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Friday, October 31, 2014

Pokemon Goes Dark

It's Halloween as I type this, so to me, I'm still in time to celebrate the hellish event with a bit of Japanese news.

I'm a Pokemon fan - not enough to want to play the card game or to purchase the merchandise or even play the video game (I have a Sony PS3 and the games are only on Nintendo systems) - but, I do enjoy the television anime and when I did have a few bucks to burn, did purchase some of the comic books.

I might have to dig up a few bones, however, to purchase the latest incarnation of Pokemon, a decidedly dark version as imagined by Ito Junji (surname first) a writer and artist of Japanese manga (comic books) since the 1990s.

Ito (伊藤 潤二) was born on July 31, 1963

Ito has what can only be described as possessing a 'flair' for surreal and oft-disturbing horror stories… so seeing the cute Pokemon pocket monsters go all hellish… well… I think I gotta catch'em all.

I mean - check out that evil-looking Pokemon eyeing that little girl with bad intent! That's just so wrong on so many levels that I just have to read the damn manga!

Ito has previously become renowned for such manga as Uzumaki ( a three-volume set bout a town obsessed with something called spirals), Tomie (a series chronicling an immortal girl who drives her stricken admirers to madness), and Gyo, a two-volume story where fish are controlled by a death stench.

Tomie worm by Ito Junji. Not a Pokemon.
Yeah - look at the art from Tomie immediately above - it's like he's channeling hell itself for inspiration!

The new Pokemon series is part of a larger project called Kowapoke - don't have a cow, man - and is a Halloween-styled focus on the Pokemon website that features comics and art of the “ghost-type” creatures. While much of this art is light-hearted and cute, Ito’s is, by contrast, highly disturbing.

The Kowapoke website is in Japanese, but is generally easy to explore. Ito’s work can be found HERE

If anyone wants to buy me a shirt for Christmas - I'm an XL… which is actually quite small for the usual comic book collector.

Thugs and hisses,
Andrew "Litwick (ヒトモシ Hitomoshi)" Joseph

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