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Weekly Trivia Challenge: June 8-14

Here be the games of trivia where you can show off your knowledge and maybe even win some cool prizes

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Weekly Trivia Challenge: June 8-14

Postby go » Mon Jun 08, 2015 11:49 +0000

Dear Reader,
What is the best Usagi Yojimbo/ Sakai story?
What are your reasons?
Please private message your answers to me.
You may enter as many times as you wish.
Winner will receive a set of UY finger puppet cards.
You may be saying to your self, a set of UY finger puppet cards would be great for my collection...
Or you may be saying to your self, I already have a set, but I could cut these up and have fun with them...
Please send me your best answers.
My brain really got scrambled in the last few trivia contests so i hope my question will be pleasant for you to think about.
I look forward to reading your private messages about your favorite Usagi Yojimbo/ Sakai story.
Best wishes to all.
go
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Re: Weekly Trivia Challenge: June 8-14

Postby go » Wed Jun 10, 2015 14:55 +0000

Dear Reader,
Trevis Woods is the winner, so far, of this weeks trivia contest.
Best wishes to all!
go

Trevis Woods wrote:
"Grasscutter but not for the reasons most people consider a story the best of the best.
Grasscutter was my very first encounter with Usagi Yojimbo and Stan's work. I ordered it from my local shop because I had seen it on many award lists and it came highly recommended by many different outlets. I had stopped collecting and reading comics because honestly, I was board with them. I wanted a fresh start and something new, now that I was older and not in school anymore. Adult me wanted something interesting, entertaining and lasting. To be honest, I almost gave up on Usagi based on my initial encounter with Grasscutter. I flipped through the back of the trade and saw all this history and background info on the Grasscutter story and thought wow I don't have time for this and this isn't what I was expecting. But after I began reading, I understood why all the history, why all the detail and how much it impacted and drove the story. I was being challenged intelectually and I was being challenged in what I thought a comic book was supposed to be. I felt like I was reading a book that happened to be in comic form. I felt like I was watching a movie in comic form.
From that point on I have devoured every single page of every single Usagi adventure out there. I now know what a comic book is supposed to be thanks to Grasscutter, Usagi and Stan. Usagi Yojimbo is the only book I have to get every month, the only thing I will by multiple copies of in multiple forms. I had collected comics for 20 years but it only took Stan's creation a couple hours to totally erase and completely change my perspective on what this form of entertainment really is all about. That is why Grasscutter is simply the best Usagi story."
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Re: Weekly Trivia Challenge: June 8-14

Postby Lobster Johnson » Wed Jun 10, 2015 16:04 +0000

go wrote:Dear Reader,
Trevis Woods is the winner, so far, of this weeks trivia contest.
Best wishes to all!
go

Trevis Woods wrote:
"Grasscutter but not for the reasons most people consider a story the best of the best.
Grasscutter was my very first encounter with Usagi Yojimbo and Stan's work. I ordered it from my local shop because I had seen it on many award lists and it came highly recommended by many different outlets. I had stopped collecting and reading comics because honestly, I was board with them. I wanted a fresh start and something new, now that I was older and not in school anymore. Adult me wanted something interesting, entertaining and lasting. To be honest, I almost gave up on Usagi based on my initial encounter with Grasscutter. I flipped through the back of the trade and saw all this history and background info on the Grasscutter story and thought wow I don't have time for this and this isn't what I was expecting. But after I began reading, I understood why all the history, why all the detail and how much it impacted and drove the story. I was being challenged intelectually and I was being challenged in what I thought a comic book was supposed to be. I felt like I was reading a book that happened to be in comic form. I felt like I was watching a movie in comic form.
From that point on I have devoured every single page of every single Usagi adventure out there. I now know what a comic book is supposed to be thanks to Grasscutter, Usagi and Stan. Usagi Yojimbo is the only book I have to get every month, the only thing I will by multiple copies of in multiple forms. I had collected comics for 20 years but it only took Stan's creation a couple hours to totally erase and completely change my perspective on what this form of entertainment really is all about. That is why Grasscutter is simply the best Usagi story."

Wow. That is a very good answer! :D
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Re: Weekly Trivia Challenge: June 8-14

Postby go » Wed Jun 10, 2015 17:56 +0000

Dear Readers,
Maka is now in the running!
Best wishes to all!
go

Maka wrote:
"What is the best Usagi Yojimbo/ Sakai story?

For me, I love "The Kite Story."

What are your reasons?

It starts with a history lesson: A wise lord created Tako-Kichi Matsure (Kite-Crazy Festival) as a way to make a solid embankment (by 1000s of feet trampling on it) for the new irrigation canal he had built for the people. And to give them a well-earned holiday. With those few words and pictures of a few kites, we have this rich story about the wisdom and goodness of a Japanese lord taking care of his people.

Then Stan goes into details of how to this village made kites from scratch. When I was a child my dad made a kite with me using the bamboo in our backyard. We didn't make our own paper, but I remember him cutting the bamboo thinly, tying it together (we use the typical diamond shape) and gluing the rice paper to the kite. Finally the tail was added. So while I was reading Stan's version, I triggered these positive memories of a nice time with my father when I was a child. All the details illustrated with Stan's great line work and composition was so entertaining. I was reading it and thinking, I'm enjoying this so much. It's not a fight scene but it is so cool to see some Japanese crafts explained with such pride and respect for the skills and commitment involved (i.e. "It is now deep winter and my hands and body scream out against the cold but it is said an artist like myself must suffer for his craft. 'Sigh').

This is four stories in one (The Kite Maker's Tale, The Gambler's tale, The Ronin's Tale, and The Kite Maker's Tale II). Each tells a their story from their perspective. You see the various conflicts brewing, and they all come together and they resolve in very satisfying ways. Usagi gets to fly on a giant kite, for goodness sakes!

The humor in Usagi is one of my favorite parts of Stan's skilled story-telling. For example, the gorilla gambler throws a gorilla size rock at Usagi while the others throw stones. It's only in two panels, and Stan doesn't explain it with words or by drawing much attention to it. It doesn't add anything important to the story, but visually, it's so funny. It's surprising and unexpected and yet, once you see it, it's clever and you think, "Of course a gorilla would have a boulder!"

I love the ending. The 3rd chapter ended with all was lost (The kite contest is lost to the kite maker; Usagi is lost: flown away [on a GIANT KITE] to the unknown). The fourth chapter (only two pages long) we learn the kite's bones survived (a nod to the quality and skill of the kite maker) and Usagi too. The kite maker "contemplates" his work the bones for a while and then turns away. "I have work to do. Next year I will have an odako that is bigger, grander, more beautiful than anyone has ever seen. Next year."

The whole story is so rich (I haven't even talked about the art - cloth patterns, bamboo forest camera shots/angles, the movement of characters, shadows and light, the long shot of the town with its irrigation canal shown, the making of the kite montage, etc.) with four different stories that come together beautifully. How did Stan fit so many stories in one issue? Masterful storytelling.

The Japanese-American identity beams with pride of the celebration of the skill and talent of kite making. I love the use of Japanese words and implied culture. But Stan does it in a way that you don't have to be Japanese to appreciate the story. The Japanese culture adds to the story but it is not a comic teaching a history lesson. It is a story about a man who wants to create something beautiful and succeeds then fails and then starts again. Life is random and rarely do we get what we want. But the kite maker knows he will make next year his year.

That is why I love The Kite Story.

After I read Kite Story (from a trade paperback at Hawaiian Library), I started collecting Usagi comics. Then I discovered http://www.usagiyojimbo.com and met all you cool people here, including Stan. It is so nice to share our fandom, try to help people get the collectables they want (and have you all help me too), meet people at conventions, and the behind the scenes of Usagi/Stan. Being able to work with many of you on gifts for Stan & Sharon was one of the most meaningful things I've done for someone I'm not related to. You all are great people. It started with me reading this story. Thanks go. This was fun to take the time to explain my choice. You are awesome. Peace, maka"
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Re: Weekly Trivia Challenge: June 8-14

Postby go » Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:22 +0000

Dear Reader,
Trevis Woods is the winner of our Usagi Yojimbo Weekly Trivia Challenge: June 8-14.
Congratulations!
Trevis, please pm your snail mail address to me so i can send you your prize / cards.
I believe this also puts Trevis in our monthly drawing.
Trevis, you are now responsible for our next Usagi Yojimbo Weekly Trivia Challenge....
Thank you very much to those who participated.
Best wishes to all.
go
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Re: Weekly Trivia Challenge: June 8-14

Postby Maka » Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:14 +0000

Congratulations Travis!

And thanks, Go! I enjoyed your trivia challenge. Peace, maka
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