UFO MUSHROOM INVASION Announced by Living the Line Imprint, Smudge 

“UFOs are one of the world’s greatest mysteries...and I hope they stay that way. For the day that aliens reveal themselves may very well become the beginning of the end of life on Earth as we know it!”

Living the Line and Diamond Book Distributors are proud to present the second title in LTL's SMUDGE, a line of vintage horror, occult, and dark fantasy manga, curated and translated by award-winning historian Ryan Holmberg.

A flying saucer crashes deep in the mountains of Japan. Wary of the hyper-intelligent beings they find inside, the government hides from the public all news of the alien craft. But it’s not the strange visitors themselves that they should be afraid of—the real danger is the parasitic spores smuggled aboard! Will Earth survive the UFO MUSHROOM INVASION?!

Originally published in 1976, Shirakawa Marina’s UFO MUSHROOM INVASION is a masterpiece of sci-fi horror. Drawing on his deep knowledge of Japanese folklore and the supernatural, Shirakawa created one of manga history’s cult classics and an unforgettably creepy entry in the canon of spore-horror. The book includes an illustrated color essay by Udagawa Takeo, author of MANGA ZOMBIE (1996), a classic survey of weird manga soon to be released in English by Ultra Gash Records. It also includes a "The Best of Marina Shirakawa" section by Smudge editor/translator Ryan Holmberg that offers a career survey with synopses and a color cover gallery.

Shirakawa's unique and wild work has been making waves in Japanese-language manga collector circles for decades.

The ambitious Smudge manga line aims to provide the most extensive survey of classic horror and dark fantasy manga in any language, complimenting the Ito Junji and Umezz Kazuo titles put out by Viz Media and the Hino Hideshi and newer horror manga titles put out by Star Fruit Books.

"Though he wasn't super productive by workaholic Japanese standards, Shirakawa is one of the most adored artists within the history of weird, cult manga," says Holmberg. "UFO Mushroom Invasion is by far his most famous work, with new editions appearing every ten years or so from fringe publishers in Japan. Shirakawa speaks to me not only as a lifelong fan of dark fantasy, but also as a Japanophile and cultural historian. You don't find many manga authors who are, at the same time, interesting artists, believers in fringe science and pseudo-history, and respected amateur researchers of Japanese yokai, folklore, and the supernatural."

“Shirakawa is a remarkable author whose classic art and meticulously researched, oddball perspective make his rediscovery inevitable,” says Smudge publisher Sean Michael Robinson. “We couldn't be more pleased to be bringing him to English language audiences. Although this is only our second book in the Smudge line, UFO Mushroom Invasion makes it clear that we are taking our mission statement seriously, to bring previously unknown genre classics to the English language market, key books and authors that have been virtually unknown outside of enthusiastic collectors.”

The first Smudge title, HER FRANKENSTEIN by Norikazu Kawashima, will be released in May, and has already garnered significant accolades, including a starred review in Publishers Weekly, which stated: "Kawashima’s suspenseful thriller is cinematic and beautiful, full of the indelible imagery—an eerily calm seascape, a discarded mask, a featureless face—that established him as one of the leading names in Japanese horror comics."

UFO Mushroom Invasion will hit comic shops on September 18th and the wider bookstore release will follow on October 1st.