The seventh volume in this legendary series about a wandering rabbit samurai in feudal Japan is now available in a newly redesigned edition! This dense tome collects issues 32 through 38 of the original Usagi series as well as the Usagi strip from Critters #38. In addition to the novel-length "Gen's Story," which forms the centerpiece of this volume, and which relates the heretofore untold story of the mercenary swordsrhino Gennosuke, Usagi Yojimbo Book 7 includes "Kitsune" (introducing a new romantic interest for Usagi), "The Last Ino Story" (the final fate of the Blind Swordspig Zato-Ino), "The Return of Kitsune," and "Broken Ritual," a tale of hara-kiri based on an idea by Sergio Aragonés, who also contributes this volume's introduction. This perennial favorite features dragons, ghosts, demons, bats and more, all in set in Sakai's warrior landscape. A classic!
(This brand new 5th softcover printing features all-new design by Fantagraphics art director extraordinaire Jacob Covey. This is the final Fantagraphics Usagi book to receive the redesign treatment, so complete your collection today!)
• Review: Comics Waiting Room on Ho! The Morally Questionable Cartoons of Ivan Brunetti: "...[I]f the material printed Ho! had been created in, say, Soviet Russia, Ivan would be the biggest star in the gulag. As it is, he’s one of the most twisted and funny motherfuckers putting pen to paper right in the U.S. of A. And I’m damned proud he’s one of us... Brunetti’s latest work is as strong as ever, and maybe even sicker. He’s an amazing cartoonist, and I respect his work immensely, even when some of it makes me queasy… especially if it makes me laugh then feel queasy."
• Reviews: The "What Are You Reading?" column at Robot 6 includes Tom Bondurant on Gilbert Hernandez's Heartbreak Soup ("At first I was afraid that Beto was introducing so many characters I wouldn’t be able to keep up with them, but the deeper I go into the book the better he manages everyone. The writing reminds me of Will Eisner’s slice-of-life stuff from his later career..."), Tim O'Shea on The Complete Peanuts 1969-1970 ("The intro by Mo Willems is great insight into what appealed to many about the series..."), Chris Mautner on A Mess of Everything by Miss Lasko-Gross ("[It] shows a good deal of progression [from Escape from "Special"], both in terms of storytelling and artistry"), and Jeff Lester on The Comics Journal Library Vol. 6: The Writers ("for which a more accurate title might have been 'Gary Groth Browbeats Bewildered Comics Writers'")
• Preview: Urban Aesthete looks at the forthcoming Abstract Comics anthology
• Profile: The Seattle Weekly, previewing Jaime's visit to Seattle, nicely describes Love and Rockets: "It’s a mutable universe that skips between characters at older and younger stages of life, where buxom pro wrestling queens, spaceship mechanics, and touring hardcore bands buoyantly intersect. No one stays lost for long; no grievance goes unforgotten; and deep-fried jungle slugs forever remain a delicacy."
This weekend is the Emerald City Con, our hometown comics event of the year. We'll be exhibiting all weekend and showcasing a host of new spring books including Gilbert Hernandez's LUBA, Bob Fingerman's CONNECTIVE TISSUE, Miss Lasko-Gross's A MESS OF EVERYTHING, the great HUMBUG boxed set, Archie Goodwin's BLAZING COMBAT, Boody Rogers' BOODY, Paul Hornschemeier's MOTHER, COME HOME, and much, much more. We'll also be hosting signings, including:
JAIME HERNANDEZ: all weekend!
PAUL HORNSCHEMEIER: all day Saturday!
DAME DARCY: Saturday from 1 to 3PM
BILL SCHELLY (author of MAN OF ROCK, the excellent JOE KUBERT bio): Saturday from 11 to 2PM
Also, STAN SAKAI will be in attendance in Artist's Alley all weekend, signing copies of USAGI YOJIMBO.
After the con on Saturday, join us at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery from 6:00 to 9:00 PM for an extraordinary exhibition of original artwork by Jaime Hernandez and Stan Sakai. Jaime and Stan, together with special guest Paul Hornschemeier, will be signing books and mingling with fans.
It's impossible to overstate the enduring influence of LOVE & ROCKETS on the comics medium, so we'll skip the superlatives. Suffice to say that Jaime will be on hand to greet fans and sign books. Stan's epic USAGI YOJIMBO adventure series has introduced generations of young readers to the world of comics, and his books are more popular than ever. His original drawings and paintings are inspiring. Jaime and Stan will be joined by their young colleague Paul Hornschemeier signing copies of his wonderful new graphic novel MOTHER, COME HOME.
This event serves as the official after-party for this weekend's Emerald City Comicon in Seattle, so expect to see other comics creators and luminaries. Adult beverages will be provided for grown ups and sodas for the kids.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located just minutes south of downtown Seattle at 1201 S. Vale Street (at the corner of Airport Way S.) in the colorful Georgetown arts community. Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone 206.669.9059.
CELEBTRATED CARTOONISTS JAIME HERNANDEZ AND STAN SAKAI APPEAR AT FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKSTORE & GALLERY ON APRIL 4
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery proudly presents two of the most accomplished and popular cartoonists in America on Saturday, April 4, from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Jaime Hernandez, co-creator of the phenomenal Love and Rockets series, will appear with Stan Sakai of Usagi Yojimbo fame for an exhibition of original art and book signing event. They will be joined by special guest Paul Hornschemeier signing copies of his handsome new hardcover Mother, Come Home.
Jaime Hernandez, together with his brother Gilbert, revolutionized the comic book form with their epic series Love and Rockets. Introduced in 1982, their mythical tale of contemporary multicultural society re-energized a moribund medium and gave birth to the “alternative comics” genre. Jaime’s central characters, Maggie and Hopey, emerged as icons for a generation of disaffected youth and their stories remain relevant and compelling today. With nearly 100 comic books to his credit, and over a dozen collected anthologies published by Fantagraphics Books, Jaime Hernandez is among the most influential cartoonists of his generation. In the words of Alan Moore, "Jaime's art balances big white and black spaces to create a world of nuance in between, just as his writing balances our big human feelings and our small human trivias to generate its incredible emotional power. Quite simply, this is one of the twentieth century's most significant comics creators at the peak of his form, with every line a wedding of classicism and cool."
Much like Jaime Hernandez, Stan Sakai relies on his cultural heritage in the expansive adventure series Usagi Yojimbo. Sakai chronicles the escapades of wandering Samurai bunny Miyamoto Usagi in feudal Japan with beautifully crafted artwork and an engaging narrative style that appeals to readers of all ages. Usagi Yojimbo is at once poignant, edifying, funny, and spellbinding – a singular achievement in the comics medium. Fantagraphics Books and Portland-based Dark Horse Comics have collected his work in over 24 volumes. According to comic book sage Stan Lee: “One of the most original, innovative, well-executed comic books anywhere to be found.”
Mother, Come Home is Paul Hornschemeier’s piercing graphic-novel debut, long out of print and now available for the first time in hardcover. It secured the cartoonist’s place as one of his generation’s most skillful and ambitious practitioners, and proved a harbinger of the subject matter that the artist would go on to explore most consistently in later work: the nuclear family.
The exhibition and reception on Saturday, April 4 will serve as the official after-party for the Emerald City ComiCon. Expect an array of comics professionals and luminaries to be in attendance. Admission is free. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street at Airport Way S. in Seattle’s colorful Georgetown arts community. Open daily, 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sunday until 5:00. Phone 206.658.0110.
Jaime Hernandez, Stan Sakai
Love and Rockets and Usagi Yojimbo Art exhibition and book signing
Saturday, April 4, 6:00 – 9:00 PM Emerald City ComiCon after-party Special guest Paul Hornschemeier
Exhibition continues through May 6, 2009.
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery 1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport Way S.) Seattle, WA 98108 206.658.0110 Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM www.fantagraphics.com/bookstore
Stan Sakai sent me an email asking if I knew anything about the strange beast pictured here. It's new to me and apparently the Japanese text doesn't address the creature. Does anyone know its story-- or at least a name?
Comments appreciated. Stan would like to know more about this unusual obakemono and I'd just love to see a hairy cyclopian leg show up in an Usagi Yojimbo story.
• Review: John Mitchell on Supermen!: “Supermen points to a time when comic books were a new and exciting form — admittedly low brow in presentation, but filled with visual and narrative leaps that would affect how we told stories visually for decades to come... This book chronicles the exciting, silly, fun and experimental world in which these kinds of [superhero] characters were forged — fairy tales from the modern era."
• Review: Lady, That's My Skull takes lunch with The Wolverton Bible, saying "It is a fascinating look at the side of an artist that most fans are not familiar with due to the scarcity of the material."
• Review: My Year Online on Ted Stearn's first Fuzz & Pluck collection: "[I] laugh[ed] out loud at many points. This is all down to Ted Stearn’s genius in depicting expressions, his excellent slapstick timing and great storyboards, where you can never tell what will happen next..."
• Reviews: The blogger behind Fluid Motion has "been reading a lot of comics by Jason recently," offering micro-reviews of 3 of his books
• Review: Newsarama enthuses about Popeye Vol. 3 (scroll about halfway down): "As with previous volumes of Popeye, it's a cornucopia of mangled English, slapstick, violence and hamburger soliciting... Fantagraphics continues to knock it out of the park with their work on the production of these books... With his fun designs and slapstick exaggeration, Segar's art has always been a plus, and nothing about that changes here... It's packed with adventure and humor, strong art, inventive and complex stories, and features more slam-bang punching than any other ten comics. It is a true, to use a much abused word, classic."
• Review: I'm not sure if this review originally ran in Rain Taxi or is original to the Powell's Books blog where it appears now, but: John Pistelli delves into The Lagoon by Lilli Carré: "The Lagoon's artisanal craftsmanship and child's-eye ironies reflect the baffled wisdom of a heroine too young to be foolish... it is a gorgeously bleak work for so young an artist."
• Interview: Baldur Bjarnason presents a 21-minute audio interview with el jefe Gary Groth recorded at the 2000 San Diego Comic Con
• Review of the Year: Brick Weekly holds forth on The Wolverton Bible: "If you think that God was the greatest contributor to the Bible then you are wrong. In fact, when compared to the creative feats of legendary cartoonist Basil Wolverton, God’s work seems trite and superficial at best. So, throw out all of your old Bibles because you don’t need them any more..." And it goes on from there...
• Reviews: The San Antonio Current says "The Wolverton Biblecollects everything [Basil Wolverton] did for the [Worldwide Church of God], presenting illustrations in chronological Biblical order — from Adam springing up from earth á la Spider-Man’s nemesis the Sandman all the way through the Old Testament and then hopping to the fantasy-friendly Book of Revelation, where eyeless corpses run rampant and jet planes tumble helplessly from the sky"; furthermore, "Humbugcould be a comics blockbuster... it fills gaps in some cartoonists’ CVs and entertains like hell while doing it."
• Reviews: Andrew Wheeler rounds up some recent books: of The Lagoon by Lilli Carré he says "Carré has an expressive style reminiscent of Richard Sala -- and her stories are in the same literary territory as Sala's as well, so the gloomy blacks and busy cross-hatching add to the ominous, overwhelming feeling... there's real spookiness in these pages -- and she's telling a story in ways (particularly trying to evoke sounds and scents through a comics page) that I've rarely seen"; and of Jessica Farm Vol. 1 by Josh Simmons, Wheeler says "Josh Simmons might just be the Gutzon Borglum of comics. Simmons's... plan... is crazy, and I admire it for that."
Coming soon in its 9th printing (and still available in its redesigned 8th printing), Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo Book 1: The Ronin is the introductory chapter of this timeless all-ages classic, and we're pleased to bring you this multimedia preview glimpse for the first time. Click here if the embedded slideshow above is not visible, and/or to open it larger in a new window.
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