Author and Illustrations Junji Ito
Venus in the Blind Spot is yet another collection of short stories from Junji Ito, horror manga master supreme. This collection features some original stories written by Ito as well as a few adaptations.
Overall, the book is everything you’re looking for from Ito. It’s got horror and some melancholy. And above all else, it has his spectacularly disturbing art work. This time with color! The whole book isn’t colored but sections of stories are and it’s delightful to see a new dimension to his work.
The book opens strong with a story entitled Billions Alone, see picture above. It’s a story that rings especially true for 2020. It’s all about isolation and being afraid of large group gatherings. It seems prescient of quarantine and is highly relatable in the light of our new world.
But also, just look at that picture and tell me you don’t want to get this book to see what’s going on. They’re sewn together and alive! Look at it!
Another eerily timely story is that of The Licking Woman. As the title may give away it’s about a woman who goes around licking strangers on the street and they get very ill and die. Hmmm… are we sure that Ito wrote this before Covid? It’s a disgusting tale that is sure to make you cringe in the way only the best gross out horror can.
2020 is honestly just a good year to go back and read horror and apocalypse favorites to see how much more relatable they might be. It’s sad but finding a new way to enjoy old literature is a small bonus at least.
The other stand out story of the book is the title star Venus in the Blind Spot. It’s a tragic horror tale of what happens to a young girl with an extremely protective father. It’s a good showcase for the emotion that Ito can occasionally bring out in his horror.
As with any short story collection there are a couple of forgettable ones and this book even includes two repeats from past collections. However, they do have new color pages so it’s hard to get mad about it.
It’s a very quick read, I broke it up over a couple nights just reading two or three stories at a time between other books. It’s best not to just let them run into each other. Read one and think about it for a second.
Any fans of Junji Ito are going to want to include this book in their collection. The color pages alone are worth it.
4/5 tongue lashings 😝😝😝😝
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Buy it here: Venus in the Blind Spot (Junji Ito)