Comic Book Review – Fragments of Horror by Junji Ito

Summary

A new collection of delightfully macabre tales from a 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.

FragmentsOfHorror

Fragments of Horror by Junji Ito is, according to the afterword, the author’s return to drawing and writing horror after an eight-year hiatus. Going in I had heard the author himself considered the collection a little below par for him, as he had gotten rusty after almost a decade away from the genre. Nevertheless, I’ve really enjoyed Ito’s work that I’ve read thus far, so I was cautiously optimistic going into this book that the stories within would still be of a certain quality that I could enjoy.Read More »

Comic Book Review – Shiver by Junji Ito

Summary

This volume includes nine of Junji Ito’s best short stories, as selected by the author himself and presented with accompanying notes and commentary. An arm peppered with tiny holes dangles from a sick girl’s window… After an idol hangs herself, balloons bearing faces appear in the sky, some even featuring your own face… An amateur film crew hires an extremely individualistic fashion model and faces a real bloody ending… An offering of nine fresh nightmares for the delight of horror fans.

Shiver

Shortly after I finished reading Uzumaki in October (my first experience with Junji Ito’s work) I was excited to learn that a new collection entitled Shiver would be releasing in North America in December. I’d heard a lot about his short stories being particularly good and was eager to get some firsthand experience with them. He’s been a manga artist/writer for a long time, yet as far as I have seen there is only one other book published in English that collects any of them that is also easy and/or inexpensive to get a copy of. Options are limited for now, but this was a great place to start regardless.Read More »

Comic Book Review – Uzumaki by Junji Ito

Summary

Kurôzu-cho, a small fogbound town on the coast of Japan, is cursed. According to Shuichi Saito, the withdrawn boyfriend of teenager Kirie Goshima, their town is haunted not by a person or being but by a pattern: uzumaki, the spiral, the hypnotic secret shape of the world. It manifests itself in everything from seashells and whirlpools in water to the spiral marks on people’s bodies, the insane obsessions of Shuichi’s father and the voice from the cochlea in our inner ear. As the madness spreads, the inhabitants of Kurôzu-cho are pulled ever deeper into a whirlpool from which there is no return!

Uzumaki

Uzumaki is a horror manga (Japanese comic book) written and illustrated by Junji Ito. It was originally published serially in the weekly manga magazine Big Comic Spirits from 1998 to 1999. The book I am reviewing is a hardcover omnibus edition that was published in 2013. While I read comic books pretty regularly, lately I tend to avoid reviewing them. After completing Uzumaki, however, I knew I was going to make an exception. Most other comic books I read are beholden or connected to storylines that come before them, as well as others happening simultaneously. This book, however, is self-contained, telling a complete story.Read More »

A Brief Retrospective on Hellboy

This contains major spoilers for the main Hellboy series

Late last week I finally accomplished what I’d set out to do about six months ago: I finished reading all twelve volumes of Hellboy by Mike Mignola. It’s a series I’d been slogging through for the past six years, barely acquiring and reading a volume each year, if that. I started over again with volume one, Seed of Destruction, back in October and went from there. This isn’t a review of the series, but a personal look back on and it sharing some feelings I have about it as a whole, having read them all as close together as I could manage.Read More »

Mighty Thursday #21: House of Penance

House of Penance

By Peter J. Tomasi (Story & Words), Ian Bertram (Art), Dave Stewart (Colours); Dark Horse Comics; 2017

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Summary

A horrific story of a haunted house and one woman’s mission to wash away the blood curse of her husband’s invention from claiming her own life and soul.

This is a tale about guilt, ghosts, and guns…of how fortune brings misfortune, as a grim and determined woman oversees the construction of a house twenty-four hours a day for twenty years with the simple motto of keep busy building or get busy dying.Read More »

Might Thursday #20

Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.

By Daniel and Charles Knauf (Writers), Roberto de la Torre (Penciler, Inker), Jonathan Sibal, Karl Kesel, Cam Smith (Inkers), Dean White (Colourist); Marvel Comics; 2007

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Summary

Tony Stark, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. It’s day one of a new role for Tony as he takes up the mantle of the missing Nick Fury to lead S.H.I.E.L.D. into the 21st century! But what does this mean for the future of Iron Man? As a global wave of terror reaches its climactic peak, Tony’s ability to lead the world peacekeeping taskforce is called into question by the powers-that-be. Can he trust even those closest to him within S.H.I.E.L.D., or is he exposing himself and the world to an even greater, more unspeakable threat from the villain behind the worldwide carnage?Read More »

Mighty Thursday #19

The Incredible Hercules: Love and War

By Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente (Writers), Clayton Henry & Salva Espin (Artists), et al; Marvel Comics; 2009

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Summary

Marvel’s Amazons don’t merely attack. They rip, rend, smash, bash, eliminate, annihilate and just plain violate any man, woman, or god that dares get in their way. Led by Princess Artume, daughter of the Amazon queen Hippolyta, these Amazons aren’t gonna wimp out when it’s their turn in the ring — or in the boudoir!

Amazons are unleashed as Hercules and sidekick Amadeus Cho find themselves unwittingly wound up in Artume’s insidious plot, one that eventually draws in plenty of other Marvel heroes and gods from the pantheon! Love and War is a story full of action and unbridled humor, with Herc just the way you like — no, love — him. Charming, dumb, and getting away with it!Read More »

Mighty Thursday #18

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies

By Jeph Loeb (Writer), Ed McGuinness (Penciler), Dexter Vines (Inker), Dave Stewart (Colourist), & Richard Starkings (Letterer); DC Comics; 2005

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Summary

A tale of loyalty and unlikely friendship featuring two of the most famous super-heroes on the planet, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies pairs the Man of Steel with the Dark Knight. The iconic heroes unite when President Lex Luthor accuses Superman of terrible crimes against humanity and assembles a top-secret team of powerhouse heroes to bring Superman in. But the “World’s Finest” duo are determined to topple the corrupt president’s reign once and for all!Read More »

Mighty Thursday #17

Aliens: Salvation

By Dave Gibbons (Writer), Mike Mignola (Artist), Kevin Nowlan (Inker), Matt Hollingsworth (Colourist), & Clem Robins (Letterer); Dark Horse Comics; 2015

alienssalvationcover

Summary

When the God-fearing Selkirk is forced by his insane captain to abandon the space freighter Nova Maru, he finds himself marooned on an inhospitable and remote world. Faced with starvation and madness, Selkirk believes that his salvation lies in the Maru’s planet-fallen payload, but uncovering the cargo could unleash hell itself…Read More »

Mighty Thursday #16

Secret Avengers by Rick Remender Volume 3

By Rick Remender (Writer), Andy Kuhn, Matteo Scalera (Artists), Matthew Wilson (Colour Artist), Chris Eliopoulos (Letterer); 2013

secretavengersbyremenderv3cover

Summary

As Father launches his invasion, a terrible new Avengers foe is born: beware the bite of the Black Ant! Can the Marvel Universe survive the plague of contagious robotic evolution, merging the Descendants with all humanity? And how do you stop a plague that has already begun to spread? Torch, Venom, and Valkyrie infiltrate the rebel robot base — but are Lord UltraVision and Monarch Machine Man friend or foe? And when Torch must choose between mankind and the perfect future Father will create for all automatons, which will he pick? As Black Ant and Hawkeye face off in the ultimate showdown, the Master Mold rises over New York — and the only way to stop it is to kill the Torch!Read More »