Long-running science fiction and fantasy anthology HEAVY METAL has a brand new Editor-in-Chief, reports Entertainment Weekly: and it is none other than superstar writer Grant Morrison. His first issue in the new role will kick off in February, with plans to contribute his own prose, comics and other material in addition to his editorial duties.
“We’re trying to bring back some of that ’70s punk energy of HEAVY METAL, but update it and make it new again,” says Morrison “One of the things I like to do in my job is revamp properties and really get into the aesthetic of something, dig into the roots of what makes it work, then tinker with the engine and play around with it. So for me, it’s an aesthetic thing first and foremost. The idea of immersing myself in the aesthetic of Heavy Metal is exciting. It’s going to change the clothes I wear, the way I create; it’s like a performance for me.”
HEAVY METAL first began in 1977, the US equivalent to the French publication Métal Hurlant. The original publication ran the work of Jean Giraud/Moebius, and later editions featured long-running serials from the likes of H.R. Giger, Kevin Eastman, Richard Corben, Howard Chaykin, and Walter Simonson. Since 1991, Kevin Eastman (co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) has been the publisher. In 2014, he sold the publication to digital and music veteran David Boxenbaum and film producer Jeff Krelitz in January 2014
Morrison says that HEAVY METAL will be the focus of his comics work for at least the next few years, “I want to give my attention over to making something that’s unique and provocative, a bit more scary for people and challenging,” he says, adding “Just the idea of being able to curate stories, decide the direction of the magazine, and work with great talent and develop new talent is an exciting opportunity.”
This is a bombshell story for the comics industry, combining one of the biggest writers of the last three decades with one of the magazine that has influenced the writing and style of so many creators. Previous collaborators Chris Burnham (Nameless) and Frazer Irving (Annihilator) have been named as being on the radar for the magazine. This will be one to watch when Morrison’s first issue hits stand in February 2016.