Marvel comics dated February 1980 included house ads for the new quarterly deluxe format magazine Epic Illustrated. Epic was ostensibly Marvel's answer to Heavy Metal, which was doing well commercially with monthly sales averaging nearly 200,000 copies, and was also lauded by industry critics for its innovative format, acclaimed creators and bold content. In spite of the enthusiasm of Marvel's magazine group, it was apparently difficult to get the support from executives at Cadence Industries due to the relatively recent failure of the Pizzazz children's magazine. In any case, there were high hopes for Epic based on an incredible roster of talent that had been recruited to produce content for the magazine who would be flexing their creative muscles free of the Comics Code Authority and Marvel's onerous work-for-hire contract.
Heavy Metal Magazine Fanpage, The Comics Journal