I made a major career shift when I started this collection of dark humored short stories about life on-the-job, and beyond. Through the Habitrails dramatically advanced my status from a small presser with a cult status to a respected peer with critical acclaim. The series was originally published in chapters in the Will Eisner Award winning anthology Taboo. One of my installments, "Escape #2: The Dry Creek Bed" gained me my first Eisner nomination for Best Short Story of 1992.
Through the Habitrails was based on working as an illustrator for a newspaper and graphic design house. The opening installment, "Increasing the Gerbils," introduced readers to a surreal and strangely symbiotic world in which the precious life fluids of the worker are drained like tree sap to be fed to the company gerbils, which scurry through a network of tubes throughout the offices. The series tackles marriage, inter-office romance, and fellow dysfunctional workers. Ironically, it was the failure of my past work that led to taking the job that inspired this series. The intense angst of going from self-employed to worker bee fueled these horrific metaphors that returned some life to my career, allowing me to go self-employed again... for a time.
My desire to get the entire Habitrails in print began a new phase in my career, the collected book editions that could be sold in bookstores as well as comic book specialty shops. The first edition was issued in 1994, and a second edition with introduction by Steven R. Bissette and a new epiloge in 1996.
After a ten year hiatus from making any new comics, Dover Books approached me about a new edition in 2015. Steve Bissette penned an expanded introduction, and I drew a new ten page epilogue to give this third edition something unique.