At age 82, Shigeru Mizuki (above) is undoubtedly among the most popular — and certainly one of the longest-standing — cartoon artists in Japan. There is probably no Japanese adult who is not familiar with his name, or who has not at least glanced at the voluminous comics/animation series “Ge-ge-ge no Kitaro,” for which he is best known.

The cartoon, in which a one-eyed, orphaned ghoul named Kitaro fights with monsters from around the world, epitomizes Mizuki’s avid interest in yokai (goblins). But even though most of his works are characterized as “horror manga” — a genre he himself is pretty much responsible for creating — Mizuki still somehow manages to retain charming, goofy-funny qualities in a lot of his characters.

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