Usagi and Me
I like comics. That probably comes as no surprise to anyone reading this. I’ve read them since I was a kid, collected them since I was a teen, and have drawn them semi- and fully professionally for more than 30 years. I’ve got box loads of comics in plastic sleeves, and bookcases full of comic collections all over my home. I’ve got prints and original art on my walls, patches and stickers on my belongings, and files of digital images on my computers. They range from mid-20th-century comic strips to silver-age comic books to collections of 21st-century webcomics, and vary in subject from biography to history to fantasy and sci-fi. I have A LOT of comics! But if a crazed super-villain ever told me that I could only ever read one title for the rest of my life, I could make that call in a split second without any hesitation or doubt . . .
. . . Usagi Yojimbo!
Stan Sakai’s brilliant anthropomorphic tale of a 16th-century Japan as seen through the eyes of a wandering masterless samurai is, in my opinion, a nearly perfect thing.
I first discovered Usagi Yojimbo in 1985 with the second ever tale—a back-up story in issue #3 of Albedo Anthropomorphics—and I don’t think I’ve missed an issue or appearance since. I’ve bought every issue, from series published by three different companies, plus every collected volume . . . in both hardcover and paperback.
I think it’s safe to say that I own just about every Usagi Yojimbo story . . . and I own at least three printings of most of them.
So it should surprise no one that as a 50th birthday present, I treated myself to the hardcover version The Usagi Yojimbo Saga, vol. 1, which collects three of the previous books into an omnibus edition. More than 600 pages of comics that I now own in the FOURTH time . . . and I couldn’t be happier.