Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Yes, it is true. ECTOPIARY and COCHLEA & EUSTACHIA will be temporarily halted yet again. This time, however, I feel it is for positive reasons.
I am not unsympathetic to those whose patience has been whittled to dust. I am grateful to every individual who has faithfully checked in on the comics on a weekly basis.
A number of changes are in the works, and time is needed to implement them. I plan on re-starting updates on January 12, 2012 (My 39th birthday). In the meantime, please spend some time reading these other excellent online comics:


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Comix Continue


Apologies for the silence. I had been hoping to update the format of the webcomics with the intention of rendering this blog unnecessary. Unfortunately, that day is still far off in the future.

Also apologies must be made for the absence of the past weeks' COCHLEA & EUSTACHIA update. With my current work schedule, I can not realistically maintain two weekly webcomics. Already, I can see some drop in quality of the pages I've been drawing; A result of rushing to meet deadlines. I'm afraid I've had to demote one of my ongoing features to a bi-weekly schedule.

Readers who may wish to rebel at this appalling state of affairs are urged to take action. The best possible way to restore things to their proper place is to make a DONATION or BUY SOME MERCHANDISE!

Nonetheless, I still persist in making these online picture-books. Remain calm.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Back again

I'm a little wearier than usual this week. Just as I'm easing into my new job at a local discount grocer, Hurricane Irene turned the landscape of Western Mass. into apocalyptic scenery. The road I live on collapsed into the river, leaving me stranded for a few days without electricity, water or phone. I had to hike 12 miles over rubble nd through the woods to get into town.

In spite of this, the comics are ready to resume. Page 8 of Cochlea & Eustachia has just been posted. The next page of Ectopiary will be up Saturday evening.

It seems that my life is going through a bit of a rocky patch. I ask all for patience and forgive my lackluster post this week. In spite of my current exhaustion, I am hopeful and optimistic. Next week's blog post should contain some exciting announcements!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Another hiatus?

My unemployment checks will be running out soon, so I have to crank up my job-search. I'm going to take this opportunity to take a break form the webcomics for a bit. I will definitely start updates again on the first week of September. ECTOPIARY has finally reached the point of the story which engages my interest more intensely. COCHLEA & EUSTACHIA has been rustier than I'd like. I believe both comics would benefit from my taking a breather for a few weeks before resuming.

The exhibit in Greenfield went very well. Crowds of strangers came to gape at the comics and devices. A good time was had by all. Below are some pics from early on in the evening. The mysterious black boxes are dioramas I built, More photos to surface in the near future!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Page 83 of ECTOPIARY was another difficult page to draw. I think it ultimately came out alright. I'd be interested in any opinions.

Page 7 of COCHLEA & EUSTACHIA did not come out as well as hoped. I rushed through this one, and I think it shows. Subsequent pages look better. Patience, please!

The BIG NEWS this week is the Grand Opening of the Greenfield Arts Salon (G.A.S.). The premier exhibit features work by local cartoonists Colin Panetta and Mark Velard. Their stuff is viewable HERE. Also included will be some pages of comics and (hopefully) other devices by me. I plan on being present at the opening. It is free to the public, and I encourage every able person to attend! DETAILS HERE!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Page 82 of ECTOPIARY seems to be a landing spot of sorts. THINGS will be occurring in the next few pages.

COCHLEA & EUSTACHIA also transpires in the world. Notify your friends!

Because I am now drawing two regular comics strips, I haven't yet nailed down a consistent schedule for posting on this blog. What I desperately need is someone who is willing to perform the necessary routine online tasks for promoting my comics. For anybody willing to undertake this task, I am offering a percentage of net profits! Interested persons may contact me at hansrickheit@hotmail.com!

This week, I've decided to give another peek at my usual drawing process when I make these inexplicable comics.

Unlike most cartoonists that I know, instead of penciling in an entire page before inking, I compose each panel separately. Often, I will break it down even further, by fully rendering & inking each individual element in the panel (foreground figures or background details) one at a time. Here is the feature character, Pimwit, in his wheelchair, sans background.

Here is Pimwit in initial inked form, pencils erased.

Art Baxter (http://artbaxter.com) would teasingly call me a "line-builder." I have no adeptness with a brush or any kind of pen that flares out the line as you draw. In fact, I tend to press down with a lot of force onto the page. As of yet, I have not ceased this habit. I destroy a lot of pens this way. Consequently, I carefully draw over each line until I get the desired thickness. I suspect most people would lose patience with this, but I rather like it. This is probably why I would flunk out of art school if I ever had the notion of attending.

Now I have Pimwit "locked down" in inked form. I'm fairly satisfied that he looks okay, so I proceed to rough in the background. Unlike most of the backgrounds in my panels, this one is relatively simple.

Fun with rulers.

A couple of hours of nervous stippling, a big blob of black ink and it's done. In my opinion, it's actually kind of a crappy drawing, but here it is, exposed in its developmental stages for posterity. Forgive me.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


In case last week's installment wasn't enough, for the benefit of my less-patient readers, page 81 of ECTOPIARY continues with two more big panels containing nothing but scenery!

continues its own trajectory quite nicely. The website is slowly accruing wonderful bits of fan-art. Just this past week, this lovely illustration by Thomas Stetson arrived in my mailbox! I rather like it. I hope it inspires others to send in their own interpretations of the girls. Any artwork I receive will be gratefully posted along the others!

Monday, July 11, 2011

More Things

Page 80 of ECTOPIARY is dedicated to those readers who complain of the snail's pace of the story. Two big panels of scenery!

Page 3 of COCHLEA & EUSTACHIA contains a nod to my recent experience of filling up pages of comics with lots of birds. I think I am quite done with them now. Shall we move onto other things?

A mostly uneventful week has passed. I've been occupied with seeking employment. Anybody out there have a use for a weird cartoonist?

Let's continue with the wallowing. Instead of posting my usual drawings of deformed people, I feel like showing off. Inspired by a recent post at http://motorduley.blogspot.com, I've decided to post a letter I received by the luminous Jim Woodring when I sent him a copy of my book The Squirrel Machine. Pretty, neat, huh?
(This letter has been posted without Mr. Woodring's foreknowledge or permission. Should he ever request that I take it down, I shall humbly apologize and remove it without delay.)

Monday, July 4, 2011

More Comics & Drawings

Last week was over-full of activities. Thus, I was unable to post my usual weekly blog update. I am here, now!

Now that I have two ongoing webcomics, I am uncertain about the headings for these blog posts. Ideas & suggestions are welcome.

Page 79 of ECTOPIARY
is up. I think this page marks the halfway-point of Chapter One of the book. Pages to follow will feature strange and (I hope) interesting events.

COCHLEA & EUSTACHIA seems to have gotten a warm reception all around. Scott McCloud, Robot 6 and the Comics Reporter have all taken notice of its arrival. I thank these fine people and anybody else who spreads the word!

Also, beginning this week (or next week, depending on my ability to sidestep technical snafus) Cochlea & Eustachia will be a regular feature as one of The Weekly Dig's Sunday Comics! Be sure to check them out, as they are a fine crew with an excellent track record of bringing lunacy to the masses!

Speaking of masses, now is your chance to amass new goods!
Now available from my recently-devised Zazzle Goods Store are Chrome Fetus themed T-shirts, mugs and other silly gewgaws! I urge you to buy large quantities now and demonstrate your support for the frontline of the abstruse!

Many other developments are in the process of developing. Remain alert, and I will inform you of them in future days!

But now, let us cast our eyes to the past, and gander these nascent drawings by a youthful Hans Rickheit and his collections of medical images:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011





In response to clamoring public demands, I've decided to redouble my cartooning output and release a 2nd ongoing webcomic that veers in an entirely contrary tangent to that of the critically-acclaimed ECTOPIARY,

Cochlea & Eustachia have previously appeared in numerous. well-publicised venues, including POOD, PROPER GANDER, TYPHON. LEGAL ACTION COMICS, REGLAR WIGLAR, THE STRANGER and the original run of CHROME FETUS COMICS.

It is my intention to post a new installment every Wednesday for your edification and delight. You can help this effort by visiting the Merchandise Page and purchasing my wares! Original Art is now being offered for sale from both COCHLEA & EUSTACHIA and the ongoing ECTOPIARY website. Also, pages from my other reputable graphic novels CHLOE and THE SQUIRREL MACHINE are on sale.

At the very least, you are encouraged to DONATE whatever you feel is appropriate. Even the smallest amount is gratefully appreciated!

Friends, as always, I thank you for your attention and generosity!

Monday, June 20, 2011



Page 77 of ECTOPIARY was one of the most difficult I've ever drawn. I'm ambivalent about the results. What do you think?

I am having a good day. My girlfriend just moved in with me. Although my limbs ache from moving several large pieces of furniture up & down many flights of stairs, I am hopeful about my future. Naturally, as anyone who knows me will testify, my moods pendulate dramatically, and tomorrow I may sink into suicidal depression. At the very least, I have something to look forward to!

To bolster high spirits all around, here are more pictures of afflicted people:

Monday, June 13, 2011


I think you need another page of Ectopiary

Hopefully, the current page of Ectopiary generates a sense of suspense. Next week's page took a very long time to draw.

The second webcomic should have been up three weeks ago. Having rescued my old domain name, chromefetus.com, from the clutches of techno-pirates, the transfer to the new server apparently takes 7 - 17 business days. This is particularly aggravating. Today is day no. 12, and the site is still not up.

While we wait, here are some pictures!

Monday, June 6, 2011


Another Page of Ectopiary is up.

In deference to current fads which emphasize that "less is more", I've decided to chuck that attitude altogether and let it all hang out. If I'm going to kill trees in the production of this eventual book, I'm going to treat that sheet of paper with the attention and respect it deserves. Hence, every square centimeter gets smothered in tiny lines, stippling or carefully considered blobs of ink. I thank my proxy mentor, Mahendra Singh, for encouraging this mode of attack. I cannot but agree that the world is in desperate need of healthy dose of the Neo-Baroque. Won't you do your part?

In celebration of the coming New Age of Reason, here are some medical oddities and similar monstrosities. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Here's a new page of Ectopiary, ready for you to ignore

This is my earnest promise to all readers who classify themselves as descendants of homo erectus that this latest trickling of my blood, tears & cerebral-spinal fluid contains nothing that will strain the intellect or even require the minutest level of cognizance. Rest assured, regardless of race, gender or social background, any sentient being exposed to this example of pictographic narrative is safe from potentially damaging perils commonly associated with rampant unmonitored fictionalizing, such as plot, timing, subtext, symbolism or taste. Each ingredient has been pulverized and ground to a smooth fine paste that will pass though the digestive system with only the slightest rumbling, so grab your straws and start sucking!

Speaking of sucking, here is the another batch of images appropriately accompanied by the sound of rapid, wet inhalation - more medical images from my youthful days of wasted effort and doomed ideals.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Would you like another serving of Ectopiary?

Page 73 looks alright to me. I especially like the first panel. More things to come.

Rain and engine troubles kept me housebound for most of the week. I've had plenty to work on at home, though. The new website is very close to being ready. I hope to have it up and running within the next few days.

An enjoyable weekend was spent with my girlfriend, picking through the trash at Rietta Flea Market in Hubbardston, MA. We are slowly gathering necessary ingredients for the eventual puppet show/movie. The Cochlea & Eustachia puppets are very nearly completed. Photos to come soon!

As I've posted before, in my younger days I decided to learn drawing by copying images from medical books. I do not advise this practice for students wishing to get an accurate understanding of human anatomy. More examples: