The Eyeball-Licking Horror Manga of Suehiro Maruo and Strange Other Obsessions

Suehiro Maruo (born January 28, 1956 in Nagasaki, Japan) is a Japanese manga artist, illustrator, and painter.

Maruo graduated from junior high school in March 1972 but dropped out of senior high school. At the age of 15 he moved to Tokyo and began working for a bookbinder. At 17, he made his first manga submission to Weekly Shōnen Jump, but it was considered by the editors to be too graphic for the magazine’s format and was subsequently rejected.

Maruo temporarily removed himself from manga until November 1980 when he made his official debut as a manga artist in Ribon no Kishi at the age of 24. It was at this stage that the young artist was finally able to pursue his artistic vision without such stringent restrictions over the visual content of his work. Two years later, his first stand-alone anthology, Barairo no Kaibutsu was published.

More: Suehiro Maruo

Maruo was a frequent contributor to the legendary underground manga magazine Garo. Like many manga artists, Maruo sometimes makes cameo appearances in his own stories. When photographed, he seldom appears without his trademark sunglasses.

Though most prominently known for his work as a manga artist, Maruo has also produced illustrations for concert posters, CD Jackets, magazines, novels, and various other media. Some of his characters have been made into figures as well.

Though relatively few of Maruo’s manga have been published outside Japan, his work enjoys a cult following abroad.

Many of Maruo’s illustrations depict graphic sex and violence and are therefore referred to as contemporary muzan-e (a subset of Japanese ukiyo-e depicting violence or other atrocities.) Maruo himself featured in a 1988 book on the subject with fellow artist Kazuichi Hanawa entitled Bloody Ukiyo-e, presenting their own contemporary works alongside the traditional prints of Yoshitoshi and Yoshiiku.

Maruo’s nightmarish manga fall into the Japanese category of “erotic grotesque”. The stories often take place in the early years of Showa Era Japan. Maruo also has a fascination with human oddities, deformities, birth defects, and “circus freaks.” Many such characters figure prominently in his stories and are sometimes the primary subjects of his illustrations. Two of his most recent works are adaptations of stories by Edogawa Rampo, such as “The Strange Tale of Panorama Island” and “The Caterpillar”. An English translation of The Strange Tale of Panorama Island work was published by Last Gasp in July 2013.






























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