Suehiro Maruo, born January 28, 1956 in Nagasaki, Japan, is an illustrator, manga author, and a legendary figure in the “ero-guro” subgenre of art. Maruo has had a prolific career in comics, but is best known in the US for his 1984 manga, Shoujo Tsubaki (released in the US as Mr. Arashi’s Amazing Freak Show). His art style is heavily influenced by Japanese artists from the Taisho and early Showa eras such as Kasho Takabatake, but with erotic and horrific elements reminisent of authors Kyusaku Yumeno and Edogawa Rampo.
He was born in Isahaya City, Nagasaki Prefecture, the youngest of seven siblings. Maruo never had a good relationship with his family and was something of a delinquent, though he still was able to teach himself painting. After graduating from junior high school, he did not seek further education and instead moved to Tokyo to work for a book binder, though that career was also short lived, though he claimed to have had 30 different occupations working odd-jobs. At the age of 17, he submitted a short comic to "Weekly Shonen Jump '' but it was rejected due to the graphic nature of his story.
Maruo found a niche in adult manga magazines and in 1980, he made his professional comic debut with "Ribbon Knight" in the erotic gekiga magazine "Eros '81. In 1982, Seirindo published his first book, "Barairo no Kaibutsu"(Rose colored monster). Alongside his work for magazines "Manga Eros" and "Garo”Maruo also contributed illustrations to the novel series “Teito Monogatari” and both performed with and drew posters for the theatrical troupe Tokyo Grand Guignol (of which manga author Usamaru Furuya was also a member).
In 2007, after a brief hiatus, he began serializing a complete manga adaptation of Edogawa Rampo's “The Strange Tale of Panorama Island” in the July 2007 issue of Comic Beam, which was published in book form in 2008 and won the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize in 2009. Maruo's recent works include "Tomino no Jigoku" ("Tomino the Damned") and "An Gura". In October 2020, he held an exhibition of original drawings "NEXT ONE" at Gallery SUGATA in Kyoto to commemorate the 40th anniversary of his career.