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The Scariest Comic Books of All-Time! – Panorama of Hell

A reader named Chris S. suggested that I devote October to the scariest comic books of all-time, as suggested by you readers out there! Sounds like a plan to me! So all October-long, I’ll be featuring 31 comic book tales of terror, based on YOUR suggestions! So e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com your scary suggestions! Here is an archive of all the comics featured so far!

Commenter one of the jones boys made a bunch of good suggestions, including Hideshi Hino’s disturbingly amazing Panorama of Hell.

Enjoy (do note that this comic is quite graphic)!

Hideshi Hino was born right after the end of World War II, and the post-Hiroshima reality of Japanese life informed his work dramatically.

Panorama of Hell came out in 1982 (the English translation seven years later) and it is nearly 200 pages of disturbing imagery, but Hino wonderfully transforms the horror of the story as the book goes along from graphic otherworldly violence to, well, violence that is very much of THIS world.

The story follows a strange artist who paints with his own blood in a post-apocalyptic world. As the story goes on, the artist shows us some of his paintings as he discusses the painting of his masterpiece, “The Panorama of Hell”…

But as the story continues, we begin to learn more about the artist and his background, and his background is very much a horrific REAL life…

It is in the intermingling of these two takes on horror that Hino manages to keep his readers from viewing the terrors of his work with detachment. It is a strident work, but a brilliant one.

But yeah, lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of gore. So not for the squeamish!


First off, I love the two different features you have planned for October. Should be good stuff.

Second, this look pretty damn interesting. I’ll have to see if I can track it down.

Haven’t read this but I have couple of other books by Hino, and yes, they are definitely disturbing stuff.

Wow. I think I’d seen a bit of Hino’s work out of context, but this is something else entirely. It makes Ito seem tame.

Hino is something else altogether, and the few pages are here are peaceful compared to the rest of the rest of Panorama of Hell!

I hope Drifting Classroom is somewhere on that list, Umezu is pretty much THE best horror storyteller in manga.

Finally got my hands on this after reading the list last year, and I open it up to discover that Screaming Mad George is one of the translators! Awesome. Thanks, Brian, for turning me on to this (and lots of other cool creepy stuff on this list…Domu is next).

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