Earlier this morning Ryan Holmberg, an award-winning manga translator, historian, translator, and editor, revealed on Instagram that they have launched a brand new manga imprint, SMUDGE, alongside publisher, Living The Line. SMUDGE is described as “a line of classic pulp, horror, and dark fantasy manga” which will be curated and translated by Holmberg.

Original cover for Her Frankenstein by Kawashima Norikazu

As part of this announcement came the reveal of the first manga license for SMUDGE, Her Frankenstein by Kawashima Norikazu, a horror classic originally published in Japan in 1986. Her Frankenstein (フランケンシュタインの男, Frankenstein no Otoko) is considered part of the 1980s era of pulpy, wildly inventive stories in Japanese horror comics, and was once described as a ‘frightening but moving story about an unfortunate individual who, lost in search of his true self, finds his own annihilation instead’ by horror manga legend, Junji Ito.

Little Tetsuo is a wimpy mess. His parents do not love him. He meets the beautiful Kimiko, a sickly teenage girl obsessed with movies and mayhem. She doesn’t love Tetsuo either, or anyone else for that matter. But she needs him. So Tetsuo becomes the man she wants—the monster she wants. He becomes HER FRANKENSTEIN!

Additionally, this volume will include essays by mangaka Kawakatsu Tokushige, as well as collector, Midori no Gosunkugi. The print release for this one-shot manga is currently slated for Spring 2024. Additional details including preorder and future titles will be announced in the future, so stay tuned!

So, horror manga fans, are you excited for this new imprint and series announcement? As always, feel free to let us know!

You can follow Ryan Holmberg on X/Twitter at @mangaberg, and see more of his essays and a list of the many books and graphic novels he has translated for Drawn & Quarterly, Fantagraphics and more at mangaberg.com.

You can also find past licensing announcements, manga news, and reviews I have done here.