The Riddler - Ruokangas Guitars

The Riddler - Who Am I?

Paying homage to the Batman lore

Green and purple

Ordering a single pickup Mojo with unusual specs and the Riddler’s iconic green and purple colors – how did this crazy project came to life? Let’s hear it from Greg, the mastermind and owner of this custom guitar!

Well, I think it all started with the Ruokangas motto from the website: “communication tool for your soul” – that’s exactly what I needed at the time (and likely still do).

Not a stock instrument

I had known Juha’s instruments for many years, but what I wanted was not a stock instrument, but an instrument that not only spoke to me, but was also in direct connection with me – and dare I say, my soul.

Yellow bat inlays?

Actually, I wanted to have a guitar or a bass paying a tribute to Batman since a long time ago. But rather than an obvious tribute (let’s say black colored body with yellow bats inlays) I wanted something more original, and this is where the idea of paying homage to the Batman lore through one of its villain’s iconic colors – The Riddler – came to life.

John Titor meets Juha's Time Machine

Who Am I?

That was the start. But another topic dear to my heart – unrelated to the Batman lore – made its way to the guitar; it is a short riddle paying homage to the John Titor time traveler story/legacy/Internet legend. The timing to do that was ideal, as when the neck plate with the “John Titor riddle” I created was made in November 2020 – using Juha’s old Japanese pantograph time mach… I mean engraving machine – this was precisely the 20th anniversary of John Titor’s first post on the Time Travel Institute Forum (in 2000).

If you are unfamiliar with the story, I would suggest digging into it; but beware: the deeper you dig, the more surprises, interrogations and awe will likely come to the surface…

The little boy living in our hearts

Back to Batman related content, I knew that Juha was a Batman fan as well (there’s always that little boy living in our hearts, right?), so I thought it would really make sense to have him choose one of his favorite Bat-quote, and write it on the guitar. I am very satisfied with the quote Juha chose; original and very deep…

The Riddler's Personality

Man-Batman?

As for the “Man-Bat” quote, granted, this one is more light-hearted. The reason for choosing this particular quote is a long story, but in a nutshell: the Batman lore is so deep into Pop Culture that I thought making this Big Bang Theory quote from Sheldon Cooper made a lot of sense, and was quite relevant in the way that this quote is actually a question. 😉

Reversed Elements

Regarding the specs, I thought the “reversed elements” such as pickup position and the control plate made sense with the Riddler’s personality. The guitar has only one pickup, but the wiring allows it to have a few tricks up its sleeve (direct – volume and tone bypassed, standard –volume and tone work normally, and “vintage” – the tone control is bypassed and the pickup is routed through the volume control and a fixed treble roll-off capacitor/resistor).

Finally, I would like to express my sincere thanks to Juha and his team for creating exactly what I was looking for – a communication tool for my soul!

Your guitar, custom made

"Sometimes it's only madness that makes us what we are"
– Batman