French Bedsheet-size, glossy colour Comic-strip sf magazine launched January 1975 by Bernard Farkas, Jean-Pierre Dionnet (1947- ) and illustrators Jean Giraud and Philippe Druillet; published by Les Humanöids Associées. Conceived as a high-quality showcase for the growing number of French sf artists, Métal Hurlant was an instant success, combining many aspects of sf narrative with particular stress on the erotic, the grotesque and the horrific in illustrated form. Although it was accused of putting emphasis on graphics rather than content, its influence was notable throughout Europe and North America, and translations of its contents appeared in similar magazines in the USA (in particular Heavy Metal), Italy, Spain, Holland and elsewhere. Major contributors included Druillet, Giraud, Alexis (Dominique Valler [1946-1977]), Enki Bilal, Vaughn Bodé, Caza (Philippe Cazaumayou [1941- ]), Nicole Claveloux (1940- ), Serge Clerc (1957- ), Richard Corben, F'Murr (Richard Peyzaret [1946- ]), Jean-Claude Forest (1930- ), Jean-Claude Gal (1944- ), Dominique Hé (1949- ), Jacques Lob (1932-1990), Sergio Macedo (1951- ), Nikita Mandryka (1940- ), Francis Massé (1948- ), Jean-Claude Mézières (1938- ), Réné Pétillon (1945- ) and Jacques Tardi (1946- ). Quarterly from its inception, Métal Hurlant became a monthly with #9 (September 1976), at which time it began to carry a warning forbidding sale to minors. In October 1976 it spawned a companion magazine devoted exclusively to female illustrators, Ah! Nana (9 issues, October 1976-September 1978). Métal Hurlant also published a series of Hors Serie (specials) on themes such as the End of the World and H P Lovecraft. In 1985 Hachette bought the title and Dionnet was replaced as editor by C Fromental. With #123 (September 1986) a new team took over, but by this time Métal Hurlant had declined in quality and popularity, and the new editor-in-chief C Generot succeeded only in prolonging its life as a pale imitation of its early self. Its last issue was #133 (August 1987). A brief resurrection later published 14 new issues in comic-book size between July 2002 and December 2004. [RT/MJ/JP]
see also: Illustration.
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