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 (リボンの騎士) 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 (薔薇色の怪物; Rose Colored Monster) was published.
Maruo was a frequent contributor to the legendary underground manga magazine Garo (ガロ).
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 of Japan, his work enjoys a cult following abroad.
His book Shōjo Tsubaki (aka Mr. Arashi's Amazing Freak Show) has been adapted into an animated film (Midori) by Hiroshi Harada with a soundtrack by J.A. Seazer, but it has received very little release. In Europe it was marketed under the name Midori, after the main character. It was recently released on DVD in France by Cinemalta (the DVD includes English subtitles).
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 (江戸昭和競作無惨絵英名二十八衆句), presenting their own contemporary works alongside the traditional prints of Yoshitoshi and Yoshiku.
Maruo's nightmarish manga fall into the Japanese category of "erotic grotesque" (エログロ; "ero-guro"). 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. His most recent work is an adaption of the story "The Strange Tale of Panorama Island" by Edogawa Rampo. An English translation of this work was published by Last Gasp in July 2013.
John Zorn's Naked City
List of Printed Works (Published in Japan)
- 薔薇色ノ怪物 (Barairo no Kaibutsu)
- 夢のQ-SAKU (Yume no Q-SAKU)
- 少女椿 (Shōjo Tsubaki)
- キンランドンス (Kinrandonsu)
- 丸尾末広ONLY YOU (maruo suehiro ONLY YOU)
- 1985, December 25
- パラノイア・スター (Paranoia Star)
- 1986, January 31
- 1994, September 25 – 秋田書店 ISBN 4-253-10379-0
- 江戸昭和競作無惨絵英名二十八衆句 (Edo Shōwa Kyōsaku Muzan-e Eimei Nijūhasshūku (Bloody Ukiyo-e in 1866 & 1988))
- 1988, January 20
- 丸尾地獄 (Maruo Jigoku)
- 1983, November 25
- 2001, October 2
- 国立少年 (ナショナルキッド) (Kokuritsu Shōnen (National Kid))
- 1989, August 1 – Seirindo ISBN 4-7926-0191-6
- 犬神博士 (Inugami Hakase)
- 1994, September 25
- 風の魔転郎 (Kaze no Matenrō)
- 1995, April 25 – 徳間書店 ISBN 4-19-950011-1
- 丸尾地獄2 (Maruo Jigoku 2)
- 1995 – Seirindo
- 2001 December 12 – Seirindo
- 丸尾画報1 (MARUOGRAPH1) (Maruo Gahō 1)
- 1996, September 1 – トレヴィル
- 丸尾画報2 (MARUOGRAPH2) (Maruo Gahō 2)
- 1996, November 1 – トレヴィル
- ギチギチくん (Gichigichi-kun)
- 1996, December 1 – 秋田書店 ISBN 4-253-10318-9
- 月的愛人LUNATIC LOVER'S
- 1997, February 25 – Seirindo
- 1999, December 20 – Seirindo
- マルヲグラフ (Maruograph)
- 1999, March 1 – パロマ舎
- 新ナショナルキッド (NEW NATIONAL KID) (Shin National Kid)
- 1999, November 25 – 青林工藝舎 ISBN 4-88379-044-4
- 笑う吸血鬼 (Warau Kyūketsuki (Laughing Vampire))
- 2000, March 15 – 秋田書店 ISBN 4-253-10310-3
- マルヲボックス 特装版 (Maruo Box)
- 2000, August 1 – パロマ舎 (limited edition of 50)
- マルヲボックス 普及版 (Maruo Box)
- 2000, August 1 – パロマ舎 (limited edition of 100)
- 新世紀ＳＭ画報 (Shinseiki SM Gahō)
- 2000, August 20 – 朝日ソノラマ
- ハライソ 笑う吸血鬼２ (Paraiso: Warau Kyūketsuki 2)
- 2004 – 秋田書店 ISBN 4-253-10311-1
- 丸尾画報EX1 (MARUOGRAPH EX 1) (Maruo Gahō EX 1)
- 2005, June 11 – Editions Treville Pan-Exotica ISBN 4-309-90640-0 (new expanded edition of 丸尾画報1)
- 丸尾画報EX2 (MARUOGRAPH EX 2) (Maruo Gahō EX 2)
- 2005, August 11 – Editions Treville Pan-Exotica ISBN 4-309-90641-9 (new expanded edition of 丸尾画報2)
- The Strange Tale of Panorama Island (パノラマ島綺譚 Panorama-tō Kidan?)
List of Printed Works (Published Outside Japan)
- Mr. Arashi's Amazing Freak Show (少女椿) published by Blast Books. ISBN 0-922233-06-3
- Ultra-Gash Inferno (selected short works) published by Creation Books. ISBN 1-84068-039-3
- Comics Underground Japan (anthology including Maruo's story "Planet of the Jap") published by Blast Books. ISBN 0-922233-16-0
- How to Rake Leaves published by Stone Bridge Press. ISBN 1-880656-07-8
- How to Take a Japanese Bath published by Stone Bridge Press. ISBN 0-9628137-9-6
- O Vampiro que Ri (笑う吸血鬼) published by Conrad Editora. ISBN 85-7616-045-5
- Paraíso: O Sorriso do Vampiro (ハライソ 笑う吸血鬼２) published by Conrad Editora. ISBN 85-7616-196-6
- Ero-Guro, o erótico grotesco de Suehiro Maruo published by Conrad Editora. ISBN 85-7616-135-4
- La Jeune Fille aux Camelias (少女椿) ISBN 2-915517-03-7
- Yume no Q-Saku published by Le Lézard Noir. ISBN 2-9522062-3-6
- Lunatic Lover's published by Le Lézard Noir. ISBN 2-9522062-4-4
- Vampyre 1 (笑う吸血鬼) published by Le Lézard Noir. ISBN 2-9522062-8-7
- Vampyre 2 (ハライソ 笑う吸血鬼２) published by Le Lézard Noir. ISBN 2-9522062-9-5
- Exercices d'Automne: Ou l'Art de Ramasser les Feuilles Mortes published by Le Lézard Noir. ISBN 2-9522062-1-X
- L'art du Bain Japonais published by Le Lézard Noir. ISBN 2-9522062-0-1
- Der Lachende Vampir (笑う吸血鬼) published by Reprodukt Comics. ISBN 3-931377-87-3
- Midori, La ragazza delle Camelie (少女椿) published by Coconino Press.
- Il Vampiro che ride (笑う吸血鬼) published by Coconino Press.
- Notte putrescente (夢のQ-SAKU) published by Coconino Press.
- La Strana Storia dell'Isola Panorama (パノラマ島綺譚) published by Coconino Press.
- Il Bruco (芋虫) published by Coconino Press.
- El Monstruo de Color de Rosa (薔薇色ノ怪物) published by Glénat.
- Midori: La Niña de las Camelias (少女椿) published by Glénat.
- Dr. Inugami (犬神博士) published by Glénat.
- Gichi Gichi Kid (ギチギチくん) published by Glénat.
- Lunatic Lover's published by Glénat.
- La Sonrisa del Vampiro (笑う吸血鬼) published by Glénat.
- La Sonrisa del Vampiro 2: Paraíso (ハライソ 笑う吸血鬼２) published by Glénat.
- DDT published by Ediciones Otaku Manga. ISBN 84-96172-68-6. September 2004.
- New National Kid published by Ediciones Otaku Manga. June 2004.
- La Extraña Historia de la Isla Panorama (パノラマ島綺譚) published by Glénat
- Шоу уродов господина Араси (少女椿) published by Comix Factory. ISBN 978-5-7525-1805-8
- Приют влюбленного психопата (月的愛人) published by Comix Factory. ISBN 978-5-7525-1806-5
- Необыкновенная история острова Панорама (パノラマ島綺譚) published by Comix Factory. ISBN 978-5-7525-2729-6
Figures and toys
- 人間豹と少年探偵 (ningenhyō to shōnen tantei) The Leopard-man and the Young Detectives produced by Eastpress (イーストプレス) of Japan
- 少女椿 (shōjo midori) Young Girl Midori 18 cm figure produced by Artstorm (アート・ストーム) of Japan
- Cha, Kai-ming (2009-08-24). "Last Gasp Finds Beauty in The Strange Tale of Panorama Island". Publisher's Weekly. Retrieved 2009-08-26.[dead link]
- Suehiro Maruo's official website
- Blast Books – English publisher of Maruo's manga
- Creation Books – English publisher of Maruo's manga
- Le Lézard Noir – French publisher of Maruo's manga
- Coconino Press – Italian publisher of Maruo's manga
- Editions Treville – Japanese publisher of Maruograph artbooks
- Eastpress Toy – Japanese manufacturer of Maruo's action figure
- Artstorm – Japanese manufacturer of Maruo's action figure
- Suehiro Maruo Shrine fan site
- Article on the animated film of Shōjo Tsubaki