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COMPLETE GRASSCUTTER - Photo review

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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COMPLETE GRASSCUTTER - Photo review

Postby maichan » Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:55 +0000

The newest Usagi Yojimbo hardcover, Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo: The Complete Grasscutter Artist Select, was released at this years San Diego Comic Con last week. I was fortunate enough to have Kyle (jaba359) pick up a copy for me. I posted a photo of the entire haul that kyle brought back for me, and Trevis Woods mentioned that he couldn't wait to see it, so I thought I'd do a short photo review of the book.

Image
20190722_055510 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr

The Complete Grasscutter is a big hefty book that comes in a nice slipcover. The book and slipcover measure over 9 inches wide by 13 inches long and 2 inches thick, and weighs in at approximately a little over 7 pounds.

There were two main versions of the book available at SDCC, one was at the dinner with Stan (that one had gold lettering on the slipcover and silver lettering on the book itself), and the standard edition that I got, which has silver lettering on the slipcover and the book. While mine looks like it might have gold lettering in the photos, that is an optical illusion due to lighting and environmental conditions. There are also some interior differences, as well as a third book option which I'm not sure that any were available at SDCC.

Let's take a look at at my copy...

The SLIP COVER. Front and back are identical. The writing on the slipcover is Kanji and reads "Kusunagi-no-Tsurugi" which more or less translates to Grasscutter (the grass cutting sword).

Image
20190722_195016 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr

Image
20190722_194905 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr

Image
20190722_194937 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr

The book and slipcover come wrapped in plastic, and there is a small promotional sheet on the backside. Even though the plastic had already been cut open so that Stan could sign my book at SDCC, in my excitement upon receiving the book I hastily removed the plastic before taking a picture of the book in wrapped condition.

Image
20190722_195038 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr
Last edited by maichan on Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:48 +0000, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: COMPLETE GRASSCUTTER - Photo review

Postby maichan » Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:19 +0000

The BOOK. Let's take a look at the book, but first we have to remove it from it's slipcover...

Image
20190728_100602 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr

Image
20190728_100638 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr

The book has a beautiful new illustration on the front of it's dustjacket, and an image of Usagi's face on the back.

Image
20190722_195133 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr

Image
20190722_195154 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr

Removing the dust jacket shows us the book which is clothbound and the writing and illustrations are all in silver.

The front, [Sakai] Usagi Yojimbo .... this simple front piece reminds me of a Kurosawa film with it's impact.

Image
20190722_195640 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr

On the spine of the book is an illustration of Grasscutter.

Image
20190722_195707 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr

On the back is Jei's menacing visage.

Image
20190722_195729 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr
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Re: COMPLETE GRASSCUTTER - Photo review

Postby maichan » Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:47 +0000

Now it's time to open the book and take a look INSIDE.

This version of Grasscutter is an Artist Select Edition. What's that mean?

Each page in an Artist's Edition series book is printed the same size as the original art board and scanned from the original art wherever possible. Additionally, while appearing to be in black and white, each page is scanned in color to show blue pencil and other corrections.


My memory fails me at the moment, and I can't find any citation, but I'm not sure if this book was done at actual size or slightly reduced, since it is smaller than Stan's previous Artist Edition books. I know I read something somewhere, but don't recall where. If someone knows, please mention it in a reply so I can update this entry.

Stan Sakai wrote:Though black and white, the art was scanned in color directly from originals (I have almost all my story pages) so you can even see that I used Mirage Publishing Bristol paper on the first series, and can see stray marks and corrections.


Stan's final artwork is so good, you'll hardly notice any blue lines or corrections.

Front end piece artwork.

Image
20190722_195218 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr

The Signature page. My book is #319 of 999

Image
20190722_195241 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr

The Title page, which Sakai Sensei graciously illustrated with a sketch.

Image
20190722_195313 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr

Here are some random interior pages.

Image
20190722_195512 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr

Image
20190727_212254 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr

Image
20190727_212334 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr

Image
20190727_212221 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr

The back end piece artwork.

Image
20190722_195756 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr
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Re: COMPLETE GRASSCUTTER - Photo review

Postby maichan » Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:52 +0000

Finally, I wanted to illustrate the difference in size between this edition the the original hardcover edition.

Image
20190728_095142 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr

Image
20190728_095205 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr

Interior comparison.

Image
20190728_095325 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr


Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo: The Complete Grasscutter Artist Select will eventually go on sale and be available directly from IDW, however no sale date has been announced yet.

If you find the opportunity to acquire this book, you won't regret it. It is well worth the addition to your library!

I hope you enjoyed this photo review, and thanks for looking!
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Re: COMPLETE GRASSCUTTER - Photo review

Postby Gaffey » Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:11 +0000

Nice! If I were you I wouldn't even go for the 50 print run. Unless you have $300 - $500 burning a hole in your pocket. That Usagi in the snow sketch is great.

Is the cloth cover like the fuzzy Hellboy Library Editions?

Would you mind taking a picture of them lying flat (from the side) so we could see the difference in thickness?
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Re: COMPLETE GRASSCUTTER - Photo review

Postby go » Sun Jul 28, 2019 13:06 +0000

Hi Maichan,
Thank you very much for sharing these great photos.
Best wishes to all.
go

ps. Does the DH Ltd edition ink look darker than the IDW edition or is it the lighting?
Last edited by go on Sun Jul 28, 2019 13:09 +0000, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: COMPLETE GRASSCUTTER - Photo review

Postby maichan » Sun Jul 28, 2019 13:08 +0000

Gaffey wrote:Nice! If I were you I wouldn't even go for the 50 print run. Unless you have $300 - $500 burning a hole in your pocket. That Usagi in the snow sketch is great.

Is the cloth cover like the fuzzy Hellboy Library Editions?

Would you mind taking a picture of them lying flat (from the side) so we could see the difference in thickness?


We're about to step out of the house for a while, but I'll add some more photos when we get back. :wink:
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Re: COMPLETE GRASSCUTTER - Photo review

Postby jabba359 » Sun Jul 28, 2019 14:41 +0000

Great review and photos. Thanks for sharing.

maichan wrote:There were two main versions of the book available at SDCC, one was at the dinner with Stan (that one had gold lettering on the slipcover and silver lettering on the book itself), and the standard edition that I got, which has silver lettering on the slipcover and the book. While mine looks like it might have gold lettering in the photos, that is an optical illusion due to lighting and environmental conditions. There are also some interior differences, as well as a third book option which I'm not sure that any were available at SDCC.


The limited run of 50 sketch versions were not available at SDCC. The dinner editions came with the plastic removed (and missing that small promotional sheet) and also don't have the signed and numbered bookplates. They do have a gold seal of sorts on an interior page with the date of the dinner. I'll grab a picture later.

maichan wrote:Now it's time to open the book and take a look INSIDE.

This version of Grasscutter is an Artist Select Edition. What's that mean?

Each page in an Artist's Edition series book is printed the same size as the original art board and scanned from the original art wherever possible. Additionally, while appearing to be in black and white, each page is scanned in color to show blue pencil and other corrections.


My memory fails me at the moment, and I can't find any citation, but I'm not sure if this book was done at actual size or slightly reduced, since it is smaller than Stan's previous Artist Edition books. I know I read something somewhere, but don't recall where. If someone knows, please mention it in a reply so I can update this entry.


While the "Artist Editions" reprint the scanned artwork in full size, the "Artist Select Editions" reprint the scanned artwork at a reduced size.
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Re: COMPLETE GRASSCUTTER - Photo review

Postby Maka » Sun Jul 28, 2019 16:09 +0000

Fantastic photo review, Maichan. Like an unboxing video of something I actually care about. ;). Great job! Thanks! Peace, maka
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Re: COMPLETE GRASSCUTTER - Photo review

Postby maichan » Sun Jul 28, 2019 21:15 +0000

Gaffey wrote:Is the cloth cover like the fuzzy Hellboy Library Editions?


The cloth is much different than the Hellboy books.

Image
20190728_124502 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr

Image
20190728_124527 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr

The slipcase has the same cloth.

Image
20190728_124718 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr

Gaffey wrote:Would you mind taking a picture of them lying flat (from the side) so we could see the difference in thickness?


Here's how they stack up to each other - Grasscutter 1 & 2 vs The Complete Grasscutter.

Image
20190728_124356 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr

Image
20190728_124431 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr


Also, I forgot to mention and it should be noted that the Complete Grasscutter has a ribbon page marker...

Image
20190723_055034 by Michael Foertsch, on Flickr
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Re: COMPLETE GRASSCUTTER - Photo review

Postby maichan » Sun Jul 28, 2019 21:17 +0000

go wrote:ps. Does the DH Ltd edition ink look darker than the IDW edition or is it the lighting?


I think it is partly the lighting, but also the fact that the IDW edition the pages are scanned in color, while the DH edition is true black and white.
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Re: COMPLETE GRASSCUTTER - Photo review

Postby Maka » Sun Jul 28, 2019 23:02 +0000

Wait, so the "complete" grasscutter includes both grasscutter and grasscutter II? Doh! I don't know why I only thought it was the first book. :oops: Sheesh! Now I'm even more excited to order mine when I get the opportunity to. Peace, maka
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Re: COMPLETE GRASSCUTTER - Photo review

Postby Chopalong Slashity » Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:35 +0000

I already have the Saga volumes covering this arc and I'm still hyped!
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Re: COMPLETE GRASSCUTTER - Photo review

Postby Gaffey » Mon Jul 29, 2019 9:51 +0000

Maka wrote:Wait, so the "complete" grasscutter includes both grasscutter and grasscutter II? Doh! I don't know why I only thought it was the first book. :oops: Sheesh! Now I'm even more excited to order mine when I get the opportunity to. Peace, maka
Ha! I also thought it was just Grasscutter. That's why I was so surprised by its size and wanted to see a side by side comparison.

Gaffey wrote:Does anyone know what book Stan is signing in this photo? It appears to have a dust jacket and a built in ribbon. It's huge!
Thanks for all the pics.
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Re: COMPLETE GRASSCUTTER - Photo review

Postby Trevis Woods » Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:32 +0000

Excellent review!
Loved it...Thank you for sharing!
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