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Comic Review: Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 29: Two Hundred Jizo
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Maximus Prime   |  
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Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 29
Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 29: Two Hundred Jizo
Written and Illustrated by Stan Sakai
Cover by Stan Sakai
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: June 10, 2015
Cover Price: $17.99

Once again I am in awe of Stan Sakai‘s brilliance in storytelling. Usagi Yojimbo: Two Hundred Jizo is another example of the amazing gift that Sakai has for adding new and exciting elements to his long running series, while remaining true to the heart of the titular character and his journey. In the 29th volume, the ronin rabbit continues his travels through Edo period Japan, and in what becomes a common thread throughout all of the collected stories, encounters lovers and creators of art and those who would do them harm.

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The GoD List: Comics For March 18, 2015
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Henchman21   |  @   |  
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The GoD List Banner

Each and every week, I, “iZombie!” Henchman 21 and “youZombie!” Empress Eve read a lot of comics. Seriously you guys, a lot of comics. Maybe too many comics. I mean, it is possible… theoretically. Naturally, we look forward to some more than others. I mean, who doesn’t? So, let’s take a look into the depths of our pull lists, grab some comics, and we’ll let YOU know what the top books to look forward to are for the week of March 18, 2015. Single issues and trades, they’re all here.

I hope you’re all not too hungover from St. Patrick’s Day festivities because the world of comics does not stop just because you tied one on last night. So get yourself some hair of the dog, and get to the store where you can look forward to picking up so many books with rabbit samurai, mad scientists, and athletes. So get a move on because the perfect cure for a rough night is The GoD List!

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The GoD List: Comics For October 15, 2014
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Henchman21   |  @   |  
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The GoD List Banner

Each and every week, I, “Where’s my ‘Atlantis Attacks’ movie?!?!” Henchman 21 and “Coming 2023!” Empress Eve read a lot of comics. Seriously you guys, a lot of comics. Maybe too many comics. I mean, it is possible… theoretically. Naturally, we look forward to some more than others. I mean, who doesn’t? So, let’s take a look into the depths of our pull lists, grab some comics, and we’ll let YOU know what the top books to look forward to are for the week of October 15, 2014. Single issues and trades, they’re all here.

After a couple of insanely busy weeks, we’ve got a chance to take a bit of a breather this week and take a look at some smaller books out this week that you may be passing up, but that you shouldn’t. I use “smaller” figuratively, as some of the books on the list this week are quite thick, and I don’t know what to tell you, but I like big books and I cannot lie. You other brothers can’t deny. And even though some knuckleheads are trying to diss, these are the books on my GoD List!

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Animated Short: ‘Usagi Yojimbo: The Last Request’
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Maximus Prime   |  
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Usagi Yojimbo The Last Request Film Header

Usagi Yojimbo: The Last Request is a seven minute animated/stop-motion film featuring Stan Sakai‘s anthropomorphic wandering ronin rabbit. The short, created by Lintika Films, was presented to Sakai in hopes that Usagi‘s creator would offer Lintika Films the film rights. Well, their hard work paid off! Sakai gave his blessing and it would now seem that The Last Request is simply a precursor to something grander.

Usagi Yojimbo is arguably one of the greatest and most beloved comic book series of all time, eloquently examining many facets of human nature. It’s clear that Lintika Films has taken great care with Sakai’s material and truly wishes to make a quality product. Let’s hope that a feature film will soon come to fruition.

Check out Usagi Yojimbo: The Last Request below!

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Comic Review: Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 28: Red Scorpion
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Maximus Prime   |  
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Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 28: Red Scorpion review header

Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 28: Red Scorpion
Written and Illustrated by Stan Sakai
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: July 2, 2014
Cover Price: $17.99

Usagi Yojimbo: Red Scorpion is the 28th and latest volume of Stan Sakai’s series about an anthropomorphic samurai rabbit in feudal Japan. The first installment since the summer of 2013, Red Scorpion is an epic treat that showcases the titular character’s compassion for the downtrodden and desire for justice.

The ronin known as Usagi Yojimbo roams the countryside with no particular destination in mind. Along his journey he meets a selfless drum maker who, in order to benefit the farmers in his town, makes a wish to the gods for rain. The man believes that if he creates a drum large enough, with the greatest sound, the gods will hear his cry and end the drought that has ravaged the land; however, the drummaker has a problem: the Red Scorpion Gang.

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Dark Horse Comics’ ‘The Sakai Project’ To Benefit Stan Sakai
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Henchman21   |  @   |  
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The Sakai Project banner

Dark Horse Comics has long been the home of Stan Sakai’s classic series Usagi Yojimbo, but with Stan and his wife Sharon falling on a bit of hard times over the last few months, the publisher has made plans to give back to one of comic’s greatest creators.

Out on July 23, 2014, The Sakai Project brings together some of comics greatest creators to pay honor to Sakai. The line-up of creators is quite vast, but has to be seen to be believed.

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Comic Review: Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 27: A Town Called Hell
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Maximus Prime   |  
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Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 27: A Town Called HellUsagi Yojimbo, Vol. 27
A Town Called Hell
Created and Written by Stan Sakai
Illustrated by Stan Sakai
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: July 3, 2013
Cover Price: $16.99

I took a break from reading Usagi Yojimbo for some time, having other series that I wanted to focus on; however, I began to miss the superb swordplay of the samurai without a master. Recently I was able to cover the 27th and latest volume from Stan Sakai for Geeks of Doom, and I was quickly reminded of why Miyamoto Usagi is such a thrilling and brilliant character. Engrossed once again within the world of the wandering Ronin, Usagi Yojimbo: A Town Called Hell introduces new allies and reveals old enemies while producing what every other volume has equally been known for: fun yet thought-provoking material.

In “A Town Called Hell,” Usagi encounters a village ransacked by two warring gangs. The citizens have scattered, many leaving with all of their belongings strapped to their backs, as their homes aren’t even safe anymore. As Usagi immerses himself within the drama of both factions, he quickly learns that trusting power-hungry individuals will always come with a price; and as he continues on his wandering journey throughout other short stories in this collection, it would seem an impossibility to escape Hell.

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Comic Review: Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 26
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Spartacus!   |  
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Dark Horse Comics: Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 26Usagi Yojimbo, Vol. 26: Traitors of The Earth
Created Written and Illustrated by Stan Sakai
Introduction by Walter Simonson
Editor Diana Schutz
Assistant Editor: Brendan Wright
Design & Digital Production: Cary Grazzini
Publisher: Mike Richardson
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: June 27, 2012
Cover Price: $16.99

Well, that’s it. Zombies have officially taken over. First that Walking Dead Stuff, then the Marvel Zombies. Before I knew it they were skulking about the bridge of the USS Enterprise and then that Blackest Night thing, but if they can make it all the way into the pages of Usagi Yojimbo then where else is there to go? Eightball?

Seriously, though, for better or for worse, in spite of the kick-ass cover, the living dead have not infected Stan Sakai‘s Talking-Animals/Feudal-Era-Japan, his samurai rabbit heroes’ morals do not get tested when he has to decide to hack off the head of a bitten loved one; in fact, it takes up a relatively small portion of this volume. As anyone who’s been following this book for years will tell you, anything goes here. Usagi Yojimbo Volume 26 has zombies, hidden fortresses, assassination plots, dudes getting stabbed to death, water spirits, former allys seeking vengece, and an evil wizard that reminded me of a Skeksie from the Dark Crystal. So, yeah, it’s not just ‘Usagi Fights The Zombies’ here. But, by the way, it is there. And it’s awesome.

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Comic Review: Usagi Yojimbo #144
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Spartacus!   |  
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Usagi Yojimbo #144Usagi Yojimbo #144
Created, Written and Illustrated by Stan Sakai
Cover Colors by Tom Luth
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: February 29, 2012
Cover Price: $3.50

Last month, in my review of Usagi Yojimbo #143, I ended by saying that I predict that the next issue would have plenty of action. If I knew then what I know now I would have replaced ‘action’ with ‘violence.’ Usagi Yojimbo #144 is a violent, violent comic.

In the last issue, the ronin rabbit came into a new town and befriended Mitsui, an old, hardworking soy sauce brewer whose warehouse was being threatened by the local competition. Well, surprise, the thugs have returned in this issue. One of Mitusis’ staff is killed and Usagi sets out with an ineffectual sheriff to arrest the men responsible. They resist arrest. Swords are unsheathed.

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Comic Review: Usagi Yojimbo #143
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Spartacus!   |  
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Usagi Yojimbo 143Usagi Yojimbo #143
Created, Written and Illustrated by Stan Sakai
Cover Colors by Stan Luth
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: January 25, 2012
Cover Price: $3.50

For going on 25 years Stan Sakai‘s Usagi Yojimbo has been taking its anthropomorphized rabbit Samurai protagonist on adventure after adventure through Edo-era Japan while maintaining a steady rhythm of excellence in both storytelling and cartooning. Usagi Yojimbo #143 is no exception.

We find our hero in a new town and quickly embroidered in a new exploit defending the poor and defenseless against the powerful and bullying. It’s pretty standard fare for many samurai stories, or westerns for that matter. Sakai, of course, makes it worth our while with his richly detailed recreation of feudal Japan. When he sets the plot aside for a number of pages to take us on tour of a soy sauce brewery, showing us the process from soy bean to fermentation, it’s not tangential, it’s part of the fun.

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