Lovers of art comics know Hans Rickheit from his smashing graphic
novel The Squirrel Machine (2008), but Rickheit has, for over a decade, been
producing his own self-published comics — reaching into the deepest cupboards of the back-mind and culling these strange artifacts. He has been a basement-dweller, gallery troll, and a purveyor of forbidden notions. Originally
distributed into the world as Xeroxed pamphlets, these “underground comix”
reflect the true nature of its nomenclature: Here are the archeological findings
of the subterranean ruins of the psyche. Finally, these scattered elements have
been compiled into a compact, lushly illustrated bedside reader. Give your
cerebellum a tug and become a spelunker of the subconscious as we trespass
among the scorched archaic wastelands of the offspring of apes and fools. Here
we find the profane, beautiful progeny of prurient ideals. Immerse yourself
in the nocturnal meanderings of unnamed protagonists. Ponder the uncomfortable sexuality of the twins, Cochlea &
Eustachia. Recoil at the doings of a dwarfish malefactor in "Hail Jeffrey," or simply stare at the pretty pictures. Suffice to
say that readers of The Squirrel Machine will not be disappointed.
The author instructs you not misuse this tome. Poke it gently with a long stick, if you must. Careful, it might ruin the
carpet. Placate it with a belly-rub or sweet pastry before it attacks the children. Don’t worry, your tongue won’t stick. If it
fits, don’t shove it in too quickly. Keep it as your own cherished object; a shameful, guarded secret. The filter for reality’s
blinding glare. Detritus of the Under-Brain. The Unspeakable Thing You Always Knew.
Folly: The Consequences of Indiscretion. By one of the most inscrutable and discomfiting cartoonists alive.
"Here are early stories by the graphic novelist whose work... comes closer than any other’s (except Nate Powell’s) to the prose stories of Zoran Živkovi, Andrew Crumey, Kelly Link, Ray Vukcevich, Theodora Goss, Benjamin Rosenbaum, and other practitioners of what’s been called slipstream fiction. They feature people, animals, and flesh-and-machine hybrids in all stages of development and dissolution, from fetus and pupa to suppurating near-corpse to skeleton . . . Among their protagonists, a bear-headed man in a long coat and high boots and identical teen sisters Cochlea and Eustachia, who wear only black masks and very short-skirted tops, recur often. Rescued from their original appearances in Rickheit’s slim, stapled-together Chrome Fetus Comics, these stories are less polished than his current stuff . . . but fully developed in every other aspect of his puzzling, engrossing, and disturbing storytelling." — Ray Olson, Booklist