Friday, December 7, 2012

"Glyceride" by Junji Ito

It’s a great feeling to be turned onto a new artist or writer. Your world gets a little bigger which always makes me feel the warm fuzzies. I just hate feeling like I’m isolated and in a tiny little place all the time. I have to constantly see and experience new things or I shut down. That aside, a friend of mine got me to read the short manga by Junji Ito called “The Enigma of Amigara Fault”. I loved it. So I decided to look for everything by this writer who is well known in the world of horror manga, specifically for body-horror. Body-horror or body-gore, is something I am big on and WHY?! I DUNNO! I find it terrifying and Ito’s drawings are intensely rattling. I like being rattled. It's a similar feeling I got when I read "Zero Girl" by Sam Keith for the first time.
Glyceride is a story about a girl recanting her experience living in her fathers house above their BBQ restaurant. The home was full of grease as a result of the cooking. It follows the chaos created by the grease that claims the sanity of the male characters in the house. The main character slowly being driven mad as well yet seems to be the only one aware of the fact that the grease is at the root of the problem. It’s pretty damn gross and I love it.
The stories I have read by Ito all seem to echo this strange hopelessness of seeing those all around you, succumb to a plague of insanity that is represented by some strange enigma. In this case the catalyst is grease. In "Uzumaki", the catalyst is a town wrought with spirals. In “The Enigma of Amigara Fault” it’s these strange human shapes holes in the face of a mountain. His stories are so eerie and foreboding. Never a happy ending as far as I can tell but I like that. Life isn’t full of happy endings, in fact it seems to lack endings all together which Ito apparently understands. I feel as though his stories could keep going on forever if the subject matter failed to become old and tired.
As a treat, here's some of his scanned works online you can enjoy:

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