riddler13: (Tomoe Ame as a kid)
[personal profile] riddler13
One character I didn't profile in previous Usagi Yojimbo posts is actually quite a fan favourite - blind masseur pig Zato-Ino. Based upon Zatoichi, a fictional character in a series of films and a television show, he is sort of this universe's Daredevil. His uncanny sense of smell compensates for his lack of eyesight.

He was introduced in a short 10-page story in Critters #7, January 1987, which can also be found in Fantagraphics' first Usagi Yojimbo book, "The Ronin".



Only 3 and 1/3 pages below )

Ino was used a lot in the Fantagraphics run (1984-1993), then not so much in the Mirage run (1993-1996), when he was retired by Stan with a beautiful story, and has been absent from the Dark Horse 20+ years run. He still remains a favourite for lots of Usagi fans, including several names in the comic book industry.
cyberghostface: (Two-Face)
[personal profile] cyberghostface
 As you may may have seen, a number of my EC posts over the last couple of years have been in black and white. I've been using pages from Fantagraphic's "EC Comics Library" which are in effect artist-based collections in black and white. You can view them on Comixology here.

Conversely, Dark Horse has been putting out their own series of EC reprints. These versions are digitally recolored and are published in chronological order. There are some here.

I will probably continue to use Fantagraphics' versions for the time being just because I already have them in my collection but I was wondering which versions you would prefer to see if I was able to pick from both.
riddler13: (Default)
[personal profile] riddler13
They say a hero is only as good as his villains, and Usagi has had his fair share of adversaries. From forgettable "gang boss of the week" to memorable ones like General Fujii, there has always been an antagonist to keep him busy during his wanderings.

His most noteworthy enemy, however, is Jei, the psychopathic killer who calls himself the "Blade of the Gods". The best way to describe him would be "self-deluded body-hopping Jason Voorhees (Jei-san is a pun and an homage to Friday 13th) meets the Joker". He kills mercilessly and gleefully anyone his Gods deem "evil". Problem is, that is pretty much everyone (although I've never seen him kill a child), and he considers Usagi the ultimate evil - his endgame is to kill Usagi and become "one with the Gods".



Read more... )

Jei is a very versatile villain. He can be used in one-shots, he can be the big baddie in an arc, he can be that ever-looming menace. He was used as the antagonist in both recent TMNT/Usagi crossovers (TV and comics) and, in both cases, they used his first incarnation (Jizonobu).

His origin and Hama's possession were collected in Book 24: Return of the Black Soul and Usagi Yojimbo Saga Book 6.

Next profile: Chizu the cat ninja.


riddler13: (gennosuke)
[personal profile] riddler13
And now I'll focus on my favourite Usagi Yojimbo character: Murakami Gennosuke, a.k.a. Gen, the rhino bounty hunter!

Gen is a gruff, cantankerous mercenary who will always put money before honour. He has a penchant for shortcuts that always get him, or whoever is foolish enough to take his advice (usually Usagi) in trouble. He is a glutton who enjoys his saké. But he is also a very competent swordsman and, (not so) deep down, someone with a very generous heart and loyal to his friends. And, no matter what Usagi might say, he is Long Ears' best friend, with most of the "buddy comedy" angle of the series stemming from their interactions.



'Would I cheat a friend?' )

Stan noticed that the rhino bounty hunter's lack of morals made a good foil to Usagi's more serious and honourable personality, so Gen came back several times since then (although he hasn't shown up lately).

Also, his horn was cut off in a fight with Zato-Ino the blind swordspig, who I plan to profile someday. The complete horn he sports while telling his origin story is a ceramic prosthetic which is broken in the course of the story.

To end: Gen's inspiration is Toshiro Mifune in the film "Yojimbo"

Next: Kitsuné, the flirty fox thief!
riddler13: (Default)
[personal profile] riddler13
Continuing with my ongoing series of Usagi Yojimbo character profiles (Usagi and Tomoe so far), we now turn to another essential character in the series: Jotaro.

He is a young samurai-in-training who hails from the same village as Usagi, and is being trained by our rabbit ronin's former teacher, Katsuichi. Jotaro has met his "Uncle Usagi" several times, whenever Long Ears went to visit his birthplace. After Katsuichi-sensei is challenged to a duel by an old adversary and has to leave the mountains (I really want to post this storyline in the future) with his students Shunji and Jotaro, the young rabbit meets Usagi and gets to spend some time with our main character.

But there's more to Jotaro than meets the eye. And that is what Tomoe will find out in the story "Kill the Geishu Lord".



My most spoilerrific post so far )

That's it for Jotaro. Stay tuned for the next profile; my favourite character by far. The persimmon-loving, money-grabbing, dirty cheating rhino bounty hunter with a heart of gold: Gen!
riddler13: (question)
[personal profile] riddler13
I spent most of this Saturday at Atlanta's DragonCon, which takes place here every Labor Day weekend for the past 30 days, cosplaying as The Question under the Georgia sun. A recurring guest at the DCon is Disney comic books legend Don Rosa, who is almost unknown in his native US but is a very big name in the European comics scene.

I had the pleasure to chat with Don, and told him that I though he did a good job on continuing Carl Barks' work. He quipped "I think just you and me know who Carl Barks is in this room, kid".

While I'm sure it's an exaggeration, what I do know is we don't have enough Barks or Rosa here. So I'll post a sample of a 1996 Don Rosa story that was reprinted by Fantagraphics in 2014 for Free Comic Book day, called "A Matter of Some Gravity".



And by sheer coincidence, guess the song playing on the radio )





riddler13: (Default)
[personal profile] riddler13
Before posting more adventures from our long-eared ronin, I though it best to follow [personal profile] burkeonthesly 's advice and do a "character spotlight", in order to get new readers acquainted with his colourful cast of characters, their motivations, their relation to Usagi and so on. I'll try to keep those spoiler-free and just published their official origin stories when available. If not, then I'll post a story I think best illustrates their motivations and tones.

It may seem like 'cheating', but I'd like to start with the hero of the series, Usagi. First, because obviously pretty much every story revolves around him in some way or another and, second, because it is a quick and convenient way to understand the series' setting.

Fortunately for us, Stan already laid out the fundamentals of Usagi's universe in his first 4 issues of his own comics, back in the mid-80's. Before that, 'Long-Ears', as his friend Gen calls him, was a feature in "Albedo Anthropomorphics #2" before getting his own series in 1986 with Fantagraphics.

BTW, UY's publication history runs like this: Fantagraphics #1-38 (which I call vol. 1), Mirage Studios #1-16 (I call them vol. 2) and Dark Horse #1-160 so far, with 161 and 162 ready for pre-order (I call them vol. 3 up to #38, then I simply give their number with no 'vol.' before, for simplicity's sake).



(That's a scar over his left eye, not an eyebrow).

So, let's find out more about the hero of this fascinating series - starting with his name!

20 pages of a badass lagomorph below )

Whoof, that was a lot. Hope you made it through to the end :)

This is collected on the trade paperback Samurai and also on Fantagraphics' "Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition" (which unfortunately seems to be out of print. Maybe it can be found at Amazon?).

I'm planning to do the origin stories of Tomoe Ame the cat samurai, Gen the rhino bounty-hunter, Kitsuné the fox thief, Jei "the Blade of the Gods", and a story illustrating Inspector Ishida, Jotaro (Mariko's son) and Chizu the cat ninja. I might also do one with miscellaneous characters I think are somewhat relevant to some story arcs (Sanshobo the priest, Sasuké the demon queller, Inazuma "the Lightning", Zato-Ino the blind swordspig, General Ikeda), as long as you are interested.
shirubie: (Default)
[personal profile] shirubie
In today's post, a few one or two-pages Uncle Scrooge stories, taken from Fantagraphics Books' reprint collections. I've started collecting these hardcover volumes recently and I highly recommend them.

Under the cut, we have three one-page stories by Carl Barks, and two, two-pages stories by Don Rosa. )

Sources:
"Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Old Man" By Carl Barks (Fantagraphics Books, 240 pages).
"Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck: "The Son of the Sun" - Don Rosa Library vol.1" (Fantagraphics Books, 208 pages)
mrosa: (Default)
[personal profile] mrosa
In his own way, he's the greatest comic book villain ever:

Read more... )

Six pages from Daniel Clowes' excellent satirical comic book Pussey!
causticlad: Matter-Eater Lad doing his cracky thing (Default)
[personal profile] causticlad
A fistful of Fantagraphics' Critters came out of the latest Box from the Closet thus reminding me of J.P. Morgan, who made me laugh quite a lot at the time with his Fission Chicken. I'd guess I wasn't the only one, as the character ended up getting his own series for a few issues before falling afoul (ha!) of one of Fantagraphics' periodic money crises some time around 1993.

Lo! and behold Google tells me that the Chicken of Wrath is still a going concern, running as a web comic after a hiatus that lasted until 2006. But let me introduce Morgan's creation to y'all via the very first comic to feature him (though published second, in Critters #22, February 1988). This is sort of Fission Archeopteryx, as he had a redesigned head starting from his second story (and first appearance), but on the other hand the script is more representative of the current run's humour -- the other Critters stories are, in retrospect, slowed down by some pretty heavy-handed satire.

Two pages of two:

Fission Chicken vs. The Creatures from Ineptune )
causticlad: Matter-Eater Lad doing his cracky thing (Default)
[personal profile] causticlad
Ty Templeton was in the process of breaking out from indie comics in 1988, having started on the likes of Stig's Inferno (fully readable on Templeton's web site) but getting a chance with DC with some character art for Who's Who and a short story in the New Teen Titans Annual. I came to him through his hysterical take on the Legion of Substitute Heroes ("Hmm, Stone Boy has turned into stone and can't hear us now that we need him to turn back" -- team proceeds to use Stone Boy as a battering ram to break down doors), but I was also collecting Fantagraphics' Critters. We had a nice convo about the LSH at a local comics convention and I got him to sign the story he sold to Critters just as his career was taking off, featuring bluesman Teddy Payne.



So he's a teddy bear, yeah, you got a problem with that?

One, two, check, check... )
jlroberson: (pic#492004)
[personal profile] jlroberson
Suggested tags-- creator: chris ware, title: acme novelty library, char: rusty brown, char: genre: alternative, publisher: fantagraphics
jlroberson: (pic#492004)
[personal profile] jlroberson
Note: NOT dialup friendly. Or friendly in many other ways. Suggested tags-- creator: chris ware, title: acme novelty library, char: rocket sam, char: genre: alternative, publisher: fantagraphics
jlroberson: (pic#492004)
[personal profile] jlroberson


Warning: This is safe for work, but still quite horrifying.
jlroberson: (pic#369208)
[personal profile] jlroberson
Tags-- publisher: eclipse, publisher: fantagraphics books, title: amazing heroes, year: 1985, creator: alan moore, creator: bill sienkiewicz, creator: marv wolfman, creator: george perez, creator: william messner-loebs, creator: dave sim, creator: keith giffen, creator: chris claremont, creator: howard chaykin, creator: jaime hernandez, creator: gilbert hernandez

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