Another teaser from our new reprint of Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo Book 3: The Wanderer's Road for you: a downloadable excerpt with 19 pages from the book, including most of the first story, "The Tower." When Usagi comes to the aid of a hungry tokagé (the little dinosaur-like lizards that populate the Usagiverse), they both find themselves in peril at the hands — and cleaver — of an angry cook. The exciting conclusion, and six other stories (helpfully listed in the included Table of Contents), await you in this timeless classic, which you can pre-order now for shipment in April.
152-page black & white 6" x 9" softcover • $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-56097-009-5
7th printing! Ships in April 2014 (subject to change) — Pre-Order Now
Perhaps the best samurai rabbit story ever told, Usagi Yojimbo Book 3 collects full-length Usagi stories from issues #7 through #12 of the original Fantagraphics series, including "The Tower" (which introduces Usagi's travelling companion Spot the Wonder Lizard), "Return of the Blind Swordspig," "A Mother's Love," "Blade of the Gods," "The Shogun's Gift," and the hilarious Groo tribute "The Tea Cup," co-starring the amoral mercenary rhino Gen. ("Gen does what Gen does best!") PLUS, the little-seen Usagi team-up with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles "Turtle Soup and Rabbit Stew," written and drawn by Sakai. A must-have for adventure lovers of all ages!
The first softcover edition of Usagi Yojimbo Book 3: The Wanderer's Road came out in 1989. Now, 25 years later, the 7th printing is soon to hit shelves. This is an essential volume of Stan Sakai's rabbit ronin saga, featuring the debut of Usagi's lizard pal Spot, the return of the Blind Swordspig, the introduction of the terrifying Jei (seen above), a hat-tip to Groo co-starring the mercenary Gen, deepening feudal intrigue featuring Tomoe and the Neko Ninja, and the first Ninja Turtle crossover story!
This February, Michigan State University will host their annual MSU Comics Forum, an event that brings together scholars, creators, and fans in order to explore celebrate the medium of comics, graphic storytelling, and sequential art.
And this year's keynote speaker is noneother than the great Stan Sakai! On Friday, February 21st, Stan will be speaking from 7:00 to 8:30 PM in the Residential College of Arts & Humanities Theater. Sakai-san will be discussing his long-running anthropomorphic animal series, Usagi Yojimbo, and talking about his wonderful, highly-acclaimed 30+ year career!
MSU Comics Forum will take place at Snyder/Phillips Hall at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan.
As you may know, Nicest Man in Comics Stan Sakai and his wonderful wife Sharon have been having a tough time recently as Sharon battles serious illness. Bills for convalescent care have been exceeding what their insurance covers and now CAPS, the Cartoon Art Professional Society, is putting together some charitable efforts to help with that. You can contribute original art for their benefit auction or just send money directly — all the details are here.
So many new readers of all ages discover Stan Sakai's wonderful, multiple-award-winning, now-classic Usagi Yojimbo as the years go on that we keep having to go back to press — twelve times on Book 1: The Ronin now! Read the rabbit ronin's first adventures in this compact softcover, sporting the new trade dress designed by Jacob Covey a few years back. Fresh copies in stock now and in stores soon!
The late Kim Thompson introduced the world to Stan Sakai in Fantagraphics' Critters anthology three decades ago. As Sakai's signature character Usagi Yojimbo nears its 30-year anniversary, the Baltimore Comic-Con honors this exceptional artist at the Baltimore Convention Center on Saturday.
Sakai will greet fans at booth 1902 before appearing at the Usagi Yojimbo Celebration with Dark Horse editor Diana Schutz in room 301 from 2:00 to 3:00 PM. An exclusive Usagi Yojimbo tee shirt (pictured below) and yearbook featuring homages of the intrepid Samurai warrior by over 40 artists will be available at the convention. At 5:00 PM you can bid on the original art by Sakai and other contributors at booth 2505 in the Main Hall. Don't miss this opportunity to meet one of the world's most gifted cartoonists, not to mention one of the nicest people in our industry.
• Review: "Josh Simmons' book The Furry Trap is truly disturbing in its depravity. Makes Ultra Gash Inferno look cute. An inspiring & exhilarating read! How many comics can you honestly say made you sick or upset when you read them? Furry Trap made me question the First Amendment at times." – Sammy Harkham
• Review: "By this point, the reader will know if [Dungeon Quest] is their cup of tea; anyone who enjoys alt-comics takes on fantasy and/or stoner humor will find this a sheer delight. I'd say the sheer level of craftsmanship and the way Daly shifts storytelling modes so quickly would at least interest other readers, especially those who enjoy deadpan absurdism, since that's the core of Daly's sense of humor. For the continuing fan of this series, Daly continues to raise the stakes in each volume and adds richness and depth for those who are looking for more detail. Above all else, he does for the reader what he does with his party: he keeps things moving even when his characters are navel-gazing." – Rob Clough, High-Low
• Review: "...Moto Hagio has more on her agenda than simply trotting out tired 'girly' storylines. Her protagonists struggle with loss, rejection, and insecurity in a manner sure to strike readers as honest and familiar, never reductive or patronizing.... The stories collected here [in A Drunken Dream] span 31 years of Hagio’s career and, while the later stories do seem a bit looser and more confident, the earlier stories certainly don’t suffer by comparison." – Andrew Fuerste-Henry, No Flying No Tights
• Review: "Boasting [Fantagraphics'] usual high-production values and showcasing the genesis of the indie comics icon, [Usagi Yojimbo, Book 1:] The Ronin is a meticulously curated artifact of comics history.... The book is worth buying for the art alone. Sharply reproduced on gratifyingly durable stock, the quality of the lines leap out from the page even in these early stories." – Abhimanyu Das, Slant Magazine
• Profile: At Comic Book Resources, Shaun Manning talks to Nicolas Mahler about his superhero spoof Angelman: "Mahler said he does not have an in-depth knowledge of the major events and storylines [in superhero comics] of recent years, but said he is still familiar with the culture. 'I think my point of view is very '80s, that is when I stopped reading them,' he said. 'After that, I only have very superficial information. I know more about the fanboys, actually. I enjoy the scene around superheroes more than the stories themselves. I like it when people take this very seriously, and can debate endlessly about little faults in a superhero's universe."'
• Interview: Following an introduction in his native Greek, Comicdom's Tomas Papadimitropoulos posts his untranslated (i.e. English) Q&A with Hans Rickheit: "I am compelled to draw these comics.... These stories follow a certain pattern of logic that makes sense to me. I don’t have the vocabulary to explain how it works, that is why I draw them as comic strips."
• Interview:The A.V. Club's Keith Phipps has a great Q&A with Daniel Clowes: "I can look at my early work and see what a pained struggle it was to draw what I was drawing. I was trying so hard to get this specific look that was in my head, and always falling short. I could see the frustration in the lines, and I remember my hand being tensed and redrawing things a thousand times until I finally inked it, and just having this general tense anxiety about every drawing. I think that comes through in the artwork, and gives it this certain kind of manic energy, this kind of repressed energy, so you feel like it’s sort of bursting at the seams or something."
• Interview (Audio):Daniel Clowes sits down for a chat on Bay Area NPR station KQED's Forum with host Michael Krasny
• Video: Via Meltdown Comics and Boing Boing, a charming short film by Rocío Mesa about a couple of dedicated Daniel Clowes fans
• Plug: "...[W]e recommend checking out Love and Rockets Library: The Complete Vol. 1 from Fantagraphics, which collects every issue of the landmark alt-comic series between 1982 and 1996. In Love and Rockets, Gilbert and his brother Jaime Hernandez wrote stories ranging from satire to political intrigue, and introduced such noteworthy characters as Luba, the temperamental, full-figured mayor of a Central American village, and Maggie Chascarrillo, a punk rock-loving Mexican girl who becomes a solar mechanic. ...[T]here's no better time to become a Los Bros Hernandez zombie than right now." – Phil Guie, Critical Mob
• Interview (Video):VICE's Rocco Castoro: "Johnny Ryan has been filling the back page of VICE magazine with twisted comics for the past ten years. Not to toot our own horn here, but it's fair to say that his strips are some of the funniest and grossest being published anywhere right now. We sat down with Johnny at his house in LA to discuss how he got started, his feelings towards R. Crumb, and how he used to barely give a shit about the work he submitted to us."
• Interview: At Stumptown, our pal Gavin Lees sat down for a chat with the great Stan Sakai on assignment for Bleeding Cool: "My abilities as a storyteller have matured over the years, I hope, and if you look at the early years of Usagi, you can see a huge difference in the character. His proportions have changed — at the beginning, he was maybe three-heads high, now he’s more like five-heads. So, he’s gotten sleeker and he’s not as cuddly any more. That may be because I’ve concentrated on more dramatic stories, rather than humorous, as the series went on. Most of the changes are unconscious on my part, though, just myself maturing as an artist and a storyteller."
We had a swell time at the Stumptown Comics Fest in Portland this past weekend and the big news for us there was that Jaime Hernandez received the Stumptown Comic Arts Award for Best Cartoonist! Festival special guest and our longtime pal Stan Sakai picked up the award for Best Letterer, and our newest hire, Jen Vaughn, shares the award for Best Anthology as co-editor of Lies Grown-ups Told Me. Congrats to all!