Tag Archives: matthew medney

Heavy Metal releases a message from new CEO Marshall Lees

We’re only 18 days in to 2023 and things have already seen a lot of changes and shakeups in the comic industry. Yesterday news broke that Matthew Medney was stepping down as CEO of Heavy Metal with Marshall Lees taking over the role.

The publisher has had troubles of late including a money crunch, a “reorganization”, accusations of selling foreign rights without the creators knowledge or compensation, and accusations the publisher has been having troubles fulfilling purchases.

Today, the company’s new CEO has issued a statement about the situation:

A message from Heavy Metal’s new CEO to all our valued partners, friends and fans.

As stewards of a renowned brand that has had a significant impact on cinema, art, literature, and culture for over 40 years, we recognize that we have made mistakes. As the new CEO, I am excited and honored to take on this role, but also aware of the challenges ahead. The brand, its legacy, our team, and all of you deserve better, and I, along with the new team, are committed to delivering that.

We recognize that creatives are the lifeblood of our company. They are the reason we exist. Moving forward, Heavy Metal will focus on being a conduit for unfettered creativity, providing support for your exploration and a platform for reaching the world without boundaries or restrictions. We want to hear your stories, see your art, and empower you to create without limits. As part of this commitment, Heavy Metal Publishing will publish a wide range of stories and content that pushes boundaries fearlessly. Additionally, we are implementing a more transparent creator portal to improve communication with all of our partners.

To all of our fans, including those who have remained loyal to us and those whom we have disappointed, we want you to know that we deeply value your support and contributions to the legacy of our brand. We are committed to doing better for you and enhancing your experience with Heavy Metal in new and exciting ways, while staying true to our roots. You can expect increased engagement with our community, great emphasis on timely delivery, and improved products that you will be proud to own. THe journey ahead is only meaningful if you join us on it.

There are many reasons to be enthusaistic about the future. The new leadership brings a desire to rebuild and a commitment to allowing creators to do their best work. The team is reinvigorated and passionate about what they do. Heavy Metal Studios, our emerging TV and film studio, is poised to break through barriers in the entertainment industry. Additionally, we have a variety of exciting new products and intellectual property that we are confident will excite our audience.

Our management team will continue to have some familiar faces. Tommy Coriale will remain our Head of Studio, Kris Long remains as our Chief Sales Officer and now serves as interim Publisher, Jamie Penrose has assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer and Joe Durko fills the critical role of Chief Restructuring Officer and Chief Financial Officer.

I am here to listen and learn from you all and I open my inbox for you to reach out to me at ceo@heavymetal.com if you would like be a part of the exciting road ahead as we rebuild Heavy Metal together.

Welcome to the new Heavy Metal.

Marshall Lees
CEO

Heavy Metal statement. Same as text above

Around the Tubes

Lazarus Planet: Assault on Krypton #1

It’s new comic book day! What are you excited about? What do you plan on getting? Sound off in the comments below! While you wait for shops to open, here’s some comic news and a review from around the web.

Variety – Heavy Metal Magazine CEO Matthew Medney Steps Down (EXCLUSIVE) – Not surprising news and another example of what will be a turbulent year in comics.

The Beat – Matthew Medney steps down at Heavy Metal amid creator accusations – More details on the shakeup.

The Beat – Report: Ike Perlmutter attempted a shadow Disney board coup over the summer…and it’s not done yet. – Not surprising at all.

Comicbook – Jason Pearson, Comics Artist, Dead at 52 – Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and fans.

ICv2 – Tapas Parent Raises Nearly $1B from Saudi Arabia, Singapore Sovereign Funds – Interesting.

Book Riot – 9 of the Best Revenge Manga – What would you suggest?

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics: THE LAST BLOODLINE taps into vampire lore – Free comics!

Kotaku – Suicide Squad Leak Has Fans Worried About Its Online Features – Uh oh.

Review

CBR – Lazarus Planet: Assault on Krypton #1

Long Beach Comic Con Returns in September

Long Beach Comic Con

Mad Event Management has announced the return of Long Beach Comic Con, coming back on September 3rd and 4th 2022 after a two year hiatus due to the pandemic. Long Beach CA’s celebration of the best in comics and pop culture returns this year with an exciting slate of guests, including Heavy Metal Entertainment CEO and creator Matthew MedneyBrendan ColumbusAndrew Davies GansJonathan Chance, and more! The Hero Initiative returns to the show floor to host artists Darick Robertson and HUGO and Saturday appearance of Eisner nominee Gabriel Hardman. Attendees can meet these creators and more celebrity guests, cosplay stars, comic book writers and artists, with exhibits to be announced in the coming weeks.

Space Expo returns with its unique brand of programming, presented by the Columbia Memorial Space Center, exploring the intersection of real STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and pop culture! Space Expo will feature fascinating panels with scientists and engineers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), comic creators and more from the far reaches of nerdom.  The exhibit space on the main convention floor will feature exhibits, hands-on activities meet-and-greets and your chance to meet your very favorite droids, as the R2D2 Builders Club also makes their long awaited return.  Plus, gear up in your best STEM cosplay as Space Expo participates in this year’s Cosplay Contest, giving out two awards.

In 2022, Long Beach Comic Con will return to the Long Beach Convention Center, featuring some of the continent’s best vintage and modern comic book dealers, a host of creators in Artist Alley, Space Expo Activation, Heavy Metal Pavilion, and the return of fan favorite Long Beach Comic Con Costume Contest.

Enjoy an exciting weekend full of exceptional guests and exhibitors, and engaging panels at Long Beach Comic Con, Saturday, September 3 from 10:00 am – 7:00 pm and Sunday, September 4 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm at the Long Beach Convention Center. The show opens to advance ticket holders at 9:30 AM on Saturday and 10AM on Sunday.

Hajime Sorayama and Heavy Metal Magazine Team for “Sexy Robot Covers”

Heavy Metal Entertainment has announced that legendary Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama, famous for his Sexy Robot paintings and statues, will be contributing artwork for three new covers for Heavy Metal Magazine #312. There is also a gallery within the magazine featuring the full, uncensored artwork by Sorayama, alongside a profile written by Heavy Metal Entertainment’s Publisher and Chief Creative Overlord David Erwin. The three different covers showcase sci-fi inspired robots in different sensual poses; all three editions of the magazine are available to purchase starting December 8th, 2021, when the issue became available in stores and online.

Sorayama previously illustrated the iconic front cover of Heavy Metal Magazine’s November 1980 issue, featuring a stunning female android draped in a red sheet, as well as the back cover for the August 1981 issue. Heavy Metal is happy to reunite once again with Sorayama for this spectacular Sexy Robot artwork. Hajime Sorayama is a celebrated artist on a global scale; his extensive oeuvre centers upon an ongoing pursuit for beauty regarding the human body and the machine, and he has continued to receive high international acclaim.

The “Sexy Robot” series, Sorayama’s signature body of work, started in 1978 and continues into the modern day, serving to establish his world-wide reputation. The Sexy Robot artwork he created for Aerosmith’s 2001 album Just Push Play earned him global renown, and in 2018, Sorayama collaborated with fashion house Dior for its 2019 pre-fall collection in Tokyo, presenting a 39-foot-high gigantic Sexy Robot statue for the show that gained vast attention from all over the world.

Issue #312 of Heavy Metal Magazine not only feature Sorayama’s artwork, but also includes the first two parts of Avenging Demon Princes, a newly translated French space opera, adapted by Jo Morvan from the original novel by Jack Vance, with incredible art by Paolo Traisci. Heavy Metal Magazine #312 also presents the return of The Adventures of Adrienne James, Matthew Medney and Bruce Edwards’ “female Indiana Jones in space” series, with all-star illustrator Santa Fung coming aboard as the artist for the series.

All-new chapters of Ron Marz’s Swamp God series, Steve Orlando’s Starward series, and Ryan K Lindsay and Sebastián Píriz’s Black Beacon series are also featured in the issue.

Heavy Metal Teams with Herø Projects for Graphic Novels and Screen Adaptations

Heavy Metal has announced that it is teaming up with acclaimed comics and animation company Herø Projects to publish a slate of sci-fi graphic novels and to develop Herø’s original IP for screen adaptations to be produced through Heavy Metal Studio. 

Herø Projects’ “Ønyx” lineup of sci-fi graphic novels will be published through Heavy Metal and distributed by Simon and Schuster in 2022-2023. The titles featured in the lineup are post-apocalyptic space opera Stable, dystopian thriller The Red, historical sci-fi Dogma Resistance, action-adventure The Awakening, and decopunk crime noir Remnant.

All five of the “Onyx” line of books being announced were created by Matthew Medney, Morgan Rosenblum, Jonny Handler, and Pete “Voodoo Bownz” Russo, and written by Medney and Rosenblum. Notable artists featured in the series of OGNs include Francesco Pisa, Jon Lam, Giuseppe Peppe, Santa Fung, Andrea Adiletto, Fabrizio Ugolini, and many more.

Stable will be on sale in winter of 2022, followed by Remnant coming out summer of 2022, both of which are collaborations with Tomato Farm Agency, then The Awakening in fall of 2022, Dogma Resistance in winter of 2023, and The Red in spring of 2023.

Along with the slate of graphic novels hitting shelves soon, Heavy Metal’s President and Head of Studio Tommy Coriale is in the process of developing screen adaptations of Herø Projects’ graphic novel collection, based on the original IP. Heavy Metal plans to produce the television and film projects with additional partners. Stable and The Red are the first two of the titles being developed, with the others in the pipeline.

Heavy Metal and Floyd Mayweather Team for Undefeated

Heavy Metal has announced a new Floyd Mayweather comic that will be co-produced with Herø Projects. Undefeated, a 22-page one-shot comic, highlights the life and success of Floyd Mayweather, the iconic American boxer, winner of fifteen major world championships, and Olympic medalist.

Undefeated is written by Matthew Medney and Morgan Rosenblum, who co-created the comic with Voodoo Bownz and Jonny Handler, with illustrations by Rodrigo Lorenzo.

Undefeated will be exclusively available this fall to anyone who buys one of the 11,000+ Floyd Mayweather NFTs from floydNFT.com. Each Floyd NFT feeds 15 people and grants access to “Floyd’s world.”

Undefeated

Exclusive: Dark Wing #3 Preview with Commentary from Writer Matthew Medney

The Dark Wing, a planet turned into a spaceship by human-like people known as the Quails, searches the cosmos for a solar system to call home. Piloted by the legendary Benedict Gunn, the exploration of this gargantuan planet ship is an adventure like no other. But when Captain Gunn pulls a daring interstellar maneuver, the price he and his crew must pay is deadly.

Dark Wing debuted in Heavy Metal #300 and runs as a serialization within the magazine from Issue #300-309

Dark Wing is written by Matthew Medney with art by German Ponce, color by Protobunker Studio, and the creative team of Bruce Edwards and Pete “Voodoo Bownz” Russo.

In Dark Wing #3, we learn about CELL- Collective Experiential Living Life-form is the planetary collective intelligence; basically, like a touch less internet that you can constantly access in your head just by thinking about something, connecting you to the entire world’s knowledge whenever you need it. It’s also used to help everyone make the most logical decisions possible, for the best outcome for the most amount of people, while being guided by your heart is also encouraged and actually assisted by not having to second-guess if your heart is affecting your thinking).

The issue comes to shops on February 17 and we have an exclusive look and commentary from writer Matthew Medney.

MATTHEW MEDNEY, writer: This page is so incredible for me. The incredible team I worked with to create the CELL (Collective Experiential Living Life) form is the planetary collective intelligence; basically, like a touch less internet that you can constantly access in your head just by thinking about something, connecting you to the entire world’s knowledge whenever you need it. It’s also used to help everyone make the most logical decisions possible, for the best outcome for the most amount of people, while being guided by your heart is also encouraged and actually assisted by not having to second-guess if your heart is affecting your thinking) CELL which was created after the first uprising of the sentient A.I. as a way to fuse the best parts of the Quails technology while mitigating any risks that could arise from sentient robotics, CELL was created and implemented.

MEDNEY: I mean come on, its Heavy Metal! We need at least one sex scene. The best part about Dark Wing, to me, is that we created an amazing universe that allows for high octane action weaved in between a love triangle and some interpersonal dilemmas. Pon and Ben are in this on again off again emotional pull and off in the corner is Ben and Phoebe, former lovers, and akin to each other. But the passion between Pon and Ben is as fiery as it gets! 

Dark Wing #3

MEDNEY: This spread is one of the best pages I have ever seen in comics. German and the coloring team at Protobunker Studios have dazzled our eyes with this montage that perfectly sums up the ethos of issue #3. We have the Dark Wing, CELL, Ben and Pon and the city of Tiberius all beautifully put together in this smorgasbord of color and wonder.

Dark Wing #3

MEDNEY: What’s Next in Dark Wing? Well, I can assure you it is a dashing cosmic adventure where the twists and turns will surprise you and keep you at the edge of your seats. I don’t want to give away too much, but I will say, you haven’t met all the players yet, and what you think will happen, most certainly not. Bruce, Pete, German, Protobunker, Ricardo (editor) and all of the brilliant minds that have come together to help construct Dark Wing into this cosmic adventure all have the guiding light of a true space odyssey that pays homage to stories like Star Trek, but pushes the envelope with what matters today in science, fiction, culture and genre. 

Dark Wing #3 is in comic shops nationwide on February 17, 2021.

Dark Wing #3

Review: The Red #1

The Red #1

There was a time I worked in advocacy for video games fighting against censorship and fighting for policies that benefited creators and players. During that time, there was a lot of talk of censorship and video games as free speech. One of the projects I contemplated was an alternate reality game taking place in a world where video games were banned and only played in speakeasies breaking the prohibition. The Red #1 is a similar concept expanding the prohibition to anything that can elicit an emotion. It’s also a hell of a start to the series.

Taking place in a distant future, a nuclear war has ravaged humanity. A single government entity now presides over what’s left of the world and prohibits certain content that is deemed emotionally dangerous, or “red,” in an attempt to maintain order and keep society working. The Red takes us into that underground world where musicians let their talent flow flaunting the control of a totalitarian government.

Written by Morgan Rosenblum, The Red‘s story is by Matthew Medney, Voodoo Bownz, Jonny Handler, and Rosenblum. Together they’ve created a world that feels familiar and characters we can easily relate to and understand. This is a comic that’s easy to slide into and enjoy. The concept isn’t out there and the world itself familiar.

And that’s a good thing as it allowed me to easily sink into the story and focus on the characters. And it’s the characters that stand out. Though they all fill their niche, there’s something also very charming about them all. This is a story and characters that you could easily see on tv and while not yet memorable they’re also very entertaining. There’s an almost musical quality about them where their personalities are all larger than life and they all stand out in their own way. With a “small cast” when each takes the stage the spotlight is immediately on them.

The art helps the cool factor of it all with beautiful visuals that are broken up by propaganda posters from the totalitarian rulers. Jon Lam provides the art with Voodoo Bownz lettering and there’s such a great style to it all. There’s clearly a lot of thought put into how this world is depicted, especially when it comes to colors. The dreary emotionless world is bathed in browns and yellows. The underground world of free music features purples and pinks. The in-between features reds. You can almost tell where individuals are locations stand based on the color palette chosen.

The Red #1 delivers a solid start into a familiar concept and world but down with splash and style. You can almost hear the music played in scenes. I awaited each character having the spotlight shined on them with a monologue ala Chorus Line. I liked it all and was sucked in quickly. What’s presented isn’t groundbreaking but it’s all done really well. The Red #1 introduces us to a world that while dystopian, still has a cool factor that makes me want to visit.

Story: Morgan Rosenblum, Matthew Medney, Voodoo Bownz, Jonny Handler Writer: Morgan Rosenblum
Art: Jon Lam Ink: Jon Lam Color: Jon Lam Letterer: Voodoo Bownz
Story: Art: Overall: Recommendation: Buy

Heavy Metal provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyHeavy Metal

Get a Behind the Scenes Look at the Beyond Kuiper: The Galactic Star Alliance Audio Experience. Out Now in Book and Audio!

Beyond Kuiper: The Galactic Star Alliance

While on loan to CERN, a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions leaves astrophysicist Bernard Hubert as the sole survivor. While the scientific community and world looks to him for answers, he states the unthinkable: “It has to be aliens.” Unacceptable to the world, the Hubert family is under investigation and their name tarnished. Disgraced and shunned, Bernard claws his way back into society with his new company C.O.R.E. where he works tirelessly to design an engine capable of interstellar travel. Follow Bernard on his road to redemption and discovery in this ensemble cast of futurism, space travel, and the fate of our species.

A thoughtful meditation on the human race’s place in the universe as well as an entertaining sci-fi adventure, Beyond Kuiper: The Galactic Star Alliance asks some important questions. Why hasn’t sentient life been discovered in our galaxy? If that life exists, why has no other life communicated with us? The answer is simple, no one wants to. Enter the Galactic Star Alliance, a union of species and planets that span the galaxy earth calls home. But while our galaxy has yet to speak to Earth there are some humans who believe it is out there. Not as science-fantasy but as science.

Beyond Kuiper: The Galactic Star Alliance is the first in a planned series of 10 epic sci-fi prose novels from authors Matthew Medney, Heavy Metal CEO, and Lockheed Martin Aerospace Engineer John Connelly.

The audio experience features the talent of actor and entrepreneur Dylan Sprouse (All-Wise Meadery & Sun Eater) voices Odian Spek and film/television director and producer George C. Romero (Romero Pictures) voices Tordok, as well as Kyle Perrin (Another Kingdom: Season 3 and The Cold War: What We Saw) who also sound designed, narrated the majority of the voices and book and scored the audiobook alongside Matt Medney.


Purchase: Audible [Audiobook] – AmazonKindleHeavy Metal

Review: Dark Wing #1

Dark Wing #1

Dark Wing #1 is a fascinating sci-fi epic full of action and a world we’re dumped into the deep end to explore. It’s an unknown time and a human-like race is mining material they desperately need to survive. It’s a dangerous mission full of risk. It’s also full of visuals that challenge you to linger on the page to figure out everything going on.

Written by Matthew Medney, Dark Wing #1 is a solid sci-fi concept and comic with a lot of tension throughout. That tension and a wondering of “will the mission succeed” is the draw as we get little on the actual characters. This is a debut that drops the reader in the deep end as the action is underway with no build-up and no set-up. You’re challenged to piece together what’s going on in the thick of the action.

There’s some crazy concepts presented and I found much of my reading of the issue was just trying to piece together exactly what was going on. The mining of the material, the design of the ships, and how it all connects together, it’s a take that’s original. That originality also forces you to focus a bit more and just go with the flow. It’s a different sort of world and sci-fi adventure with a DNA that’s very familiar.

That unfamiliarity is primarily in the art. German Ponce handles that with color by Protobunker Studios. The design of the ships and where people are in relation to each other is a bit hard to piece together in my review copy. It’s possible the physical copy of the series is a bit easier to understand with the ability to get the literal full picture but as I read it, I found myself jumping between pages. And even then, I was a bit confused as to what was going on visually. It’s definitely a different thought on page layout and design of the ships. It took me much of the comic to get used to it. That’s not necessarily bad as further issues shouldn’t have this problem and I can focus more on the story itself.

That focus is needed. Dark Wing #1 doesn’t explain a lot about its characters and world. You’re really forced to figure out who people are and what’s going on by a sentence or two. The set-up is built into the story which is itself focused on the action. This feels like a bit more dense of a comic debut and should be interesting to see where it goes but as it stands this is one that might be for those really into space focused science fiction.

Story: Matthew Medney Art: German Ponce
Color: Protobunker Studios Creative Team: Brice Edwards, Pete Russo
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Heavy Metal Entertainment provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: Zeus ComicscomiXology

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