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Change to miniseries format?

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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Change to miniseries format?

Postby Angilasman » Fri Dec 15, 2017 17:34 +0000

Looking at the March solicitations and had quite a surprise: instead of issue #166 we have:

Usagi Yojimbo: The Hidden #1 (of 7)
Stan Sakai (W/A/Cover)
On sale Mar 21
b&w, 28 pages • $3.99 • Miniseries
- A new story begins here!
- On his way to see Inspector Ishida, Usagi is confronted by Shogunate guards . . . a sign of the times. While unraveling a pair of murders in town later, Usagi and Ishida become wary as they find the corpses stripped of all identification—except for a talisman that leads to a startling discovery!
- Part one of seven—the perfect place to start!


https://www.cbr.com/dark-horse-comics-m ... citations/

I have a few theories (my number one is that it'll be like Hellboy now: the numbering will continue on the inside but they'll be solicited and labeled by their story titles) but I neglect to post a rambling screed postulating the how and why when we can just have an answer from Stan.
:lol:
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Re: Change to miniseries format?

Postby jabba359 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 17:57 +0000

I believe the suggestion came from Dark Horse, but I might be remembering incorrectly. Part of the reasoning behind the mini-series format is that for new readers, seeing issue #175 or whatever is intimidating and suggests they can't just jump in and need to read the previous 174 issues, which probably stops a lot of new readers from giving the book a try. With the mini-series format, the barrier to entry for new readers is much lower. Having a new #1 issue every four to eight issues or so gives new readers plenty of opportunity to jump in.

The plan is to keep the numbering on the inside cover just like Hellboy, so you can still see the overall issue count.

I do wonder what this will do to the ability to tell single issue stories or stories that only run two or three issues. Will they all need to be larger story arcs?
-Kyle
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Re: Change to miniseries format?

Postby Angilasman » Fri Dec 15, 2017 18:22 +0000

jabba359 wrote:I believe the suggestion came from Dark Horse, but I might be remembering incorrectly. Part of the reasoning behind the mini-series format is that for new readers, seeing issue #175 or whatever is intimidating and suggests they can't just jump in and need to read the previous 174 issues, which probably stops a lot of new readers from giving the book a try. With the mini-series format, the barrier to entry for new readers is much lower. Having a new #1 issue every four to eight issues or so gives new readers plenty of opportunity to jump in.

The plan is to keep the numbering on the inside cover just like Hellboy, so you can still see the overall issue count.

I do wonder what this will do to the ability to tell single issue stories or stories that only run two or three issues. Will they all need to be larger story arcs?


Wow! Prompt response.

Now, in the case of Hellboy, miniseries and one-shots existed side by side: Seed of Destruction #1-4 were issues #1-4, Wolves of Saint August was issue #5, The Corpse and the Iron Shoes was issue #6, Wake the Devil #1-5 were issues #7-11, and so on. To most folks these were just minis and one-shots, but fans could keep track of the numbering. I certainly hope that'll be the case here, as I wouldn't want one or two issue stories to go away.
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Re: Change to miniseries format?

Postby jabba359 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 18:30 +0000

I think the change is a good one, especially as seeing that Usagi isn't heavily reliant upon knowing the mythology and characters to understand the subsequent stories. While you certainly gain some extra richness by knowing their previous stories and interactions, it's not like LOST where if you miss an episode, then you have no idea what's going on.

I'll admit that I will miss the regular numbering on the cover, but if it helps increase sales and gain new readership, then I'm all for it.
-Kyle
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Re: Change to miniseries format?

Postby Maka » Fri Dec 15, 2017 18:43 +0000

jabba359 wrote:II'll admit that I will miss the regular numbering on the cover, but if it helps increase sales and gain new readership, then I'm all for it.


Well said. That is my opinion too. Peace, maka
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Re: Change to miniseries format?

Postby Stan Sakai » Fri Dec 15, 2017 18:44 +0000

That is exactly correct and the reasoning behind DH wanting to go to the mini-series formats. However, the regular numbering will continue in the indicia. Not only does the indicia show the regular DH numbering, but it also shows the number of issues beginning with the Fantagraphics run. Such as, the January issue is DH #165, but it is also issue #231 in the overall Usagi Yojimbo story.

I still plan to do single and shorter issue storylines as I have done in the past. However, they will probably be numbered as part of a mini-series. For example: a 7-issue mini-series titled "Maka's Mangled Variant" may contain three separate story arc, but only one story detailing the epic of Maka's run-over-by-a-mack-truck Usagi action figure.

jabba359 wrote:I believe the suggestion came from Dark Horse, but I might be remembering incorrectly. Part of the reasoning behind the mini-series format is that for new readers, seeing issue #175 or whatever is intimidating and suggests they can't just jump in and need to read the previous 174 issues, which probably stops a lot of new readers from giving the book a try. With the mini-series format, the barrier to entry for new readers is much lower. Having a new #1 issue every four to eight issues or so gives new readers plenty of opportunity to jump in.

The plan is to keep the numbering on the inside cover just like Hellboy, so you can still see the overall issue count.

I do wonder what this will do to the ability to tell single issue stories or stories that only run two or three issues. Will they all need to be larger story arcs?
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Re: Change to miniseries format?

Postby jabba359 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 18:53 +0000

Thanks for the reply. I do have to disagree on one point, however. The tale of Maka's Mangled Variant deserves a whole 12-issue run. There's certainly way too much story there to fit into a single issue. Unless you're Sergio. Then you can cram way more stuff on every page. :mrgreen:
-Kyle
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Re: Change to miniseries format?

Postby Gaffey » Fri Dec 15, 2017 19:31 +0000

jabba359 wrote:it's not like LOST where if you miss an episode, then you have no idea what's going on.
Um, I watched the entire series and still had no idea what was going on. :)
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Re: Change to miniseries format?

Postby Angilasman » Fri Dec 15, 2017 20:43 +0000

Stan Sakai wrote:I still plan to do single and shorter issue storylines as I have done in the past. However, they will probably be numbered as part of a mini-series. For example: a 7-issue mini-series titled "Maka's Mangled Variant" may contain three separate story arc, but only one story detailing the epic of Maka's run-over-by-a-mack-truck Usagi action figure.


So the mini-series label may be more like pre-labeling the what these issues will be called in the trade collection than actually saying "this is all one 7 issue story," eh?
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Re: Change to miniseries format?

Postby Maka » Fri Dec 15, 2017 21:26 +0000

Stan Sakai wrote: For example: a 7-issue mini-series titled "Maka's Mangled Variant" may contain three separate story arc, but only one story detailing the epic of Maka's run-over-by-a-mack-truck Usagi action figure.


Stan, you have my permission to use this plot line. ;) :lol:

Peace, Maka
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Re: Change to miniseries format?

Postby Robert Kassebaum » Fri Dec 15, 2017 23:17 +0000

Not sure what to think about this. The 7-issue mini-series described below may contain three separate arcs. All I have to do is wait for the last arc -- since all the arcs must be its own story (mini-story within mini-story). I could be wrong, but I fear we may be on the verge of Cliffs Notes Usagi.

Stan Sakai wrote:I still plan to do single and shorter issue storylines as I have done in the past. However, they will probably be numbered as part of a mini-series. For example: a 7-issue mini-series titled "Maka's Mangled Variant" may contain three separate story arc, but only one story detailing the epic of Maka's run-over-by-a-mack-truck Usagi action figure.
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Re: Change to miniseries format?

Postby Stan Sakai » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:49 +0000

Nothing changes for me, though, in the way I write and present my stories. The only things that are changing are the numbering on the covers and the solicitations. One thing may change for me--I've got to think of the titles of story arc way ahead of time, which means planning out my stories farther in advance. Sometimes I don't know what the very next issue will be, but now I've got to think out about 7 issues at a time.

The next story arc, The Hidden, is an entire 7-part story and is the most "detective" of the Inspector Ishida mysteries so far. After this, Usagi will go out on the road again.

Robert Kassebaum wrote:Not sure what to think about this. The 7-issue mini-series described below may contain three separate arcs. All I have to do is wait for the last arc -- since all the arcs must be its own story (mini-story within mini-story). I could be wrong, but I fear we may be on the verge of Cliffs Notes Usagi.

Stan Sakai wrote:I still plan to do single and shorter issue storylines as I have done in the past. However, they will probably be numbered as part of a mini-series. For example: a 7-issue mini-series titled "Maka's Mangled Variant" may contain three separate story arc, but only one story detailing the epic of Maka's run-over-by-a-mack-truck Usagi action figure.
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Re: Change to miniseries format?

Postby jabba359 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 13:28 +0000

Stan Sakai wrote:The next story arc, The Hidden, is an entire 7-part story and is the most "detective" of the Inspector Ishida mysteries so far. After this, Usagi will go out on the road again.


I hope he runs into Gen! It's been a while since we've seen him.
-Kyle
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Re: Change to miniseries format?

Postby Smileybonex » Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:37 +0000

I'm waiting for a Jotoro reunion. It's been nearly 90 issues (barring Senso) and is a meeting I am desperate for!
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Re: Change to miniseries format?

Postby Maka » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:40 +0000

At some point I would [like] to find out more about Sakura and her mysterious brother’s fate. Peace, Maka
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