The Work of Junji Ito

Last summer, horror writer and artist, Junji Ito, released a new collection of short stories under the title ‘Fragments of Horror’. If you ever bothered to read my about me page – About The Coot – then you’re aware that I mentioned Junji Ito amongst my creative influences. My relationship with Ito’s work is a bizarre one; I always find myself reading his work at night which is probably a bad idea, but I find that I’ll read each page multiple times primarily for the artwork. Ito’s art style is incredibly unique and can make even the mundane seem unsettling.

Writer/Manga Artist, Junji Ito

Uzumaki, Junji Ito

Junji Ito has cited H.P. Lovecraft as being a strong influence on his work and throughout his work there is definitely an echo of Lovecraft, most notably themes of the inevitability of one’s demise and creatures from the deep sea – these are best demonstrated in two of his better known works: Uzumaki and Gyo.

Junji Ito has a wide array of work and at this point in time I’m unaware of how much of it has been officially translated and released in English. While Uzumaki, Gyo, Junji Ito’s Cat Diary and Fragments of Horror are available, fans have translated and uploaded a number of Ito’s short stories and other works online and in some instances have added audio in the form of narration and sound effects, which in most cases adds to the overall tone of the work.

It goes without saying that half the appeal in Junji Ito’s work isn’t just the story but the illustrations which are created with such intensity and twisted detail, plus Ito could perhaps be the only artist who’s capable of making Pokemon truly horrifying. Whether you’re a fan of horror, manga or just want to admire the art style and the story then I cannot recommend Junji Ito enough.

The Pokémon Company’s collaboration with Junji Ito

The Human Chair

 

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