The International rise of Junji Ito

Welcome to the Ito-Verse Exclusive Junji Ito Experience at Comic Con! 

Junji Ito is a legendary Japanese Horror Manga Artist that started his career in the 80s. He has gained a cult following in the US and worldwide. I first was introduced to Junji Ito watching the live action film Tomie that was originally released in 1999. The Ring and The Grudge were responsible for the leading popularity and import of many Japanese horror films in America including Tomie.

More from the Junji Ito Experience 

I fell in love with Ito’s detailed horrifying and at times comedic art and had to find other ways to read his manga before it was ever released in the US. The first time I met Junji Ito was in Japan at Tower Records and I was the only foreigner at the event. Now that his manga has been released worldwide his following has grown immensely. 

First ever Junji Ito Art Gallery in America!

At Comic Con this year was held the first ever Junji Ito art gallery by Viz Media in America. For this reason alone I had to make the trip to see this in person. In the art piece above if you can stomach long enough to look at it you can see the white out he used. I know it’s weird for me to say but I could’ve stayed in that gallery forever. I loved the music and seeing all the detail in the art. There is no other manga artist like Junji Ito. 

Myself with Junji Ito holding my book!

Junji Ito himself was also at Comic Con and many fans lined up to get his autograph. He also had panels where he discussed his work and the new upcoming manga release of Soichi. I had the honor of meeting up with Junji Ito after his autograph sessions. I told him I was so happy to see all the success he has had overseas. He has always been so kind to me about my music, even posting about it. And this time I was able to show him my first book “What Are Your Dreams” that I illustrated and wrote the story. Once again he was so kind, told me it was cute, and told me he can’t wait to see more from me in the future. 

My Favorite Junji Ito manga “Uzumaki”.

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I can’t express enough how amazing it was to be able to see Junji Ito again and to experience this art gallery that has never been seen before in America. If I was going to recommend a manga story from Junji Ito it would be Uzumaki. Uzumaki has always been my favorite. Uzumaki is about a city that is cursed with spirals. Another exciting project to look forward to is the Uzumaki Anime series that has been teased for a while now but it looks like we are finally getting a release for the anime this year. I’m spiraling out of control with excitement for all that is to come for Junji Ito! 

Writer: Stephanie Yanez
Instagram @stephachu