Where I Read - Heavy Metal Magazine: Vol. 2, Issue. 4

After basically some burnout after having to contend with the giant load of crap that was Barbarella, I'm finally continuing with the Heavy Metal recaps with Volume 2, Number 4 for August of 1978. Once again, this cover has yet more nudity, or rather toplessness, and is by Clive Caldwell.

Moebius... by Jean "Mœbius" Giraud

A man gets a letter from his man asking him to kill a certain man on a certain day, but gets lost.

New Tales Of The Arabian Nights: Sindbad In The Land Of The Jinn by Richard Corben and Jan Strnad

Sindbad pleads with the Jinn to save his wife's life, but to no avail. Fortunately, his wife is out of the house when the Jinn attacks, though Sindbad knows not where she is. Still, the Jinn has made an enemy of Sindbad, though he swore an oath to Allah earlier not to harm him directly. Thus the jinn must use other means to bring about Sindbad's doom. To Be Continued.

The Airtight Garage Of Jerry Cornelius: Major Grubert's Adventure by Jean "Mœbius" Giraud

The Mechanic from earlier speaks to an alien named Jasper, who sets the Mechanic's concerns at ease about the broken transporter - apparently Grubert sabotaged it. They get into a long conversation, until a masked figure with them, named Archer, breaks it up, and tels the Mechanic amore about Grubert and his rep. It's made pretty clear that Grubert is regarded very highly in the garage, while Cornelius himself is regarded as more of a villain. Also, Grubert is immortal - so that bit earlier with Grubert being in potential danger was just a total load of crap. Lovely. To Be Continued.

Mission On Saturn! by René Pétillon

This is an extremely self-referential little story, and by self-referential, I mean it's parodying some of the traits we've seen in various Sci-Fi stores in Heavy Metal Magazine over the past year and a quarter. The gratuitous nudity, some of the costumes, surreal images for the pure sake of surrealism, bombs-fall everyone-dies-or-is-going-to-die ending. I'm not sure if it's funny or sad that in just over a year we get enough material in Heavy Metal to get a story parodying the standard stories we've gotten in the magazine.

Gail: Episode Number Three - Philippe Druillet

Apparently the galactic prison where our hero is being kept is suffering from severe overcrowding, and the prisoners keep coming. I wonder if this part of the reason by the stereotypical space-opera and fantasy dictatorships all have to gladitorial games - not only does it provide the circuses part of the whole "Bread and Circuses" thing, but it also relieves overcrowding. Possibly something for the evil overlords list. Meanwhile, the warlord Iriam Merennen The Mad wants Sloane, our hero, sprung from the prison because he wants him to lead his troops, so he can crush the universe in his iron fist.

That's the problem with Druillet's writing. It's not that everything's black and white, or that it's shades of grey, it's just shades of black. Everything sucks and everyone's evil, and they're probably all going to die at the end. His art style is still kind of interesting though. It's not fantastic, just interesting. I wonder what it would be like if he drew other people's stuff. To Be Continued.

Off-Season - Elisabeth "Zha" Salomon and Nicole Claveloux

I liked Zha and Claveloux's last series, though it didn't really click until it neared the end. Well, the story has their semi-surreal and absurdist style, though this one has more of a definite plot to it. We have our characters of Mr. A (no relation to the Ditko character) and Mr. B, who have come to the seashore to do some Private Detective work, with all their expenses paid. B's laid back, A's up-tight. A's taller than B. Also, A, at least, has been unemployed for the past 5 years. B's done Private Detective work before, but wasn't good at it.

Anyway, while we learn about about A & B's personalites, we learn very little about the plot. 2B Continued.

Orion: Chapter Five by Gray Morrow

So, apparently the boat Orion is on will take him to the island of the mysterious witch Chandra, who also desires Orion and his Sword, which means that Lamonthos must aquire new agents to take care of him. However, there's the other matter of his discovery that Mamba is alive and would like him very dead. So, to deal with Chandra, Lamonthos turns to the Droons, people banished from the surface to the underground by Chandra who have become plant-like, who thus hate her twice as much as they hate other surface people.

Meanwhile, Mamba and two of his collegues leave the Gypsy camp after igniting fireworks in their stores, that they'd stolen from someplace. This also sets up that the world of Orion is of the Post-Apocalyptic Science-Fantasy variety: explosives of any kind are outlawed by the church after the last civilization nearly annihilated themselves. Anyway, Mamba tries to hit on his female companion and sees something that surprises him, and PO's her bodyguard.

Orion arrives at Chandra's island, and is apparently expected. Many of her servants are female, and most of them are topless. He's taken to a bath by attendants who start to gratify him, when another topless woman comes in and tells him he must leave at once if he values his life. To Be Continued.

Georgik... by Georgik

An abstract story, with nothing I can really say about it.

Galactic Geographic: New Evidence Of Life In The Void by Karl Kofoed

This issue's installment features a space-borne biological entity, which science currently knows little about. I really like Kofoed's work on Galactic Geographic. This is another of the series from Heavy Metal that I really wouldn't mind picking up as a collection. Considering that I previously got a copy of Conquering Armies from Powell's, this might be my next purchase.

Only Connect: A Sequence by Claude "Alias" Lacroix

A robot is walking across the desert and is breaking down. Finally his feet malfunction, and he can go no further. Just when he's about to give up hope, he sees a vehicle come over a dune and break down. When the pilot emerges, the robot kills him, and is about to steal his feet, only to discover the pilot is a biological, and thus will do him no good. The robot "dies". Another robot comes along, malfunctioning, and sees this scene, and vaporizes the body of the biological as being litter, spreading a blight upon the world, saying, "Filth, them and their machines, coming to cover our world in filth". Then he cannibalizes the higher quality parts from the dead robot for use in himself. The end.

More Than Human - Theodore Sturgeon, Douglas Moench, and Alex Niño

We continue with the collection of mini-stories, particularly collecting two of the stories togeather - Lone and the girl with the two psychic twins. Basically, the story wraps up with Lone understanding the true meaning of friendship. The end.

Heilman by Alain Voss

The Nazi-Rocker-Main Character floats through the void, and is deposited into some sort of bizarre game of bumper cars played by zombie slaves. I'm noticing that our lead no longer wears a swastika anymore. He finds the mysterious woman running the place and rapes her. Yeah. However, it's "okay" because the "woman" is basically just meat, and is a tool of the intelligence running the ship, which then disentigrates everything, including the ship. To Be Continued.

As an aside, apparently Alain Voss is on DeviantArt.

Peaceful In The Country by Dominique "Alexis" Vallet

A man gets lost and looks for directions, and gets the directions he needs from a strange man at a farm house. The strange man, by the way, turns out to be an alien, part of a dark conspiracy to take over the country. The alien's superiors chew him out for nearly blowing their cover, while the alien argues that the guy had no clue about the country, being that he was from Montreal.

Chain Mail

We get letters asking about Mobius's storyboards for Dune, which Heavy Metal's staff is looking for desperately. If they published them, I'll put them up. However, what's sold me on putting the entire letters column up, is we get a letter from a reader in Germany with a response to the editorial department's response to a letter way back in V.1, No.13. In particular, he respond to the editorial "response" that pissed me, in turn, off to no end - the "Fuck them for a Hershey Bar" response. Basically, the German reader calls out the response as being "stupid and infantile", and accuses them of engaging in national self-loathing. However, after that the writer goes into a response that made me facepalm and want to cry out "Stop Helping!" though I know it will do no good.

And it doesn't help that the editors respond to this letter by saying their remarks were perfectly reasonable and justified, and that anyone who was offended or annoyed is over-reacting by saying that they were just referencing a Lenny Bruce joke. Fuck you very much, good sir. Epic Illustrated is 20 times the magazine yours is. Also, hopefully, saying that will get the guy recapping Epic Illustrated on RPG.net to start his thread back up.

Planet Of Terror - Philippe "Caza" Cazamayou and Paul Lamontellerie

A man, who looks like your creative-type/damn-dirty-hippie (kidding) takes the elevator instead of the stairs and is whisked into some strange world. However, the world looks a lot like ours, except the person has been plopped into a new body, and is forced to live in a gray and grim urban environment, and wear a suit! He tries to find mental escape through making comics. He eventually finds romantic companionship and with her he's able to return home.

Age Of Ages by Akbar Del Piombo and Norman Rubington

I've already told you how much I hate this incomprehensible crap. For some reason they brought it back.

Our back cover is by Michel Gueranger and is fairly abstract.    
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