Tag Archives: Junji Ito

GYO volume 2 (2nd Edition)

Gyo volume 2 gyo2
by Junji Ito
Viz Communications
English Adaptation by Yuji Oniki
BW, 204 pgs
$9.99 US / Higher in Canada

I can’t say I’ve ever been scared reading a comic. There are horror comics out there, but they’re not likely to make you jump in your chair like some horror films. That’s actually fine by me because that jumpiness is the most basic form of horror there is. It’s a one trick pony. The momentary fright isn’t going to linger. You’ll probably even laugh immediately after jumping.

The purest form of horror is an underlying sense of unease. This occurs when moments of tension are never released. There’s no cliched scare tactics. There’s no delivery. It’s a relentless, seemingly unending build. You’re left stuck in anticipation. This unease is caused by the visuals you see and the sounds you hear. These thing make you think, put you in the moment, make you experience the horror on a more personal level. A good horror comic can do that with its images and story. It can get under your skin, make you uneasy and leave you that way even after the last page is turned. That is exactly what Gyo does to you. Continue reading GYO volume 2 (2nd Edition)

Uzumaki volume 1

Uzumaki volume 1 uzumakivol1
by Junji Ito
Viz Communications
BW, 208 pgs w/ ads
$9.99 US / Higher in Canada

It is rare that the mundane be made truly unsettling. Manga-ka Junji Ito manages to achieve this in Uzumaki volume 1. He makes the pattern known as spirals a device of horror.

The first instance of this pattern occurs on the very first page. Kirie is overlooking the seaside town in which she lives. The sky above is grey and spirals can be seen in the clouds. This is a subtle instance of the spiral and almost goes unnoticed. A couple pages later, Kirie is walking down a street and a whirlwind rushes past. On the heels of that, she spots her boyfriend’s father crouched in a grubby alley. His attention is fixated on a small object. That object is a spiral shaped snail shell. It’s a quietly unsettling moment because such fixation is unnatural and as such just simply feels wrong.

Spirals remain a fixture Uzumaki from that point on. Volume 1 is divided into a series of chapters, each one a tale that describes another individual’s obsession with spirals and how that obsession leads eventually to despair, madness and ultimately death or worse. Continue reading Uzumaki volume 1

Gyo volume 1 (2nd Edition)

Gyo volume 1  gyo1
by Junji Ito
Viz Communications
English Adaptation by Yuji Oniki
BW, 200 pgs
$9.99 US / Higher in Canada

One of the great things about my gig here at comicreaders.com is the very fact I have access to a wide variety of comics. When I buy comics I need to be selective because my money can only go so far. I will admit to you too that I’m a very cautious shopper. I’m more apt to buy a new series written by a writer I’ve enjoyed in the past then branch out and try a comic from someone with whom I’m not familiar. I don’t have that worry when reviewing comics. I can pick and choose whatever I want without thinking about my pocketbook. In doing so, I’ve been able to make some fantastic personal discoveries. I’m talking about the cool comics that grab you by the short and curlies of your interest and don’t let go. These are the comics for which I get up on my soapbox and shout. These are the comics I want you to read.

Gyo is that kind of comic.

Written and illustrated by Junji Ito, Gyo is a comic that has the word cool written across it in big, bold, flashing letters. It’s a horror comic of the highest degree (the best damn horror comic I’ve read to date…period), telling the tale of strange fish that start crawling out of the sea on their own legs. Yes, on legs. Continue reading Gyo volume 1 (2nd Edition)