Comic Book Spotlight of the Day: Shiver – December 2017 (Viz Signature)

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TITLE: Shiver

YEAR: December 2017 (US Release Date)

COMPANY: Viz Signature

Written and Art by Junji Ito

For those not familiar with Junji Ito’s work, his work such as “Tomie”, “Umuzaki” and “Gyo” are horror manga that no doubt gives you the goose bumps.

From creepy plots to hair-raising expressions of characters, Ito is appreciated by manga readers for his terrifying manga stories.

And now a collection of short stories are featured in “Shiver”, a collection of nine of Ito’s best short stories selected by Ito and also comes with notes and commentary.

Featured are the following stories:

  • Used Record – What happens when a girl becomes entranced to a song on vinyl capturing death?
  • Shiver – What is wrong with the girl next door and why are holes developing all over her body?
  • Fashion Model – A filmwriter is having nightmares and when the director hires a popular model that looks like a demon, what happens when they head to film scenes in the woods?
  • Hanging Blimp – Heads are floating around the city with nooses and are chasing their real life counterparts.
  • Marionette Mansion – Children of a father who was a puppeteer wonder if the puppeteer controls the puppet or is it vice versa?
  • Painter – What happens when a mysterious woman goes to a famous painter and has her paint her?
  • The Long Dream – A woman is in the hospital scared to die, while another man in the hospital is having dreams that are lasting months.  What happens when a doctor does his research on both individuals?
  • Honored Ancestors – A girl has amnesia and a boy is trying to help her gain her memories back.
  • Greased – What happens when a family has oil and grease all over their homes and how does it affect them?
  • BONUS UNPUBLISHED STORY: Fashion Model: Cursed Frame – What happens when the demon model returns?

You have to give a lot of credit to Junji Ito.

From reading “Uzumaki”, I gained an appreciation of creating creepy horror stories and for the most part, there typically is no hope for the protagonist.  Typically, his stories showcase a cloud of darkness over a city, town or individual and you see stories like this manifest in his earlier short stories as well.

If I had to pick my favorite stories, I have to first say that every short story featured in “Shiver” are very good and considering they were chosen by Ito himself, these stories are downright freaky.

The scariest would have to be stories relating to the scary fashion model.  I was reading this story (and the second bonus story) probably around 1:00 a.m., lights off, just my reading flashlight on and I was creeped out by the way he was able to draw her, a tall female figure with a long face and shark teeth.

And everyone reacts to her as most people probably would and say she’s creepy and sure enough, when they say it, she happens to be right there and her response is not so kind.  It’s quite violent and bloody.

Speaking of violent and bloody, one who is scared of seeing depicted bloody scenes or body parts strewn around, have been cautioned because this book does feature some gnarly artwork on certain panels.

Even with taking something so basic and turning it into a horror story is quite creative as Ito takes “oil” and showcases a family where grease and oil is everywhere around and it starts to get in their clothes, their skin (giving one acne) and so much more.  It’s quite disgusting and probably while not plausible, it made me think for a little while of my deceased grandfather’s apartment reeking of smoke from him smoking cigarettes and just walking into the home for a few minutes, you would come out smelling like cigarettes.

For “Greased”, it was similar but it dealt with grease and the family would eventually be consumed by it in a deadly kind of way.

And I won’t discuss anymore because these stories are meant to be read and enjoyed.  And for some, creep you to the point where you may want to pee in your pants.

But know that if you love horror and you love manga, Junji Ito is the master of horror manga.  And “Shiver” which collects nine stories plus one bonus story is a fantastic manga collection worth owning and reading!


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