Continuing the total reorganization that has been going on for a few months, Heavy Metal Magazine has just announced two key hires, both industry veterans. David Erwin, formerly of Hasbro and DC Comics, has been named Publisher and Chief Creative Overlord. And Joe Illidge, most recently of Valiant and A Wave Blue World, has joined them as Co-Managing Editor.
The duo will work with CEO Matt Medney, who came aboard in December, after a regime change at the publisher.
While at Hasbro, Erwin was Transformers Creative Lead on properties including Micronauts and ROM. For DC, he was Executive Creative Director for 16 years.
“Unlike the other publishers of fiction, Heavy Metal is a destination brand recognized for cutting edge and inventive stories within the sci-fi, fantasy and horror space, ” said Erwin in a statement. “It has influenced many of Hollywood’s greatest filmmakers over the years, and we’ll continue to be a prime source of inspiration by continuing to deliver our brand promise of great stories and art, as well as maintaining its rock-n-roll attitude of making your parents a bit uncomfortable.”
Illidge’s long career includes executive editor for Valiant Entertainment, senior editor for Lion Forge Comics, and editor for DC, Milestone Media and Archaia.
For the “co” part, Illidge will join Ricardo Llarena, a longtime Heavy Metal employee who is going from senior editor to co-managing editor.
“Working with the great team at Heavy Metal has been a bucket list experience! The company’s name and brand symbolizes the innovation of genre storytelling and the collection of distinctive veteran and new talents,” Illidge said in a statement. “It’s an honor to be part of a team dedicated to igniting the company, bringing top-notch creators from around the globe to the Heavy Metal landscape, and paving the way for a new era as the true leader in sequential storytelling for science fiction, fantasy, and horror.”
“When David [Erwin] introduced me to Joseph, I was enamored by his attitude and spark,” said Medney in his own statement. “Most times you don’t come across people like Joseph. His talents go far beyond editing and his spirit provides an infectious smile across the whole company. From Batman to Taarna, I am confident that Joseph will bring a quality of work to Heavy Metal that the brand deserves and needs.”
“You know you’re living a dream when excitement for your job increases every day,” added Llarena.” “It is a really exciting time at Heavy Metal under Matt’s tutelage between bringing in David and really focusing our efforts on quality stories, it’s a fun time to be here. To victory!”
With Erwin’s branding experience and Illidge and Llarena’s editorial chops, Heavy Metal looks to be totally ramping up its place as an iconic home for fantasy, SF and perhaps even loud music.