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Uzumaki - "Spiral into Horror"


Jumbie
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Spiral into Horror is about 500 pages total and is a continuous story arc built from episodic explorations of different horrors related to the shape of the spiral.

 

The horror is different from anything I've encountered since much of it the characters seem to inflict on themselves as much as have it happen to them from outside. There are also inventive and disturbing images and surprises to experience.

 

Nick put this one on my Hard Drive a while back and I almost didn't get past page 6 because it was kinda static, just shots of a girl walking in a town with scenes of the town and her thought boxes telling us that something big went down here and she wants to tell us all about it.

 

The art seemed very conventional in terms of layout and line and just kinda static.

 

THings picked up, though, so I'm real glad I stayed. (I mean the collected edition is 500 pages, so I suppose a 6 page easing in isn't bad). We soon get the mystery of her encountering a man staring at a picture of a spiral on a wall, seemingly in a trance.

 

The spiral shape comes to be the inspiration for each episode of horror through the book, and it's really amazing how many places it shows up in that easily lend themselves to a horror interpretation.

 

snail shells, spiral galaxies, a metal spring, eddies in a stream, lighthouse staircases...

 

The horror is good, the suspense is good. Most of the climaxes/ revelations are original or at least well executed.

 

The best thing is that there is a constant and mounting sense with each episode that this town is under siege.

 

There are some plot holes/ WTF moments, like when things go haywire in a big way and school officials or the police just don't seem to care. (I suppose they were trained by the authorities in Sunnydale and Smallville?)

 

 

Anyways, I highly recommend this, but only if you have the stomach for things gruesome. Some of the images are pretty disturbing and are portrayed in full graphic glory. Some are hinted at and you get to think about what it is to experience it and that's probably worse.

 

 

Here're a few sample pages.

 

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Edited by Jumbie
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yeah, it gets namedropped a lot for horror, too...i got more from that author but haven't checked it out yet. after finishing Uzumanki, i just wasn't too into it...repetition of themes kinda took from the experience, for me, rather than making it creepier. i.e., spirals everywhere OMG eww this dude's made himself into a spiral now...next issue, make it about conjoined twins or something and the big freakout page will have people doing it, etc.

 

the feeling builds, and yeah, the town's fucked/clearly under attack, but the formula wore thin by the end, i thought. id read it again to see if its just my initial impression, its got a lot of the elements i love from cinematic asian horror, but i was a bit thrown off by the implementation.

 

ah,here's my first impressions.

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...repetition of themes kinda took from the experience, for me, rather than making it creepier. i.e., spirals everywhere OMG eww this dude's made himself into a spiral now...next issue, make it about conjoined twins or something and the big freakout page will have people doing it, etc.

 

the feeling builds, and yeah, the town's fucked/clearly under attack, but the formula wore thin by the end, i thought.

 

Gotta disagree. I read it all in one go and I still didn't feel that way. The thing is called spiral into horror and once I caught on that the spiral is just a calling card of the 'big bad evil' behind it all, then I took the spiral gimmick as a given for each new chapter but the stories themselves didn't strike me as following the same template.

 

The snails and the lighthouse and the "mother going crazy in the hospital" stories (to name three that come to mind right off) are pretty varied in structure and theme to me. (The mosquito/locust? women thing DID go on too long. I was impressed by the reveal of the mushrooms near the end, but nothing else felt particularly inventive in that chapter. Mosquito women and the medusa stories were the only ones I felt came off ordinary, though.)

 

 

With regard to the third volume, I should point out that the gears shift once the hurricane (Spiral!) hits and the town is isolated from the outside world and the various little horrors from the previous episodes coalesce and there's a more epic feel and we no longer have a 'horror of the week' formula.

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