In Koren Shadmi’s The Abaddon, five dysfunctional roommates are trapped in an otherworldly apartment, echoing Jean-Paul Sartre’s classic 1944 play No Exit. In the beginning of The Abaddon, central character Ter finds himself immediately and irrevocably trapped in a literal Abaddon: a place of destruction; the depths of hell.

Ter, a former soldier, is the only roommate actively interested in leaving the apartment, and through his fruitless efforts to leave, readers experience the maddening frustration of finding doors which won't open, sewer grates, and air ducts that are seemingly circular, leading nowhere. The relationships between Ter and his roommates, Bet, Shel, Vic, and Nor, are as horrific as the Abaddon itself, as they alternately attack, proposition, and soothe each other — often with ever-available ecto-beer. As Shami told Publishers Weekly, "They're all totally incompatible. It's kind of like Three's Company meeting Jean Paul Sartre."

In between Ter's escape attempts and lusty run-ins with Bet, he has gruesome flashbacks to his former life as a soldier. Haunted by them, Ter tries to piece together his past and remember who he is, and how he got to the apartment in the first place.

Shadmi models his Abaddon after a real, two-story apartment in Brooklyn, one which serves as something of a boarding house for cartoonists. Inspiration for the roommates' sick relationships is drawn from Shadmi's real-life experience sharing space in New York City, while Shadmi's stint in the Israeli army informed his approach to Ter's backstory. Shadmi first published books as a teenager in his native Israel, before completing his mandatory service in the army.

Since moving to New York in 2002, Shadmi has worked as a successful professional illustrator. In 2011, he started creating The Abaddon, then a bi-weekly web comic, to work on something over which he had complete artistic control and freedom. Shadmi initially drew The Abaddon in pencil, then scanned the panels into Photoshop where he then layered different textures, including watercolor, over his illustrations.

The webcomic grew to draw over 5,000 readers a month and in 2013, Shadmi raised over $4,000.00 (exceeding his $3,000.00 goal) on Kickstarter campaign to focus solely on finishing what became the graphic novel The Abaddon. "My plan was I'd start posting this online and people would start reading it and I will feel like I will owe it to them to keep doing it and owe it to myself to keep doing it," Shamdi told Publishers Weekly. "It's kind of a psychological trick to trick myself into finishing this really big story, something that I've never done before." The Abaddon is due out from Z2 Comics, October 28th in comic shops and November 12th through and in bookstores.

"Like nothing else in comics today." – CBR's Robot 6

The Abaddon [Koren Shadmi/Z2]

The Abaddon