I’ve mentioned cases of sci-fi and rock overlapping, but usually one looks to instances of decidedly non-macho nerdery for such intersections: Gary Numan in his motorized chair, Styx singing about robots, etc. There are, however, other forms of rock — and other forms of sci-fi.
Unlike Debates at Lolita Bar moderator Michel Evanchik, I was never a big fan of the comics magazine Heavy Metal — nor the Incredible Hulk — but these things lent themselves to some very macho displays of growling, rock-hurling, mindless brutality, and partial nudity, no doubt warping Evanchik to this day. There is an undeniable visceral appeal in all this, though — more akin to my praise of Foreigner the day before last than to my carping about the young yesterday.
Like Vikings and Nietzsche, we recognize it is better to feel bold and alive than to be turned into a servo-droid photographing rocks on Io. Heavy Metal was a good name for the magazine and good musical accompaniment for the animated film adapted from it back in 1981 — by Canadians, incidentally. (It was as gaudy as the carnival sideshow art that I found so alarming and compelling as a child, which hinted in its very inelegance at atavistic pains and pleasures, like “outsider” art — and caused me to enjoy the film of Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes very much.)
If all this brings back good memories, you’ll be pleased to hear that there’s a live-action film of Heavy Metal now in the works, with segments by geek-beloved directors James Cameron, David Fincher, and Zack Snyder, among others — but perhaps even more fittingly, with a segment featuring Tenacious D. That makes such perfect sense. Rock on (I’m also pleased to hear that production on the Jack Black comedy about him being the lone male student at a school for witches, Man-Witch, now appears to be moving forward).
Tomorrow, though, a look at another seriously rockin’ sci-fi dude: Roger from American Dad.