USAGI YOJIMBO Volume 2, Number 4
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USAGI YOJIMBO Volume 2, Number 4

USAGI YOJIMBO Volume 2, Number 3 <-- --> USAGI YOJIMBO Volume 2, Number 5

  Synopsis for Shi Part 1
Letters Column
Letters Column

[The story notes have been copied to the story - P. Dark]

[On a different note, I'd like to mention that I'll be at the Portland Comic Book Show on October 24, and on October 29 I'll be giving a presentation of my work at the Los Angeles main library as part of its grand reopening activities.]

Dear Sakai-dono,

Regarding #38 - very, very good. This story has to be...I can't find the words. It's great, though.

Now with #1 the colouring is true Tom Luth greatness. The attention to detail has not diminished with the switch of publishers at all. And the colour adds an extra dimension. "Jizo" is marvelous. I mean, it's not as if I can honestly say any of your work isn't. It's just another Sakai masterpiece.

Um, if you're going to make an Usagi poster (#36), might I suggest a picture along the lines of the cover of #18, or the abovementioned issue?

Are you going to write any Space Usagi back-ups for the new issues? It would be a shame to just leave a great story like that to "rust".

Thank you for this great title, and a great T-shirt. Keep up the best work.

Oscar Archer
Mylor, S. Australia

P.S. I hope Gen will not travel with Usagi all the time. Usagi loses some of his solemnness and individuality with Gen around.

[There aren't any Space Usagi back-ups planned but I'm currently working on a second 3-part Space Usagi mini-series which will be hitting the stands beginning in November. "White Star Rising" continues the storyline begun in the first series. In fact, it starts off just a couple of days after "Death and Honor" ends. It's being colored by Mary Woodring who did the hues on Dino Island, also from Mirage.]

Dear Stan & Crew,

This is my first letter to you. It took a great shock to inspire it. Having sold my car, and being home with my one and a half year old son, it took me a while to get to my not-so-local comic store. I was quite surprised to find Usagi with Mirage. But I must say, I'm not disappointed.

As I started to read Usagi's tale, I feared that some of the "endearing" qualities may have suffered in the move. I like a good fight as well as anyone, however, there must be more to it to keep me interested. I'm quite relieved to say I still find the same humor, and dare I say, gentleness, about my dear friend of 10 (?) years. The main story was exciting. The back-ups were sweet and thoughtful. The color was perfect! I do miss Kim's humor in the letters page. But let me say, I will continue to follow the "Ronin Rabbit" as long as he continues his journeys. Keep up the good work!

I'm sure that, before too long, my little boy will be very interested in the long-eared Samurai and his green friends. Right now he's more interested in big purple dinosaurs. But just wait!

Alison Madigan
San Pablo, CA

[No one misses Kim Thompson more than I do. Trying to think up answers for these letters is hard - but he made it seem so easy.

[My son, Matthew, is about a year and a half, too, and the only time he's interested in Usagi is when we get a delivery of the comics by UPS and he gets to play with the empty box.]

Dear Stan,

After reading the first three issues of Usagi Vol. 2, I must say that I'm really quite impressed. The book looks plain awesome! Of the new mods done to the comic, I found Tom Luth's coloring work to be the most striking, pretty much on a par with the three previous Color Specials. Also favored is the extra slick 'n glossy cover stock, which adds a really sano appearance to the book. The main storyline, "Shades of Green", doesn't rank up there with your previous efforts, but was still enjoyable. Though I question your use of the TMNT as key elements in the story, I can't say I'm too surprised with it, what with you moving to Mirage and all. In some of my earlier letters, I may have come off like some type of jumped-up Turtle fan or something, but this hasn't been the case for a long time. People change as things change. That's what I like about Usagi: it doesn't change, and it's not a sell-out. Now, I'm not going to cut on the Turtles or their creators; that's their preference. But I would have appreciated the use of a more original set of new characters in that particular storyline. The Turtles aside, I think you handled the "initiation" piece in a decent manner. And now that it's over with, let's get back to the more traditional stuff.

"Jizo", "Usagi's Garden", and "Autumn" were pretty much the main attraction for me of the three issues. Short but sweet, they provided us with an enlightening and humorous contrast to the lead storyline. "Autumn" had to be the most interesting and eerie tale I've read in a long time. I'm beginning to enjoy these young Usagi stories, almost as much as the adult Usagi stories. but I think it's about time you gave them a more-or-less permanent, common title to identify them with. How about something along the lines of "Usagi-Doji" or whatever? Well, it was just a thought...

On a different note, it's good to see Tom Stazer back on "Spaced". I know you're a big fan of Tom's work, as I am, and I've noticed over the years a bit of his style rubbing off onto your work. For instance, your characters in Usagi are more than ever referring to each other indirectly by their animal identities. Characters referring to Gen as "rhino", Ino as a "pig", and Kakera as a "rat". This wasn't so in your earlier stories, but I noticed it a lot in Stazer's "Lionheart". Any other reason for it than Stazer? Not that I despise it or anything, it's just that it seems to rob the characters of their "humanity" which they indeed do represent.

Until next time, keep up the cool work, and hopefully I'll be seeing you in San Diego this August.

Todd Shogun
Cypress, CA

[There are two definitions of "doji" that I know of depending which "kanji" character is used:

[1) To occur simultaneously or concurrently and

[2) To blunder or make an awful mess of it.

[I wonder which one you mean. Both definitions would apply. Actually, I've just been referring to the "Young Usagi" stories as "Usagi Babies" but if I were to attach a formal name to them, it would be "Shugyosha" which means "person in training".

[When I did a Houston convention with Tom Stazer a while ago, he told me he was just getting used to the idea of referring to his animal characters as men and women. Maybe a bit of each of us has rubbed off on the other. I hope you caught Tom's installments of "Spaced" in Mirage's Plastron Cafe #3 & 4.]

Dear Stan,

Usagi Yojimbo has been one of my favorite comics for quite some time now. And I really love your art and storytelling. But, actually, I'm writing to ask you for a favor. Please print this letter!

Just ask Mark Evanier to explain. (Well, you probably already know what he's up to.) Anyway, please print this letter and make it out to "Darren" on the copy of "The Life of Groo" you'll be asked to sign.

Oh, and by the way, Groo is so dumb, he thinks "Usagi" is something you say to someone who just came in from the rain, and "Yojimbo" is a greeting to someone named "Jimbo".

Thank you very much for your time.

Darren Glenn
Muskogee, OK

Fan Art by Darren Glenn
Fan Art by Darren Glenn
Space Usagi Vol 2, #1

Space Usagi Vol 2, #1,
Available in November!

USAGI YOJIMBO Volume 2, Number 3 <-- --> USAGI YOJIMBO Volume 2, Number 5

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Usagi Yojimbo, including all prominent characters featured in the stories and the distinctive likenesses thereof are trademarks of Stan Sakai and Usagi Studios. Usagi Yojimbo is a registered trademark of Stan Sakai. Names, characters, places, and incidents featured in this publication either are the product of the authors imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons (living or dead), events, institutions, or locales, without satiric content, is coincidental.