Wednesday, December 9, 2009

How long, Usagi Yojimbo, how long?

For some time now I've been interested in picking up Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo comic book series. It's one of the most remarkable independent comic book in terms of its longevity, having lasted for more than twenty-five years. My friend Texcap has repeatedly sung the book's praise over on his blog and I've sampled a pair of issues which confirmed it was definitely to my liking.

However, because Usagi has been around for so long I thought I should catch up with his past first. I began looking at the collections of the series, but it was difficult finding a decent set of the volumes printed by Fantagraphics, Usagi's original publisher (I also realized it would be a little pricey, even in trades).

Fortune seemed to smile upon me when Usagi Yojimbo: the Special Edition was announced. This tome would collect all of the Fantagraphics comics. From there, it would be simple to buy all of the Dark Horse (Usagi's current publisher) volumes until I was up to speed. I placed an Amazon order for the Special Edition last spring; the book was due to be published in May.

I'm still waiting.

Around May, Amazon altered its expected publication date, moving it to December. Sigh. All right, so I had to wait. Now December is here...and Amazon has reestimated its publication date as September, 2010???

The forces of the universe seem to be conspiring against me (to say nothing of the rabbit ronin).


usagigoya said...

Stan Sakai announced at the 2009 Comic Con International: San Diego that the Usagi Yojimbo Special Edition had been post-poned until Fall 2010, primarily to give the publisher more time to work on the packaging and bonus material. Unfortunately, Amazon is not always informed (fully or accurately) of publishing schedule changes.

For anyone interested in keep up on the current status of almost all things relating to Usagi Yojimbo or his creator Stan Sakai, visit the Usagi Yojimbo Dojo at


Usagi Yojimbo is very reader friendly and all but a couple of the 23 volumes in the series of trade paperbaks are easily readable as stand alone books and do not need to be read in sequence to be enjoyed.

Michael Hoskin said...

Thank you for the information Steve!

On the one hand, I suppose I could pick up the first Dark Horse volume and get along fine; on the other hand, I could probably wait another year to start reading Usagi and still enjoy it tremendously.