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Recommended Reading

Rant by Palahniuk

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You Can’t Win by Black

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The Sea Wolf by London

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P.8, panel 3: symbolism. See how the group of students inside are in darkness, contrast to the girls talking outside in the light? This symbolizes the pact of secrecy surrounding Tomie's murder. P.10, panel 7: See how the teacher's face is framed by the window. P.11, panel 1: See how one panel can create a dramatic pause? Panel 4: Tomie framed in duplicate in the boy's glasses. the class, dark. Tomie comes in from outside where it's bright. Contrast highlights the dramatic moment. P.18, panel 3: The way this panel is drawn it looks as if Tomie is fading away - does she doubt her existence? P. 21, panel 9: This panel squeezes the lovers in - emphasizes tension. I could go on and on. The techniques Junji Ito uses to manipulate the pace, mood, and meaning of his panels are numerous and I think you'll find he's really a master at this, putting a lot of thought into what effect each bitty little line will have. Read SLOWLY. I've read a fair amount of Junji Ito's manga: not just Gyo and Uzumaki, but also Hellstar Remina and short humor stories. Of the shorts, "Long Dream" is my favorite. Previously Gyo was my favorite longer work. The first thing I realized about Tomie was that it's far more of a classic Japanese horror. The second thing was the line art - my god. The line art in what looks to be an early effort has a special quality that's present in his current style, but in a different way. Those hyper thin lines seem to convey a sense that there's something wrong by their very curvature. Sort of a psychopathic energy transferred through the penmanship. So the first chapter was my favorite, for that reason, getting to see his past drawing style. I also want to say there's something that seems very collectivist and therefore Japanese about the crime committed int he first chapter. The entire class becomes complicit, consenting to an atrocity that none of them but Mr. Takagi would have committed without his leadership. They share the responsibility, whereas I think an American writer is more likely to have a single responsibile individual. Like Psycho. Tomie isn't a ghost, but she's not a zombie. The true intentions of her are vague. At one point she complains that all the men that fall for her end up "shopping her into pieces", only for each piece to grow into a copy of the original. Uzumaki and Gyo were creative and abstract, but reading Tomie which is basically traditional Japanese horror is grand. Everything fits. Through this medium of a traditional horror story, Junji Ito really shows his talent. It's easier to compare it to other horror stories and see how well he really does match up. At the same time, Tomie's regeneration being more visceral seems to be very much particular to Junji's tastes. Tomie isn't a shadowy figure on a smoke and mirrors monster, feared but never seen. She's there in the flesh, yet later the victims doubt their sanity (if they survived). I love Uzuzmaki's strangeness, but I've learned what makes a good horror story is the delivery, and that's what makes Museum of Terror great.

P.8, panel 3: symbolism. See how the group of students inside are in darkness, contrast to the girls talking outside in the light? This symbolizes the pact of secrecy surrounding Tomie's murder.
P.10, panel 7: See how the teacher's face is framed by the window.
P.11, panel 1: See how one panel can create a dramatic pause? Panel 4: Tomie framed in duplicate in the boy's glasses. the class, dark. Tomie comes in from outside where it's bright. Contrast highlights the dramatic moment.
P.18, panel 3: The way this panel is drawn it looks as if Tomie is fading away - does she doubt her existence?
P. 21, panel 9: This panel squeezes the lovers in - emphasizes tension.
I could go on and on. The techniques Junji Ito uses to manipulate the pace, mood, and meaning of his panels are numerous and I think you'll find he's really a master at this, putting a lot of thought into what effect each bitty little line will have. Read SLOWLY.
I've read a fair amount of Junji Ito's manga: not just Gyo and Uzumaki, but also Hellstar Remina and short humor stories. Of the shorts, "Long Dream" is my favorite. Previously Gyo was my favorite longer work. The first thing I realized about Tomie was that it's far more of a classic Japanese horror. The second thing was the line art - my god. The line art in what looks to be an early effort has a special quality that's present in his current style, but in a different way. Those hyper thin lines seem to convey a sense that there's something wrong by their very curvature. Sort of a psychopathic energy transferred through the penmanship. So the first chapter was my favorite, for that reason, getting to see his past drawing style.
I also want to say there's something that seems very collectivist and therefore Japanese about the crime committed int he first chapter. The entire class becomes complicit, consenting to an atrocity that none of them but Mr. Takagi would have committed without his leadership. They share the responsibility, whereas I think an American writer is more likely to have a single responsibile individual. Like Psycho.
Tomie isn't a ghost, but she's not a zombie. The true intentions of her are vague. At one point she complains that all the men that fall for her end up "shopping her into pieces", only for each piece to grow into a copy of the original.
Uzumaki and Gyo were creative and abstract, but reading Tomie which is basically traditional Japanese horror is grand. Everything fits. Through this medium of a traditional horror story, Junji Ito really shows his talent. It's easier to compare it to other horror stories and see how well he really does match up. At the same time, Tomie's regeneration being more visceral seems to be very much particular to Junji's tastes. Tomie isn't a shadowy figure on a smoke and mirrors monster, feared but never seen. She's there in the flesh, yet later the victims doubt their sanity (if they survived). I love Uzuzmaki's strangeness, but I've learned what makes a good horror story is the delivery, and that's what makes Museum of Terror great.