[Editorial comments in boldface text.]
Who exactly is Space Usagi?
(UY Vol 3, #2) Space Usagi is indeed the descendant of the 17th-century Usagi. In fact, the two met in a back-up story in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #47 (May 1992) [and also Space Usagi Book 1].
(Amazing Heroes #187 Interview, January 1991 FIXME Broken link) That's another descendant of Usagi. The descendants I chose are those who actually own his swords. That's the link. With Space Usagi I have a lot of fun drawing weird aliens and other worlds and things.
Why did you create Space Usagi?
(Sequential Tart Interview, Feb 2001 FIXME Broken link) Dinosaurs. I love drawing dinosaurs and I could not draw them in Usagi Yojimbo. Oh sure, there are those dinosauresque lizards running around but they're not the same. If I wanted to have Usagi meet up with dinosaurs I would either have to transport him into the far past or take him to the future and another world where these great animals still live. The latter seemed far more interesting and so Space Usagi was born. I get many requests to bring him back and I'm thinking of doing a fourth mini-series.
(Silver Bullet Comics Interview, November 2000) Space Usagi came about because I wanted to draw dinosaurs. In the first adventure, this descendant of the original Usagi crash lands on a dinosaur planet. There had even been plans for a Space Usagi TV series at one time and a 3 1/2 minute animated clip had even been produced and we were offered a time slot and everything. But, like many projects in Hollywood, it never happened.
(WWW Board May 2000) Dinosaurs. There are no real dinosaurs in Usagi Yojimbo's time and I like drawing dinos. I figured the best way to put Usagi into a dino situation was to transport him back in time or forward. I chose the latter and came up with a descendant of the original Usagi Yojimbo and in his first adventure he went to a dinosaur planet.
(Comic Culture Vol 2 #2, Dec 1994 FIXME Broken link) Oh, Space Usagi. Basically, I love little dinosaur creatures running around. And I put that in because I love dinosaurs and also those little dinosaurs in the original Usagi's time played an important role in that. I deal in funny animals. So the scavengers of today's world, such as rabbits and possums or raccoons, are potential human beings in Usagi's world. The dinosaurs play the parts of pets or scavengers. Anyway, I wanted to do more with dinosaurs so I created a line of Usagi's descendants and Space Usagi just happens to be one of them. The descendants are traced through the ownership of Usagi's original swords.
Why didn't Princess Masayo go to Tomoe's funeral?
(UY Vol 2, #8) I left Masayo out of the funeral scene because she did not have a role in the second Space Usagi mini-series and I thought for her to suddenly pop up might confuse new readers. Counselor Hodo, who made a brief appearance in the first issue, acted as the Mino clan's representative.
How did Space Usagi get his scar, (which looks exactly like Miyamoto Usagi's by the way)?
(UY Vol 3, #2) Space Usagi received his scar in a duel with a traitor to his clan in the first miniseries, "Death and Honor" [Space Usagi Book 1], from Mirage.
Where did Space Usagi stories appear besides in the trade paperback?
(WWW Board November 2000) There was a SU story that was printed in the third (I think) Usagi Yojimbo Color Special from Fantagraphics.
Mirage Publishing printed two 3-issue mini-series, "Death & Honor" and "White Star Rising" (the latter in color). Mirage also published an 8-page story in which SU met UY in an issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (I think #47).
Dark Horse published the final 3-issue story, "Warrior". Everything was printed in the collection from Dark Horse.
Do you have any plans for a new Space Usagi series?
(WWW Board November 2000) Dark Horse published the 300 page SU trade collection. There are no plans at the moment for more SU stories.
There was only one SU trade paperback. It is simply titled "Space Usagi".
Space Usagi's hat looks kind of familiar. Is that the influence of Moebius we see there?
(UY Vol 3, #3) Moebius is a man I greatly admire and respect and am influenced by. The style of Space Usagi's hat, though, was designed more out of common sense than anything else. After all; what other type of headgear could have covered those long ears of his?
Whatever happened to the pilot of Space Usagi TV series? Are there still plans to do something with it?
(Sequential Tart Interview, Feb 2001 FIXME Broken link) We could not get a toy company to finance the series. At that time, toys were an integral part of the merchandising, even more so than it is now. Space Usagi was the first creator-owned license that Turner Entertainment handled and it was the first new project Mirage Licensing had since the Turtles. We even were offered a time slot on tv. Unfortunately, toy companies had been burned badly by Bucky O'Hare many years ago and anything with a rabbit in space was considered off limits to them. A lot of time has passed and we're still getting offers to license SU as well as UY.