Where I Read - Heavy Metal Vol. 1, Issue 13

Cover from Heavy Metal - Vol. 1, Issue 13
Moving on with the Heavy Metal Magazine recaps, we are on Vol. 1, No. 13. Our cover art for this isue is by Robert Morello. I haven't heard of the guy before, and I can't find a web site (or even a fan site for that matter) for him, so I don't know what else he's done. We've got an interesting ad this issue for Lenny White's album "Adventures of the Astral Pirates", which is a Prog Rock concept album with a plot about space pirates restoring music to the universe.

In the letters column, we get a letter here from an artist at Fantastic Comics in California, basically taking a cheap shot at Heavy Metal's decision not to run any domestic stuff. Basically, he asks "Until you start running domestic stuff, where can I get my stuff published in Europe?" Snicker. There's a letter from a reader in Brazil, saying that the magazine should be not be considered as the product of a stoned mind, as much as a mind on hallucinogens. Another letter tells the staff that their offical binders are "bullshit" because they damage the issues, and their editorial columns are similarly full of crap. I can't help but agree with the writer. The editorial staff, as they are want to do with any sort of criticism I've read in the letters column thus far (positive or otherwise) is to blow it off.

As an example, we get a letter from a reader giving the complaint that they should really give some American writers a chance, rather than only publishing translations of European comics. I'm going to put the text of the letter and the response verbatim, just so you can see how badly the editorial staff is treating their readers.

"Mssrs Metal:
...My principal complaint is that your magazine is simply too European. The European experience is quite different...and it is therefore difficult for the American Reader to "get into" an European work..."

My note: The ellipses are from the Editorial Staff - it appears they cut down a larger letter to what they considered to be the high point they wanted to respond to.

Heavy Metal Magazine's Response (in their own words):
"So true. Will you sign our petition to get all European, Rembrandt, Picasso, et al our of our museaums? How can we respect a people whose mothers let our fathers fuck them for a Hershey bar after the war, anyway-Eds."

Really? A reader writes a letter bringing up the legitmate cultural differences between The United States and Europe (particularly France) at this point in the war, based on local politcs, history, culture, systems of government (parlimentary vs. the US Republic system), how this can effect a society, and you pithily dismiss him as, essentially European bigot. Seriously - that's a straw man if I ever saw one. Go fuck yourself.

Their editorial column for this issue just consists of patting themselves on the back for completing a year, and features a photograph of Moebius, showing he exists. Normally I'd be indifferent about this self-congratulation, but considering their responses in the letter column, it just pisses me off to no end. It feels like they're saying "We survived for a year in spite of treating our readers like absolute shit. How about that!

Den's Farewell by Richard Corben

So, after Den and Kath flew off into the sunset in the last chapter (as in the end of the last segment of Den in the Heavy Metal movie), they have some acrobatic sex. Den and Kath rescue the Queen's sorcerer, but Den is briefly captured. The queen tries to rape Den, but Kath comes to the rescue on their winged beast and pulls him out of there.

The Airtight Garage Of Jerry Cornelius by Jean "Mœbius" Giraud

Grubert continues through some slums, while Barnabas is rescued by a strange archer who knows who he is. I'm betting the archer works for Jerry. Anyway, Grubert finds himself getting lost within the maze of the capital's streets. He finds a quiet place to try and sleep, so he can hopefully get his wits togeather and continue on his mission. Two men come up while he sleeps, and recognize Grubert. One comments on how easy it would be to kill Grubert. To Be Continued.

Urm The Mad by Philippe Druillet

Urm flees through the streets, fighting his way through guards who want to try to kill him. He then gets called by a strange woman who reminds me of the Lady of Pain, telling him to seek out the dragons, which will allow him to conquer the city.

Does This Look Kinda Like the Lady of Pain to you?

1996 by Chantal Montellier

I'm not even going to try to summarize this series anymore, because I really don't see the point. Is Montellier trying to take cheap shots at America, and how we're all uneducated boors? Were the accents in the original work in the first place, or did the translators at Heavy Metal Magazine add them because they thought the Montellier was trying to do a cheap shot? Am I missing the point because of some piece of background that someone living in France at that time would have, but I don't? Are the French versions of these comics loaded with puns that didn't translate well at all? Alternatively, if there were puns, did the translators at Heavy Metal not notice the puns? Did they notice them, decide they couldn't be translated, and instead decided to substitute them with a pathetic attempt at political commentary that falls flat, through the accents. Or, as a writer, does Ms. Montellier just suck? I really can't tell.

City Of Flowers - Philippe Druillet and Picotto

This looks different from most of Druillet's other stuff, at least for the first 4 pages, when it starts looking like the rest of his stuff.

The main character Firaz, is a stranger in this town, which is having a carnival. He's then put at the head of a mob which then gets him drunk and heads to the castle, and overthrows the king. Firaz himself runs the king through. Firaz finds himself put on the throne. However, there's another festival in 3 months. It's suddenly rembering the kingdom that Elan and Nale's father took the throne of in Order of the Stick.

Galactic Geographic: Kierkimos Toxis by Karl Kofoed

This planet is entirely artificial. It is essentially a gigantic biological defense system for the Federation's Computer of Sciences (the stories
description). The ecosystem is filled with incredibly lethal predators, toxic plants and funguses. Basically, any one who went on the planet, if
they weren't killed by the predators would be killed by the atmosphere. It's an incredibly novel concept. You know, if Heavy Metal collected this
series into a paperback collection, like they did for Conquering Armies, this would be the perfect resource for someone running a Sci-Fi role-playing campaign.

Orion: Chapter II - Gray Morrow

Orion and his companion, Mamba, find that their process was being monitored by some winged figures. Once they make their shadowers, the creatures attack, and the two find that they're being persuied by giant bats. How giant are these bats?
Goddamn Bats

That big. Mamba, as you can tell, was not attacked, and did not come to Orion's aid. Orion saw this and calls him on this, suspecting that he was working for the sorceror from the last chapter, trying to get Orion's sword. Orion sticks his sword in the ground between them, and tells Mamba to take it, if he can. As they fight unarmed, hand-to-hand, a flash flood happens that carries them a great distance. Orion regains his sword and some supplies, but Mamba is nowhere to be found, and their mounts have been lost. So, short on supplies, alone, and nearly naked, Orion continues on his way.

Paradise 9 by Sean Kelly

This is the issue's big story. Kelly is the magazine's EIC.

Paradise 9: Departure by Sergio Macedo and Phil Manoeuvre

This is Macedo and Manoevure trying to write like Moebius. We get Major Grubert and one of Moebius' other characters making an appearance in a group-shot. A groups of people decide to move to the planet Paradise 9.
Moebius Character Group Shot

Paradise 9: Throughout The Livelong Day, Across The Open Spaces by Nicole Claveloux

I guess this is what a day in the life of the natives of Paradise 9 is like. I suspect that Zha is the one who provided the rhyme and reason to her collaboration with Claveloux.

Paradise 9: Aedipios

No idea who did this one. This is a one page character portrait of a sort of cybernetic sphinx-like creature. The creature itself (in terms of the description) again feels like something worth stealing for an RPG campaign.

Paradise 9: Cesar Menrod

Another character portrait that isn't credited. This one is an ogre like creature that is prophecised to start a revolution.

Paradise 9: A Heavy Metal Production by Phil Manoeuvre and Serge Clerc

This is a sort of hard-boiled detective story, except one where the detective gets dead at the end of the first act thanks to a bullet from a dirty cop - and there's only one act.

Paradise 9: Genesis by Dominique Hé

Basically, this is a cheap shot at religion. How cheap is it? Well, the world of Paradise 9 was a paradise where nobody had to work (in fact the locals had no concept of work), until a powerful being came, posing as a god, and tricked the people into believing they should do work out of glorfication of him. Another powerful being came and weakened the fake-god enough that the people realized that they had been tricked, and killed the God. Then they abolished work and went back to eternal leasure.

Paradise 9: The Flora Of Paradise 9 by Jean "Mœbius" Giraud

A character who looks a lot like Major Grubert comes to Paradise 9 and checks out some of the local plant life.

Paradise Nine's Strange Flowers by Jean "Mœbius" Giraud

Continuation of the last story. Here we learn about the Basorel plant, which produces vapors which are much like what you get when you're smoking pot for people with pure hearts. There's also the laser blossom (which produces a light show sort of like a Laser Floyd show), and the anti-grav hammock flowers.

Paradise 9 Magazine by Denis Sire

Sire only did the art for this little thing. From the text, which I suspect is really from a member of the Heavy Metal staff, this is basically a collaboration between the Metal Hurlant artists and the Heavy Metal staff.

Paradise 9: The Ruins Of The Supiliouluma by Jean-Claude Gal

This is a two page spread of some ruins on the planet. For those who don't remember, Gal did the art for Conquering Armies. Now this is just one drawing (I can't call it a painting, because it's a pen-and-ink drawing), but it looks good.
Another Gal Landscape

Paradise 9: The History Of The World, As Told By Badar by Jean-Pierre Dionnet and Jean-Louis Tripp

Dionnet was the writer for Conquering Armies. This is very Twilight Zone-ish. A guy sits down to write the history of village - but nobody really wants him to do it, and it's really uneventful anyway. Eventually he gets tired, goes to take a nap, and never wakes up.

Paradise 9: 9661 by Chantal Montellier

If you couldn't tell from the title, this is a parody of "1996".

Paradise 9: A Brief History Of Its Natives by Norman Rubington

Stop me if you heard this one. The natives of Paradise 9 lived in piece, until humans came, and the human "experts" taught them capitalism, work, and other such stuff, which ultimately led to them being enslaved.

Paradise 9: Macaberesqué by E. E. Davis

A soldier on Paradise 9 goes on a psychopathic rampage, stomping on a butterfly, killing a beautiful young woman, shoving a grenade in the mouth of a hippy reading books, turning over an apple cart and gunning down some people out for a pleasent evening, before being stopped by another soldier. Subtle much.

Barbarella by Jean-Claude Forest

Barbarella wants to become a silversmith so she can learn to create a masterpiece like the guy she was sent to retreive (she's still in the dream world). However, she gets sexism in response. So, if she isn't allowed to create anything on this world of craftsmen, she asks to go to Gyn-Gyn, the fertility planet - and basically the planet conceives a child with her, and she gives birth.

Our back cover is by Rick Bryant and is generally sci-fi surrealistic.  

Back Cover from Heavy Metal - Vol. 1, Issue 13
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