Explore Beautiful, Broken Memories in Koren Shadmi’s ‘The Abaddon’ [Preview]
Koren Shadmi is an award-winning illustrator whose work has been seen in the likes of Wired and The New York Times, and whose comics are apparently known elsewhere in the world, but he's yet to have his big breakthrough in American comics. Hopefully that changes with his new book The Abaddon, from Z2 Comics, a haunting and exquisite trip into sex and death, memory and torment.
Originally a webcomic loosely based on Jean-Paul Sartre's No Exit (you remember college, right?), Shadmi's The Abaddon is another variation on the old adage "hell is other people." When a man named Ter checks into an old hotel, he's subjected to the peculiar insanity of a group of lodgers who could pass for the bastard offspring of David Lynch and Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
As Ter acclimates to his new surroundings and the inverted logic that governs them, he navigates a labyrinth of broken memories and taunting obsessions toward a resolution that always seems just out of grasp. Just when he believes he's got a handle on it, and just when you think you know what to expect with The Abaddon, it reveals another layer.
In this version of the afterlife, Shadmi inculcates an old idea with a startling new vision. Drawing upon his own experiences in the Israeli Defense Force, and tapping into these almost-Jungian motifs, he crafts remarkably beautiful moments that strike the nerve; punctuated with dark humor, odd violence, and alluring sexual energy. With a graceful pen-stroke and nearly phantasmic coloring, he renders the hereafter with a style all his own.
A beguiling book from a creator just beginning to make his name in the U.S., Koren Shadmi's The Abaddon is well worth a look.