cover image Her Frankenstein

Her Frankenstein

Kawashima Norikazu, trans. from the Japanese by Ryan Holmberg. Smudge, $19.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-961581-91-3

A businessman’s past comes back to haunt him in this stunning psycho-horror manga by Norikazu, which was originally published in 1986. Plagued by visions of a shadowy, faceless woman, Tetsuo recalls suppressed memories of his brief and tumultuous friendship with Kimiko—an infirm teenage girl whose obsessions with old movies and violence prove to be a deadly combination when she manipulates Testuo into donning the guise of a vindictive Frankenstein monster and lashing out against those who have wronged them. When their role-play crosses the line from mean-spirited pranks to mayhem, the results shatter both of their lives. Kawashima’s suspenseful thriller is cinematic and beautiful, full of the indelible imagery—an eerily calm seascape, a discarded mask, a featureless face—that established him as one of the leading names in Japanese horror comics. It’s a must-read for fans of Junji Ito and Emil Ferris’s My Favorite Thing Is Monsters. (May)