Archive for the 'Heavy Metal' Category

Michael Gross Back Cover Art for Heavy Metal (January, 1982)

Heavy Metal 1982 Michael Gross

Compare to the Angus McKie art seen here. The skeleton in a spacesuit, representing the long dead astronaut, is a very powerful sci-fi trope that’s been around since the dawn of the genre. The decomposing explorer is often buried in sand and surrounded by a dead world. The attempt to colonize space, especially as a a result of escalating social upheaval or widespread devastation (i.e. a nuclear war) on Earth, is a deeply troubling idea to many and dates all the way back to the myth of Icarus.

The image is a warning against the hubris of flying too high, of crossing thresholds we were not meant to cross, of challenging God. Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles (1950) is a famous example of the theme, as are the early sci-fi films Rocketship X-M (1950) and Flight to Mars (1951), to name just a few examples.

I can’t find much information on Michael Gross. He has entries at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database under both Mike Gross and Michael Gross, for a combined ten cover works. Heavy Metal is not mentioned, but I know he did more than one cover for the magazine.

(Image via The Por Por Books Blog)




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