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Comedian-Con: Legend Junji Ito digs into his new UFO horror manga Sensor

Lower than a day after including two extra Eisners to his gallery of awards — Finest Author/Artist and Finest US Version of Worldwide Materials: Asia — iconic horror mangaka Junji Ito was again at San Diego Comedian-Con. In a pre-taped Q&A with Viz Media advertising and marketing supervisor, Urian Brown, Ito chatted about his newest work, the cosmic horror comedian Sensor, coming Aug. 17 from Viz’s Signature imprint.

The brand new e book, Ito defined, was impressed by his childhood fascination with UFOs. “Once I was studying a e book on UFOs, there was a factor referred to as angel hair and there was an accompanying photograph. It’s a phenomenon the place a bundle of golden hair rains down from the sky. The speculation was that it was dropped by a UFO and I assumed it was attention-grabbing. It seems the true identification of angel hair is Pele’s hair, which happens when a volcano erupts and the lava within the air cools quickly and solidifies right into a hair-like substance and rains down. So I needed to create a manga based mostly on that, together with the volcano, and that’s the place it began.”

Brown identified that one in all Sensor’s characters, Yukio Kurodera, believes he has found life’s objective. “Do you agree along with his conclusion?” he requested Ito. “If not, what do you suppose the aim of life is?”

“I can say his viewpoint is mine,” Ito replied. “However as as to whether it’s proper or not, nicely, I don’t suppose it’s proper, however I assumed it was an attention-grabbing take, so let’s simply say it’s my viewpoint. It began once I was youthful and watching TV. Somebody on this system stated life is, as an illustration, being moved by seeing a fairly sundown at nightfall and considering, ‘Oh, that’s fairly. Isn’t that the purpose of life?’ I heard that and thought, ‘That’s an attention-grabbing thought,’ so I developed that in my means and got here up with this.”

When Brown dryly identified that this was considerably ironic given Ito’s lengthy historical past scary, scary pictures (the legged fish of Gyo, the haunting spirals of Uzumaki and the singular horror icon that’s Tomie), Ito countered along with his perception that “[Sensor] could also be a narrative that brings hope.”

Issues obtained just a little extra on model when Brown, mentioning that there’s a chapter involving a damaged mirror and the standard “seven years unhealthy luck” superstition surrounding that, requested if Ito believes in any superstitions.

“I don’t consider in superstitions now,” Ito replied, “however once I was little, I used to be a really superstitious baby […] As an example, within the morning, there’s a meals referred to as ‘ochazuke.’ You pour tea in your rice and eat it. If I ate ochazuke within the morning and went to high school, I might all the time get in bother with the instructor. I believed I used to be jinxed like that. And likewise once I was little, I used to be oddly obsessive about the quantity three. If I used to be strolling within the classroom or the freeway, if I didn’t see one thing that was grouped in three, I felt prefer it was unhealthy luck.”

Stringy three-eyed monster from Sensor (2021).

A panel from Sensor.
Picture: Junji Ito/Viz Media

“Why did you suppose consuming a sure meals would make your instructor mad at you?” Brown requested. “I didn’t eat ochazuke fairly often within the morning,” Ito replied, “and it simply occurred that the morning I did, I obtained in bother with my instructor. That occurred as soon as and it become a jinx.”

When Brown requested if he was fearful the world has develop into so scary that it’s exhausting for his manga to compete, Ito responded “Sure, there have been some horrible incidents recently that make me suppose actual life is scarier than manga. However my manga is much faraway from actuality and plenty of of them couldn’t occur in actual life. So I don’t suppose it actually competes with actuality. However finally, if science develops to some extent the place we enter a interval the place issues start to occur that you just couldn’t think about, then I’ve questioned if that’s possibly the top of my manga. However I hope such a day won’t come.”

Lastly, Brown closed by reminding Ito that he’d requested him ultimately yr’s panel if he most well-liked Freddy or Jason (Ito stated Freddy due to his claws) and adopted that up by asking who he most well-liked: Michael Myers or Leatherface. Ito, ruefully admitting that he hasn’t seen Halloween (though he likes John Carpenter’s movies lots), went with Leatherface.

When requested if he had a message for his followers earlier than the panel’s finish, Ito responded, “I’m certain with no sign of ending for the coronavirus, everyone seems to be having a tough time. I’ll have stated one thing related final yr, however I hope for a speedy finish to the coronavirus and I look ahead to seeing everybody in individual. I’m just a little brief on concepts for manga in the meanwhile, however I’m squeezing it out and dealing. I look ahead to the day I can share it with everybody.”

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