Junko Mizuno and I

Okay, I’ll admit it. I got into Mizuno Junko because of the boobs.

She was big in the early 2000s. I kept seeing references to her work and finding it creepy, fascinating. I was absolutely mesmerized by the bizarre juxtaposition of cuteness, erotica, fantasy, and horror that was Hell Babies. I’d never seen those proportions in a female figure before before. The small breasts and torso combined with the huge hair and long, columnar legs were sights to be hold. Add to that the stubs of feet, which I realize now signaled “footbinding” to my younger brain, and there was no way I could resist.

The design of the book was another matter. Its soft, plastic cover with some kind of sponge inside was so tactile that it generated sultry thoughts of stealing the book and just . . . I don’t know, sitting at home and squeezing it or something. The staff at Hi De Ho comics must have known exactly what was going through my mind, based on how long I lingered over the pages of Hell Babies and how, judging by the griminess of the cover, a bunch of other people had done the same.

2013 04 13 hell babiesI guess the reasons I never bought the book were because i) I was a poor student,  ii) the art was too unsettling to be used as actual jill-off material (which was my main goal in visiting the comic store in those days) iii) by the time I realized that I needed to own the book anyway, the highly desirable pink with colored sparkles had replaced by a far less desirable choice of an uglier pink or purple. Don’t ask me why, but the original cover was a huge issue. Maybe it was because of the bizarre juxtaposition of something so adult with something that looked like it was designed for kids.

Anyway, I’ve recently checked up on Junko-san and found that she is as, or even more, successful than she was a decade ago — no small feat in cauldron of creativity that is Japan, or the fickle international art scene. Her work continues to be included in shows and print collections yearly and she gives solo exhibitions as well. In 2009 she even gave her name to a line of lotions and condoms that feature her artwork. The (pretty darn feminist) character descriptions amuse me to no end.

Kondo chan: A girl with a strong passion and a curiosity for condoms. She gets furious when a guy refuses to put a condom on in bed.

A longtime boyfriend of Kondo-Chan. He has a secret desire for trying on his girlfriend’s pretty lingerie but has been too shy to bring it up to her.

You can check out MizunoGarden.com for examples of the products and more of the swirly, psychedelic art. MZN News is the place to check out information about what Mizuno Junko is up to.

Featured image from from magic-pony.com. Inline image from eBay.

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