Of uncomfortable sex scenes set in some really disturbing places It s also really beautifully drawn in Rickheit s strong line with utterly creative backgrounds and objects appearing throughout full marks as always on the skilful artwork The book also gives the reader the impression of a sort of coherent coming of age story I was interested in seeing how these two boys lives ended up in such a bad place and Rickheit doesn t go completely overboard on the obscurantist storytelling but he goes pretty far regardless As for the meaning who knows Maybe we re viewing the story from the perspective of Edmund or William two troubled kids one of whom is wearing goggles uite a bit and we shouldn t take what we see as literal but metaphorical Maybe Rickheit identifies with the boys misunderstood art Is it an exploration of a mind Maybe Rickheit ust gets a kick out of people trying to figure out his nonsense All I know is I really liked it The Suirrel Machine is dark and weird it s barmy but in a uasi intelligible and yes enjoyable way and is full of striking imagery You re in the hands of an artist who fully understands the language of comics and who can keep the reader invested in his madcap story even if they don t know what s going on most of the time and that uality in itself shows how talented this guy is Still I get the impression that if he wanted to Rickheit could easily take the mundane approach and tell a standard narrative I have no idea what any of it meant which inevitably ends up making me feel a bit unsatisfied but it was a really good abstract comic Clearly this dude needs to be Scott Snyder s successor on Batman i felt violated except i was willing i could have put it down but i didnt and now i have pictures of mutilated animalinstruments in my head Imagine cronenberg lovecraft lynch bros uay I dont know what has happened to me I have developed a total aversion to body mutilation I have a new distaste to all manner of extreme graphics for that manner For a several yr stretch I was numb and I sought out the sickest craziest gonzo gore cinema Maybe it made me feel something Then i stopped taking anti depressants and I cant stomach any of that stuff Maybe there is a spiritual component that coincided with the pharmaceutical component But I am sensitive now I can be moved to tears by a beautiful piece of music I can feel overwhelming love to the point where it seems to fill every cell of my body I can feel period Maybe I am done with this stuff Yes some of the most creative artists push boundaries and uestion taboos and turn normalcy on its head But so what To what end Who is going to be better for reading this I guess its safer than taking LSD and walking naked into a slaughterhouse but i assume the experience is about the same I m all for the disturbing and surreal but I really have no idea what this one was trying to say Nice art though This is pretty amazing Look at my descriptors You can call this an art comic with elements of horror and steam punk and surrealismdream logic Creepy and funny and strange and wonderful all at once Great meticulous drawing with sort of sloppily lettered dialogue which was disconcerting for meSet in nineteenth century New England the story is of Edmund and William Torpor who make musical music from instruments partly technological and dead animals Creep and strange horrorsteampunk mashup I d say Has in spite of everything a kind of Victorian feel to the narrative such as it is The point isn t plot though it s mystery and imagination Poe territory And Al Columbia and Jim Woodring and fantasy horror psychedelia nostalgiaRickheit also did Cochlea Eustachia and The Conseuences of Folly which are also strange foregoing traditional plot character any of that Dream stuff Freudian at times tinged with horror erotica in some strange way all of his work So interestin. Ypto seeker; The virgin caress of unconsummated apocalypse; The unspeakable thing that you always knew It’s also the longest and most ambitious graphic novel by legendary obscurantist cartoonist Hans Rickheit 200 pages of exuisitely rendered pictorial narrative Meticulous strange and hauntingly beautiful this enigmatic work will ensure the inuisitive reader a spleenful of cerebral serenity that will take exposure to vast uantities of mediocrity to dispel 192 bw illustrations.
I think the back cover synopsis is uite accurate This book is exuisitely rendered strange and hauntingly beautiful The author is uite accurate described as an obscurantist cartoonist There s not really much anyone can say about this comic I don t thinkThe relationships between the two brothers and the mother could have been better developed but they do take a backseat to the mysterious places the boys explore in their vast mansion and the strange devices and art they createThis book has a childish in a good way imagination in its explorations mixed with a cynical and Lovecraft ian proclivity I would love for the author to do another volume similar to this but suitable for kids as I would have loved to have read a book like this as a child I was interested with the abstract architecture and technology than with his abstract flesh mutilationThis is my first book by Rickheit and I uickly picked up another This is completely amazing Never has the nightmarish grotesue been rendered with such perfect beauty of lines and form or with such poetically suggestive and graceful storytelling Rickheit manages to push into a heightened onereic madness triangulated by surrealism psychedelia and a kind of Crononbergian antiuarian bad science but importantly works it very effectively into a believable relateable context built of mundane uotedian and psychological details that elevates what some take for finely wrought but disjointed disturbing imagery into something that for me was totally tragic and moving And supposedly this is an attempt to render some kind of autobiographical truth which really ups the pathos may no one ever be devoured by my subconcious pleaseThe story is basically a turn of the century coming of age drama about two outsider genius brothers building unusual musical instruments from the uh materials at hand Their art later gets entangled with the demands of adolescence and family in increasingly complicated and unclear ways And things get weird Think bits of a hybridized Jim Woodring and Hans Bellmer terror desire invading everyday reality and then let the story get dark dark dark and totally unsettling even my aded conceptions at times The crux of this story s unreality is a tricky concept to disect but I ll offer a few possibilities Edmund the elder brother seems like he may be directly in touch with his subconscious than most than is healthy to the point that it may be manifesting beneath the family home and between the walls Or maybe it s like a collective id between the brothers The collective unconscious Or could it be the repressed urges of their long dead father still buried after all these years Or his workshop Or something that even he did not know about something primal and arcane there long before he built the house If you re the kind of surrealistsymbolist reader that I am the lack of easy explanation allowing this multiplication of potential meanings instead of textbook allegorizing is not a failure but a clear assetArt wise this is meticulous and ornate capturing unbelievable constructions with an unmatched literal clarity The result works in a manner similar to how Poe s extensive detail helps suspend disbelief in his gothic fantastic perhaps And Rickheit is so good a rendering eerie architectural detail that I feel like it s gonna look like I was copying him very badly in my own recent comics attemptsThough I m not sure that the last act entirely works for me I think I see how it fits into the greater whole and acts two and three deliver much of the emotional payoff otherwise denied by the last I think So on the whole this is brilliant fantastic stuff Rickheit is one of the best and most original comic constructors out there right now and I seriously hope that this masterful work and his new collection via Fantagraphics early next year can help push him into a level of rec. An anachronistic parable for the convulsive elite What is the suirrel machine Is it a rodent ensnarement device A mechanism for concealing one’s guarded harvest An anachronistic fable A meaningless diversion Set in a fictional 19th Century New England town the narrative initially details the relationship and maturation of Edmund and William Torpor But the two brothers uickly elicit the scorn and recrimination of an unamused public when they reveal their musical creations bui.
Ognition that will allow him devote time to these incredible projectsPost script I retrospectively docked this one star because while it plays to all of my biases surrealist horror architectural insanity the things between the walls of ordinary life and home the subconcious maybe the same thing as the last entry precision linework weird sublimated experience I m not sure if the narrative development is fully articulated here Not that it needs to be all obvious or explicit but I m not sure the underpinnings are entirely in place which is important Further thought re reading needed obviously And it s exceptional either way Bullet ReviewWHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELFWHAT IS THE POINT OF LIFE It would be really nice if considering that I introduced him to the wide wonderful world of seuential art that Zack wasn t the one that suggested all of my favorite graphic novels of the last two years This was the most disconcerting bizarre and wonderful graphic novel I ve read since The Aviary And like The Aviary it was eually as irreverent nonsensical and almost impossible to fully deconstruct The Suirrel Machine is like traveling through the nightmares of a supremely talented psychopath I m also partial to illustrations entirely in black and white Additionally I ll never look at pigs the same again Or in that theme musical instruments Beautifully strange and strangely beautifulThe first work I ve read by RickheitA truly uniue voice with incredibly strong and imaginative artworkI could walk endlessly through those interior shots of the laboratory if that s what we can call itAs much dream logic as narrative where you know you ve experienced something but on awakening you re not uite sure what exactly that was and it s uickly slipping through your fingers anyway Probably the only book you ll ever read featuring an organ customized to work with decapitated pig heads instead of pipes The Suirrel Machine is a graphic novel exercise in synthetic fetishization and psychosexual abstraction Rickheit crisply draws the story of two scientific wunderkind brothers who create bizarre musical inventions utilizing the bodies of various farm animals But their poor little world is about to take a deviant nosedive when young love enters the picture and a secret labyrinthine structure is discovered beneath their house Like Un Chien Andalou and Eraserhead yer fucked if you think a coherent story or a set interpretation can be divined from what abstractions are presented before you but go ahead and whip out the closest copy of Freud you got on hand and start psychoanalyzing What I liked most was Rickheit s use of steampunk aesthetics as a means of crafting disturbing sexual imagery as opposed to ust an excuse for having characters wear top hats and engineer boots while riding around in zeppelins The Suirrel Machine is certainly a uniue approach to sludging through the subconscious Makes a great gift for any occasion Set in a steampunk ish 19th century New England two brothers Edmund and William create musical instruments from scrap and animal carcasses which are unsurprisingly greeted with horror by the townsfolk They also fall in love and grow up and apart It s like life and unk Yep it s time once again to dip into the unimaginative dull mind of Hans Rickheit who can t help but tell the most straightforward stories ever conceived Oh wait I mean the opposite That said The Suirrel Machine is probably the most accessible of Rickheit s books which really isn t say much considering how utterly batshit insane his comics are There s the usual surrealist horror and nightmarish imagery There s a musical organ made up of pig s heads disgusting skin growths are eaten as food machinery and flesh are meshed together in unholy ways Some of the dialogue is utterly incongruous eg Vessel es nuxtual is repeated throughout and there are a lot. Lt from strange technologies and scavenged animal carcasses Driven to seek a concealment for their aberrant activities they make a startling discovery Perhaps they will divine the mystery of the suirrel machine What is The Suirrel Machine An immutably strange and haunting narrative that transcends known logics and presumptive dream barriers; A distillation of subconscious beauty and inspired madness; A dangerous object for the incautious; A revelation for the undernourished cr.
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Hans Rickheit has been an artist and cartoonist for over 25 years with a devoted following of readers and fans His comics and drawings have entertained and educated people worldwide having been featured in publications such as THE STRANGER KRAMER'S ERGOT PROPER GANDER PAPER RODEO LEGAL ACTION COMICS BLURRED VISIONS HOAX and TYPHON In addition his work can be found in other media from po