Junji Ito’s SMASHED is an amazing manga collection of thirteen twisted stories that will scrape your horror bone.
The stories instantly grab you by introducing the main character and the weird element that plagues or obsesses them, and then throws you into some horrific consequences. Many of the stories end rather abruptly, but the overall effect is still satisfying, particularly the almost perfect way the story and Ito’s hyper-detailed, eerie artwork work together.
Everywhere around Japan, people are freezing into unnatural positions … a secret nectar is so delicious it obsesses its tasters, who risk being smashed to consume it … a traveling haunted house leads to a very real hell … a beautiful woman consumes ghosts. These and other stories make up the collection, all of them disturbing and more than a little creepy. They’re like the old EERIE comics, only even weirder, focusing on titillating with the strange rather than going for the gross-out.
I’m going to check out more of Ito’s work–particularly UZUMAKI, which I’ve heard a lot about, as well as his other collections.