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Will Usagi still be famous in five years from now?

General discussion about Usagi Yojimbo, the comics, the stories, the characters, collectibles, TV appearances, Stan Sakai, Space Usagi, Nilson & Hermy, and all other related topics.

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Will Usagi still be famous in five years from now?

Postby goandal » Thu Oct 27, 2005 15:16 +0000

Hi all,

Just my thoughts, but Usagi was hot during the late eighties to mid ninties and there's still a following.

Besides the comic series, I am longing for a anime featured film so the new generation will appreciate UY.

How can Usagi stay immortal in our comic book eyes?
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Re: Will Usagi still be famous in five years from now?

Postby cynlee » Thu Oct 27, 2005 16:38 +0000

goandal wrote:Hi all,

Just my thoughts, but Usagi was hot during the late eighties to mid ninties and there's still a following.

Besides the comic series, I am longing for a anime featured film so the new generation will appreciate UY.

How can Usagi stay immortal in our comic book eyes?


Well, by exposing the "new generation" to the comics, that shouldn't be a problem. I have unearthed all my old Usagi comics that I bought new as well as used back in the 80's and through the 90's and took them to school with me last year with my new version and old version TMNTs, Groos, and a few others. The group last year was impressed, but this year's class is even more interested. And when I showed them the Turtle episode where Leo goes to Usagi's world, the entire room got excited, and clapped before Usagi even appeared. The people who animate the show did a nice job copying Stan's style, and my kids recognized it right away. When Usagi appeared, they were even more excited. They would love to see a series as well, but the comics are their daily contact, and they read and reread them.
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Postby Stan Sakai » Thu Oct 27, 2005 17:16 +0000

I hope Usagi is around for a long time.

I did a presentation for some 5-8th graders yesterday. This is book fair week and a local book store brought in books, including Usagi. They sold more than 200 UY trades--and I signed them all.
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Postby shaxper » Thu Oct 27, 2005 21:26 +0000

That's fantastic!

Usagi has a very unique style that I believe will continue to appeal to mulitple generations as the years go on. The balance between sparseness and detail, simplicity and complexity, historical fact and imaginative fancy, action and serenity, and humor and seriousness, is rare and continually well done. Look at all the major independent titles/characters of the 1980s. Of them all, only Usagi has managed to maintain a consistant, non-critical following. Cerebus and TMNT should have been so deserving. Maybe Groo would have made it if the title were still being published regularly.
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Postby Steve Hubbell » Thu Oct 27, 2005 22:43 +0000

I think Usagi Yojimbo is going to be one of those rare comics that will maintain it's popularity for as long as it's creator continues to produce it.

There are two reasons for this belief. The first is the fact that Usagi Yojimbo is, and always has been, an "all-ages" comic. The characters and stories appeal to both kids and adults, and teenagers as well.

The second reason is Stan Sakai's continuing artistic skills and creativeness, as well as his high standards, professional dedication, and never ending research into the culture he describes.

I don't think it hurts, either, that there apparently is a resurgence in "samurai" popularity in recent years, due to anime and manga becoming more popular and also to recent films such a Last Samurai, Zatoichi, Twilight Samurai, etc.

Just my two pennies worth.

Abayo...
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Postby chickrockguitar » Fri Oct 28, 2005 2:48 +0000

I too, think Usagi will be around for a long time to come, as others have said, its an "all ages" comic, everyone can relate to something from Usagi's world. The historical facts are always constant, provides kids with knowledge of that era, and keeps their parents happy too.

But the main reason I think Usagi will be around for years to come, is the fact that the stories are always fresh and the art is always fantastic!

It does help the series, that TMNTs creators are including Usagi in their show. It helps to promote our Samurai Bunny, and gets non-fans to ask the question "who's he?". And of course, once they find out, they're hocked!
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Postby ai no ahodori » Fri Oct 28, 2005 4:36 +0000

I think the phrase 'timeless genius' sums up Usagi pretty well, so yes, he will still be famous in 5 years time.

:D
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Postby hakucho » Fri Oct 28, 2005 7:12 +0000

I hope so too :) Usagi Yojimbo is a brilliant series and I pray that it will still be loved!
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Postby Fanfan » Fri Oct 28, 2005 10:08 +0000

steve wrote :
There are two reasons for this belief. The first is the fact that Usagi Yojimbo is, and always has been, an "all-ages" comic. The characters and stories appeal to both kids and adults, and teenagers as well.


and we can see it with publication in other countries where Usagi is "new" and is well received.
Moreover i truly believe Stan as a wonderful stroke of a pencil, and Usagi has kept his aura with aggrandizement and shrinkage (both in french edition) it is rare and need to be mentioned.

and with all we have said, we can add that perhaps Stan did make an atemporal artwork...
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Postby estee » Fri Oct 28, 2005 13:52 +0000

I think it would take a big change to the story for Usagi to jump the shark. Something like Usagi suddenly changes into a human....or aliens attack the Geisu province...or Stan decides to reduce the samurai population to only 198, now that is truly lame. :lol:
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Postby chickrockguitar » Fri Oct 28, 2005 13:55 +0000

estee wrote:...or Stan decides to reduce the samurai population to only 198, now that is truly lame. :lol:


LMAO! I just had to laugh at that reference! - I do agree however :D
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Postby Steve Hubbell » Fri Oct 28, 2005 16:24 +0000

estee wrote:I think it would take a big change to the story for Usagi to jump the shark. Something like Usagi suddenly changes into a human....or aliens attack the Geisu province...or Stan decides to reduce the samurai population to only 198, now that is truly lame. :lol:


Don't go talkin' about Usagi "Jumpin' the Shark" if Aliens invade because Stan has mentioned a possible story-line which crosses Feudal Japan with War of the Worlds. Seriously! 8)

Anyways, I have always disliked the expression "Jumpin' the Shark" ever since I first read it. It is even worse than people going around saying "My bad!" Then again, maybe not.

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Postby estee » Fri Oct 28, 2005 16:51 +0000

We are all slaves to pop culture. :wink:
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Postby Maka » Sat Oct 29, 2005 7:35 +0000

Steve Hubbell wrote:I think Usagi Yojimbo is going to be one of those rare comics that will maintain it's popularity for as long as it's creator continues to produce it.


I agree. As long as the monthly comic is on the shelf, new readers will have the opportunity to pick it up, get engaged and get tell their friends.

But once the monthly comic stops because Mr. Sakai retires or dies (don't do this any time soon please) I think interest naturally drop. Mr. Sakai says in so many words that he will be only creator of UY comic. To me that means that UY will never be a franchise like Superman (I'm not saying that is a bad thing).

Because Mr. Sakai has created such a wealth of promotional items outside of comic books, UY will always have a small, but impressive collectors market.

As long as we keep on lending/giving our friends our well read UY comics and graphic novels new fans can be introduced.

Peace,

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Postby shaxper » Sun Oct 30, 2005 5:17 +0000

Put simply, if Stan loves creating Usagi and we love reading Usagi, the only variable is a publishing medium. Usagi is doing well for Dark Horse but, if that ever changes, I'm sure Stan will have no trouble finding another place to take Usagi. So long as that's true, Usagi will be around for a long time to come!

In the worst case scenerio, Stan could xerox and number copies out of his own home and sell them to us by mail for $40 an issue in order to provide himself with an income :D
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