The Summer of ’82


  • Spikes – CHECK
  • Mohawk – CHECK
  • Leather – CHECK
  • Eye-patch – CHECK

How-punkActually the little snippet of the punky chick above is from the June 1982 issue of Heavy Metal.

There’s really nothing special about the cover. It has nothing to do with any of the stories within the magazine. It’s a competently done sci-fi illustration that looks like it was a freelancer’s portfolio piece that Heavy Metal decided to run as a cover. Of course, Heavy Metal and their parent magazine, National Lampoon, were high on the hog back then. National Lampoon was still counting the money made from the runaway hit Animal House which was still bouncing around second run theaters and drive-ins at the time and probably being memorized line-by-line on cable television. National Lampoon was the brand name for comedy and Heavy Metal was about to roll out their animated anthology into multiplexes across America. Judging from how jam-packed this issue is with art from top artists and articles, it seemed that this magazine had money to burn. They had a name and advertisers throwing money at them. Why not? Print was king!

My favorite part of the illustration is the Walkman tape player in the punky chick’s left hand. Fashionable accouterments on off-world colonies should include capes, side arms, vicious fire-breathing alien pets and analog cassette tape players.

I haven’t looked at this particular magazine in years.  It was entombed in a box amongst a load of other comics and magazines. Recently I started to root through the boxes looking for stuff to unload on eBay. I looked at the cover and was going to toss it aside, but, for some reason, I cracked it open. It turned out to be a treasure trove inside. It was like opening a time capsule from that era – one of the most exciting times in cinematic history!

I forgot all about this teaser poster for John Carpenter’s classic remake. Back then, the only way to make most film goers aware of upcoming films was to hang a poster in the lobby of a movie theater. There were teaser posters like the one above as well as A and B sheet variations. Back then even unsuccessful movies played screens for months rather than weeks as it is now. Cable was only starting to spread and home video was in it’s infancy. The only way studios made money on movies in 1982 was butts in seats.

Man is the warmest place to hide? I guess they were shooting for a tagline like In space no one can hear you scream.

Full page ads for what was coming out on screens separated comics by some of the giants in the field such as Moebius.

I marveled at how classic-packed 1982 was.

What was wonderful was that the posters were all illustrated which you never see in this day and age. This was especially exciting in that I was going to art school at the time. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that majoring in illustration was the way to go! We were surrounded by hand drawn and rendered images! Behold the mighty illustrators and their incredible works!

There was something for everyone – even the above, highly stylized illustration for Mad Max 2 or The Road Warrior. They would never sell a movie like this today.

Of course, not every movie advertised in that issue of Heavy Metal turned out to be a classic.

But, hey, at least it’s illustrated. In art school we used to balk at illustrations like this as being the work of hacks. Man, do I miss those hacks.

I’ve written before about this era on a personal level. I was finishing up my first year of art school which was arduous and seemed to be an exercise in futility. At this time, I was looking forward to the summer off and the upcoming sophomore year where I would chase down my illustration major. This issue of Heavy Metal fed into that enthusiasm for my future field of study. It had everything. There were so many different styles represented in this single magazine. It went from Giger…

…to Crumb!

Crumb had a two page spread of which I’m only showing a portion. It didn’t really fit with the rest of the issue, but it was illustrated and it was Crumb! What the hey?

Illustration was everywhere, and we were going to have our pick of assignments once we got out of school. Of course, this was before I started my actual course of study in illustration. I wasn’t aware that the faculty of my school’s illustration department turned their noses up at what they considered to be drek.

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2 Responses to The Summer of ’82

  1. Joe_Williams says:

    You would think so, but I doubt it. Strange currents run among comic collectors and eBayers, and I have yet to divine them.

  2. oldnfo says:

    Yep, the good old days… You could probably get a pretty penny for that one!

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