As news of Aftershock Comics’ bankruptcy filing spread yesterday, new has also been breaking that Heavy Metal is also undergoing a reorganization after missing some payments to creators.

The company, which has a long legacy of publishing in the US, earlier this year announced a partnership with Twitch-meets-Ebay auction company WhatNot that saw WhatNot taking over printing and other administrative functions, and the debut of the “WhatNot Publishing” brand.

However, rumors of slow payments from Heavy Metal had been spreading of late, and people who wrote to the company inquiring about payments received a response from new CFO and Chief Restructuring Officer & Corporate Secretary” Joseph S Durko, who said that payments were on hold. Durko’s website lists him as a business and management consultant so the company seems to ave a firm hand at the tiller – one from very much outside the comics industry. 

Asked for comment a Heavy Metal spokesperson sent a statement:

“Due to a sum of receivables not being collected on time, our payments to creators have slipped further than what’s acceptable. Luckily we have a dedicated and committed investor group whose support is allowing us to pay all creators before Christmas, while we catch up on our invoicing.”

The payment issues were also discussed on the 12/16 More to Come podcast by Calvin Reid, where the story first broke. 

According to OOF replies, the Heavy Metal offices are shut down over the holidays. 

Heavy Metal is continuing to publish Heavy Metal, its flagship magazine, the American version of Metal Hurlant. That groundbreaking French SF magazine made an indelible impression on teens of the 70s with mind boggling and sexy work by Moebius, Enki Bilal, Philippe Druillet and other Euro comics masters. In its early years the magazine had various owners including J2 and National Lampoon, before being purchased by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman in 1992. Eastman ran it is a bit of a hobby publication over the years, while continuing its brand of trippy science fantasy. Eastman sold the magazine and name to new investors David Boxenbaum and Jeff Krelitz in January 2014. This management revitalized the brand with stunts such as making Grant Morrison the EIC for a year. However, anthologies and magazines are still a tough sell,  sales dwindled and the company was acquired by music exec/novelist Matthew Medney in 2019. Since then the publisher has launched several ambitious ventures, including Metalx, a Web3 arm, as well as numerous original comics series. 

The partnership with WhatNot augured a new era for the publisher, however, with Heavy Metal Vol. 2 #1 planned for February – now with the WhatNot Publishing logo on the front. Hopefully this relaunch will help refresh the coffers. 

Disclosure: Heavy Metal is a paid advertiser at ComicsBeat – including the wrapper ad at this very moment. 


Comments are closed.