Characters from 2001

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Portraits by Matt Groening of the contributing cartoonists, along with Halloween memories in their own words appeared in the back of Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror #7, September 2001.

"There is a definite hierarchy of Halloween candy, or at least there was when I was a kid. At the top were the chocolate bars, and not those bite-size things. I'm talking about the full-size ones that cost a whole nickel forty years ago. Crunch bars were my favorite, though I was also partial to a good Mounds bar every so often. Next came the bag and boxed stuff -- M&Ms, SnoCaps, and Raisinettes. Further down the list were the sticky candies -- you know, lollipops.

Of these, Dum Dums were my favorite -- butterscotch, lemon, strawberry. There was even one flavor we heard of called "blue pineapple". A buddy of mine had a cousin whose friend got one in his bag once, but no one in our group ever did. He must have been hitting the rich neighborhoods where they can afford such exotic sweets. Next were the gums -- bubble and chewing. I never was a big gum chewer, so I have no special memories of these. Then at the bottom of the bag, the stuff we would not touch until there was nothing left, were the loose candies. These were reluctantly consumed somewhere between June and September. I'm talking about sour balls, ribbon candy, paper-wrapped taffy, and, the lowest of the low, candy corn.

I never understood candy corn. No one in my group did. These we never bothered with, not even in our wildest sugar frenzy. Did someone actually thing that shaping candy as grain would make it somehow more appealing to kids (as if we needed more incentive to consume raw sugar)? Or were they trying to fool adults into believing that their candy actually had some hidden, quasi-vegetable, nutritional value? And they weren't even real corn-shaped but more of a cartoon version of what corn looks like. Today, candy corn comes bagged in little packets (no doubt to sneak into the "bagged and boxed" category of Halloween sweets). But they can't fool me."

STAN SAKAI first graced the pages of Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror a year ago with an outstanding one-page Japanese folktale...of horror FIXME Normal link instead of Editor link. However, he is best known for his creation Usagi Yojimbo, the masterless samurai who first appeared in Thoughts & Images Albedo, later in Fantagraphics Books' Critters, and is currently published by Dark Horse Comics. The entire run of Usagi Yojimbo's adventures to date have been collected by Fantagraphics Books and Dark Horse Comics, including the Eisner award-winning Grasscutter saga. Stan has also lettered Sergio Aragonés' Groo for the past seventeen years.

A "Wizard of Oz" story and art by Stan (Brainless) Sakai.
Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror #7,
September 2001

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Greg Rucka's Queen & Country as drawn by Stan Sakai
Oni Press Color Special 2001
June 2001

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A giant-size 2-page story by Stan Sakai, showing "how he does it" during a typical day in his office. Stan's older brother Ed Sakai guest-stars in the "flashback" scene. Story titled "It Begins".
Fantagraphics Books' The Comics Journal, Special Edition Winter 2002, Vol #1,
December 2001

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THE SONG OF MYKAL: Atlantis Fantasyworld 25th Anniversary Comic
issue: 1 Jun/2001 b/w comic, 32 pgs.
*Pin-up (featuring “Space” Usagi and Mykal)
Characters from 2001