What I’ve Been Reading: Fragments of Horror, by Junji Ito

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fragments of horror by junji intoJunji Ito is one of the best creators of horror comics, and certainly one of my favorites. His Uzumaki is perhaps the greatest horror comic of all time, and his short story “The Enigma of Amigara Fault” is one of the most perfect short horror comics. This is his first English-language release since Dark Horse ceased publication of his Museum of Terror series in 2006. Needless to say, this was a very exciting book for me.

In its afterward, Ito writes that it was also his first new work of horror in 8 years, having spent the intervening time on comics about cats (really). The rust shows a bit. Many of the stories include the sort of strangeness and mania that marked his best earlier comics, but don’t quite cohere as they might. The best stories, though, like “Tomio – Red Turtleneck,” have all of the multi-layered, vertigious, inescapable horror and strangeness that his best work offers.

While Fragments of Horror might not stand up to Uzumaki, it’s still light years better than 90% of the horror comics out there.

For some longer and deeper thoughts on the book, check out this essay/review at The Comics Journal.

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