Usagi Yojimbo #129

Usagi Yojimbo #129

It’s an unfortunate problem for a high-quality, long-running comic series — readers start taking it for granted. It’s always there, and it’s easy to overlook when chasing the latest buzz book or crazy crossover. For example, I’d forgotten how enjoyable — and well-done — these tales of a samurai rabbit are.

Usagi Yojimbo #129 opens with Usagi entering a town. His reputation clearly proceeds him, as villagers react to him, although he hadn’t been there before. It seems another samurai, already in place, bears a grudge and has been looking for Usagi.

The anticipation creates palpable suspense. I had to stop myself from reading too quickly to find out what was going to happen, when and how the two would finally encounter each other. I didn’t want to rush through, because I would deprive myself of enjoying the lovely art. Sakai makes all the animal heads invisible, turning the cast from cartoons into characters, with their own motivations and reactions. And the twists were unexpected — whenever I thought I knew what would happen, Sakai went a bit of a different way. It’s beautiful work, a simple, classic story told well. (The publisher provided an online review copy.)

11 Responses to “Usagi Yojimbo #129”

  1. Ralf Haring Says:

    It’s very disappointing that Dark Horse is letting this series get *so* far behind on collections. The last one is v23 which collects through #102. That’s just agonizingly glacial.

  2. James Schee Says:

    I have never read any of this, I want to though. Just did a google and see some of the older trades/collections are out of print. Do see that Fantagraphics has a sort of Omnibus coming out in October though. Hmm…

  3. Johanna Says:

    I can see why this would be a difficult series to keep in collection — there aren’t a lot of distinct storyline points, I think, and it’s easy to mistake one for another.

  4. MikeM Says:

    I believe all of the Usagi trades are now in print again. Darkhorse and Fantagraphics have both come out with new print runs of their books.

  5. Sebastian Says:

    BTW: what is the current word on how fixed that new October date is for the Fantagraphics Omnibus? After all, that thing was first solicited in June 2009 and has been delayed ever since, IIRC. Still have my preorder running, though.

  6. James Schee Says:

    Amazon’s saying October 12.

  7. Kumar Says:

    Is this a stand-alone issue?

  8. Johanna Says:

    Yes, #129 is a single story, although I think the character in it has appeared before.

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