After initially studying painting, Sugiura became an assistant to the manga artist Suihō Tagawa. He soon began drawing his own manga in 1933 and came to fame after World War II with a series of comedic manga for children based on stories like those of Sasuke Sarutobi, Jiraiya, and Journey to the West. Sugiura closely followed popular culture and thus his manga were also influenced by such contemporary fads as Godzilla, pro wrestling, and American science fiction films. The philosophy of his manga "is of yukai, pleasure and amusement, pursuing the path as far from seriousness as possible. . . . The praxis of yukai is essentially the body in free motion, and Sugiura’s characters are defined by an excess of movement." The result was a visual style that was often surreal and absurd. A craftsman, Sugiura could not keep up with the mass production of manga that the shift to weekly magazines brought at the end of the 1950s, and his subsequent manga became more and more surreal, if not avant-garde, as they came to be directed at an older audience. He enjoyed a second boom in popularity from the 1970s on.
^Tomita Satoko, ed. (2002). Sugiura Shigeru nanjarahoi no sekai (in Japanese). Mitaka-shi Bijitsu Gyarari.
^Gerow, Aaron (2006). "Wrestling with Godzilla: Manga Monsters, Puroresu and the National Body." In Godzilla’s Footsteps. Eds. William Tsutsui and Michiko Ito. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. Pp. 63-81.