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Book Review < Back

Through the Habitrails

Credits: Written and Illustrated by Jeff Nicholson
Publisher: Bad Habit

Commentary

What, you think YOUR job sucks?

The guy in THROUGH THE HABITRAILS has a job that involves getting taps installed in the back of his neck so his ghoulish bosses can drain him of his juice. His main boss is apparently a gigantic, fat little bastard of a hamster wearing a crown. The job gets so bad that he fashions a jar around his head so he can remain pickled in beer all the time. He has to live with his coworkers, professional politics intermingling inescapably with the personal. These coworkers are egomaniacs, sycophants, drug burnouts, or hollow shells of humans living in cages. He dates some of them anyway.

The thing is, I know how he feels.

THROUGH THE HABITRAILS is creepy. Genuinely, sincerely creepy. Writer-artist Jeff Nicholson has crafted it with an air of manic desperation and unrelenting horror so vibrant and hallucinatory that it had to, had to, had to really happen. Sure, Nicholson wasn't literally employed by a bastard hamster, and there were neither neck-taps nor headjars of beer. Yet the feeling Nicholson infuses in this dark, droning faux-memoir is so true, so real that I can't pick up HABITRAILS without flashing back to MY worst-job-ever and recoiling at the cold, sick and familiar feeling it instills in my belly all over again. I can't imagine Nicholson being particularly enthused about HABITRAILS anymore - and this is pure conjecture on my part - as it reads like the frantic, hysterical journal of a man at the end of his rope, replete with all the self-pity and misery usually contained therein.

Neck-taps, dude. Neck-taps.

-- Matt Fraction

 
Matt Fraction splits his time between motion graphics and design house MK12, writing comics, and reading comics. He is the author of the graphic novels The Annotated Mantooth and Last of the Independents, both available from AiT/Planet Lar. He can be found on the web at mattfraction.com. His wife is hot.

 


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