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Today’s New Digital Comics Comes from DC, VIZ Media, Seven Seas, Kodansha, and More!

The Joker #3

ComiXology has you covered for your digital comic needs. Today sees over 50 new releases available now. You can get shopping or check out the individual releases below.

Abrams Comicarts

comiXology Submit

DC Comics

Fantagraphics

Harlequin

HarperCollins

Kodansha

la Boîte à Bulles

Les Humanoïdes Associés

Marvel

Seven Seas

VIZ Media


This site contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Review: Lovesickness- Junji Ito Story Collection

Content warning: suicide

Lovesickness

Junji Ito is probably my favorite manga creator, and he is a master of finding terror in the everyday escalating normal situations into something resembling cosmic horror. And that continues to be the case in his new collection Lovesickness, which features the titular story as well as two “Strange Hizikuri Siblings stories and three unrelated horror yarns. Ito dips into every day problems like wanting to be loved or desired, family conflict, and even being stuck a job that literally takes over your life and turns them up to eleven with imagery that will scar your psyche.

A big chunk of this story collection is the Junji Ito horror serial, “Lovesickness”, which is about a foggy town obsessed with fortune telling at crossroads. Basically, you can’t cross the street without a girl covering her face and asking you if she’ll find love or if the cute boy at school likes her. The protagonist, Ryusuke, is thrust into this world as his family returns to the town he lived in as a kid, and he rekindles relationships with some of his childhood friends, including his crush Midori and another girl Suzue. However, “Lovesickness” isn’t a relationship drama or a cute romance, but a visual striking and horrifying story that takes “falling in love will kill you” to its literal extent.

“Lovesickness” is a true masterpiece in atmosphere and escalation. Ito creates tension through wind-swept lines of fog that obscure the people that Ryusuke, Midori, and other supporting characters run into. It’s also a great visual metaphor for the secrets surrounding Ryusuke and the “beautiful boy at the crossroads” that is telling girls to end their lives because they will never be loved. This reminds Ryusuke of an incident in the past when he brushed off Midori’s aunt when she wanted her fortuned told, which led to her committing suicide as well as the death of her unborn child. There is definitely an air of death around Ryusuke throughout “Lovesickness”, and he is pale and withdrawn even if he never becomes like the walking corpses who haunt his town.

Lovesickness

Speaking of walking corpses, Junji Ito ramps up the level of danger as well as mystery in the later chapters by seeding in situations where Ryusuke thinks he’s the beautiful boy at the crossroads. Ito fills the page with speed lines and images of blood-splattered women taking revenge on the man that preyed on their weakness at a difficult times in their lives. “Lovesickness” progresses from more atmospheric horror to jump scares and bodies filling the street and the page, but there is a kernel of hope in the midst of the tragedy even if Ito draws parallels between Romeo and Juliet in the relationship between Midori and Ryusuke. This story actually ends up having a good moral in the midst of all the gore and frightening imagery, and Junji Ito gives Ryusuke an arc as he tries to make amends for his past failings. Throw in some satire about celebrity culture, relatable insights into the anxiety of moving to an old/new place, and yet another creepy, obsessive town, and “Lovesickness” is a solid start to this collection of horror stories.

“Lovesickness” is followed by a series of short stories featuring a kooky, creepy family that would make the Addams Family blush. They’re called the “Strange Hizikuri Siblings” and are a group of five siblings named Narumi, Kizuya, Kinako, Shigoro, Hitoshi and Misako, who live together after their parents’ passing. Junji Ito gives them each a distinct design, personality, and even verbal tics with Hitoshi coming off as a fairly normal young kid while Misako runs and acts like a cat sneering and teasing her siblings. The stories featuring the Hizikuri siblings are Ito doing horror comedy like a great sequence in “Narumi’s Boyfriend” where each family member comes up with a gruesome way to kill the man that Narumi has moved in with, and Hitoshi just deadpans that she shouldn’t see her boyfriend any more. This story is basically making life a living hell for nice, normal Kotani and dramatic Narumi, and it wraps up with a necrophilia joke. Junji Ito being both transgressive and funny is a good time, and “Strange Hizikuri Siblings” definitely isn’t filler to pad out Lovesickness and still features horror elements like creepy eyes and facial expressions and a haunted house chase sequence.

The second Strange Hizikuri Siblings story is called the “Seance”, and the basic premise is that the siblings are holding a seance so that their youngest sister Misako will stop throwing rage fits and slashing up the youngest brother Hitoshi’s face. The oldest brother Kizuya also wants to impress his crush (Who already has a boyfriend) Sachiyo, who tries to photograph the spirit world. Junji Ito combines dysfunctional family drama with a touch of the paranormal and little bit of the farcical in this story setting up Kizuya as a terrible person who only pretends to work and uses his role as the eldest brother to abuse and insult his siblings. This story is filled with moments that are both disgusting and clever as Ito manipulates the expectations of both believers and skeptics of the supernatural throughout “Seance”. His art hits that Evil Dead II aesthetic of something being scary or funny depending on the context. I definitely won’t forget the big reveal in this story for a while as well as the Strange Hizikuri Siblings whose lack of decorum in an eerie setting make for a great bit of splatter horror/comedy.

Lovesickness concludes with three standalone horror stories, “The Mansion of Phantom Pain”, “The Rib Woman”, and “Memories of Real Poop”. “The Mansion of Phantom Pain” takes the medical concept of phantom pain to extend to an entire large house as a young man named Kozeki is hired to help run around the mansion of a wealthy family and soothe their son’s pain while the son’s father and other workers are basically dying from sepsis. The concept might seem farcical, but Junji Ito uses thick dark lines and waves to show how much Kozeki and his fellow workers suffer transforming and live-in healthcare job into a nightmare. “Phantom Pain” is a unique take on the haunted house story and also has a running theme of tension between social classes as these working class people must risk life and limb and literally die while working for something that is probably imaginary. “The Rib Woman” takes aim at body dysmorphia when its protagonist wishes she looked like her classmate, a beauty queen and goes to a quite sketchy plastic surgeon to get one of her ribs removed. Junji Ito channels the anxieties crafted by the beauty and diet industries through creepy side effects and the appearance of a character that symbolizes the consequences of the classmate’s plastic surgery. A story that starts as a day at the beach erupts into chaos with bones flying everywhere. Finally, “Memories of Real Poop” is a very short, slight story about a boy who buys what he thinks is fake poop in front of his friends and gets secondhand embarrassment from it. It’s definitely the weakest of the Ito stories in this collection, but fits with the gross-out approach to horror in “Seance”.

Lovesickness features yet another Junji Ito horror epic in the story that shares a name with a title, but it also shows off his gift for dark humor in “The Strange Hizikuri Siblings”, Gothic horror with a late capitalist twist in “The Mansion of Phantom Pain”, and social commentary with jarring images in “The Rib Woman”. It’s yet another example how he’s the master of building up his plots from regular to horrifying and finding the monstrous in all of us from ordinary people looking for love to sociopathic siblings and even workaholics and beauty queens.

Story: Junji Ito Art: Junji Ito
Story: 8.4 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy

Viz Media provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleZeus ComicsBookshop

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Way of X #1

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

Alien #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was solid bringing the Alien world to Marvel. It was both familiar and new and has us excited as the aliens are loose!

Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point #1 (DC Comics) – The two properties have crossed over in video games and now we get the comic version. It’s an interesting start that plays more to fans of the game than comic readers.

Girls of Dimension 13 #1 (AfterShock) – Four young women are invited to live in a building in NYC. That building has a portal to twelve other dimensions. A malevolent being known as Abraxis is on the other side and the women are all that stands in its way.

Guerilla Green (BOOM! Studios) – A graphic novel about a guerilla gardening movement. It’s a unique topic for a graphic novel, so score some points with that alone.

Hana-Chan & the Shape of the World (Yen Press) – Collecting six short manga from 2018 and 2019, the stories are fun, cute, with fantastic art. Great for all ages.

Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters #2 (Oni Press) – Rainbow has finally found her sister, Jonna, after a year of searching. But, being on her own, Jonna is a bit feral. Will she remember her sister?

Lovesickness: Junji Ito Story Collection (VIZ Media) – Collecting ten stories from Junji Ito!

The Many Deaths of Laila Starr #1 (BOOM! Studios) – With humanity on the verge of discovering immortality, the avatar of Death is fired and relegated to the world below to live out her now-finite days in the body of twenty-something Laila Starr in Mumbai.

The Mighty Valkyries #1 (Marvel) – The Valkyries must redefine their role and we want to see what Marvel does with this group now.

Old Guard: Tales Through Time #1 (Image Comics) – A new anthology set in the world of The Old Guard. The series has a rotating cast of creators delivering their own spin.

Specter Inspectors #3 (BOOM! Studios) – It’s a fun ghosthunting series.

Stray Dogs #3 (Image Comics) – The first two issues have been amazing mixing Don Bluth-like art with a murder mystery.

Ultramega #2 (Image Comics) – The debut delivered over-the-top kaiju action and an unexpected ending. We want to see where the series is going.

Unikorn #1 (Scout Comics/Scoot) – Mae inherits a horse from her mother… that’s really a unicorn? Discover the truth in this journey of healing.

Way of X #1 (Marvel) – There’s been a lingering sinister aspect to Krakoa and the new X-Men status-quo. Nightcrawler steps up to take on the mutants’ inner-darkness.

You Promised Me Darkness #1 (Behemoth Comics) – Gaining special auras from Halley’s Comet, two siblings are on the run from an evil being known as the “Anti-everything” that feeds on these special auras.

DC, Yen Press, Kodansha, and More are Part of Over 50 New Digital Releases Today

Snow Angels #3

Today is one of two new comic book days and comiXology has you covered with your digital needs. You can get shopping now or check out what’s out by the publisher below.

Abrams Comicarts

comiXology Originals

DC Comics

Fantagraphics

Harlequin

HarperCollins

Humanoids

Kodansha

Les Humanoïdes Associés

Marvel

MediBang

Seven Seas

VIZ Media

Yen Press


This site contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Today’s New Digital Releases Features Over 50 New Releases from DC, Yen Press, Kodansha, Viz Media, and More

The Joker #2

Today is one of two new comic book days! ComiXology has you covered with your digital needs. Get shopping now or check out the individual issues by the publisher below.

Andrews McMeel

comiXology Originals

DC Comics

Fantagraphics

Harlequin

Kodansha

Les Humanoïdes Associés

Scholastic Graphix

Seven Seas

Vertical

VIZ Media

Yen Press


This site contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Today’s New Digital Releases Features Over 50 New Comics from DC, VIZ Media, Kodansha, and More!

Batman #107

It’s one of two new comic book days this week and comiXology has you covered with your DC and manga needs. Check out what you can get below by the publishers or start shopping now.

Abrams Comicarts

Andrews McMeel

comiXology Originals

DC Comics

Harlequin

HarperCollins

Kodansha

Les Humanoïdes Associés

Scholastic – Graphix

Seven Seas

VIZ Media


This site contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Today’s New Digital Releases Feature Over 50 New Comics from DC, Kodansha, Yen Press, and More!

Harley Quinn #1

Today is one of two new comic book days. ComiXology has your digital needs covered with over 50 new comics from DC, VIZ Media, Kodansha, and more. Get shopping now or check out the individual releases by the publisher below.

Andrews McMeel

AWA Studios

comiXology Originals

DC Comics

Fantagraphics

Harlequin

Hermes Press

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Humanoids

Kodansha

Scholastic Graphix

Seven Seas

Torico

VIZ Media

Yen Press


This site contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Score with the VIZ Sports Sale!

Dive into some sports focused manga with the VIZ Sports Sale currently taking place on comiXology.

The sale features 40 releases from Hikaru no Go, Ping Pong, and Kuroko’s Basketball.

The sale ends on Sunday, March 21.

Kuroko's Basketball Vol. 8

This site contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Free Comic Book Day 2021 Gold Sponsor Comic Books Revealed

The Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) Committee has selected the twelve Gold Sponsor comic book titles for the comic book industry’s most anticipated annual event: Free Comic Book Day. FCBD will once again be a single-day event, scheduled to take place Saturday, August 14 at local comic shops. The event, which traditionally takes place on the first Saturday in May, will be celebrated in August in 2021 in the hopes that much of the uncertainty and disruption related to COVID-19 will have passed.

The titles were curated by over twenty comic shop retailers who make up the FCBD Selection Committee. This year’s comic book lineup features something for everyone: from superheroes, to movies and video games, to beloved franchises, and all-ages favorites. The Gold Sponsor titles come from the industry’s top publishers, including Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, IDW Publishing, Image Comics, Archie Comics, BOOM! Studios, Macmillan/First Second Books, Penguin Workshop, AfterShock Comics, Titan Comics, TOKYOPOP, and VIZ Media.

The full line-up of this year’s comic books will be released tomorrow, March 17, when thirty-nine additional FCBD Silver Sponsor titles are announced. A complete listing of all fifty-one FCBD titles can also be found in the April issue of Diamond Comic Distributors’ PREVIEWS catalog, on sale at comic book shops on March 24.

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2021: GOLD COMICS

AfterShock Comics | WE LIVE: THE LAST DAYS

WE LIVE: THE LAST DAYS

Archie Comics | ARCHIE: PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE FUN!

ARCHIE: PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE FUN!

BOOM! Studios | ENTER THE HOUSE OF SLAUGHTER

ENTER THE HOUSE OF SLAUGHTER

Dark Horse Comics | CRITICAL ROLE & THE WITCHER

CRITICAL ROLE & THE WITCHER

IDW Publishing | STAR WARS: THE HIGH REPUBLIC ADVENTURES

STAR WARS: THE HIGH REPUBLIC ADVENTURES

Image Comics | LADY MECHANIKA

LADY MECHANIKA

Macmillan/ First Second Books| INVESTIGATORS: ANTS IN OUR P.A.N.T.S. SNEAK PEEK!

INVESTIGATORS: ANTS IN OUR P.A.N.T.S. SNEAK PEEK!

Marvel Comics | HULK/ VENOM #1

Penguin Workshop | WHO SPARKED THE MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT?

WHO SPARKED THE MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT?

Titan Comics| BLADE RUNNER ONE-SHOT

BLADE RUNNER ONE-SHOT

TOKYOPOP | ASSASSIN’S CREED: VALHALLA & DYNASTY

ASSASSIN’S CREED: VALHALLA & DYNASTY

VIZ Media | ZOM 100: BUCKET LIST OF THE DEAD/ DEMON SLAYER: KIMETSU NO YAIBA

ZOM 100: BUCKET LIST OF THE DEAD/ DEMON SLAYER: KIMETSU NO YAIBA

Today Features Over 40 New Comic Releases from DC, VIZ, Yen Press, Kodansha, and More!

Snow Angels #2

It’s one of two new comic days today and comiXology has you covered with your digital comic release needs. There are over 40 new releases from a wide range of publishers. Get shopping now or check out the individual release by the publisher below.

Abrams Comicarts

Abrams Amulet Books

Andrews McMeel

AWA Studios

comiXology Originals

DC Comics

Fantagraphics

Harlequin

Humanoids

Kodansha

Seven Seas

VIZ Media

Yen Press


This site contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

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