Hell Praiser : Hideshi Hino – “Panorama of Hell”

Painting is the gateway to mayhem in Hideshi Hino’s “Panorama of Hell.” This is one of the classic no-holds-barred manga ( Hino is frequently mentioned in one shocked breath with Junji Ito or Suehiro Maruo ). Our guide to this inferno is a truly dedicated painter, drinking hydrochloric acid in order to spew out blood clots all over his canvasses and better convey an internal post-nuclear hell. And what canvasses these are, out-doing whatever monstrosity was in that Dorian Gray painting: each of them opens into a different hellish vignette, depicting a morbidly cute cartoon family that has eerie parallels to Hino’s own.


“Panorama of Hell” isn’t, of course, autobiographical ( OH GOD I HOPE NOT!!!) But it is a confessional of the subconscious. Hino peppers the work with queasy inside jokes about his own life,  informed by a reportedly traumatic early childhood as a Japanese immigrant in post-WWII Machuria. The aftermath of war is a theme here: like the Nagasakians from “Crossing Midnight”, the Hino alter-ego in “Panorama” is the subtle end result of the atomic bomb.

Maybe I shouldn’t have said “subtle.”

ABOVE: Not that subtle. In context, this panel is absolutely terrifying, btw.


3 thoughts on “Hell Praiser : Hideshi Hino – “Panorama of Hell”

  1. Pingback: Art Attack : Patricia Highsmith – “Ripley Under Ground” | THE PAGEAHOLIC

  2. Pingback: Striking Back : Nate Powell – “Any Empire” | THE PAGEAHOLIC

  3. Pingback: Dangerous Woman : Junji Ito – “Tomie” | THE PAGEAHOLIC

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