Stan Sakai and Mike Richardson appear at the Portland Art Museum on Saturday, November 2, 2013 from noon till 3:00 PM!
The Rabbit Samurai in Portland: Stan Sakai on Usagi Yojimbo
Comic artist Stan Sakai, creator of Usagi Yojimbo, visits the Portland Art Museum to talk about his award-winning series and to share insights on his drawing techniques in a live demonstration. In 1984, Sakai created the beloved saga of the “rabbit samurai” Usagi Yojimbo, a character inspired by the life of the famous 17th-century samurai Miyamoto Musashi. 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. Sakai’s stories and drawings include faithful references to Edo period (1603-1867) Japanese history and folklore, architecture, armor, and weapons. Usagi Yojimbo is also heavily influenced by Japanese cinema and includes references to the work of Akira Kurosawa (the title of the series is derived from Kurosawa’s 1961 filmYojimbo) and to icons of popular Japanese cinema such as Lone Wolf and Cub, Zatoichi, and Godzilla. Stan is the recipient of a Parents’ Choice Award, an Inkpot Award, an American Library Association Award, a Harvey Award, four Spanish Haxtur Awards, and several Eisner Awards. In 2003, he won the prestigious National Cartoonists Society Award in the Comic Book Division, and in 2011 Stan received the Cultural Ambassador Award from the Japanese American National Museum.
The Lure of the Samurai: A conversation with Stan Sakai and Mike Richardson
Two legendary figures in the comic art world, Stan Sakai and Mike Richardson, come together to talk about their passion for all things samurai. Why is the figure of the samurai such an enduring subject in the popular imagination, especially for comic artists and readers? Mike Richardson is the founder and president of Portland-based Dark Horse Comics. He and artist Stan Sakai recently collaborated on the short series 47 Ronin, among the best-known tales in Japanese history. The legend of the 47 Ronin and their epic mission to avenge their disgraced master epitomizes the samurai code of honor and has been endlessly interpreted throughout the ages. Learn more about how Richardson and Sakai brought their creative energies together for this critically acclaimed series.
Stan Sakai will sign copies of his books at 1:00pm and will be joined by Mike Richardson at 2:30pm following their conversation. Bring your own copies or visit the Museum Shop to purchase selected titles.
Download free Usagi Yojimbo video game
In conjunction with Samurai!, the Museum is pleased to present a special free version of Usagi Yojimbo: Way of the Ronin, a new video game based on the comic book. It is the first video game in 25 years featuring characters from the award-winning Usagi Yojimbo comic-book series by Stan Sakai. Players who visit Samurai! Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collectiongain access to a special passcode that will allow them to unlock a special level of the game. The video game was developed by Happy Giant in association with Dark Horse Comics. Developed exclusively for Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Licensed with permission.
Tickets $20, free for museum members. Ticket includes entry to both the noon and 1:30 talks, as well as admission to Samurai!and other Museum exhibitions. Purchase advance tickets online. This event is a partnership between the Museum and Dark Horse Comics.
Portland Art Museum
1219 SW Park Avenue Portland, OR 97205
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
Tickets for signings at the Dark Horse booth (#819) will be distributed from the opening of WonderCon on Friday, March 29. Please note that lines may be capped or tickets issued for any signing as needed. Inquire about your favorite signings as early as possible. Some restrictions apply. All events are subject to change.
FRIDAY, MARCH 29
12:00 p.m. BEANWORLD signing with creator Larry Marder
Free Beanworld action figures and sketch cards
2:00 p.m. CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT signing with writer Josh Williamson
Free 11” x 17” print featuring art by Felipe Massafera
3:00 p.m. AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER signing with writer Gene Yang
Free 5.5” x 8.5” print featuring art by Gurihiru
5:00 p.m. STAR WARS: DAWN OF THE JEDI signing with inker Dan Parsons
Free Dawn of the Jedi #1 while supplies last
6:00 p.m. USAGI YOJIMBO/47 RONIN signing with creator Stan Sakai
Free 47 Ronin #1
Check out the Usagi Yojimbo: Way of the Ronin iOS game
SATURDAY, MARCH 30
10:00 a.m. HUSBANDS signing with cocreators Jane Espenson and Brad Bell
Free 5.5” x 8.5” print featuring art by Ron Chan
11:00 a.m. NUMBER 13 signing with artist/writer Robert Love and writer David Walker
Free Number 13 comic
12:00 p.m. AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER signing with writer Gene Yang
Free 5.5” x 8.5” print featuring art by Gurihiru
1:00 p.m. X signing with artist Eric Nguyen
Free 11” x 17” print featuring art by Eric Nguyen
2:00 p.m. BUFFYVERSE signing with artist Georges Jeanty, writer Andrew Chambliss (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and writer Christos Gage (Angel & Faith)
Free Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 and Angel & Faith comics, Angel and Spike buttons, and Whedonverse wristbands
3:00 p.m. STAR WARS signing with artist Carlos D’Anda and colorist Gabe Eltaeb
Free 5.5” x 8.5” print featuring art by Carlos D’Anda and Gabe Eltaeb from the upcoming Star Wars #4 issue
4:30 p.m. MIND MGMT signing with creator Matt Kindt
Free 11” x 17” MIND MGMT print
SUNDAY, MARCH 31
10:00 a.m. THE ART OF REMEMBER ME signing with DONTNOD art director Aleksi Briclot, DONTNOD creative director Jean-Max Moris, and Capcom producer Mat Hart
Free 11” x 17” The Art of Remember Me print
12:00 p.m. STAR WARS: DARK TIMES signing with writer Randy Stradley
Free Star Wars: Dark Times—Fire Carrier #1
1:00 p.m. THE LAST OF US signing with Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckmann
Free 11” x 17” print featuring art by Julián Totino Tedesco from the upcoming comic The Last of Us: American Dreams
3:30 p.m. STAR WARS: LEGACY VOLUME II signing with writer/artist Gabriel Hardman and writer Corinna Bechko
TICKETED EVENT * Limit five comics per person
FRIDAY, MARCH 29
12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m. Avatar: The Search for Zuko’s Mom, Room 208AB
SATURDAY, MARCH 30
1:30 p.m.–3:00 p.m. Comics Arts Conference Session: Focus on Matt Kindt, Room 210BCD
6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. Buffy Season 9: The Final Arc! Room 207BCD
SUNDAY, MARCH 31
1:00 p.m. Spotlight on Jane Espenson with Brad Bell, Room 207
2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. Star Wars Comics in 2013! Room 207 BCD
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.