Tag Archives: junji ito

Graphic Novels Suck!

Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1

One benefit of transitioning from the corporate world to the library world is that I get to work with and handle comics (or graphic novels as they like to call them.) on a daily basis. I mean I literally got paid to order and enter the ordering information for the first volume of Saladin Ahmed and Javier Garron’s Miles Morales: Spider-Man comic today and then at my other job at a public library, I got to show a couple of kids (whose first library card I made.) where the Pokemon “comics” were. It’s pretty awesome, but there’s a bittersweet lining to it too.

And that lining is that in the minds of many of the people I interact with at work, whether that’s colleagues or patrons, comics are still solely for kids. Yes, I know it’s a cliche, but it was corroborated by Eric Reynolds, the co-publisher of Fantagraphics in an interview with Ed Piskor and Jim Rugg of the Cartoonist Kayfabe podcast where he talked about how well comics by Dav Pilkey or Raina Telgemaier were selling, but how those sales don’t translate to the adult or even the YA market. Kids comics (and manga) are booming, but unless you’re already into the world of comics, or it’s something evergreen like Watchmen, Maus, or Fun Home, it seems like comics are not a viable reading material for, say, post-college age adults.

And I hate that I don’t feel empowered to recommend comics and graphic novels to adults at my work unless they’re already checking one out. For example, I told a patron who checked out Manhattan Projects to check out Jonathan Hickman’s recent X-Men work and that we would probably be ordering the complete hardcover in the winter. However, if a patron likes spy novels, I probably won’t recommend Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s Velvet or Antony Johnston and Sam Hart’s The Coldest City. I think a lot of this is how the graphic novels are shelved. (In the teens and kids section at one job, and hidden away on the 2nd floor at another.) But it might be a personal thing too.

In my mind as a comics critic/fan and librarian-in-training, I have two wolves inside me. One is out here trying to champion comics as either serious literature or something that can appeal to everyone like young adult dystopian novels, airport novels, or Oprah’s Book Club nonfiction. (She makes some pretty great choices.) Then, there’s another, admittedly bad, wolf that relishes in comics’ history and reputation as the “bastard child of art and commerce” and doesn’t give a shit if the people around me look down on the medium or see it as only fit for children and people, who need help learning how to read. (This is hilariously reductive because comics require both verbal and visual literacy to be understood.) I also enjoy having a little fun and saying things like the latest issue of Batman has more literary value than anything James Patterson and Tom Clancy. (It’s true, especially when Scott Snyder and Grant Morrison were writing the book.)

Batman "Enough"

What both wolves really like to come to blows over is the term “graphic novel”. The good wolf likes to emphasize it when talking to patrons because it reminds them of a currently respected medium. (The novel, which used to be seen as trash once upon a time.) The bad wolf likes to say that it’s a meaningless term, especially for trade paperbacks of ongoing series with multiple writers and artists. Both wolves agree that graphic non-fiction, memoirs, and medicine belong with their respective subjects and not with “graphic novels” because that makes so sense. Would you shelve a non-fiction book about anxiety next to J.D. Robb’s latest vapid thriller?

If I had my way, I would call anything that told a sequential story in both words and images a comic, plain and simple. However, graphic novel does have some marketing value even though some of the ways it’s used and overused are utterly banal. But, hey, if leads to a comic being checked out, I’ll use the word.

I have high hopes that as film and television shows of different genres that are comic book adaptations continue to be released, members of Generation Z keep reading comics even after their teachers and other adults say “They’re below their reading level” (This adds to their punk rock value, to be honest.), and cartoonists like Gene Luen Yang and Ed Piskor speak at prestigious book events (Aka they mainly focus on prose.) that comics will end up being just another item on the reading menu. Maybe, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will get elected president in 2024 and invite Alan Moore (He’ll probably decline.) and Dave Gibbons to chat Watchmen.

But, for now, I need to dig a little deeper and get better at recommending comics to people who aren’t children, teenagers, “geeks”, or fans of science fiction and fantasy. (I got a librarian at my work, who read Mort Weisinger-edited Superman books and 1960s Marvel comics as a child, seriously hooked on Saga.) I need to be a little less precious about semantics and use the term “graphic novel” as a tool for promotion instead of something that numbs my brain and makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit. I need to understand that some people might not have the visual literacy levels to read and enjoy comics, which is okay.

And my final takeaway is that I need to read more manga. Seriously, I went to a Barnes and Noble in the Louisville, Kentucky suburbs and there were four full rows of manga. Because of the prevalence of public transportation and the lack of a Comics Code incident leading to one genre taking over the industry due to censorship, manga of all genres is easy to obtain in Japan, and maybe it’ll be like that the United States. But, for now, it’s time to crack open Uzumaki by Junji Ito. (Once I knock off all the others on my “to be read” list).

New Anime and Manga this April from VIZ Media!

VIZ Media has some highly anticipated new home media and publishing releases debuting this month. New titles include set 1 of the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, as well as My Hero Academia: School Briefs, a short story collection based on the hit superhero action series created by Kohei Horikoshi. Nier:Automata: Short Story Long is the second novel adaptation based on the best-selling video game. Horror master Junji Ito’s Smashed: Junji Ito Story Collection will contain thirteen manga stories and debut later in the month.

The last two titles set for release include The Art of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and Nausiccaä of the Valley of the Wind Picture Book. Each book features vivid Studio Ghibli art from the legendary director Hayao Miyazaki.

New Home Media for April:

BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS SET 1

Blu-ray MSRP: $44.98 U.S. / $52.99 CAN · DVD MSRP: $39.99 U.S. / $51.99 CAN Available April 9th

Meet Naruto’s son! His name is Boruto and he’s just like his dad – unfortunately. He’s rambunctious, rebellious, and more than a handful! He’s joined by the next generation of the Hidden Leaf Village – including Sarada, the daughter of Sasuke, and Mitsuki, a shinobi of mysterious lineage! Boruto and his friends have their hands full when they investigate a dangerous entity known as “The Ghost.” Can Boruto save the village just like dad? Dive into all of the action of Episodes 1-13 of the hit anime series in its first home media release. Special features include a BORUTO OVA, storyboards, art gallery and more!

BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS SET 1

New Publishing Releases for April:

MY HERO ACADEMIA: SCHOOL BRIEFS

By Anri Yoshi; Original Story by Kohei Horikoshi

MSRP: $10.99 U.S. / $14.99 CAN · Available April 2nd

The U.A. High School Hero Course teaches young hopefuls everything they need to become heroes. Between killer events like the Sports Festival and internships, there’s even Parents’ Day! That’s when all the kids get the chance to show their parents what they’re made of!

MY HERO ACADEMIA: SCHOOL BRIEFS

NIER:AUTOMATA: SHORT STORY LONG

By Jun Eishima and Yoko Taro

MSRP: $14.99 U.S. / $19.99 CAN · Available April 9th 

When alien forces invade with an army of Machines, the remnants of humanity must depend on Androids of their own design—the placid 2B and the excitable 9S—to survive.

NIER:AUTOMATA: SHORT STORY LONG

SMASHED: JUNJI ITO STORY COLLECTION

By Junji Ito

MSRP: $22.99 U.S. / $32.00 CAN · Rated ‘T+’ For Older Teens · Available April 16th

Try not to be noticed when you eat the secret nectar, otherwise you’ll get smashed… What horrific events happened to create the earthbound—people tied to a certain place for the rest of their short lives? Then, a strange haunted house comes to town, but no one expects it to lead to a real hell… Welcome to Junji Ito’s world, a world with no escape from endless nightmares.

SMASHED: JUNJI ITO STORY COLLECTION

THE ART OF NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND

By Hayao Miyazaki

MSRP: $34.99 U.S. / $46.99 CAN · Available April 16th

Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, based on his own manga, was released in 1984 and has been a cult classic ever since. In a long-ago war, humankind set off a devastating ecological disaster. The earth is slowly submerging beneath the expanding Sea of Decay, an enormous toxic forest that creates mutant insects and poisonous spores. Beyond the sea lies the Valley of the Wind, a kingdom of barely 500 citizens and home to Nausicaä, who risks everything to save her people and bring peace and health to the valley. Includes sketches, developmental water colors, cel animation, and more.

THE ART OF NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND

NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND PICTURE BOOK

By Hayao Miyazaki

MSRP: $29.99 U.S. / $39.99 CAN · Available April 30th

In a long-ago war, humankind set off a devastating ecological disaster. The earth is slowly submerging beneath the expanding Sea of Decay, an enormous toxic jungle filled with mutant insects and poisonous spores. At the edge of the sea lies the Valley of the Wind, home to Nausicaä, who risks everything to save her people and bring peace and health to her people. Studio Ghibli picture books capture the magic of the legendary studio’s animated films with easy-to-read text, full-color pictures direct from the film, and a family-friendly oversized hardcover format.

NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND PICTURE BOOK

VIZ Media Announces New Manga for the Fall

VIZ Media has announced new manga publishing acquisitions set for release this coming fall.

New fall titles joining the VIZ Signature imprint include Cats of the Louvre, the latest masterpiece from Eisner Award-winning creator Taiyo Matsumoto. Acclaimed author Osamu Dazai’s No Longer Human is adapted into chilling graphic novel form by the famed horror manga creator Junji Ito.

Additional acquisitions include Levius, a hardcover deluxe edition of the science fiction battle manga and its ongoing sequel series, Levius/Est. The Way of the HouseHusband is an action-packed comedy about a former yakuza legend trying to lead a law-abiding, domestic life as a househusband. And in No Guns Life, a gritty new action series, a former soldier with a cyborg body finds the war never ends for people with bodies like his. Finally, the Assassination Classroom Complete Box Set rounds out the new releases, collecting all 21 volumes of the hit high school action-adventure-comedy from Shonen Jump.

CATS OF THE LOUVRE

A surreal tale of the secret world of the cats of the Louvre by Eisner-Award winning creator Taiyo Matsumoto. The world-renowned Louvre museum in Paris contains more than just the most famous works of art in history. At night, within the darkened galleries, an unseen and surreal world comes alive – a world only witnessed by the small family of cats that live in the attic. Until now…

CATS OF THE LOUVRE

NO LONGER HUMAN

Plagued by a maddening anxiety, the terrible disconnect between his own concept of happiness and the joy of the rest of the world, Yozo Oba plays the clown in his dissolute life, holding up a mask for those around him as he spirals ever downward, locked arm-in-arm with death. Osamu Dazai’s immortal—and supposedly autobiographical—work of Japanese literature, is perfectly adapted here into a manga by Junji Ito. The imagery wrenches open the text of the novel one line at a time to sublimate Yozo’s mental landscape into something even more delicate and grotesque. This is the ultimate in art by Ito, proof that nothing can surpass the terror of the human psyche.

LEVIUS

It’s the 19th Century and the world has entered the Era of Rebirth, recovering from the devastating flames of war. The sport of Mechanical Martial Arts has galvanized many nations. Cybernetically augmented fighters turn their blood into steam and their bodies into brutal fighting—and killing—machines. Young Levius is one of those arena battlers, hellbent on winning so he can simply survive.

LEVIUS/EST

In this ongoing series that picks up where LEVIUS ended, things look bleak in the aftermath of the Mechanical Arts arena battle. A new arrival inspires a sense of hope – but she might also signal the end of everything!

THE WAY OF THE HOUSEHUSBAND

It’s a day in the life of your average househusband – if your average househusband is the legendary yakuza the “Immortal Dragon”!Yes, this former yakuza legend has left it all behind to become your everyday househusband. But it’s not easy to walk away from the gangster life, and what should be mundane household tasks are anything but!

THE WAY OF THE HOUSEHUSBAND

NO GUNS LIFE

After the war, cyborg soldiers known as the Extended were discharged. Juzo Inui is one of them, a man whose body was transformed, his head replaced with a giant gun! With no memory of his previous life—or who replaced his head and why—Inui now scratches out a living in the dark streets of the city as a Resolver, taking on cases involving the Extended.

ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM COMPLETE BOX SET

The complete box set collection includes all 21 volumes of Assassination Classroom along with a premium two-sided color poster and a 32-page full-color mini artbook.

Ever caught yourself screaming, “I could just kill that teacher”? What would it take to justify such antisocial behavior and weeks of detention? Especially if he’s the best teacher you’ve ever had? How about blowing up the moon and threatening to do the same to Mother Earth—unless you take him out first?! Plus a reward of a cool 100 million from the Ministry of Defense!

Junji Ito Heads to TCAF 2019

Smashed

Japanese manga creator and horror sensation Junji Ito will participate in TCAF (Toronto Comic Arts Festival) as a featured guest and is also the poster artist of the 2019 festival. TCAF is being held May 11-12, 2019 in Toronto, Canada.

Junji’s works include Uzumaki, Gyo, Tomie, and “The Enigma of Amigara Fault, and he’s heading to the show to support his new short story collection Smashed: Junji Ito Story Collection, to be published this April by VIZ Media.

Junji Ito will participate in an on-stage interview, live drawing, and special ticketed autograph sessions whose details will be announced later.

Featuring more than 350 exhibiting creators, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2019 runs Saturday May 11th, 9am-5pm, and Sunday May 12th, 10am-5pm, at the Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street, Toronto, Canada. Attendence is free to all events. Some events with Junji Ito will require ticket, info TBA.

Check out this year’s poster below.

TCAF 2019

Junji Ito’s Frankenstein: Junji Ito Story Collection is Out October 16

VIZ Media has announces the release of Frankenstein: Junji Ito Story Collection on October 16th.

The latest release from the famed horror manga creator will receive a hardcover print release under the VIZ Signature imprint and will carry an MSRP of $22.99 U.S. / $32.00 CAN. Digital editions of Frankenstein: Junji Ito Story Collection will also be available for $15.99 via viz.com and the VIZ Manga App, as well as from the Nook, Kobo, Kindle, iBooks, comiXology, and Google Play stores.

Junji Ito meets Mary Shelley! The master of horror manga bends all his skill into bringing the anguished and solitary monster—and the fouler beast who created him—to life with the brilliantly detailed chiaroscuro he is known for. Also included are six tales of Oshikiri—a high school student who lives in a decaying mansion connected to a haunted parallel world. Uncanny doppelgangers, unfortunately murdered friends, and a whole lot more are in store for him. Bonus: The Ito family dog! Thrill to the adventures of Non-non Ito, an adorable Maltese!

Manga creator Junji Ito made his professional manga debut in 1987 and has since gone on to be recognized as one of the greatest contemporary artists working in the horror genre. His titles include Tomie and Uzumaki, which have been adapted into live-action films; GYO, which was adapted into an animated film; and his short story collections Fragments of Horror and Shiver, all of which are available from VIZ Media. Ito’s influences include classic horror manga artists Kazuo Umezu and Hideshi Hino, as well as authors Yasutaka Tsutsui and H.P. Lovecraft.

VIZ Media New Acquisitions Includes a Junji Ito Story Collection, Juni Taisen, and Nier: Automata

VIZ Media at C2E2 announced new publishing acquisitions During their official panel discussion held at C2E2, they announced the upcoming fall release of Frankenstein: Junji Ito Story Collection, a retelling of Mary Shelley’s classic monster tale, reimagined by Japan’s master of horror manga. The manga adaptation of the popular Juni Taisen battle royale anime, Juni Taisen: Zodiac War, will be available to fans this fall. Also announced were two sci-fi novels based on the bestselling NieR: Automata video game. Nier: Automata: Long Story Short (Vol. 1) and Nier: Automata: Short Story Long (Vol. 2), created by NieR: Automata’s director Yoko Taro and writer Jun Eishima.

Additional information on each of these titles will be announced in the near future.

FRANKENSTEIN: JUNJI ITO STORY COLLECTION

Story and Art by Junji Ito

Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens · Debuts Fall 2018

The master of horror manga bends all his skill into bringing the anguished and solitary monster, and the more loathsome beast who created him, to life with the brilliantly detailed chiaroscuro he is known for. Also included is the Oshikiri story cycle – a high school student who lives in a decaying mansion connected to a haunted parallel world. Uncanny doppelgangers, unfortunately murdered friends, and a whole lot more are in store for him.

JUNI TAISEN: ZODIAC WAR

Original Story by Nisioisin, Story and Art by Akira Akatsuki, Character

Design by Hikaru Nakamura

Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens · Debuts Fall 2018

Every 12 years, 12 fighters take the form of the Chinese zodiac and engage in a battle royale. With their strength and mysterious powers, they fight to the death and the sole survivor is granted the ultimate prize—any wish.

NIER: AUTOMATA: LONG STORY SHORT (Vol. 1) · Debuts Fall 2018

NIER: AUTOMATA: SHORT STORY LONG (Vol. 2) · Debuts Spring 2019

Written by Jun Eishima

When alien forces invade with an army of Machines, the remnants of humanity must depend on Androids of their own design – the placid 2B and the excitable 9S – to survive.

VIZ Media Releases Junji Ito’s Frightening Horror Manga Anthology Shiver

VIZ Media delivers the chilling new release Shiver: Junji Ito Selected Stories on December 19th.

The new anthology from the critically acclaimed master of Japanese horror manga will debut as a hardcover edition under the VIZ Signature imprint. Shiver: Junji Ito Selected Stories contains nine of Junji Ito’s best short stories, as selected by the author himself, presented with accompanying notes and commentary. Shiver is rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens and carries a print MSRP of $22.99 U.S. / $32.00 CAN.

An arm peppered with tiny holes dangles from a sick girl’s window… After an idol hangs herself, balloons bearing the faces of their destined victims appear in the sky… An amateur film crew hires an extremely individualistic fashion model and faces a real bloody ending… Shiver offers nine fresh nightmares for the delectation of horror fans.

Manga creator Junji Ito made his professional debut in 1987 and has gone on to be recognized as one of the greatest contemporary artists working in the horror genre. His critically acclaimed titles include Tomie and Uzumaki, which were adapted into critically praised live-action films, as well as Gyo, which was adapted into an animated feature film. Tomie, Uzumaki, Gyo, and Ito’s celebrated manga short story anthology Fragments of Horror are all published in English by VIZ Media in deluxe hardcover editions available under the VIZ Signature imprint. Ito’s influences include classic horror manga artists Kazuo Umezu and Hideshi Hino, as well as authors such as Yasutaka Tsutsui and H.P. Lovecraft.

Creepy Horror Manga Masterpiece Tomie Debuts From VIZ Media

tomieVIZ Media delivers a chilling treat for readers with the release of creator Junji Ito’s horror masterpiece, Tomie, on December 20th.

Tomie: Complete Deluxe Edition will be published as a special hardcover release under the VIZ Signature imprint with a suggested reader rating of ‘T+’ for Older Teens and a print MSRP of $34.99 U.S. / $46.99 CAN.

Tomie also will be available digitally from VIZ.com/read and the VIZ Manga App, as well as from the Nook, Kobo, Kindle, iBooks, comiXology, and GooglePlay stores.

Tomie Kawakami is a femme fatale with long black hair and a beauty mark just under her left eye. She can seduce nearly any man, and drive them to murder as well, even though the victim is often Tomie herself. While one lover seeks to keep her for himself, another grows terrified of the immortal succubus. But soon they realize that no matter how many times they kill her, the world will never be free of Tomie.

Manga creator Junji Ito made his professional debut in 1987 and since then has gone on to be recognized as one of the greatest contemporary artists working in the horror genre. His acclaimed titles include TOMIE and UZUMAKI, which have been adapted into live-action films; GYO, which was adapted into an animated film; and FRAGMENTS OF HORROR, all of which are available in hardcover Deluxe Editions from VIZ Media. TOMIE was adapted into a live-action film and also into a TV series in Japan. Ito’s influences include classic horror manga artists Kazuo Umezu and Hideshi Hino, as well as authors Yasutaka Tsutsui and H.P. Lovecraft.

Macabre Short Story Manga Collection Fragments of Horror Debuts In English From VIZ Media

FragmentsOfHorror_3DVIZ Media sends chills down the spines of readers as it debuts Junji Ito’s Fragments of Horror on June 16th.

Set to be published under the VIZ Signature imprint, the new manga (graphic novel) release is rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens and will be offered in a deluxe, hardcover print edition that will carry an MSRP of $17.99 U.S. / $21.00 CAN.

Fragments of Horror contains a unique collection of delightfully macabre tales from the master of horror manga. 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.

Manga creator Junji Ito made his professional debut in 1987 and has gone on to be recognized as one of the greatest contemporary artists working in the horror genre. His critically acclaimed titles include TOMIE and UZUMAKI, which were adapted into critically praised live-action films, as well as GYOwhich was adapted into an animated feature film. The UZUMAKI and GYO manga editions are both published in English by VIZ Media in deluxe hardcover editions available under the VIZ Signature imprint. Ito’s influences include classic horror manga artists Kazuo Umezu and Hideshi Hino, as well as authors such as Yasutaka Tsutsui and H.P. Lovecraft.

New Deluxe Edition of Gyo From VIZ

GyoDeluxeEditionVIZ Media delivers a lavish new edition of one of the manga (graphic novel) genre’s most seminal horror titles with the publication of the Gyo Deluxe Edition on April 21st.

This hardcover version of Junji Ito’s story of an invasion of the Japanese island of Okinawa by mutated sea creatures is presented in a definitive 400 page, 2-in-1 edition that features a new cover design and full-color endpapers. The GYO Deluxe Edition will be published under the VIZ Signature imprint, is rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens, and will carry an MSRP of $22.99 U.S. / $26.99 CAN.

In Gyo, the floating smell of death hangs over an island. What is it? A strange, legged fish appears on the scene… So begins Tadashi and Kaori’s spiral into the horror and stench of the sea. Here is the creepiest masterpiece of horror manga ever from the creator of UZUMAKI, Junji Ito. Hold your breath until all is revealed.

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