Monday, July 28, 2008

Usagi Drawing

Got a request for a drawing of Usagi Yojimbo and Gen the Bounty Hunter. I forgot to scan the final version before mailing it off (stupid me!), but here are the pencils. Rest assured that Gen was suitable bumpy.

Though I've said it here before, I hope that anyone out there unfamiliar with the Usagi Yojimbo series pick it up ASAP. Chances are decent that your local library has at least one book (there are twenty-two), and you can always get issues at your local comic shop. With the rare story-arc exception, most Usagi issues can stand alone as incredibly well-told, self-contained stories... a trait that most comics fail at (and, whether they are aiming for an overarching narrative or not, if a comic isn't a satisfying read giving you at least a story within a story with each installment, then it IS failing at its job).

Sorry for the rant. I just see so many people (understandable when it's kids who don't know better, disappointing when it's pros) who will put out issues in which nothing at all happens. Pure exposition. Some action must be conceived of and followed through to an emotionally satisfactory conclusion (even if that conclusion is failure) with each installment of a narrative. If folks can't do that, they should hold off releasing the material until the entire narrative is completed. Serialized novels a la Dickens or Dumas had the good sense to have mini-stories that created a longer narrative, not two or three chapters of character development. There's nothing wrong with thoise chapters, provided that they're released as part of an entire book and NOT individually.

Anyway, the point is that Sakai is a master of the short-form narrative, creating a nuanced, overarching epic while simultaneously giving us great short story after great short story. Would but all comics be this good.

Also, went to Florida! Pictures likely forthcoming.


Chad! said...

wow...Chris I really love this. I'm bummed we can't get a look at the finished piece!

Chad! said...

Chris! I love this! I'm so bummed we won't be get to see the finished piece.