Saturday, March 27, 2010

Entry 85: My Favorite Things- Part 1: GYO

I'm trying a new kind of entry. Well new for me anyway. I've always posted about my work and what I've got coming out or what I did a long time ago and I think it's time I started posting about other peoples work. Stuff that I really like. My favorite comics. So here goes.

Over the last year I've become a big fan of Junji Ito's work. It all started when my buddy Jeremy loaned me Ito's Uzumaki, which is fantastic. Just recently I read GYO and it was a blast. It begins when a teenage couple on vacation begin smelling something horrible and see a strange creature that they can't manage to get a good look at.  The creature turns out to be a fish with legs. And that is just the tip of the iceberg for weird in this story.
(read right to left)
I like how we just get to see that extreme close up of the fish eye.

Later the boyfriend manages to smash the thing behind a dresser.

I like this sequence.
I don't want to spoil it so I'm not going to show you any more, but trust me this gets really crazy really fast. Crazy in ways that I couldn't see coming. Ito creates some of the most bizarre, grotesque, and horrifying shit I've ever seen, but, it's also absurd and sickly funny. It's sometimes easy to overlook the absurd humor in his work, but it's never been more apparent and thrilling than it is in GYO.

It's only 2 volumes and you also get 2 short stories in volume 2 one of which is particularly fantastic.  I know there are some people who are horror fans and are attracted to anything in that genera. I'm not one of those people, but I do like good comics and that's what this is.


  1. Ito is pretty amazing. Check out the enigma of amigara fault and Hellstar Remina for more Ito goodness.
    There are a bunch of "out there" Japanese comics artists who make deeply disturbing but excellent work. Horihone Saizo is one (Author of my LJ avatar) and Shintaro Kago is another.

  2. wow, seeing those pages seriously makes me wonder what the hell is going on there.
    Its a little shameful to me how much good manga is out there compared to really good american comics.
    Almost every random manga I've encountered in the last two years has been incredibly great.
    I'm glad you posted this, I'd never heard of this book before.

  3. Loving the Landshark *g*
    Have you seen the film of UZUMAKI?! It's awesome...

  4. It happens to be my fave horro comic of all time! I have bought the 2 volumes for 3 people now.

  5. The Enigma of Amigara Fault is the short story that is published with Gyo that I was referring to as being particularly fantastic. Thanks for the link though. Anybody interested in a taste of Ito check out that link. I haven't read Hellstar Remina yet. I'm currently making my way through the 3rd volume of Museum of Terror which has a bunch of his short stories. I'll have to check out those other guys. Thanks!

  6. I don't remember the last time I read a current American comic that I really liked. It was probably something indy like an Acme Novelty Library. I'm not ashamed that the Japanese are so much better at comics. I can handle that. What I find shameful is how willfully resistant many american comic creators and fans are to Manga. That goes for indy comic fans too (though they are coming around faster than the mainstream) The Japanese are just light-years ahead of us in this art form.

  7. I haven't seen the film yet, but I'm pretty curious. It's awesome? I'm even even more interested.

  8. Yeah, now that I think about it, Gyo is a nice choice for a gift. It's not to long and it's chock full of goodness. I'm glad my first pick for a favorite things post meats your approval.

  9. Well to be honest both of those are rather more sexually explicit than Ito, so caveat lector.

  10. Well it's awesome in my view. But then I like CHILDREN OF THE CORN (the original as well ask the more faithful remake) so some people question my taste.
    Be aware though that the film was made before the comic was completed, so the ending is quite abrupt, although I think it suits the mood of the piece. The director followed it up with the Ito-inspired LONG DREAMS, which is neat but too short.

  11. OI!
    canada is ALRIGHT,
    its minus shitty degrees AND its windy like hell.
    but I kinda like the weird language everyone speaks and its nice to see their disgust when telling them "no, sorry, I do not speak the french!"
    glad you took the time to do the above post, I saw the uzumaki movie but never paid too much thought to the manga. but sharks going through town changes that.
    hope you happy with the shield shebang,
    it sure looks like a blockbuster movie.
    I will scan the tripple A doodle you made as soon as I actually have a scanner here,
    all the best from montreal,
    ps. pls say hi to the sexy robot and the other fine folks