The article to which this post owes its life, from the Robot 6 blog, puts the art of Hans Rickheit in the category of alt-horror. This is likely because the art of Rickheit is likely to be alternative to anything else you might see and these images could be described as horrific in their ability to invoke feelings of, “What the $%#! is that?!?”
Ectopiary, named Best Webcomic 0f 2010 by MTV’s Splash Page blog (and quickly, enjoyably digested by myself prior to writing this post), brings to mind the fantastical horrors that Guillermo del Toro is best known for breathing life into. Like del Toro, Rickheit also juxtaposes these fictional bits with problems grounded in real life, often in a grotesque, almost morose manner (not long after the comic begins, child protagonist Dale witnesses a procedure being performed on her mother that is cringe-inducing to say the least). I’ve always found it to be incredibly engaging to not only get invested in the humanity of a story, but to also entertain the notion that better, more incredible things are happening in the world which will take the edge off the pain and suffering induced by the real world.
Here’s to hoping that Rickheit is bringing that same engaging sense of wonderment and terror to the newly launched Cochlea and Eustachea. The comic is only two updates deep, but already we have witnessed a bird-like creature crawling out of an anteater-like figure (depicted, left). So, yeah… I’d say we’ve got a good start towards that goal.