(W) Stan Sakai (A/CA) Stan Sakai In Shops: Nov 13, 2019 SRP: $3.99
In this 35th anniversary month of Usagi Yojimbo, Stan Sakai revisits the very first Usagi story, “The Goblin of Adachigahara”, expanding it from 8 to 24 pages and adding new insights into the characters and events, as well as revealing the reason for Usagi’s pilgrimage back home.
Building upon the success of the all-new, full-color Usagi Yojimbo comic book series launched in June, IDW Publishing will revisit some of the most memorable adventures of Miyamoto Usagi, the rabbit rōnin, beginning with Usagi Yojimbo Color Classics #1 in January 2020.
The original early issues of Stan Sakai’s acclaimed long-running series will thrill longtime fans and newcomers alike – not only with vibrant new colors, but supported by brand-new bonus content, providing a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Usagi and rare artwork.
Look for Usagi Yojimbo Color Classics #1 – featuring an all-new Chibi Usagi back-up story – in January!
(W) Stan Sakai (A/CA) Stan Sakai In Shops: Oct 09, 2019 SRP: $3.99
The enthralling conclusion to “The Hero”! Usagi has been retained as a bodyguard to writer Lady Mura as she escapes her powerful, abusive husband. However, he is cornered in a dilemma when duty and honor conflicts with bushido, the rigid code of the samurai. Can only tragedy come of his decision?
In this explosive new story, Usagi goes back to his roots as a yojimbo (bodyguard) when he is hired by Lady Mura, a famous writer, to keep her safe on her perilous journey to her father’s home. Making matters worse, Usagi is thrown into a bitter dispute between Lady Mura and her jealous ex-husband (a high ranking lord). A wild tale of action, drama, and adventure!
3. A sinister force grows in strength, and Usagi must team up with the
supernaturally powered Sasuke to defeat it. The heroic duo is in for the fight
of their life as the danger becomes even more bizarre than they could imagine!
A daring rescue mission leads Lando—and his new friend Jaxxon—to the seat of Imperial power, where they must recover an important artifact that will inspire a planet to drive the Empire from their home.
Come celebrate 20 years of comics at the Baltimore Comic-Con on October 18-20, 2019 at the Inner Harbor’s Baltimore Convention Center. You can purchase tickets online now. The Baltimore Comic-Con welcomes back Francesco Francavilla, Ron Randall, Stan Sakai, Doug Wagner, and Kelly Yates.
Eisner and Eagle Award-winning Francesco Francavilla has found a niche in the comics industry with his noir stylings. His Afterlife with Archie from Archie Comics received a Harvey Award nomination in 2014 for Best New Series. He has also provided art on DC Comics’ Detective Comics and Swamp Thing, Marvel’s Black Panther: The Man Without Fear, and you will find his artwork gracing covers for Marvel’s All-New Hawkeye, Master of Kung Fu, and Princess Leia, Archie’s Archie vs. Predator and The Black Hood, and Dynamite Entertainment’s Reanimator and The Twilight Zone: Shadow and Substance. Most recently, you’ll find his covers and interiors on IDW’s Star Wars Adventures: Return to Vader’s Castle. and covers on Archie’s Archie: 1955 and Dynamite Entertainment’s Red Sonja & Vampirella Meet Betty & Veronica.
Ron Randall started his professional career at DC Comics with a two page back-up story in Unknown Soldier, which was followed by stories in Sgt. Rock, The Warlord, Arak, Son of Thunder, and Swamp Thing. He is well-known for having created Trekker at Dark Horse Comics back in 1987 for Dark Horse Presents, and he published the character again in a new serialized version of the same title starting in 2013. More recently, Ron provided art on Sasquatch Detective Special from DC Comics, and his collected trade paperback Trekker: Chapeltown was published in 2018 by Dark Horse Comics.
Best known as writer and artist for his Usagi Yojimbotitle, Stan Sakai first created and published it in 1984, launching in Albedo, a self-published anthology, followed by an appearance in Critters from Fantagraphics in 1985, and finally as its own series from the same publisher in 1987, all in black & white. In 1993, Usagi made the jump to color at Mirage Publishing, and moved to Dark Horse in 1996. In 2019, Usagi Yojimbo moved to IDW Publishing, relaunching with an issue #1. Nearly 30 years of Usagi Yojimbo have seen print in book, TV, and digital formats.
Doug Wagner has been writing comics professionally since 2004 and has worked with a mulititude of companies. The list includes DC Comics, Image Comics, 12-Gauge Comics, Top Cow Productions, Dynamite Entertainment, and Table Taffy Studios. His recent projects include Plastic (April 2017) and The Hard Place (August 2017), both from Image Comics, as is his current Image title, The Ride: Burning Desire. Doug now lives in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah with his lovely wife. His days are filled with fighting deadlines and flirting with distractions.
Kelly Yates has provided artwork for Amber Atoms, Tales of Tellos, and The Perhapanautsat Image Comics, numerous Doctor Who titles at IDW, Fear Agent at Dark Horse Comics, and JLA-Z at DC Comics. He also wrote Image’s Amber Atoms, and contributed to Artist Alley Comics as well with his creator-owned MonstHer title.
In addition to on-site CGC grading, this year’s confirmed guests for the show include: Joel Adams (Savage Eve), Neal Adams (Detective Comics), Zeea Adams (Neal Adams Monsters), Art Way Alliance, Brian Azzarello (Batman: Damned), Jeremy Bastian (Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Under The Spell), Marty Baumann (Disney/Pixar), Carolyn Belefski (Curls), Ziggy Blumenthal (Operation Pajama Pants), Harold Buchholz (MST3K), Mark Buckingham (Justice League Dark), Cullen Bunn (Harrow County, courtesy of AfterShock Comics), Greg Burnham (Tuskegee Heirs), Buzz (Superman: Coming of the Supermen), Jim Calafiore (The Mike Wieringo Tellos Tribute), Chris Campana (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Joe Carabeo (The Legettes), Richard Case (Doom Patrol), Christa Cassano (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Freshman Force), Castillo Studios, Jacob Chabot (Ziggy Pig – Silly Seal Comics), Howard Chaykin (Hey Kids! Comics!), Frank Cho (Harley Quinn), Amy Chu (KISS: The End), Matthew oClark (Injustice: Ground Zero), Steve Conley (The Middle Age), Steve Conte (Action Figure Kingdom), Katie Cook (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic), Jamie Cosley (Star Wars Insider), Clayton Crain (Absolute Carnage: Miles Morales, courtesy of Frankie’s Comics), Kristina Deak-Linsner (Vampirella: Roses for the Dead), The Deans Family (La Moo Du Chocolat: A Shakes Adventure), Steve Ellis (The Only Living Girl), Tod Emko and Piggy (A Piggy’s Tale), Steve Englehart (Doctor Strange, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Garth Ennis (The Boys, Friday and Saturday only), G.D. Falksen (Mine!), Rob Feldman (Cyko KO), Chris Flick (Capes & Babes), LJ and Kayla Fowlkes (The Adventures of CHIBIWONGTONG), Shea Fontana (DC SuperHero Girls), Francesco Francavilla (Red Sonja and Vampirella Meet Betty and Veronica), Franco (Superman of Smallville), Julie Fujii Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo: The Hidden), John Gallagher (Max Meow), David Gallaher (The Only Living Girl), SL Gallant (Magic: The Gathering: Chandra – Tales of Alara), Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (DC Nation), Mitch Gerads (Mr. Miracle), Gerhard (Cerberus the Aardvark), Chris Giarrusso (Hashtag: Danger), Mike Gold (The Whisper Campaign), Jimmy Gownley (Disney Zootopia: School Days), Garth Graham (Star Power), John Patrick Green (Kim Possible Adventures), Dawn Griffin (Zorphbert & Fred), Juanjo Guarnido (Blacksad), Laura Lee Gulledge (Will & Whit), Bob Hall (West Coast Avengers), Cully Hamner (Batman Beyond), N. Steven Harris (Michael Cray), Dean Haspiel (Bloodshot Rising Spirit), Glenn Hauman (Mine!), Mark Hempel (Sandman), Greg Hildebrandt (Old Man Logan), Clinton Hobart (Disney fine artist), Javon and Tarik Holmes (The Adventuers of Waffle Boy), Adam Hughes (Superman), Jamal Igle (Wrong Earth), Chris Ivy (Venom: Tooth and Claw, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Klaus Janson (New Challengers), Justin Jordan (Reaver), Kata Kane (G.F.F.s Ghost Friends Forever), Chris Kemple (The Mike Wieringo Tellos Tribute), Matt Kindt (X-O Manowar), Sharlene Kindt (Dept. H), Tom King (Batman), Evelyn Kriete (Hullabaloo), Greg Land (Hulkverines, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Jeehyung Lee (The Batman’s Grave, courtesy of Frankie’s Comics), Jim Lee (Batman: Hush, Saturday only), Jeff Lemire (Black Hammer), Joseph Michael Linsner (Red Sonja), Howard Mackie (Ghost Rider), Mike Manley (Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Comic), Chris Mariano (Claire Lost Her Bear at the World’s Fair), Mark Mariano (Puddleton Farm: Ewing! What Are You Doing?), Ron Marz (Turok), Xavier McLaren (The Bubbler), John McCrea (Hitman, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Bob McLeod (New Mutants), Carla Speed McNeil (Twisted Romance), Pop Mhan (Raven, Daughter of Darkness), David Michelinie (Amazing Spider-Man, Saturday and Sunday only, courtesy of The Living Corpse), Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez (Ricanstruction: Reminiscing & Rebuilding Puerto Rico), Mark Morales (Justice League), Jamar Nicholas (Leon: Protector of the Playground), Kevin Nowlan (Black Widow, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Jerry Ordway (Archie Meets Batman ’66), Rachel Ordway (FTL, Y’all!), Greg Pak (Star Wars), Dan Parent (Archie: The Married Life – 10th Anniversary), Paul Pelletier (Aquaman/Jabberjaw Special), Andrew Pepoy (Archie: The Married Life – 10th Anniversary), Mike Perkins (Swamp Thing), David Petersen (Mouse Guard), Mark Poulton (Koni Waves), Andy Price (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic), Dave Proch (Mango Lizard), Livio Ramondelli (Transformers), Ron Randall (Trekker), Tom Raney (Dog Days of Summer), Mark Redfield (Vampire Hunters Incorporated), Afua Richardson (Run), Rafer Roberts (Grumble), Don Rosa (The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck), Peter Rostovsky (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Freshman Force), Jennifer Rouse (The Death of Poe), Craig Rousseau (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Dimension X), Mike Royer (New Gods), Arsia Rozegar (Man Plus), Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo), Stuart Sayger (KISS: The End), Bob Schreck (Batman: Hush), Greg Schigiel (Pix: One Weirdest Weekend), Erica Schultz (Xena: Warrior Princess), Bart Sears (Turok), Jeff Shultz (Archie Jumbo Comics Digest), Louise Simonson (Death of Superman), Walter Simonson (Ragnarok), Andy Smith (Demi-God), Brian “Smitty” Smith (The Stuff of Legend), John K. Snyder III (Killers), Allison Sohn (The Art of Red Sonja, Volume 2), Charles Soule (Curse Words), Brian Stelfreeze (Rise of the Black Panther), Jim Steranko (Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Karl Story (Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Han Solo), William Stout (Fantastic Worlds – The Art of William Stout), Ty Templeton (Marvel Super-Hero Adventures, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Michael Terracciano (Star Power), David and Sarah Trustman (The Memory Arts), Billy Tucci (Shi), Mike Vasquez (Rick & Morty, courtesy of Frankie’s Comics), Brian K. Vaughan (Paper Girls), Gus Vazquez (Big Hero 6), Emilio Velez Jr. (The Dodgeball Teens), Robert Venditti (Hawkman), Doug Wagner (The Hard Place), Mark Waid (Avengers: No Road Home), Adam Wallenta (Punk Taco), Adam Warren (Empowered And Sistah Spooky’s High School Hell), Todd Webb (Mr. Toast Comics), Lee Weeks (Batman), Mark Wheatley (Songs of Giants: The Poetry of Pulp), Bob Wiacek (Iron Man), Marcus Williams (Tuskegee Heirs), Javier Cruz Winnik (Puerto Rico Strong), Marv Wolfman (Raven: Daughter of Darkness, courtesy of Hero Initiative), Rich Woodall (Electric Black), John Workman (Riverdale), Kelly Yates (Torchwood), and Thom Zahler (Star Trek: Waypoint Special 2019).
“Bunraku,” Part 2. Strange circumstances continue to surround a traveling puppet show as Usagi becomes embroiled in one of his most eerie adventures yet! Will the aid of a supernatural ally be enough for Usagi to prevent more death?
Upping the ante on an annual San Diego Comic-Con tradition, IDW Publishing will host TWO industry legends – Stan Sakai (creator of the critically acclaimed Usagi Yojimbo) and Walter Simonson (legendary writer/artist of The Mighty Thor, Manhunter, and Ragnarök) for one very special dinner to which YOU are invited!
Mingle with both Sakai and Simonson on the evening of Thursday, July 18th in an event strictly limited to a handful of attendees, taking place in a private room at an upscale restaurant in the San Diego Gaslamp district, just a short walk from the convention center.
To participate, fans would need to purchase a dinner package. IDW offers two (2) dinner packages, with each package including special rewards relative to either Sakai or Simonson. The two dinners are held together in one room so fans may purchase both packages.
THE SAKAI DINNER PACKAGE: Includes dinner, one (1) copy of the Usagi Yojimbo: GrasscutterArtist’s Select Edition with a foil stamp unique to this event, one (1) Original Illustration by Sakai (featuring any Usagi Yojimbo character of the diner’s choosing), plus additional surprise goodies.
THE SIMONSON DINNER PACKAGE: Includes dinner, one (1) copy of the Walter Simonson’s Star Wars Artifact Editionwith a foil stamp unique to this event, one (1) Original Illustration by Simonson (featuring a character of the diner’s choosing), plus additional surprise goodies.
Those who buy BOTH dinner packages will receive a special Walter Simonson & Stan Sakai Artist’s Edition Print – an extremely limited jam piece, only available at this event!
The price for either dinner package is $500 each.
Regarding original artwork, the diners will receive the illustrations featuring the character of their choice (as drawn by either Simonson or Sakai, respectively), at the dinner event. The character must be selected by each confirmed guest within 24 hours of purchase to ensure readiness. Representative examples of Simonson’s and Sakai’s original illustrations can be found at the IDW official sign-up page.
I’ve never read Usagi Yojimbo, but with the move to IDW Publishing and a clear start, it felt that reading Usagi Yojimbo #1 was something I should do.
Jumping around a bit, the first issue eventually focuses on the rabbit ronin Miyamoto Usagi. The beginning of a three-part story Usagi becomes involved in a battle against demons where not everything is quite what it seems.
The start of a new chapter, Usagi Yojimbo #1 is entertaining. Having never read a previous issue, Sakai’s writing is fun and entertaining. There’s humor about it and a story that is much more adult than its anthropomorphic characters makes it out to be.
I should know better, as the comic has a history with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles whose comic versions are much more mature than the kids television show of the past. Much like TMNT, Usagi Yojimbo has a sense that it’s much more than its cute and fuzzy characters.
Sakai infuses a sense of Japan into the comic. The surroundings and outfits feel researched and there’s a sense of respect for the setting. The use of terminology too creates a more authentic take as well. The characters are interesting with a cuteness about them. That feels like it makes the demonic elements even scarier and unnerving as they’re introduced.
I’ve never read Usagi Yojimbo but this debut issue has me understanding what the hype and love is all about. I’m not sure it’s enough to get me to want to go back and see what I’ve been missing. But, it’s more than enough to get me excited to read what’s to come.
Story: Stan Sakai Art: Stan Sakai Letterer: Stan Sakai Color: Tom Luth Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation:Buy
IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review