Koji Kitahara (北原功士 b. 1966, in Tokyo, Japan) is an illustrator and artist that evokes the past, but with his own cheeky twist. As a young boy, Kitahara became obsessed with the bizarre illustrations Gojin Ishihara, one of the Showa Era's most prolific illustrators of science fiction and monsters. Kitahara's career in manga began while he was still a student, and since then he has taught himself how to draw in watercolor and oil paint, while working as a manga assistant and artist.
The "Reiwa Strange Pictorial" series from Kitahara most directed evokes the work of Ishihara, taking motifs of lurking monsters and apocalyptic prophecies, and bringing them to the 21st century. Kitahara was greatly influenced by Hirohiko Araki of "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure" fame, both in terms of drawing and attitude toward his work. In the 2010s, he decided to abandon his manga work and switch to illustration. His work has appeared in magazines such as "Eiga Hiho", as well as in Kitahara's self-published collections.
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