The prologue to Suehiro Maruo’s “Shojo Tsubaki” can be found in 1982’s “Rose-Colored Monster,” a collection of 13 short stories that are unrelentingly disgusting and yet exquisitely drawn.
Here’s Maruo rehearsing future horrors. These surreal sadomasochistic nightmares are as much about power struggles between the rich and the poor as they are about defecating rapist amputees… and, after all, so-called “fantasies” about gardeners, maids, babysitters and pool boys are 10% sex, 90% class warfare. The moneyed in Maruo’s stories want to fuck the poor literally since the metaphorical fucking has been accomplished; the poor want to fuck the proper rich because, well, it’s overdue.
The emblematic story here, accomplished and traditional enough to almost have made it under the dozing nose of an editor for E. C. Comics, is “Lower Class Man’s Habit.” If I may spoil it, it involves a luggish working man who is forced to pleasure both the lady and the gentleman of the manor. When the working man rebels, he turns to a symbolic hammer for his revolting revolution, and it’s a miracle a sickle doesn’t make an appearance as well. Twist: Once the boss man and the boss woman are eliminated, the working stiff volunteers to be used once more by a new boss. It’s what he knows.
But forget that commie crap: we’ve all come here for the eye-ball licking.
“Lower Class Man’s Habit” and many of the other stories here devote at least a panel to the fetish, which I have come to learn has a registered denomination: oculolinctus. Although I find it hard to believe this is a common practice and not just something concocted in a chat-room by virginal Japanese teenagers, (like 70% of purported perversions) I am sure that oculolinctus must have engendered hundreds if not thousands of websites, ( a claim I am not willing to investigate ), and at least one major journalistic hoax this year. For someone whose cornea must have been eroded by years of sexy saliva dripping on it, Maruo was truly a visionary.
RATING: COOL! going on HORRID! You’ll know where you stand three pages in.