Heavy Metal is the legendary adult science fiction comic magazine, founded in 1977 by National Lampoon publisher Leonard Mogel, who started the magazine after discovering the French publication Métal Hurlant on a trip to Paris. Licensing the magazine for America and renaming it Heavy Metal (Métal Hurlant roughly translates as “howling metal”), he began by reprinting translated strips from the French magazine before branching out into original material. Heavy Metal would spawn several spin-off books (including the Alien graphic novel), a 1981 animated movie (and its lesser known sequel) and assorted imitations such as Marvel’s blatant and inferior knock-off Epic Illustrated.
Heavy Metal featured comic strips by the likes of Richard Corben, Guido Crepax and Milo Manara, and was notable for both the intelligent, often complex nature of the stories and the extensive nudity and explicit (if softcore) sex scenes that made it a must for adolescent boys. The magazine is still around, having changed ownership a few times. But if you are somehow unfamiliar with it, then rejoice, as some 87 editions, from 1977 – 1994, and including the complete first volume, are available to enjoy online via archive.org.
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