Maruo Suehiro (b. 1956)
New National Kid
Japan, 1999
Paperback book (manga), ink and color on paper
Copyright: Maruo Suehiro / Publisher: Seirinkogeisha
Anonymous gift

Awaking from a nightmare in which he is attacked by military planes manned by bullies at his school, a young boy looks out his bedroom window and happens to witness his neighbors engaged in BDSM (bondage, domination, and sadomasochism). Maruo’s use of cinematographic techniques in this short story is stunning. When the boy peers out his window (left page, upper right), the first image he sees is what appears to be a wisp of foxfire (kitsunebi), commonly found in supernatural ukiyo-e prints from the 19th century (left page, upper left). As Maruo pulls back to reveal the scene in a medium shot, however, we realize that the foxfire is in fact a drop of molten candle wax (left page, center) being dripped upon a bound, naked woman by her sadistic lover (left page, bottom). In the world depicted by Maruo, the sexual proclivities of adults are as disturbing to an innocent child as a horrific dream.