|The Squirrel Machine prototype|
|Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Hans Rickheit||17 Aug 2009 4:11 PM|
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Category >> Hans Rickheit
From poet and filmmaker Chad Parenteau: "The following is footage from time spent with cartoonist and graphic novelist Hans Rickheit while visiting his home in Philadelphia, as he discusses his influences, his New England hometown, and his upcoming graphic novel, The Squirrel Machine. Thanks to Hans for the opportunity to let me attempt something film-ish." (YouTube link)
We have a trio of new original graphic novels with coincidentally zoological titles, all now available for pre-order. All of them debuted to a great response at Comic-Con last month; they should be in stock here and ready to ship later this month, and in stores approximately 4 weeks after that. Click the links for each book below for more info and to access downloadable PDF excerpts!
Giraffes in My Hair: A Rock 'n' Roll Life by Bruce Paley & Carol Swain - A comics memoir of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, a life lived in the countercultural margins, from the optimism of the Summer of Love to the nihilism of the punk years, vividly brought to life with compelling visuals by the cartoonist Time Out called "the Raymond Carver of British comics."
The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book by Joe Daly - Set in sun-drenched Cape Town, South Africa, this book features two full-length stories, “The Leaking Cello Case” and “John Wesley Harding,” rife with mystery, suspense, action, adventure, conspiracy theories, cool cars and excellent weed. From the creator of the Eisner-nominated Scrublands.
The Squirrel Machine by Hans Rickheit - Meticulous, strange, and hauntingly beautiful, this evocative and enigmatic book will ensure the inquisitive reader a spleenful of cerebral serenity that will take exposure to vast quantities of mediocrity to dispel.
Let's see what kind of Online Commentary & Diversions the weekend held for us... a lot, apparently:
• Review: "Carol Tyler is a unique figure in the world of comics... She's now put together the first volume of what promises to be her masterwork, a 'graphic memoir' about her father's experiences in World War II that effortlessly mixes media in a charming, affecting, and devastating package. You'll Never Know goes beyond biography, autobiography and even as a means a therapy to ask a number of deeper questions that may well not have ready answers. It's a stunning achievement, a perfect marriage of form and content, and is my early contender for not only comic of the year, but comic of the decade." - Rob Clough
• Review: "Jordan Crane's Uptight series is a lo-fi throwback of a series... Crane's line is elegant but unfussy, with slightly scratchy character designs that have a grace and fluidity to them reminiscent of Jaime Hernandez." - Rob Clough
• Review: "Grotesque has been one of the most playful entries in the underappreciated Ignatz line. Sergio Ponchione has a very 'American' quality to his line in terms of his line (thick and rubbery) and character design (a series of homages to masters like EC Segar and more contemporary figures like Charles Burns)... Ponchione's sight gags in this issue were something to behold, like a dead baron's tombstone growing arms and legs and coming after his brothers." - Rob Clough (same link as above)
• Review: "Issue #4 of Delphine was the conclusion of the series, and it certainly did not disappoint... Delphine benefitted from the Ignatz format: big pages that let the backgrounds breathe, nice paper, and creepy one-tone color. It was a perfect format for a fairy tale gone horribly wrong." - Rob Clough (same link as above)
• Review: "When life is on the skids, there are those who just lean into it and those who try to drive their way out. Some get run over, some step on the gas. In Pop. 666 [by Francesca Ghermandi, serialized in Zero Zero], fortunes change at moment’s notice, and events are never anything short of bizarre... This weird and creepy sci-fi horror crime comic is a loopy piece of work, and it deserves to be experienced by more readers..." - Jamie S. Rich, Robot 6
• Review: "I realize as I was reading the book that I’d previously thought of Val as a bit of a wimp due to his hairstyle, but nothing could be farther from the truth. In the first volume he kills a giant crocodile, wears a false mustache, scares an ogre to death, enters a jousting tournament in disguise, gets drunk, falls in love with a girl who already has a fiance, pursues girl with said fiance when she is kidnapped by vikings, and fights off a horde of vikings single-handed. That Prince Valiant is a busy guy!... It is really great seeing an essential part of comics history like Prince Valiant being treated so respectfully in this new edition." - TangognaT
• Review: "Imagine a book publisher had released a retrospective on 'The Graphic Novel' in 1976, or that a cinema hosted a look back at France’s nouvelle vague in 1957, or that a gallery exhibit somewhere spotlighted American Abstract Expressionism in, say, 1946. The experience would have been not unlike reading Abstract Comics: The Anthology today." - Sean Rogers, The Walrus
• Review: "[The Wolverton Bible] is a fascinating testimony to the peculiar vision of the life of an original artist and a somewhat unorthodox view of the 'holy book' by a faithful believer." - Iconoctlán (translation from Google)
• Review: "Popeye Vol. 1 would be enthralling if only for the change in the Thimble Theatre order of things, letting the reader watch as a new character takes over and reshapes the strip into his own image. Fortunately, what it's turned into is a thoroughly fun adventure strip that made me eager for more... There are so many fun newspaper reprint projects going on right now that it's easy to miss a lot of them. Now that I know how good Popeye is, I'm making it a priority to read the rest." - Greg McElhatton, Read About Comics
• Review: "[Bottomless Belly Button is a] wonderful book that I strongly recommend for every comic fan... Dash Shaw is a name to remember." - Laurent De Maertelaer, freaky.be (translation from Google)
• Plugs: "Abstract Comics: ...[I]t's fascinating to see what you can do with comics when you're dealing with non-representational, non-narrative imagery, stretching the limits of the medium... Locas II: Oh man, it's another huge collection of Jaime Hernandez's amazing stories from Love and Rockets... Greatness." - Matthew J. Brady
• Plug: "This third volume of Flora visual treats includes newly-discovered artwork that Irwin [Chusid] himself dug out of a time capsule that was buried in a top-secret location. Or maybe I made up that last part." - Liz Berg, WFMU's Beware of the Blog
• Plug: "Nobody else’s comics read like these [in You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation!]. They’re savage and brutal but have moments of eerie and unexpected beauty... And don’t read this stuff right before bed: strange dreams are a documented side-effect." - Matt Maxwell, Robot 6 (same link as above)
• Preview: Hans Rickheit has a peek at the hardcover of The Squirrel Machine
• Profile: "Michael Kupperman does funny very well... 'Right now, I'm working on two more short pieces for Marvel, one featuring the Avengers, and I'm going to try to get some of that Marvel spirit of the '70s, with the explosive, sound-effect laden fight scenes.'" - Gary C.W. Chun catches up with Kupperman in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin
• Interview: "I've greatly enjoyed Chicago-based cartoonist, artist and animator Lilli Carré's first few forays into the world of comics. Longer works such as Tales of Woodsman Pete and especially The Lagoon were stuffed with undeniably interesting formal techniques... There's a soulful element to Carré's writing that helps greatly to involve the reader in the surface narratives..." - Tom Spurgeon, introducing his Q&A with Lilli at The Comics Reporter
• Comic-Con Rhetorical Question of the Day: "...[H]ow many members of the 501st Stormtrooper Legion do you see at the Fantagraphics booth?" - Sean T. Collins (The Unneeded Answer: we had maybe 2 cosplayers, period, in the booth all week, and no Stormtroopers, although they are more than welcome.)
Hans Rickheit, creator of the forthcoming graphic novel from Fantagraphics The Squirrel Machine (debuting this week at San Diego, otherwise due this fall), is blogging tidbits about the book on a weekly basis right here.
All this week and next week we're bringing you a sneak peek at our Fall 2009 - Winter 2010 schedule of releases! Today's excerpt from our latest book distributor's catalog includes The Squirrel Machine by Hans Rickheit; the Fall and Winter volumes of Mome; Chocolate Cheeks by Steven Weissman; and Pim & Francie: "In the Golden Bear Days" from Al Columbia. (Note that all the info in this catalog is subject to change along the way to the books' release, including release dates, prices, cover art, book specs, etc.) Click here to download the PDF!
Artist Hans Rickheit has launched an official website for The Squirrel Machine, his upcoming Fantagraphics graphic novel, with excerpts, teasers, extras and more information about the book.
On the interview blog Top Drawer, artist Hans Rickheit breaks some publishing news: our forthcoming publication of his graphic novel The Squirrel Machine, currently projected for a 2010 release. The interview includes some samples of Rickheit's pages, including some "deleted scenes" from The Squirrel Machine, such as above. (Link via Sean T. Collins.)