A Look Back At HEAVY METAL #288 (The “Weird” issue, published in November of 2017.)
Reviewed by Ivar J. Randall.
[Editor’s Note: This month of November 2018 marks the 1-year anniversary of HEAVY METAL #288, a magazine issue that rocked the world of graphic literature. Enjoy this retrospective. – TC]
HEAVY METAL #288 features contributions from Morrison, Bilal, Corben, Eastman, Bisley, Bivens, Momoko, Regan, Harvey, Shau, Menton and Torres.
This soon-to-be-classic issue features a Frank Frazetta masterpiece (“The Death Dealer,” 1973) on the front cover and includes an article with Frank Frazetta Jr.
The younger Frazetta discusses his father and the origins of “The Death Dealer.” He elaborates on the future of this iconic character and reveals a surprise that awaits all fans of this fearsome dark rider. A must-read for admirers of the Frank Frazetta oeuvre.
Grant Morrison pays tribute to Len Wein. Wein achieved fame for his early 1970’s output; JLA, Swamp Thing, Phantom Stranger and of course his contributions to HEAVY METAL. Morrison shares stories of how Wein inspired him to enter the world of illustration and comic books.
[Editor’s Note: Long-time fans of Grant Morrison are keeping their eyes peeled for news about an upcoming televised adaptation of THE INVISIBLES; a tantalizing tale of anarchy and discovery. – TC]
HEAVY METAL #288 includes a story by the inimitable Richard Corben; creator of Den.
Den first appeared in the 1968 animated short film ‘Neverwhere’. Soon after, Den appeared in the graphic literature medium, in Fantagor #4 (1972,) followed by an appearance in Grim Wit #2 (1973.) Den went on to appear in a twelve-part series in the first HEAVY METAL issues, beginning in April of 1977 and concluding in April of 1978. Den also appeared in many issues throughout the magazine’s history and even appeared in stunning animated form in the first full-length HEAVY METAL film in 1981.
In this issue, Richard Corben returns from a near-twenty year hiatus from HEAVY METAL magazine and unveils ‘Murky World’: a fifteen-part series which will conclude in 2020. ‘Murky World’ is sure to please and have fans anxious for each subsequent installment. The artwork of the story is legendary Corben at his best. Welcome back, Mr. Corben.
The incredible artwork of Natalie Shau is featured in the Gallery. The unusual use of a mustache secures itself in James Harvey’s ‘Mouth Baby’. Peach Momoko delivers a scathing rebuke. The band band Five Finger Death Punch has one of their songs (“The Bleeding,”) immortalized in glorious ink. The illustrated song bleeds color and detail, dazzling the eyes with glossy realism.
Many more stories are included by some of HEAVY METAL’s finest contributors. The fantasy weirdness concludes with a piercing hung-jury installment of the pinhead master, Hellraiser.
Material quality of the pages are excellent and continue to be for this publication. Print and color of the graphics are vivid and clear. Text is clean, crisp and legible.
HEAVY METAL #288 is sure to become a classic for collectors.