It seems like yesterday that Junko Mizuno made a silent ripple in the tiny pool of comics with the one-two publication punch of an artbook called Hell Babies and a little graphic novel named Cinderalla. I distinctly remember the latter because it was followed by a chain of emails and largely neglected forum posts between what would become the artbomb lot proclaiming her genius (which, of course, turned out to be completely true).
What I never realized, though, was just how widespread her influence was. That was until I moved to San Francisco and found this little alternative toy store on the corner of Haight and Ashbury called Kid Robot. They've all kinds of weird stuff there. Tofu Men and Dead Girl Dolls and Things That I Have No Idea What They Are.
And -- who knew? –- Junko Mizuno.
Not just her books and toys and clothes and whatever, but the real Junko Mizuno. In person. Doing guest appearances. Turns out she's a whole industry in and of herself. Comics are just one facet, and she does awfully fine in her native market overseas, thank you very much. My blinders were only aware of her struggles to penetrate the comic book direct marketplace, completely unaware that the direct market needed Junko Mizuno much more then Junko Mizuno ever needed it. Otherwise, we wouldn't have any Junko Mizuno books at all.
So, anyway, you're probably here for something about the PRINCESS MERMAID, the last of Junko Mizuno's deviant fairy tales. Fair enough. Think The Little Mermaid, but imagine Ariel and her sisters as naked, cannibal mermaids preying off the flesh of evil fishermen who hunt them to harvest their eyeballs as sushi.
And it comes with postcards.
Peter Aaron Rose is a writer, producer and technologist who lives and works in San Francisco, CA. Under the pseudonym "Peter Siegel", he recently authored Killing Demons, a graphic novel available from Engine Press and Platinum Studios.