Where I Read - Heavy Metal Magazine #2
Before we get into the actual stories, we have an ad for Metaxa, an 84-proof "Greek specialty liqueur", and an ad for a radio station, FM 107 in Washington DC. Interesting - this kind of says something about the magazine's distribution area during this period - back east. Yes, if you were subscribing to, say, the National Lampoon outside of the east coast you probably could have heard about this in advance and subscribed to it. However, this makes me wonder if this magazine ended up on news stands outside of the East Coast. If anyone who was around back then saw Heavy Metal Magazine on News-stands further west, feel free to post with that information.
MEAOBbI N MEC R U by Jacques Tardi
Don't adjust your sets, that's Cyrillic. Unfortunately, because about half the dialog is in what I presume is Russian, I can't gather much about the plot. All I can gather is this. There are 2 Russians, a guy and a girl. The girl is studying some creature. The Russians decide to have sex. An American ship (I'm presuming they're American because of the dialog they're using) that looks like either a gun or a hair drier shows up, docks, kills the Russians, and then the alien on the American's crew eats the creature the Russians were studying. The alien expands dramatically, destroying the American ship. The end.
Not a good start for this issue. Last issue had an rather impressive start with Den, which gave me a lot to talk about. This one kind of started with a bland one-shot that was trying to be cynically darkly comic, and didn't really succeed.
The Adventures of Yrris Pt. 2 by Philippe Druillet and Dominique
Previously, Yrris had donned his grisly disguise to discover the secret of this cannibal cult. I presume he's also planning on rescuing the naked slave girls who were due to be sacrificed (and I apologize for forgetting to mention them last time). After the girls are lowered into the pit, and the crowds disperse, Yrris descends after them, to see the creature that the locals call a "dragon". Looks more frog-like to me. Anyway, Yrris reaches into his bag of tricks and produces a Deus Ex Machina - a box of magical glowing flowers that distract the Dragon long enough for him to kill it, and will also feed upon it. After which, Yrris gives one of the women a quick fingering, and then they make their escape. They steal an animal and cart and escape, while the flowers consume the city. Oh, and Yrris gets shown just how grateful the women are in the back of the wagon. The End
I wonder if there was a Yrris story before this which set up the Box of Flowers or something. Because here it just feels like a quick attempt to wrap it all up in 3 pages.
Sunpot Pt. 2 by Vaughn Bodé and Jack Adler
So, after nearly getting discovered by humans in the first part, they decide to move their ship to Venus. I like the way the narration describes their departure from the moon - "The power factory is warmed up. Fuel screws are fed, screaming into the mono-directional atomic internal force transformers. Sunpot moves off like a mouldy creaking planet." The first 2 sentences imply great speed, and the third shows that from the perspective of the crew it's anything but. By the way, the "screws" are actual synthetic organisms. Oh, and they refer to the "ship" as a planet.
If I had any familiarity with Lexx, I'd start drawing comparisons. Anyway, they send a manned probe to check out Venus, but the pilot essentially gets "snow-blind". I'm not entirely certain that Venus' atmosphere would be that reflective of the sun that close. It's dumb, but it's occasionally funny dumbness. It's also To Be Continued.
Agorn by Philippe Druillet
More swords and sorcery, this time of a type that's closer to Elric than to Fafhrd. Basically, Agorn is a prince of a noble house. When the woman he loves is given to the house's sorcerer to do as he wishes to (and he wishes to sacrifice her to demons), Agorn kills the sorcerer and gives his soul and his family's souls to the demons. Oh, and the art is gorgeous. This is a two-page spread which I can post, which, in my opinion, looks great - and can be posted here. Anyway, after that Agorn kills his whole family and is cursed to a sort of living death, left sitting upon his family's throne, as the castle and all around it crumble around him, forever.
1996 by Chantal Montellier
Another one-shot gag. This one has the woman on the TV from the first two chapters informing some workers that they were closing down their plant, their services were no longer required, and they need to report to the disintegration chamber.
Den Pt. 2 by Richard Corben
Previously, Den was following the lizard-man who followed the Headdress Girl. Well, the building the woman reaches has a Native Latin American look to it. Oddly, so does the decoration on the Lizard-Man's scabbard. Which contains the sword he's gonna try to attack the girl with. Fortunately, Den has a rock handy, and rushes to the rescue. While Den fights well, using skills he didn't know he had (so, Den's inherited hard skills as well as soft skills) he gets KTFO (Knocked The Fuck Out). As he's unconscious, he remembers some more of his past life, including his old name - David Ellis Norman. Apparently his uncle Dan had been to this world previously, returned, and had gone back, and been declared dead - and left instructions on how to build a device that could be used to travel to that world. David built such a device to follow his uncle and was brought here.
So, the Headdress girl was working with some sort of dragon creature to lure victims to it's lair. The lizard man apparently was one of the creature's victims - and Den was saved death by being knocked out. To Be Continued.
Conquering Armies by Jean-Pierre Dionnet and Jean-Claude Gal
Odd how the last installment wasn't a To Be Continued, but we're getting a second installment in the same setting. One of the soldiers in the setting lost his fingers on one hand in a fight with a big cat, and is seeking a healer who can give him his fingers back. His brother gets there first and the healer tells him he will heal his brother. What he doesn't tell him is that he'll also torture his brother forever. I'm noticing a lot of these Outer Limits endings here.
Age of Ages: A Gothic Science-Fiction Trip to the Apocalypse Pt. 2 by Norman Rubington and Akbar Del Piombo
The collage story continues. The story gets slightly more "serious" this time, but not by much.
Roger by D. Locquet and Souchu
While the last story was done in collage, this one is in diorama. While I've read some good dio-comics (particularly some GI Joe related ones), this isn't one of them.
The Star-Death Of Margaret Omali by James Tiptree Jr.
This is an excerpt from the story Up The Walls of the World. Basically, this is pretty interesting and philosophical look at a character's death. I wouldn't mind reading the rest of that story. If anyone else has read "Up The Walls Of The World" let me know how it is.
Virgo by Philippe
A naked woman eats a fruit, that makes her bizarrely pregnant. Oooookay.
Harzak by Mobius
This features the same main character from Arzach in last issue. The protagonist, who I'm going to call Arzach, is is riding his flying steed through a field of flesh-eating plants. The only safe place to land is a stone structure with an angry creature on it. So, Arzach tricks the creature into falling off, allowing him to land safely.
Festival by Philippe Picaret and Baret
This one's about a sort of sci-fi concert festival kind of like Woodstock... that turns into a bizarre variation on the Pied Piper of Hamlin (through the use of a bad pun).
I'll close this installment off with the back cover of the issue, which is a color version of the page I posted earlier, just for comparison.
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