Writer/Artist: Koren Shadmi
Publisher: Z2 Comics
Have you ever needed a roommate or even been a new roomie moving into an established household? With all the trials and tribulations that this may cause, feel sorry for the residents of apartment 262. They are a peculiar bunch in which Ter finds himself living with.
The apartment is a strange little, large place with covered windows and doors without locks, coffee and beer on tap. Equally at odds are the residents themselves, between Vic’s addiction to milk, Noa’s love of Shel, Shel’s reincarnating cat and in the middle of it all, Bet who seems to be the object of desire for all but one in the house. Then there are a the vents and the voices, and how do people gain entry if no-one in the house can leave?
Koren Shadmi is the writer, creator and artist of this graphic novel, based loosely on Jean-Paul Sartre’s play No Exit, ideas of which are alluded throughout the story. The characters for the most part, come across somewhat as fragments of a whole person, each struggling with their own addictions, desires and fragmented memories. The script is enjoyable, even if it does comes across as repetitive at times, as are some of the more confrontational elements in the book. The art fits the book well, with the characters standing out against the green layered backgrounds of the apartment, with the sameness creating part of the frustrations felt by it’s inhabitants. The splash of color, in parts of the book adds a contrast which in turn seems to push elements of the story forward.
The book has a certain “Life on Mars” quality, mixed in with a little bit of David Lynch or William S. Burroughs, in part emulating some of the self loathing inherent in the Naked Lunch. The book was originally structured as a web comic, which does show through the pacing of the story, in places. The book may not be for everyone, but if you are looking for something that will make you think a little about shortcomings, desires and the exasperation of doing the same things and expecting different results, then give this a read.
For more information about Koren Shadmi, check out an interview with the man himself, in the Interview section on our website.