Phantom Mansion by Junji Ito reminds me the flip side of empathy. Sensing pain and suffering of others. Unending trauma. Terrible experience because the feeling of helplessness eats you up. Pretty fascinated with the manga artist, his work is truly class apart. He would take one element, add a sympathizing character someone you can easily root for and build a totally zaniest of stories.
The paranormal/fantasy going on is as weird for the character as weird it is for the reader which makes it easier to relate with the character. You can call it unravelling a journey in the comic with the character as a point of contact. This is similar to most of his work. It’s relatable horror material which makes it unforgettable. For an artist understanding human emotion is critical to connect with their audience and gauging audience reaction is important for its overall success. Junji Ito does that better in my opinion.
The topics he tends to play around with in his comics is truly spectacular. The range is so wide. From fantasy to paranormal to the eeriness of human mind and psychotic tendencies, you will find loads of his stuff fascinating as he spins a unique take on them. One of the best comics I find is Phantom Mansion. He took one emotion, and stretched it to make a short comic out of it. Simply wonderful at that.
Grief, and pain are the horrors of the world and Phantom Mansion best describes it in the short using a small traumatic family. The story starts with an introduction of a jobless young man looking for work and place to stay. What he finds is revealing too much.
I’ll recommend reading complete work of Junji Ito, by the way, a must if you like horror genre and intricate artistic work. Give it a read.
You can read more reviews about Junji Ito here.