In this new world by Heavy Metal’s Chief Creative Overlord, brutal, magical hijinks ensue as Vasator & Crunch seek some revenge.
Barbarians, monsters, robots, ancient armies; in Vasator & Crunch, Heavy Metal Magazine’s newest running strip, wild hijinks, and strange fantasies ensue. Kicking off as a series of standalone short strips in Heavy Metal Magazine #305, and soon to be expanded into a serialized comic book, Vasator & Crunch follows a foolhardy young barbarian, Vasator, and his little brother, a stoic, hard-drinking, magically-empowered robot named Crunch (most likely named for the sound he makes when handling his foes) as they journey across a war-torn, ancient land of sword n’ sorcery having madcap adventures in search of fortune. Yes, that sentence is real.
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Conceived by Heavy Metal Publishing’s “Chief Creative Overlord” Dave Erwin in reverence of the old sword n’ sorcery films of the 1950s, Vasator & Crunch follows the adventures of a muscle-bound swordsman and his brutal robot companion. Their story begins when Vasator’s father, a wealthy inventor, dies and their inheritance is stolen by a cruel young king, the son of a certain King Darcus, in his efforts to conquer the world. Consumed by revenge, the two brothers take to the battlefield as mercenaries, battling their fortune’s usurper in an effort to save enough money to raise an army and take the kingdom for themselves.
Vasator & Crunch is set to run as a series of strips in the monthly anthology Heavy Metal Magazine featuring a bevy of amazing artists, including Kevin Molen, Raymund Bermudez, and Riccardo Latina with colors by DC Alonso and Federico Pietrobon, followed by a new comic series to be drawn by Agustin Padilla and colored by Carlos Cabrera. A strange concoction of savage action, dark humor, and poignant emotion, Vasator & Crunch is a serendipitous evolution of the classic Heavy Metal style, bizarre yet weirdly familiar, rife with monsters and mayhem yet also down to earth and emotionally resonant. Erwin himself described the strange retro kitsch-turned-barbarian epic as such:
I loved the old Ray Harryhausen stop motion monsters in The 7th Voyage of Sinbad and Jason and the Argonauts. But, I want to turn up the dial on this sword and sorcery genre. Vasator & Crunch’s adventures take them into uncharted territory that tests their will, soul, and lives, but it’s their love for each other as brothers that holds them together to persevere. The heart of the story is that no matter what crazy obstacles the world throws at you, the love of your friends and family trumps everything else, and that gives you the strength to not only survive, but fight.
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What seems to set this new world of barbarians and sorcery apart from the many tried and true barbarian adventure yarns from which Erwin takes his inspiration is the madcap zaniness that percolates amidst the grim action of this world, a quality that speaks to Erwin’s appreciation of the early special effects and imagination of old fantasy films. There’s a visceral connection between these two titans of the battlefield and a deeply sensitive and nuanced relationship they have with this insane world of war-ravaged kingdoms, cyclopes, and treasure, but by the same token, there’s a refreshing levity to the whole thing which, underneath the serious veneer, doesn’t take itself too seriously. As this world unfolds, we’ll see how Erwin navigates this unique headspace, hopefully with a few surprises in store.
Will this pair of warriors, one flesh-and-blood, the other mechanical, ever take down their enemy’s kingdom and taste revenge? Vasator & Crunch launches in the pages of Heavy Metal Magazine #305, out April 7 from Heavy Metal Publishing, and soon to be followed in their own comic series.
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