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Category >> Stan Sakai

Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with Stan Sakai
Written by janice headley | Filed under Usagi YojimboStan Sakaieventsart shows 8 Jul 2011 11:13 AM

Stan Sakai at the Japanese American National Museum

I can't think of a nicer way to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit than with this Usagi Yojimbo exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles!  

The exhibit gets hoppin' this Saturday, July 9th, as the great Stan Sakai is in town to give a talk, a demonstration, and sign some books!

In fact, the whole day is jam-packed with fun activities, including screenings of anime films from the '20s and '30s, origami workshops, and a cooking lesson on how to make a broccoli carrot slaw, sure to satisfy any samurai!

Sakai-san explains himself, on his blog

I have been in a lot of exhibits, but this one will be the most comprehensive. It will not only display a lot of art in all phases of production, but also merchandising such as UY toys, pajamas, and statues. There will even be a section of Usagi art by other creators such as Frank Miller and even Stan Lee. A mini-documentary will be shown in the theater, with interviews with friends such as Sergio Aragones, Scott Shaw, Stan Lee, Geoff Darrow, and others. 

The exhibit runs 'til October 30th, but the opening day is FREE and open to the public, so why wait!

Stan Sakai at the Phoenix Comicon This Weekend
Written by janice headley | Filed under Usagi YojimboStan Sakaievents 26 May 2011 2:39 PM

Phoenix Comicon 2011 logo

Stan Sakai, at the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con

Meet Stan Sakai this weekend at the Phoenix Comicon 2011, kicking off Thursday, May 26th and running through Sunday, May 29th. He'll be there all weekend, signing at Booth #427!

You can also catch him on Friday, May 27th at 1:30 pm, in the panel "Nuts and Bolts of Comics Creation," where he'll talk about how to take a comic book concept from idea to reality, alongside some fellow pros in the industry.

And you can hear him again on Saturday, May 28th at 1:30 pm, in the panel "Rockstar Animals in the Comic Book World," as he discusses having animals as the lead character in a comic book!

It sounds like a great weekend to get your Usagi Yojimbo box sets and books signed! (And while you're at it, be sure to wish Sakai-san a "Happy Belated Birthday"! It was this past Wednesday!)

Things to See: Fun Usagi Yojimbo art to benefit good causes
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under toysThings to seeStan Sakaigood deeds 17 May 2011 1:16 AM

Usagi Yojimbo - Wolverine - X-Men sketch cover - Stan Sakai

This Stan Sakai Usagi Yojimbo/Wolverine mashup sketch cover is on auction to benefit the Inkwell Awards, and — how perfect is this — the Japanese American National Museum is having an exhibit and benefit sale of customized Labbit toys this summer for the Year of the Rabbit and Stan (recently honored by the museum) has contributed the adorable customized Usagi Labbit below.

Usagi Yojimbo Labbit

Things to See: Gahan Wilson's Usagi Yojimbo
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Usagi YojimboThings to seeStan SakaiGahan Wilson 4 May 2011 2:10 PM

Usagi Yojimbo - Gahan Wilson

Stan Sakai and Gahan Wilson were table neighbors at last weekend's Boston Comic Con. I'm maintaining my composed exterior but inside I can't stop jumping up and down. (Image lifted from Stan's Facebook page, with some color correction by me.)

FLASH SALE: 25% off Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition, 1 day only!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Stan Sakaisales specials 25 Apr 2011 12:00 AM

Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition by Stan Sakai

In recognition of yesterday's bunny-related holiday and creator Stan Sakai's recent Cultural Ambassador honor, we're offering Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition box set at a one-day discount of 25% off, today (April 25, 2011) only! If the Easter Bunny left some extra green in your basket you'll want to hop (yeah yeah) on this special deal!

More photos of Stan Sakai's Cultural Ambassador Award
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Stan Sakaiawards 22 Apr 2011 4:59 PM

Stan Sakai receiving Cultural Ambassador Award

Stan Sakai award certificate

As we recently posted, Stan Sakai was honored with the 2011 Cultural Ambassador Award by the Japanese American National Museum last Saturday. Stan sent along these additional photos of him receiving the award trophy at the ceremony and the fancy award certificate. Hip hip hooray!

Stan Sakai receives Cultural Ambassador Award
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Stan Sakaiawards 18 Apr 2011 9:50 PM

Stan Sakai award trophy

Well here's some wonderful news, as reported by The Comics Reporter: the great Stan Sakai has received the 2011 Cultural Ambassador Award by the Japanese American National Museum. The news release is here, and on Facebook Stan says (with typical understatement) "Senator Dan Inouye was seated at the table next to ours. He is third in line for the presidency, so secret service was around. Food was excellent." Congratulations and well deserved, Stan!

(By the way, this year's Stumptown Comics Fest is barely over but Stan has already been lined up as a special guest for 2012!)

Hare Raising Comix at Fantagraphics Bookstore
Written by Larry Reid | Filed under Usagi YojimboStan Sakaisales specialsFantagraphics Bookstore 7 Apr 2011 12:23 PM

usagi bunny

The Easter bunny arrived early at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery. Between now and Sunday, April 24 we’re offering a free copy of Usagi Yojimbo Color Special with each purchase of a Stan Sakai title. A real treat for comix fans of any age.

There’s a misperception that Usagi Yojimbo is only for young readers. I confess I’ve fallen victim to this notion myself. Then I picked up the stunning Usagi Yojimbo Special Edition. I found myself thoroughly enthralled by Sakai’s seamless storylines and flawless artwork. For those unfamiliar with this sublime saga, Usagi Yojimbo is set in 17th century feudal Japan and follows the adventures of a Samurai warrior rabbit. MAD cartoonist Sergio Aragones describes it as “…a mixture of fairy tale, adventure, romance, sword and sorcery, and humor, and all without breaking the rules of good storytelling.” I highly recommend the new slipcase Special Edition that collects the first seven Usagi Yojimbo books and includes exquisite extras like a cover gallery and a revealing interview conducted by editor Kim Thompson.

Drop by the store before Easter Sunday and treat yourself to a comic book. We’re open every day, 11:30 to 8:00 PM. Sundays until 5:00 PM. Sweet! 

 Usagi color specials

Daily OCD: 3/17/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Wilfred SantiagoUsagi YojimboStan SakaireviewsMartiKrazy KatJordan CraneJoe SaccoGeorge HerrimanGahan WilsonDaily OCDComing AttractionsBlake BellBill Everettaudio21 17 Mar 2011 5:28 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

21: The Story of Roberto Clemente

Review: "The saga of Roberto Clemente is well known to baseball fans yet it has been given new life in this stunning graphic novel [21: The Story of Roberto Clemente]... Santiago's panels have a sharp, cinematic feel and the compositions and framing give the readers a better sense of how dynamic and explosive the game is than any baseball movie. The wonder of this book is that it will appeal to kids and adults alike. Even non baseball fans will fall under its spell. The national pastime has been virtually untouched by the graphic novel genre but if Santiago's effort is any indication, the marriage of subject and form is nothing short of a grand slam. Santiago has set the bar high, though, and we'll be all the richer if anyone can approach the artistry and emotional resonance of this memorable book." – Alex Belth, Sports Illustrated

Interview: Wilfred Santiago talks with Sketch Maven about his career and creating 21: "After the previous graphic novel, In My Darkest Hour, I wanted to do a biography.  There were many reasons why Clemente was chosen. The richness, purpose-driven life, the inspirational life story are a few among many factors. The relevance of Clemente’s story to a youngster of today also came to mind. Roberto was a great and famous baseball player, and the baseball was a challenging aspect to the story. But, it was great to explore the sport in a comic book format."

Plug: "21: The Story of Roberto Clemente will be released by Fantagraphics on April 12. Great news." – Eephus League via It's a Long Season

Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition [Pre-Order]

Review: "One of my favorite presents from last year’s holiday season was Fantagraphics’ Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition... The Dragon Bellow Conspiracy... rivals just about any epic fantasy (novel or film) in the last 25 years for its narrative complexity and powerful action sequences. [...] Reading these stories will help you understand why, when we talk about the success stories of independent comics publishing, Usagi Yojimbo should be one of the first titles that gets mentioned." – Ron Hogan, Beatrice

Uptight #3

Review: "Crane’s work is highly, emotionally charged, but in a quiet way.  Illustrated in a lush, enveloping, greytone, 'Vicissitude' has a Film-Noir quality that adds an air of mystery to this story of melancholy and rotting love.  It is so engaging and enthralling that its ending is jarring. 'Freeze Out,' the Simon & Jack tale, is fantastic.  It’s all-ages comic book magic.  Reading it made me feel like a kid again, reading stories of adventure, fantasy, and magic for the first time on my own. If there were any doubts about Crane’s prodigious talent, Uptight #3 is the spell to dispel those doubts. [Grade] A+" – Leroy Douresseaux, Comic Book Bin

Safe Area Gorazde: The Special Edition

Profile: The Toronto Star's Vit Wagner on the work and career of Joe Sacco: "'The drive is there,' says Sacco. 'I have a desire to go there and see things and talk to people. It’s invigorating and exciting. But my work involves a slower process. It takes me time to report. I like to sink into the situation. But beyond that, it takes a long time to write and draw my stuff, especially the drawing. You can report that there are 200,000 people in Tahrir Square, but if you want to draw the scene it takes a lot of effort.'"

Interview: Sequential's David Hains talks to Joe Sacco: "I find more than half of my readers are from schools, in classes where they read my work. People have been to the regions and they’ll see, oh this medium has taken this on, I’ll pick that up. It’s sort of more book people than comics people. Although some of those are the same people, and thank God."

Fire & Water: Bill Everett, the Sub-Mariner and the Birth of Marvel Comics [with FREE Signed Bookplate]

Interview (Audio): Inkstuds host Robin McConnell talks to fellow Canadian Blake Bell about documenting the life and work of Bill Everett

The Cabbie: Book 1 [July 2011]

Coming Attractions: Library Journal's Martha Cornog looks ahead to three of our Summer releases (Martí's The Cabbie Vol. 1, Gahan Wilson's Nuts, and Krazy Kat in Song and Dance) in the latest "Graphic Novel Prepub Alert":

"Described as a Spanish Dick Tracy on steroids, the titular cabbie here is involved in a hunt for his father's stolen coffin, which contains his full inheritance. Art Spiegelman wrote the introduction, so we're not talking warmed-over liver."

Nuts [June 2011]

"Wilson drew these linked one-pagers in the National Lampoon throughout the 1970s. His hero in a hunting cap is Everykid, who braves the daily awfulness of a child's world: school irrelevancies, getting sick, strange old relatives, department store Santas, going to camp, and death, for starters. No monsters and ghoulies — just real-life quimsies. Don't you wish you could have seen Gahan Wilson comics when you were a kid?"

Krazy Kat in Song and Dance [June 2011]

"What a lavish show-and-tell: a DVD of nonprint media appearances of Krazy Kat, including videos of a 1921 'jazz pantomime' ballet and rare animated cartoons, plus two booklets collecting drawings, designs, strips, and background relating to Krazy in music and dance. [...] Clearly a shining star for popular culture and film collections."

Joyce Farmer's Special Exits nominated for National Cartoonists Society award
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Stan SakaiJoyce Farmerawards 17 Mar 2011 9:10 AM

Special Exits by Joyce Farmer

We are pleased to share the news that Joyce Farmer's graphic memoir Special Exits has been nominated for the 2010 NCS Division Award for Graphic Novels! The winner will be announced at the 65th Annual NCS Reuben Awards banquet on May 28, 2011 in Boston, MA. Congratulations Joyce!

(We're also rooting for Stan Sakai, nominated in the Comic Books division for his ongoing (formerly-Fantagraphics) Usagi Yojimbo series!)

National Cartoonists Society