You can start reading from Part 1 of this mitchmen series
|Gilgamesh - Broken on the Wheel|
In some of Gilgamesh's early work he shows horned devils administering torture to their unfortunate captives. This one employs the classic back-breaking torture wheel, a spectacular device with a medieval ancestry, although it's method of use remains somewhat obscure and in some accounts is almost incidental to the punishment. Here Gilgamesh seems to see it as a type of rack for stretching victims.
It's noticeable how he shows the two protagonists looking towards each other. The prisoner is not simply enduring his torment stoically, as is often the case in pictures like this, but showing emotion at his predicament. He might be pleading for mercy, expressing defiance or simply watching with dread for the next turn of the wheel but his feelings are part a significant element of the image.
The Devil seems unmoved and determined to continue. Erotic undertones are supplied by the relatively inconspicuous cock binding and we might imagine the Devil is just returning to the lever having cruelly induced his prisoner's arousal, exposing his perverse pleasure in the agony.
|Gilgamesh - Torture Frame|
The Devil's torment is even more complex here with the prisoner forced to squat on two posts and impale himself on a (hidden) dildo stake while the Devil plays with his manhood. His position is perilously steadied by a collar and chain which will suspend him by the neck if he falls. In fact in this series the Devil ultimately uses it to lower him onto the dildo stake, an example of darker thoughts that occasionally surface in this artist's work (see Part 3).
This is a complex torment worthy of of the Devil's reputation in the Christian religion and given the artist's Latin American background, it's tempting to make that a connection with these pictures. The Christian cross is actually shown on the wall in one of his ''Heroes in Peril' images, as though referencing the tortures of The Inquisition. However that is an isolated example as far as I know and it's not obvious that these religious references have any deep meaning for the artist or are anything other than cultural.
|Gilgamesh - Demon Hunter Training|
In his more recent work Gilgamesh substitutes other, unearthly beings for the Devil and draws on more 'modern' fantasy and game play scenarios. Thus this picture is based on the concept of a 'demon hunter', one who is better at finding them than eliminating them apparently. Gilgamesh describes him (the captive!) as a stud and he's certainly impressive with a particularly well-moulded, smooth body which contrasts dramatically with the wizened and wrinkled face of his captor.
I suppose demon physiology is not necessarily the same as human's but this wrinkled face does not conjure up old age so much as a very long experience of debauchery. So it's not surprising that having taken possession (as it were) of this interesting human foe the Demon is anxious to show him what he's been missing.
Once again here we can see the captive's reaction. It looks like he's gritting his teeth as he deals with the initial restraint and pain, perhaps less conscious as yet of his sexually teasing display. I imagine there's going to be a lot worse to come.
|Gilgamesh - Sergei's Desert Adventure p0|
Other beings appear in Sergei's Desert Adventure ( a rather light-hearted term for what is about to befall him). Initially we see an extremely mature man, grizzled and exceptionally hairy, trekking across the desert. We know only that he is exploring, in search of adventure presumably, perhaps loot. He looks like a powerful, capable man, but details like the heat haze and his sweaty brow indicate that this trek is taking it's toll.
|Gilgamesh - Sergei's Desert Adventure p13|
|Gilgamesh - Sergei's Desert Adventure p19|
|Gilgamesh - Sergei's Desert Adventure p37|
|Gilgamesh - Sergei's Desert Adventure 2 - p39|
I won't reveal the entire storyline of Sergei's little epic (which appears unfinished at the time of writing but already runs to 143 panels) but I will mention a particularly nice moment in Part 2 which sees Sergei taken into an underground lair. His arrival causes enough of a disturbance to distract a second imp who has been amusing himself with another 'Adventurer'.
|Igor's Adventure - Part 1 p5|
|Igor's Adventure - Part 2 p4|
|Igor's Adventure - Part 2 p20|
|Igor's Adventure - Part 3 p5|
With the creature sitting on his shoulders, Igor finds he forced to obey it's commands.