Her Frankenstein - Kawashima Norikazu

Living the Line


Her Frankenstein by Kawashima Norikazu, a lost 1986 horror manga masterpiece translated by Ryan Holmberg and published in the new Smudge imprint from Living the Line Books / 208-page paperback, 6 x 8 inches, published 2024 / b/w art with 20 pages of color extras, including a cover gallery and guide to Kawashima's work.


Dare to read the psycho-horror classic that horror manga master Ito Junji called a “frightening but moving story about an unfortunate individual who, lost in search of his true self, finds his own annihilation instead.”

Little Tetsuo is a wimpy mess. His parents don’t love him. He meets the beautiful Kimiko, an ailing teenage girl obsessed with movies and mayhem in equal amounts. She doesn’t love Tetsuo either, or anyone other than herself. But she needs him. So Tetsuo becomes the man she wants—the monster she wants. He becomes Her Frankenstein!

Originally published in 1986, Kawashima Norikazu’s Her Frankenstein marks the bizarre and sadomasochistic finale to a cult era in Japanese horror comics. A few years after it was published, the author burned all of his artwork and abandoned Tokyo, never to be heard from again! Her Frankenstein is the inaugural volume of SMUDGE, a line of pulp, horror, and dark mystery manga, curated and translated into English by award-winning historian Ryan Holmberg.

"Though only getting his proper due now, Kawashima is an important figure in the history of horror manga," says Holmberg. "Considered by many to be his best work, Her Frankenstein was the swan song in a glorious era of horror graphic novels in Japan, which came to a close just as horror manga found its footing in the mainstream magazine market. Without under-appreciated pioneers like Kawashima, there would have been no Ito Junji." This history is further elucidated in an essay included in the volume by cartoonist Kawakatsu Tokushige.

"I've rarely read a comic so gripping, thrilling, and unclassifiable,” says Living the Line and Smudge publisher Sean Michael Robinson. “Her Frankenstein makes a compelling argument for searching for vital, vibrant work in the forgotten past.”

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