By Conor Stechschulte. Published by Fantagraphics.
Softcover, 72 pages, B&W, 2014.
In this graphic novella, butchers mysteriously suffer memory loss with disastrous results.
A local medical expert and sheriff are summoned to investigate a strange sighting that sets the stage for Conor Stechschulte's debut graphic novella: a severed human head that still seems to be talking. We flashback to a pair of butchers who arrive at work one morning to find not only that there is no meat in their shop but also that they have forgotten completely how to do their job. As customers arrive, they are too fearful for their livelihood to admit their dilemma, leading to increasingly disastrous events. But what has caused their strange amnesia? This often hilarious, enigmatic and uncomfortable book will establish Stechschulte as an exciting new talent.
"Stechschulte has an uncanny knack for merging the humor of awkwardness with bloody, visceral violence." — High-Low
"If you try to imagine the most nightmarishly transgressive Laurel and Hardy film you've never seen, you might just get close to the experience of reading Conor Stechschulte's 64-page story The Amateurs.… Stechschulte's dark humour and claustrophobic art style make this an intense and disquieting read." — Frederik Hautain - Broken Frontier
"Conor Stechschulte... [has] imbued The Amateurs... with a rich sense of rustic strangeness that erupts into bloody slapstick.... In fact, things degenerate into something akin to the most transgressively nightmarish Laurel and Hardy film you've never seen. ...[T]his is a dense and powerful breakthrough work from Conor Stechschulte. For all of its surface splatter, it mines an older and richer vein of the pagan and the uncanny." — Tom Murphy - Broken Frontier
"...[The Amateurs] is part over-the-top slapstick, part excruciating panic. ... Stechschulte doesn't offer any simple solutions to the puzzle he lays out, and the result is akin to the Three Stooges starring in a version of Picnic at Hanging Rock." — John Seven - The Comics Journal