CBR chatted with Stan Sakai about Usagi Yojimbo’s 25th Anniversary recently and there’s a lot of great info. to glean for those that may be unfamiliar with the long-eared ronin, or those always ready to learn more, including his storytelling influences, his involvement with the Laird & Eastman’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the longevity of the series and a little about Yokai, his 64-page fully painted graphic novel featuring Usagi and a host of Japan’s zaniest monsters which hits shelves later this month!
Jump to the article using the link above for more info. and a lengthy 10-page preview, but in the meantime, here’s what Sakai had to say about “A Town Called Hell,” from UY #125-126:
Issues #124-125 make up the two-part story arc ‘A Town Called Hell,’ which finds Usagi journeying to a small town where two warring factions struggle for control. ‘He aligns himself with one of the factions, and on the other side there’s a really skilled swordsman,’ Sakai said. ‘But I wanted to make a twist on that; usually, the two skilled guys, Usagi and the guy, would be very antagonistic toward each other. In this instance, I had them become friends. In the end, the other guy feels that Usagi has betrayed him, and that will pick up later on. I tried to make it so it’s not your typical sort of adventure story.’
Then, in issue 126, Usagi meets a floating head yokai, or haunt, but Sakai said this story is completely separate from the ‘Usagi Yojimbo: Yokai” graphic novel shipping in November. The artist said he is quite excited for the “Yokai” graphic novel, which he described as “my most ambitious Usagi project to date.’