In this poignant and harrowing account of Lee Ok-Sun--a former WWII "comfort woman"--Gendry-Kim protests and rolls back decades of efforts by the Japanese government to obscure the role these women played as sexual slaves to the Japanese military. With her delicate brushstrokes, the artist transports us from Ok-Sun's fraught youth to her post-war fight for justice and recognition, and her art is in constant conversation with her material--both rendered more powerful by her eschewing graphic depictions of wartime horror in favor of simple distillations of larger emotions and moments. The author inserts herself in the story as well, providing insight via reflections on her work that illuminate both individual traumas and one of the darkest parts of recent history. What results is a moving, important piece of work that will stay with you for a long time.
Putting his signature grotesque craftsmanship in the service of themes of faith, UFOs, and the seductive lure of cults, Ito takes readers into a hidden cult of Edo-period Christianity devotees who believe that mysterious angel hair falling from the sky will grant them views far into the cosmos.While marking a departure from the master artist's usual short-story--though each chapter feels as if it could stand on its own--and ending on an uncharacteristic hopeful note, this unpredictable work, first published in Japan as Travelogue of the Succubus, is still very Ito in tone and style, and shows that he still has more than a few tricks up his sleeve.
Another story might end with a genetically engineered man-monster fighting an army led by an evil Nazi scientist, but that's merely where Monsters begins. Windsor-Smith, who cut his teeth drawing fantastically detailed pulp comics decades ago, has bigger fish to fry: what is the nature of human evil? When does trauma take root? Are our lives determined by fate or chance? Windsor-Smith tackles these themes on a grand scale--over three-hundred enormous pages packed with hand-drawn art that took years to produce. The result isn't a masterpiece, but something else--the stone-hewn, uncompromising testament of a statesman artist.