The Squirrel Machine

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NUMBER OF PAGES

186

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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED

September 2013

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“Not your standard spookshow, but rather a surreal, grotesque Victorian creep-out … Rickheit's detailed black and white illustrations provide the unforgettable backdrop to his ultimately tragic and gruesome tale.” – Rue Morgue, ‘50 Reasons to Love Horror Comics’

An anachronistic parable for the convulsive elite...

What is the Squirrel 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 crypto-seeker;
- The virgin caress of unconsummated apocalypse;
- The unspeakable thing that you always knew.

It's also the legendary obscurantist cartoonist Hans Rickheit's most ambitious graphic novel to date. Exquisitely rendered, strange, and hauntingly beautiful, this evocative and enigmatic book will ensure the inquisitive reader a spleenful of cerebral serenity that will require vast quantities of mediocrity to banish from memory.

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 quickly elicit the scorn and recrimination of an unamused public when they reveal their musical creations built 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 squirrel machine...

• A "Notable Comic" in
The Best American Comics 2011

• #14, Best Comics (First Run or Definitively Collected) of 2009,
The Comics Reporter

• Selected as one of the 5 Best Comics of 2009 by Ellen Abramowitz, President of the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA)

• #2 comic of the year – Brian Heater,
The Daily Cross Hatch

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REVIEWS

Booklist

•Literary review magazine

“Very dreamlike, rather Hieronymus Boschian, only wryly Freudian – a disquieting, disgusting, entrancing reading experience.” – Ray Olson

Publishers Weekly

•Publishing trade magazine

“The frighteningly hilarious world of Rickheit’s graphic novel is a deranged cabinet of curiosities, full of biomechanical tanks, writhing organic matter, amorphous monsters birthing adorable kittens, men and women in animal masks, and countless tubes, gas masks, sex toys, and pseudo-Victorian apocalyptic landscapes … The result is a narrative mosaic that pairs sumptuous, horrific imagery against a strange but lighthearted sense of humor.”

The AV Club

•Pop-culture website

“With a drawing style that resembles Jason Lutes and Charles Burns, and a storytelling style similar to Jim Woodring and Al Columbia, Rickheit excels in making nightmares lucid.”