From Uzumaki (Japanese: うずまき）, Junji Ito (伊藤潤二) Every now and then, an artist comes along who is so original, so defiant, that they break all conventions that came before and force us to invent a special new category just for them. Comics existed before Rube Goldberg, but he alone invented the complicated machine gag. Thereafter every humorous complex contraption, be it in comics, cartoons, or even in film with Peewee Herman's "breakfast machine," is referred to as a Rube Goldberg machine. Single-gag one-panel comic strips had appeared in every newspaper, but Gary Larson was the first to introduce high-brow nerdy humor in his ground-breaking strip The Far Side. Thereafter, every nerd humor comic which is aimed at an educated and mature audience, from Dilbert to XKCD, owes a debt to Gary Larson. (Oh yes, mine too. Perhaps somebody read it once.) Horror manga existed before Junji Ito; we swear it really did! There was Kazuo Umezu, for one, whose first work was published just one year before…
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