- Posted by Johanna on July 5, 2010 at 5:05 pm
- Category: Indy Comic Reviews
- CREDITS: by Stan Sakai
- PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics; $3.50 US
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.)