Sunday, October 27, 2013

Usagi Yojimbo: Yokai

 I'm a little behind in my reading, so I'm just now getting to this magnificent celebration of Usagi Yojimbo's 25th anniversary, originally issued in 2009 by Dark Horse Comics. USAGI YOJIMBO: YOKAI is a real treat for fans new and old.....a deluxe hardcover original graphic novel, with a gorgeous embossed, spot-varnished cover, with full-color watercolored interior art. 

 Sakai manages to make this story totally accessible to new readers, which is nothing new for him, but always amazes me. In this age of dense, impenetrable continuity that almost defies a new reader to try to gain entry, Sakai's USAGI YOJIMBO books are incredibly welcoming to neophytes.

 The story is quick and simple: Usagi is drawn into helping a woman find her missing Daughter, who has been spirited off into the woods by a Fox. Unfortunately for Usagi, it is Oborozuki-yo, the night when Demons walk the Earth, and this time, they're not content to merely scare people...they're planning to take over the world.

 Sakai populates YOKAI with all manner of Japanese Demons and spirits, and his art brings them to life wonderfully. The main story runs 56 pages, and the book is rounded out by a brief, but informative, interview with Sakai about his art techniques and the history of Usagi Yojimbo.

Highly recommended.


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