advent of social media, we don’t get very many letters these days (admittedly it’s a Catch 22 – if there’s no letters page, few people will write – but from my experience in comics over the past 15 years, it’s tough to get enough letters to fill a column since most people are discussing things on FB, Twitter, forums, etc. that are more timely and interactive than we can offer in print – perhaps the comments on this site will evolve into a larger community of commentators).


  3. "Julia & Roem" Part One with story and art by Eric Bilal. This story is illustrated with nice subdued tones. The story just starts to introduce the characters and to show and explain things. As more of it is told hopefully the actions of some of the characters will be explained.
    "Khulan" Story and art by Katie Houghton-Ward and colours Sacha Bryning. On the planet earth in the far distant past beings of power struggle against each other. The bright colours against the dark backgrounds really make them eye popping. The story here is hard to fully understand but it has to do with these beings of power and them influencing primitive man.
    "The Age" Story and art by Tayyar Ozkan. This story is about how one looks in society and how we want to look. People in society whether modern, futuristic or primitive all look for perfection. The art is so so in this cute little tale that does not have much to it. It is slightly funny.
    "Red Sails" Story and art by Christian Krank. Well this one page story is something else but what is hard to tell. The art is way to dark and the story to short it needed more to it. The woman from what we do see of her does look beautiful and the subject matter with the way it is done is interesting.
    "R.I.P." Story by Matthew Farrell and illustrated by Mario O.M.G. Gully. This story is done in prose style. The story does build suspense. We do get a look at Johnny and the story is intense as you read you are drawn into it. The writing does make it easy for you to picture Johnny and his situation. You really will feel what Johnny feels and understand how he feels. This story does reach out and grab you.
    The description of the creature gives you a frightening picture. Than you see it depicted in the art and it is more frightening than anything you could imagine. This demonic beast will give you nightmares.
    The story needed to be checked for grammar.
    The ending to this story is no surprise but it is sad and horrifying.
    The last page is a full splash page that delivers the true imagery of Hell.
    "Gallery" This is a gallery of Dan Chudzinski's art. His art is both weird and gorgeous. He has a vivid imagination.
    "Deviant Strain" Story and art by Jim Webb. This is definitely a different kind of super-hero story. Here though as a hero changes he still stays a hero. The Sentinel zombie makes for one bad butt kicking hero.
    "The Giver" Story Homero Rios, art Jose Garcia and lettering Renato Guerra. The Sage of the Mountains is a powerful being. His motives though for being are a mystery. The colors are beautifully done in this story. The story itself at the end is hard to follow.
    "Robeo & Ruliette" Story and art by Paher. Here we have a story of robot love. It is also about the end of the world as we know it. The flora and fauna art is gorgeously done.
    "Moth" Story and art Vittorio Astone. The last human launches an all out attack. The ending does not make a lot of sense but to get there there are explosions and lasers and a battle that is exciting.
    "Artist's Studio" Art by Rebecca Yanovskaya. A few of her artworks are shown here. She uses nice subdued tones. Her art could show more emotion.
    "Heavy Bone" Story Enzo Rizzi and art Nathan Ramirez. This story has no point. The art on the creature is well done and his appearance is frightening.
    "Ensign Haley" Story and art by Wren. Two angelic looking beings with less than angelic intentions are the cause of Ensign Haley finding herself naked on an alien ship. She is drawn in full nudity and drawn looking beautiful and sensual. Haley gets to go on an adventure of a lifetime and you get to see it begin.
    "MI9: Secret Agents Abroad" Story Jo and art JMB. Some lovely full nudity female art here. This is a play on a James Bond movie with great art but only a one page story which is to short.
    This magazine offers a great collection of both sci-fi and horror stories that you are sure to find something that grabs your interest or grabs you.

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