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November 3, 2022

Japanese ‘The Exorcist’ Comic (1974) by Kazuo Umezu

Though it was released here in the US in 1973, William Friedkin’s The Exorcist didn’t arrive in Japan until one year later. To commemorate The Exorcist’s release in Japan, then-to-be legend Kazuo Umezu was asked to create a full color spread in the July 7th issue of Shonen Sunday. The feature ran a week before the film’s Japanese release.

At the time, Umezu was 38 years old and had a few of his most famous works of his career already behind him. These included Cat Eyed Boy, Orochi: Blood and The Drifting Classroom. It was a natural choice to choose the already established horror master to take on this piece in honor of the film that was taking the world by pea soup slinging storm.

What is even more fascinating is the impact The Exorcist had made in cinema when it was released. It’s quite telling that after just a few months, other countries were thinking of ways to promote and commemorate its release.

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