Matthew Medney, new CEO of Heavy Metal, has been ensconced in the comics and fantasy world for ages … which no doubt explains his ability to truly understand the audience for the iconic brand.
“I took the job because, like most of us, Heavy Metal has a really special place in my heart,” Medney said to Samir “Mr. Magazine Husni. “It’s one of the first really amazing pieces of animation that pushed boundaries, made us think, and made us imagine what storytelling could be in the future, back in a time when it wasn’t as clear and communication wasn’t as widespread, you obviously didn’t have social media and YouTube.”
He’s been on the job for just a few months, yet has already made big inroads into the brand and how it operates.
“We have the magazine on track and we’re doing eight issues this year and 12 issues next year and we’re going to be continuing to do it as a monthly magazine moving forward,” he told Husni. “We have a huge issue set up for Comic-Con this year, the 300th issue, and we’re going to expand into comic books. So, not only are we going to have the magazine, we’re going to have original stories that are based on Taarna, that are based on new characters that we’re creating within our Heavy Metal universe.”
While print will remain the cornerstone of the brand, Medney is excited about the opportunity to expand into other avenues … some of which are still under wraps.
“Keeping print as the cornerstone is easy enough, we’ve been doing it for 44 years and I think we can continue doing it and continue growing it,” he said. “But the more interesting side is how do we bring it to other platforms. I’ve been strategically working with different studios, taking meetings within Hollywood, with companies that I really cannot talk about yet because nothing has been signed.”
Medney also mentions podcasting and audiobooks as possible platforms, echoing back to their old radio shows. It’s heavy stuff for certain, and it’s beautiful to see this iconic title heading in new creative directions while remaining firmly grounded in print.