Warning: This article contains images that may cause concern to some readers.
The artist for the upcoming 2023 movie “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” took the iconic works of horror manga legend Junji Ito and combined them with the classic sitcom “King of the Mountain” in hilarious new artwork. The King of the Mountain continues to delight fans after more than a decade on the air. Even though the show has come to an end, people still remember the adventures of the Hills and their Arlen community. In fact, it remains so popular that creator Mike Judge has announced that a revival of “King of the Mountain” is in development and will include a time jump. This show has certainly stood the test of time.
Junji Ito is also a creator whose works have become beloved by fans around the world, albeit for completely different reasons. His terrifying style gives readers a glimpse into the supernatural, as he specializes in bodily horror and the realm of the supernatural. One of his most famous works is Uzumaki, which tells about a city cursed by spirals to such an extent that people’s bodies begin to deform — soon he will receive an official anime adaptation on Adult Swim. Besides Uzumaki, Ito is also known for his short stories. They range from tales of mysterious holes forming in the mountains, tempting people to climb inside, to an underrated story that redefines the nightmarish fuel with puppets. Ito’s style has become influential all over the world, and this is evident in this unexpected crossover with the “King of the Mountain”.
Woodrow White, visual development artist for the upcoming movie “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” has started tweeting works of art that combine two unexpected properties. In these images, White takes the attractive cast of Arlen, Texas, and throws them into the terrifying world of Junji Ito. At the moment, only two Ito stories are mentioned — “Uzumaki” and “The Riddle of the Amigara Fault”, but this is an excellent choice. It’s amazing to see how well the style of the King of the Mountain combines with the terrifying world of Ito. To see fan-favorite characters like Bill Douteriv, Dale Gribble and Boomhower distorted to fit the manga artist’s signature style is both hilarious and awe-inspiring.
Responding to fans about the images, White talks about the use of images: “Illustrations by Junji Ito and screenshots from KOTH, with some small drawings here and there from me.” Considering that White managed to make Hill’s family and their friends fit so seamlessly into Ito’s world, it’s amazing to see how little has changed, and the artistic style of the King of the Mountain is bizarrely combined with Ito’s world. They look like they really belong to these pages. It’s incredible to see how just a couple of small tweaks can take two radically different properties and make them look like they were always meant to intersect.
At the moment, White has created only a few such funny works, but with Junji Ito’s inexhaustible source of inspiration, I hope there will be more of them. Stories like “The Hanging Airship” and “The Puppet Mansion” would be just some of Ito’s scariest stories that could get a twist in Arlen, Texas. TMNT artist Woodrow White has created something special with these collages “King of the Mountain” and “Junji Ito”, and they show that even the most terrible works of art can become hilarious under the right circumstances.