STORY: A schoolboy named Sanpei is bullied at school and mistreated at home. He’s only got friends in his pets – no humans can stand him. But one day he gets bitten by a strange bug, and Sanpei’s life changes forever…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hideshi Hino is one of Japan’s masters of horror manga. Born in China in 1946, but quickly moved to Tokyo with his mother. Has over 200 titles in print.
REVIEW: Hideshi Hino grew up in the immediate post-war landscape of Tokyo, and that heavily influences his artwork. As you can almost imagine the young Hino growing up amidst hordes of rats, rotting carcasses of animals, and all the poverty and death caused by those two American bombing missions, you understand how his work indeed became so macabre.
Few artists manages to combine the cartoony with the utterly grotesque and macabre as Hideshi Hino does. It isn’t just the characters themselves and the gore and detailed graphical description of Sanpei’s disease that makes Hino’s work outstanding as pure horror comics – it is as much the complex use of backgrounds and atmosphere therein. While you watch the protagonist getting thrown into a growing situation of pain and despair, you can’t help but feeling sorry for him.
The story in “The Bug Boy” deals with a boy who’s an outcast – loved by no one, and how all his misfortune eventually turns him into the monster people look upon him as.