Cultural Gutter: Heavy Light

Over on the Cultural Gutter, I’m looking at the history of Heavy Metal magazine and my youthful efforts to purchase a copy. Heavy Light traces the origin of the magazine and the important part it played in encouraging me to seek out weird science fiction, especially if it contained nudity and/or space janitors.

I was spending a lot of time at this bookstore in Louisville called Hawley-Cooke. I would camp out in either the science fiction section or the magazine racks. One day, as I was flipping through the latest issue of Starlog or Omni or something, I happen to see the cover of a magazine a little bit higher up on the shelves. It was an illustration of a topless woman in a slinky loincloth, doing what I’ve since come to refer to as “the wizard finger.” She was standing next to a saber-tooth tiger and above her was a fantastic space scene. The magazine was called Heavy Metal, and I knew then and there that I had to have it.

Full article: Heavy Light, Part I: A Foundation of Metal