Episode 54 – Shiver: Selected Stories by Junji Ito

“I am a horror maniac who prefers to say at home.”

This Halloween, we’re chugging down salad oil and hiding from our balloon dopplegangers with returning friend of the show, Kirby Green, and see if our sanity can can survive the brain-melting onslaught of Junji Ito’s collection of his shorter manga works, in Shiver: Selected Stories!

In this anthology of the legendary manga artist’s favorite short stories, we get just a little bit closer to stomach-turning madness. A rare vinyl record claims the hearts and minds of all who listen to it, driving some to theft and even murder. A mysterious jade idol inflicts a curse on those to keep it, boring countless holes into their bodies — bringing a deadly chill and becoming irresistible to burrowing insects. A hospital patient reports that the subjective length of their dreams is getting longer and longer, triggering a startling transformation in their mind — and their body. In these stories and more, we remind ourselves of the Ito’s uncanny ability to permanently stamp our brains with the most disturbing and visually stunning weirdness.

Episode 36 – Uzumaki by Junji Ito

“Spirals…This town is contaminated with Spirals…”

In our latest Single Serving Selection, we descend into a mind-bending and stomach-churning modern classic of Japanese manga horror with librarian and friend of the show, Kit Laika, but perhaps you’ll wish we hadn’t. Because this month, we’re descending into madness and body horror with Junji Ito’s Uzumaki.

What begins as a series of episodic tales of a small seaside town being driven to death and insanity by ubiquitous spiral shapes soon becomes a tidal wave of ancient apocalyptic destruction, lunacy, and unavoidable doom.

Apologies for the inevitable nightmares.

Fun Size Episode 16 – The Billy Martin Experience

We continue our chat with Kit Laika and Joe Preti, and veer into stories about strange liberties taken during menial high school jobs — and the potential spy thriller plots that can result from them.

We talk about the comics we love, swap nerd stories and the joy of pop culture recommendation. Mike finally takes his comic book fandom into the world of manga, and we might have just invented a very specific baseball fetish.

Plus, Joe really really really dislikes Wil Wheaton, and the entire world must know. Comments can be left below.

Episode 29 – Vertigo Comics

“Magic’s just when you trick the universe into believing some incredibly outrageous lie.”

Mike and Casey hop into Chas’ cab for a journey to the realm of Dreams, because it’s time to go on a road trip across America. Our traveling companions, librarian Kit Laika and Joe Preti from the View from the Gutters podcast.

This month we dig into the Vertigo line of mature-readers comics from DC. From its inception with Karen Berger’s editorial work with Alan Moore on Swamp Thing in the 1980s through massive hits like Sandman, Preacher, Fables and 100 Bullets, we dissect some of the most influential, critically acclaimed and popular comic books of the past thirty years.

Is Vertigo dead, even if its spirit for creator innovation and quality live on at other publishers?

Music: 
“Main Theme” from Constantine (2014) by Bear McCreary

Previously titled: “Make Comics Great Again”