Before posting more adventures from our long-eared ronin, I though it best to follow 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 on 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
(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.