New Owners Relaunching ‘Heavy Metal’ With Movies, Music And More In Mind
After 22 years, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman has officially sold Heavy Metal. Founded in France as Métal Hurlant in 1975 before being licensed in America by then-National Lampoon publisher Leonard Mogel and later sold to Eastman in the early 1990s, Heavy Metal Magazine is famous for serving as something of a bridge to Euro Comics from the likes of H. R. Giger, Jean Giraud a.k.a. Moebius, Milo Manara and others, as well as a platform for North American artists and others who specialize in... well.. heavily rendered illustrations of warrior women in fantasy situations (among many other things).
The buyers are respective music and film industry professionals David Boxenbaum and Jeff Krelitz, and they've got multimedia in mind for the brand.
According to Publisher's Weekly Eastman will remain a minority partner in the new Heavy Metal venture and remain the publisher of a revamped quarterly version of its magazine component, which is expected to be fleshed out in full around San Diego Comic-Con International 2014. The Magazine's online portal will serve as a lifestyle magazine of sorts, and cover entertainment in addition to posting original content. “If Vice Magazine is hip, we're hardcore,” Krelitz told PW.
Though the previous incarnations of Heavy Metal under Mogel and Eastman had their share of multimedia spinoffs such as movies, video games and merchandise, Boxenbaum and Krelitz are aiming beyond the scope of print and digital periodicals relating directly to the magazine.
Comic fans can expect to see from 6-12 new titles launched under the Heavy Metal umbrella, although no creative teams have been announced. Interestingly, many Image Comics creators will be producing multimedia adaptations of their titles through Heavy Metal. Kurtis J. Wiebe's Peter Panzerfaust is being developed as an animated series featuring the voice talent of Elijah Wood and Summer Glau, while John Layman and Rob Guillory's Chew is being developed into a live action TV series with BBC Worldwide. Michael Moreci and Steve Seeley's Hoax Hunters, meanwhile, is in development as a feature film.
Heavy Metal is slated to announce a lineup of signed musical acts soon, as well, although not necessarily heavy metal bands. As a founder of A&M/Octone Records, Boxenbaum has worked with Maroon 5, The Hives, Flyleaf, Hollywood Undead and more, so the signees could be sonically and aesthetically diverse.
PW's piece makes it clear that Heavy Metal won't have a standard deal across all multimedia for all creators. Heavy Metal may use creator-owned deals or the more comprehensive deals increasingly becoming the norm in the music industry when working with talent.
“I’m going to be in business with you in all this and invest in you. You’re not a graphic novel creator, you are a content creator," Boxenbaum told PW, "We’re in the entertainment business with you. Which is great from a marketing side, as we control all this other media."