As it turns out, the Viz Media panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2023 had a surprise guest in the form of Junji Ito. Fans of Japanese horror manga and anime would be very familiar with that name. If you’re familiar with the zombie fish, snail people, or eldritch planet driving the entire Earth into violent psychopathy, then you’d have seen/read Ito’s work and realize firsthand just how much of a master he is at some truly grotesque horror. Thus, you can understand why Ito appearing at SDCC 2023 was such a big deal. Want to know more? Well then, here’s a recap of what happened at that Viz Media panel:

Viz Media Recap from SDCC 2023: Timeline

Junji Ito receiving the 2023 Inkpot Award at SDCC 2023.
There’s the master of horror right there. With his shiny new Inkpot Award to boot.

PANEL: Horror at the Library: Junji Ito – Thursday, July 20, 2023

Comic-Con Special Guest and legendary horror master Junji Ito (Uzumaki, Black Paradox) treated attendees at the San Diego Public Library with a Q&A that brought nightmares to life.

PANEL: Welcome to the Ito-Verse: Junji Ito – Friday, July 21, 2023

You can tell that Ito’s mind is just a bit…demented. Just a bit.

Horror manga master, Junji Ito, took fans into the Ito-verse as he discussed what inspires, drives, and horrifies him, all while drawing up something truly terrifying for his faithful, macabre-loving fans.

  • Junji Ito was awarded by Comic Con International officials the 2023 Inkpot Award. Comic-Con International’s Inkpot Awards are given to individuals for their contributions to the worlds of comics, science fiction/fantasy, film, television, animation, and fandom services.
  • Fans learned first-hand what scars the king of horror including clowns, alleys, antique dolls, dentists, pigeons, spirals, and the dark!
  • Fans were treated to a LIVE drawing of Ito’s new main protagonist, Soichi
  • Soichi trailer here
I want to say that I’ve seen enough hentai to know what’s going to happen next. However, this ain’t no hentai.

EXHIBIT: Welcome to the Ito-Verse: Junji Ito – Thursday, July 20, 2023 – Sunday, July 23, 2023

Now that’s a truly dedicated Junji Ito fan right there. You can tell by the nails. All of them.

VIZ Media celebrated the career of world-renowned creator Junji Ito with his largest North American exhibit to date, with over 100 works on display. Fans walked among the cosmic and the macabre and lost themselves in the Ito-verse.

  • Junji Ito reflects on works from Welcome to the Ito-Verse here
Junji Ito’s processes behind his manga. As you can see, it’s pretty…unique.

Stay up to date on all the pop culture and SDCC news by following us at