Stan Sakai appears at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA on Saturday, May 11, 2013 from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm! RSVP on Facebook!
Usagi Yojimbo comic series creator Stan Sakai and video-game company HappyGiant talk about the award-winning comic, new video game, and their creative processes.
*FREE tickets available, while supplies last, on the day of the event at 10 am, in person only, at any MFA ticket desk. Please note capacity is limited.
The MFA has partnered with comic book creator Stan Sakai and video game company HappyGiant (in association with Dark Horse Comics) to develop in-game content for a special free version of its new video game based on the comic book Usagi Yojimbo: Way of the Ronin. It is the first video game in 25 years featuring characters from the award-winning Usagi Yojimbo (“Rabbit Bodyguard”) comic book series, an epic saga about a masterless samurai (ronin) rabbit living at the turn of 17th-century Japan. Players who visit the MFA’s exhibition “Samurai!” gain access to a special passcode that will allow them to unlock a special level of the game.
About Stan Sakai:
Stan Sakai was born in Japan and, after spending much of his life in Hawaii, is currently based in Pasadena, California. In 1984, he created the saga of Usagi Yojimbo, a comic book inspired by the life of the famous 17th-century samurai, Miyamoto Musashi. Usagi Yojimbo has earned four Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, a National Cartoonists Society Award, an American Library Association Award, and a Parent’s Choice Award. Usagi lives without a master during an age of unrest and political intrigue, wandering the land on a musha shugyo (warrior’s pilgrimage) and occasionally selling his services as a bodyguard. His stories include many references to Japanese history and folklore, and the architecture, clothes, weapons, and other objects are faithfully drawn to Edo period (1603–1867) style. Usagi Yojimbo is heavily influenced by Japanese cinema and has included references to the work of Akira Kurosawa (the title of the series is derived from Kurosawa’s 1960 film Yojimbo) and to icons of popular Japanese cinema such as Lone Wolf and Cub, Zatoichi, and Godzilla.
Video-game creator HappyGiant, a Massachusetts-based company, was founded by veterans of the George Lucas Companies, Pileated Pictures, and Atari. HappyGiant projects include high-profile work for Hasbro, Jay-Z, and its own app Dolphin Paradise: Wild Friends.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Avenue of the Arts
465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115-5523
HappyGiant, in association with Dark Horse Comics, announce “Usagi Yojimbo: Way of The Ronin”, a game now available for iPhones and iPads, and coming soon to Android devices and desktop PC’s (www.usagiyojimbogame.com).
In conjunction with the release of the game, Dark Horse Comics is announcing the first new Usagi Yojimbo collection after a year hiatus working on 47 Ronin. The first new book will be Usagi Yojimbo: A Town Called Hell, which will see release on July 17.
Usagi Yojimbo is the beloved character and world created by award winning author and illustrator Stan Sakai, following the tales of a ronin (masterless samurai), set in feudal Japan. This is the first video game based on the property in over 25 years and will introduce the epic series to a new generation of fans.
“It’s been far too long since the last Usagi game, and I am so excited to be working with HappyGiant to bring Usagi and his friends back to these new platforms,” said Stan Sakai, “The game turned out great!”
“Happy Giant is thrilled to be working with Stan Sakai and Dark Horse to bring Usagi Yojimbo to the mobile and gaming worlds”, said Michael Levine, CEO of HappyGiant. “This is one of the most treasured properties in the comics world, and we are proud to be adapting it as a game for fans, and for a new generation of fans who will discover it for the first time. This is a real labor of love.”
The title is a “2D side-scrolling hack-and-slash game”, done in the comic’s art style, and in the vein of the old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade game, to which Usagi is often linked, as the characters have appeared in each other’s comics and TV series over the years. The game features over 60 different enemies, over 13 boss monsters and several of Usagi’s friends who fight along his side as companions.