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Junji Ito heads panel of judges for Asahi Horror Comic awards this summer

Written by: Gabriel Castillo

Published on: August 4, 2021 at 8:30 PM PHT (GMT+8)

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Contest Poster | PHOTO COURTESY: ©Junji Ito/Asahi Shimbun Publishing

A press release by Asahi Shimbun Publishing officially announced the “Asahi Horror Comic Awards” to be held this summer. This publishing giant partnered with a Japanese online community for artists known as Pixiv and the panel of judges includes several horror veterans headed by the king of the horror manga world Junji Ito. Application period is from August 3 to October 31. They are in search of both ‘real’ horror comics based on real experiences and those based on fictional circumstances. At the same time, original scenarios and novels may also be submitted. In addition to the 100,000 yen cash reward as a grand prize, the winning work will be published in the comic magazines “HONKOWA” and “Nemuki +”. On top of the publication, an editor will be assigned to the work and will be considered for serialization in both magazines.

Divison Details | PHOTO COURTESY: PR Times Japan

In the HONKOWA Division, judges will look for the scariest stories based on your own “real experience” or one heard from someone you know. The Nemuki Division is all about creating frightening manga from your own original concepts. Lastly, the gensaku (original work) category is looking for novels or scenarios inspired by a scary story, true or otherwise. For more information, check out the announcement on Pixiv's website.

Panel of Judges | PHOTO COURTESY: PR Times Japan

Four notable figures in the horror world serve as this year’s judges.

  • Junji Ito, the king of the horror manga world, serving as head judge for the awards. His notable works include the "Tomie" series, "Uzumaki", and "Sōichi" series. Earlier this year, Ito’s "Remina" won the Best U.S. Edition of International Material (Asia) while "Venus in the Blind Spot" — a collection of short stories — won Best Writer/Artist in the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards. Recently, Mr. Ito’s "Hanging Balloons" became a hot topic due to an art project showcasing a giant floating head in Tokyo.

  • Next up is Akiko Hatsu, a manga artist known for works such as "Uryūdō Dream Tales", "Chinese Residence", and the "Beautiful England" series. Historically, Hatsu and her friend Yasuko Sakata coined the term yaoi in 1980.

  • Mr. Hiroyuki Goto known as the general producer of "Scary Stories That Really Happened "which is a series on Fuji Television Network that airs annually.

  • Mr. Hyo Nen, known for working at the Visual Image Division of Toho Corporation as their development team leader.

Pixiv is a Japanese online community for artists first launched in 2007 by Takahiro Kamitani and Takanori Katagiri. Although originally available only in Japanese, the huge influx of international artists from China, Taiwan, South Korea, and the United States prompted the addition of other languages. The website encourages users to submit their personal art illustrations, interact with others via comments and rating, and join a wide variety of events or contests hosted on the site. The extensive tag feature allows works to be well-organized and easily browsed. Back in April 2020, this social networking service exceeded 50 million registered users, had over 100 million submissions, and received over 3.7 billion page views per month.



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