HEAVY METAL was one of the most significant fantasy periodicals of the 1970's. It not only provided access to European artists that were active in the genre, but the stories were also translated into English. Unique and excellently produced, it has become an icon of comic art. It is still being published today.
The original French version of the magazine, METAL HURLANT, was founded by Jean Giraud (aka Moebius), Philippe Druillet and Jean-Pierre Dionnet in 1974. It was considered at the time the cutting edge in comics and graphic design.
This "Special H.P. Lovecraft Issue" hit the stands in October 1979 and appeared at a time when the "Old Gentleman" was gaining steam among both fans and critics. There had been no greater interest and access since the 60's resurgence in his and other literary fantasists (including Tolkien).
The contents are a bit uneven (not everything is related to Lovecraft), and truthfully, great liberties are taken with interpreting his material. Still, the stories are visually appealing and maintain the outre and avant-garde treatment that the magazine was noted for. The highlight is Druillet's "Excerpts from the Necronomicon" (also seen here at MMW yesterday). Ultimately, the issue contributed a great deal to promote Lovecraft's work.
Today, Lovecraft is more popular than ever, and we should be thankful for publications like HEAVY METAL that recognized his importance.