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I've been looking for this sci-fi comic book / graphic novel for years with no luck. The book is made up of a number of short stories. These are the storylines that I remember:

  1. Two robots walk into a forest together. They eventually start holding hands, kissing, etc. One robot then convinces the other robot to remove their protective plating. They start to take off the metal plates on their arms and legs and you realize that they are humans in metal suits. The humans, now naked, embrace. Suddenly, they are devoured by bugs of some kind. Maybe locusts?

  2. A man goes out for coffee with a woman. As they're talking, he starts to melt. She looks disgusted as though he's being very rude. So do other people in the restaurant. He apologizes and she leaves as he turns into a puddle.

The illustrations were detailed and less cartoony iirc. I could be remembering the details incorrectly, but I'm hoping the stories ring a bell to someone else. I went back to the library where I read the book but it doesn't seem to be there. So any help would be appreciated!

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I'm almost certain these are individual shorts from one of many Heavy Metal magazines (some stories from which infused the two Heavy Metal movies). These were published in the 1970s and 1980s in the USA, the concept (and a few of the stories) translated from the French magazine, Metal Hurlant (which was also the putative basis for the SyFy series of the same title).

The American magazine, at least, was full magazine size, on glossy paper, and sold for the same cover price as other glossy magazines of the day. Production quality was excellent, and many of the strips were drawn in a style far removed from traditional comics, whether newspaper strips or "comic books" -- in fact, they presaged the rise of "graphic novels" where comic storytelling would meet quality art and printing, starting (as I recall) around 1980.

Another distinguishing feature between Heavy Metal and ordinary comics was that Heavy Metal wasn't censored; language was what you might have seen in an avant garde science fiction story of the day, and the illustrations very frequently included nudity and occasionally even actual sex (and not only of/involving humans).

I think I recall seeing these stories in the late 1970s, but couldn't tell you which issue they appeared in, or who wrote, drew, or colored them.

  • I can confirm that (with the same regrettable lack of detail) at least for the first story. I read the Heavy Metal magazines at a much too young age (and suffered nightmares afterwards) and this is one of the stories that stuck with me, even though I wish it hadn't. – Eike Pierstorff Jun 12 '17 at 19:29
  • Wow! I am so impressed. I looked for it on my own for years, and it took a half hour to get an answer here. Thank you! – Sunny Jun 12 '17 at 19:46
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    @Sunny Honestly, that should be the tagline for this site. – Mitch Connor Jun 14 '17 at 18:28
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Found it (the first one, that is): "Shells" by François Schuiten and Luc Schuiten. Appeared in Heavy Metal Magazine #197703.

Links are NSFW.

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