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The evolution of Usagi's art style

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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The evolution of Usagi's art style

Postby OnitsukaTiger » Wed Dec 06, 2017 22:23 +0000

The art style for Usagi has evolved over the years and I was curious what people think about that. Do you have a preference between old and new? I'm trying to think back and can't recall if the change was gradual or abrupt and how long the original Usagi appearance was around for. Was it limited to the Fantagraphics era?

I've seen this kind of evolution before in other long-running comics. Calvin and Hobbes changed over time and Hellboy has definitely changed too. It's fun to see how a creator adjusts their work after they've had a significant amount of time with it.
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Re: The evolution of Usagi's art style

Postby Otter » Thu Dec 07, 2017 0:13 +0000

I definitely have a favourite style, from when I started collecting in the early 90s. My favourite arc is still the Dragon Bellow Conspiracy, and that's my favourite era of the art also.

Gotta get my hands on that full moon silkscreen one day.
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Re: The evolution of Usagi's art style

Postby Mayhem » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:36 +0000

Considering the number of original pieces I own, I may be able to Photoshop a little collage together to show some of the progression, especially between 85-90. By the early 90s, Stan appears to have pretty much settled on the look and feel that we still see today, with the odd adjustment.
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Re: The evolution of Usagi's art style

Postby OnitsukaTiger » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:24 +0000

Mayhem: that would be really interesting to see. Kind of a visual retrospective!
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Re: The evolution of Usagi's art style

Postby maichan » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:06 +0000

Oh, yeah... that'd be neat.... an Usagi through the Ages or The Evolution of Miyamoto Usagi timeline.... :D

That would make for a fun sketch too.... old school Usagi meets new school Usagi :lol:


I prefer the new Usagi, taller, leaner, a little more worn and torn. He's matured nicely.
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Re: The evolution of Usagi's art style

Postby Mayhem » Mon Dec 11, 2017 15:07 +0000

Okay, as promised, I've done a montage for the pieces I own between 1985-1991 :)

(apologies for breaking the right hand side of the forum :lol: :twisted: )
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Usagi montage.jpg
Usagi 1985-91
Usagi montage.jpg (283.14 KiB) Viewed 1790 times
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Re: The evolution of Usagi's art style

Postby Maka » Mon Dec 11, 2017 16:08 +0000

That’s awesome, Mayhem. Thanks! Peace, maka
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Re: The evolution of Usagi's art style

Postby maichan » Mon Dec 11, 2017 16:17 +0000

That's cool! Thanks Mayhem!


Now how we gonna fix that broken right side margin? :roll:
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Re: The evolution of Usagi's art style

Postby Mayhem » Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:37 +0000

As I've done it in Photoshop, I may restructure the layout, make it 2x5, add another piece, and reduce the size slightly so it fits in the available area heh. Then again, I have NO idea how it looks on other people's machines, I'm using a Macbook here with 2880 horizontal resolution! :twisted:
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Re: The evolution of Usagi's art style

Postby richarddragon » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:47 +0000

Wow, fantastic piece.

Does it end in 1990?
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Re: The evolution of Usagi's art style

Postby Mayhem » Tue Dec 12, 2017 17:40 +0000

richarddragon wrote:Does it end in 1990?

I've done up to 1990. I've got a piece from 1991, and I think one from 1992, but then nothing until 1996.
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Re: The evolution of Usagi's art style

Postby Eltanin » Thu Dec 14, 2017 16:28 +0000

Very cool!
Impressive that you have enough pieces to do a retrospective.
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Re: The evolution of Usagi's art style

Postby Mayhem » Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:21 +0000

Okay, I've updated the montage and laid it out better, so it doesn't break the right hand side. Much heh.
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