Junji Ito! Junji Ito! Junji Ito!
Japanese horror master Ito has been avoiding the genre of his greatest triumphs—Uzimaki, Tomie, Gyo— for eight years, but he has a new book out, and Viz will bring it to the US next year: Fragments of Horror, a new collection of short horror tales to be published under the Signature imprint.
FRAGMENTS OF HORROR is the brand-new collection of delightfully macabre tales from the celebrated master of Japanese horror. An old wooden mansion that turns on its inhabitants. A dissection class with a most unusual subject. A funeral where the dead are definitely not laid to rest. Ranging from the terrifying to the comedic, from the erotic to the loathsome, these stories showcase Junji Ito’s long-awaited return to the world of horror.
“A long anticipated new offering of bizarre and disturbing short stories from the unique mind of Junji Ito awaits readers next summer,” says Leyla Aker, Senior Vice President, Publishing. “Ito adeptly creates scenarios that are at once surreal, unsettling, and often terrifying, and FRAGMENTS OF HORROR is sure to become a must-read for true horror aficionados and manga fans familiar with his prior works like GYO and UZUMAKI. We look forward to new as well as existing manga fans and readers discovering this potent forthcoming release!”
Not everyone converted to manga during the invasion during the last decade, and I can understand how high school romances and vampire dramas can be an acquired taste, but the greatest Japanese horror comics are pretty universal in their appeal, and Ito is among the genre’s greats: unsettling tales rendered with the solid draftsmanship of classic EC comics and the twisted imagination of…Junji Ito.
Both Uzumaki—the story of a town beset by an obsession with spirals that leads to death—and GYO—the story of a town overcome by fish bearing a “death stench”—are available from Viz. If you like truly unsettling stories, you need to get into Ito. (I should note that I treasure the two voumes of Museum of Horror that Dark Horse put out a decade ago as well.)
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.