Métal Hurlant Comic Strips in English

Métal Hurlant, the hugely influential French comics magazine published between 1975 and 1987, featured groundbreaking work by some of Europe’s greatest comic artists. It introduced legendary creators like Jean (Moebius) Giraud and Philippe Druilet to international audiences and paved the way for its enduring and sometimes notorious American counterpart, Heavy Metal.

Unfortunately, for English speaking fans with tight budgets and terrible foreign language skills, translations of Métal Hurlant’s classic comic strips have become increasingly hard to find. The most conspicuously absent l’éléphant in the room has been the magazine’s co-founder and most famous creator, Moebius (1938-2012). Many of the late artist’s masterpieces from the era – including Arzach, The Long Tomorrow and The Airtight Garage – disappeared from the shelves of US and UK comic stores years ago, with old Marvel and Dark Horse translations from the late-80s and mid-90s now changing hands for often ridiculously-inflated sums of money.

And it’s not just Moebius. Other Métal Hurlant strips – ranging from Serge Clerc’s hip, rock and roll, Atom Style artistry (Rock City, Phil Perfect) to the pioneering feminist stories of Chantal Montellier (“1996”, Andy Gang) – have been poorly served in the English language market, if indeed at all. This anglophone neglect even applies to the saucy fantasy epic Den by Richard Corben, despite the fact he’s an American guy who originally wrote it in English.

The Anglo-American Moebius famine should hopefully be coming to an end now that Dark Horse have signed a new publishing deal with the artist’s estate. While their excellent Moebius Library has thus far concentrated on his later works like The Edena Cycle and his autobiographical Inside Moebius series, it hopefully won’t be long until his classic Métal Hurlant-era material receives an equally lavish English language treatment.

In the meantime, here’s a list of Métal Hurlant classics that are currently available in English, including a few by Moebius himself that somehow managed to sneak through passport control (you can click on the links to go straight to the title):

The Incal – by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius

While English translations of most of Moebius’s Métal Hurlant masterpieces remain trapped in some nebulous out of print limbo until Dark Horse Comics and his estate tell us otherwise, determined fans can get around this pesky prohibition thanks to a couple of rather handy (ahem) Moebius loopholes. The first involves Humanoids – the US-based offshoot of Métal Hurlant publisher, Les Humanoïdes Associés – who hold the English language rights to all of Moebius’s collaborations with the erstwhile surrealist filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky. Chief amongst these is The Incal (first serialised in Métal Hurlant in 1980), which tells the story of John DiFool, a dystopia-dwelling “Class R” private eye who gets embroiled in a mind-bending science-fiction saga of breathtaking proportions. The source text for Jodorowsky’s vast, interconnected comics universe (AKA ‘The Jodoverse’), it’s a bona-fide Métal Hurlant classic and a must-read for anyone interested in comics.

The Incal is available in a variety of formats, but if you really want to splurge (or you know someone who’s feeling generous), there’s also a rather lovely and incredibly huge, limited edition coffee table edition.

You can purchase the standard hardcover edition by clicking this link

…or the digital version by clicking this one here.

If you’re in the UK, you can sample The Incal by downloading the first of its six volumes (The Black Incal) if you’re a member of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited scheme (you can sign up to a 30-day free trial here), or alternatively you can borrow it from the Prime Reading lending library if you’re an Amazon Prime member (there’s a 30-day free trial for that, too).

Hardback:

Incal, The
  • Humanoids
  • Alexandro Jodorowsky, Moebius
  • Publisher: Humanoids
  • Edition no. 1 (06/24/2015)
  • Hardcover: 308 pages

Last update on 2019-03-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Oversized Deluxe:

Sale
The Incal - Oversized Deluxe Edition
  • Alejandro Jodorowsky
  • Publisher: Humanoids, Inc
  • Edition no. 0 (02/19/2019)
  • Hardcover: 316 pages

Last update on 2019-03-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Digital:

The Incal Vol. 1: The Black Incal
Alexandro Jodorowsky - Humanoids - Kindle Edition - Edition no. 1 (03/19/2014)
The Incal Vol. 2: The Luminous Incal
Alexandro Jodorowsky - Humanoids - Kindle Edition - Edition no. 0 (03/19/2014)
The Incal Vol. 3: What Lies Beneath
Alexandro Jodorowsky - Humanoids - Kindle Edition - Edition no. 0 (03/19/2014)
The Incal Vol. 4: What is Above
Alexandro Jodorowsky - Humanoids - Kindle Edition - Edition no. 0 (03/19/2014)
The Incal Vol. 5: The Fifth Essence - The Dreaming Galaxy
Alexandro Jodorowsky - Humanoids - Kindle Edition - Edition no. 0 (03/19/2014)
The Incal Vol. 6: The Fifth Essence - Planet DiFool
Alexandro Jodorowsky - Humanoids - Kindle Edition - Edition no. 0 (03/19/2014)

Last update on 2019-03-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Arzach – by Moebius

While Moebius’s timeless yarns about a grumpy warrior on a pterodactyl remain criminally out of print over here, there’s a no-frills lifehack anyone can try: just buy one of the many foreign-language versions instead. As the majority of the visually-stunning strips are dialogue-free, you’ll only need Google Translate if you’re one of those people who insist on reading copyright notices and disclaimers (spoiler – similarities to pterodactyl-riding warriors living or dead is purely coincidental).

Arzach (French Edition) Hardback 
Arzach (French Edition) Digital

Hardback (French Edition):

Arzach
  • Moebius
  • Publisher: Les Humanoïdes Associés

Last update on 2019-03-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Digital (French Edition):

Moebius Oeuvres: Arzach USA (French Edition)
  • Moebius
  • Les Humanoïdes Associés
  • Kindle Edition
  • French

Last update on 2019-03-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Eyes of the Cat – by Moebius and Jodorowsky

While technically not a Métal Hurlant strip per se, this was originally a Les Humanoïdes Associés giveaway used to promote the magazine so it makes the list. More of an illustrated story book than a comic – albeit a dark, twisted yet hauntingly beautiful one – it was the first published collaboration between Moebius and Jodorowsky, who’d previously worked together on a famously ill-fated movie adaptation of the sci-fi novel, Dune (the documentary film Jodorowsky’s Dune tells the fascinating story of that, and is highly recommended).

It comes in a couple of versions, but I suggest going for The Yellow Edition as that matches the format of the original 70s ashcan release (which had yellowy pages, natch), and it just looks better. Like the aforementioned Incal, it’s published by Humanoids.

The Eyes of the Cat Hardback
The Eyes of the Cat Digital

Hardback:

The Eyes of the Cat
  • Alexandro Jodorowsky, Moebius
  • Publisher: Humanoids
  • Edition no. 1 (06/01/2013)
  • Hardcover: 56 pages

Last update on 2019-03-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Digital:

The Eyes of the Cat
  • Alejandro Jodorowsky
  • Humanoids
  • Kindle Edition
  • Edition no. 1 (03/19/2014)
  • English

Last update on 2019-03-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Lone Sloan: Gail – by Phillipe Druillet

English language comic strips by Moebius’s Les Humanoïdes Associés co-founder and baroque nightmare universe builder, Phillipe Druillet, have been out of print for years. Thankfully, veteran British graphic novel publishers Titan Books (who made their name releasing 2000ad comic collections back when that was still a far-flung date in the future) have recently come to the rescue with their Eurocomix-leaning Statix Press imprint.

Druillet’s Gail (not to be confused with Coronation Street’s Gail – ask a Brit) was first serialised in early issues of Métal Hurlant and featured Lone Sloane, Druillet’s dimension-hopping antihero. Sloane – a sort of a demented mashup of Han Solo and a sweary Silver Surfer – regularly found himself at odds with cosmic Lovecraftian critters and evil intergalactic empires with a penchant for unfeasibly large and somewhat impractical weaponised forms of transport. So, yes, George Lucas was a fan.

In Gail, Sloane finds himself trapped on a prison planet at the mercy of evil aliens ‘made of metal and hate.’ Like much of Druillet’s work, it’s visually audacious, utterly bonkers and – in an ideal world – deserves to be read on a format as big as a king size mattress.

Gail Hardback

Gail Digital

Hardback:

Sale
Lone Sloane: Gail
  • Titan Comics
  • Philippe Druillet
  • Publisher: Titan Comics
  • Hardcover: 64 pages

Last update on 2019-03-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Digital:

Lone Sloane: Gail
  • Phillipe Druillet
  • Titan
  • Kindle Edition
  • English

Last update on 2019-03-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Salammbô – by Phillipe Druillet

In 1862, Gustave Flaubert followed up Madam Bovary – his classic study of low-key literary infidelity – with a big, blood-splattered historical epic in which a violent mercenary becomes obsessed with a beautiful priestess and lots of people die. In 1980, Druillet went one step better – transporting the story from ancient Carthage to his own psychedelic sci-fi playground and swapping out the book’s male lead for the aforementioned Lone Sloane. This was long before some tone-deaf Hollywood type coined the horrible term ‘re-imagining’ and is every bit as mad as it sounds.

Salammbô Hardback
Salammbô Digital

Hardback:

Salammbo
  • Titan Comics
  • Philippe Druillet
  • Publisher: Titan Comics
  • Hardcover: 186 pages

Last update on 2019-03-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Digital:

Lone Sloane: Salammbô Vol. 1 (Salammbo)
  • Gustave Flaubert, Phillipe Druillet
  • Titan
  • Kindle Edition
  • English

Last update on 2019-03-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Conquering Armies/Arn’s Revenge – by Jean-Pierre Dionnet and Jean-Claude Gal

Conquering Armies was a series of brutal, self-contained, anti-war stories set amongst the lower ranks of a vast, prehistoric army. Written by Métal Hurlant’s Editor in Chief, Jean-Pierre Dionnet, and illustrated by Jean-Claude Gal, who’s gorgeous, painstakingly detailed black-and-white artwork anticipated the imaginary environments of HBO’s Game of Thrones. The two men would subsequently collaborated on Arn’s Revenge, a more generic heroic fiction yarn, and both stories have been translated into English in three tastefully-colourised volumes by Humanoids.

Armies Oversized Hardback

Armies Paperback

Armies Volume 1 Digital

Paperback:

Armies
  • Humanoids
  • Jean-Pierre Dionnet, Jean-Claude Gal
  • Publisher: Humanoids
  • Edition no. 1 (07/05/2017)
  • Paperback: 184 pages

Last update on 2019-03-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Hardback:

Armies
  • Jean-Pierre Dionnet
  • Publisher: Humanoids, Inc
  • Edition no. 1 (04/01/2013)
  • Hardcover: 184 pages

Last update on 2019-03-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Digital:

Armies Vol. 1: Conquering Armies
Jean-Pierre Dionnet, Picaret - Humanoids - Kindle Edition - Edition no. 1 (03/19/2014)
Armies Vol. 2: Arn's Revenge
Jean-Pierre Dionnet, Picaret - Humanoids - Kindle Edition
Armies Vol. 3: The Triumph of Arn
Jean-Pierre Dionnet, Picaret - Humanoids - Kindle Edition

Last update on 2019-03-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Exterminator 17 – by Jean-Pierre Dionnet and Enki Bilal

More musings about war and warriors by Jean-Pierre Dionnet, this time swapping out fantasy prehistory for a science-fiction future. This tale of cybernetic warrior angst featured characteristically moody, atmospheric art by another Eurocomics legend, Enki Bilal, who –along with Moebius – would later go on to influence on the film Blade Runner.

Exterminator 17 Hardback

Hardback:

Sale
Exterminator 17
  • Titan Comics
  • Jean-Pierre Dionnet
  • Publisher: Titan Comics
  • Hardcover: 240 pages

Last update on 2019-03-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Freddy Lombard – by Yves Chaland

Yves Chaland was a pioneer of the retro-modern Atom style of illustration who tragically died in a car accident at the age of 33. His Freddy Lombard was a bequiffed, Hergé-inspired hustling adventurer – think TinTin with cashflow issues. Humanoids published a five volume Complete Freddy Lombard, with volumes 2 and 3 containing stories that originally appeared in Métal Hurlant, but more recently have released a rather nice hardback volume that collects the set. They’re great fun and all worth a read.

Freddy Lombard Hardback

Freddy Lombard Vol 2 Digital

Freddy Lombard Vol 3 Digital

Hardback:

Sale
Freddy Lombard
  • Yves Chaland
  • Publisher: Humanoids
  • Edition no. 1 (11/02/2015)
  • Hardcover: 236 pages

Last update on 2019-03-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Digital:

Freddy Lombard Vol. 1: The Will of Godfrey of Bouillon
Yves Chaland - Humanoids - Kindle Edition - Edition no. 1 (11/20/2015)
Freddy Lombard Vol. 2: The Elephant Graveyard
Yves Chaland - Humanoids - Kindle Edition
Freddy Lombard Vol. 3: The Comet of Carthage
Yves Chaland - Humanoids - Kindle Edition
Freddy Lombard Vol. 4: Holiday in Budapest
Yves Chaland - Humanoids - Kindle Edition
Freddy Lombard Vol. 5: F.52
Yves Chaland - Humanoids - Kindle Edition

Last update on 2019-03-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Young Albert – Yves Chaland

Chaland was a prolific contributor to Métal Hurlant. Young Albert (serialised in between 1981 and 1987) was a bittersweet, semi-autobiographical series of gag strips about a flawed and sometimes unpleasant young man, but the art was so lovely readers were prepared to cut the kid some slack. Humanoids have released an English language translation of Young Albert, in both a super-oversized coffee table book and a more modestly priced regular editions.

Young Albert Hardback
Young Albert Digital

Hardback:

Young Albert
  • Yves Chaland
  • Publisher: Humanoids
  • Edition no. 1 (06/30/2017)
  • Hardcover: 80 pages

Last update on 2019-03-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Digital:

Young Albert
  • Yves Chaland
  • Humanoids
  • Kindle Edition
  • Edition no. 1 (03/19/2014)
  • English

Last update on 2019-03-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

That’s it for now. I’ll regularly update this post as new titles become available, but in the meantime please let me know in the comment section below if there’s anything I’ve overlooked.

Comics & Graphic Novels at Amazon

Bestseller No. 1
My Friend Dahmer
  • Altitude Film Distribution (06/01/2018)
  • Prime Video, Suitable for 15 years and over
  • Running time: 107 minutes
  • Ross Lynch, Anne Heche, Dallas Roberts, Alex Wolff, Vincent Kartheiser
  • English
Bestseller No. 2
The Midwinter Witch
  • Molly Knox Ostertag
  • Publisher: Graphix
  • Paperback: 224 pages
Bestseller No. 3
Winger
  • Andrew Smith
  • Penguin
  • Kindle Edition
  • English
Bestseller No. 5

Last update on 2019-03-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API