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Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition Hardcover – Deluxe Edition, May 29, 2009

14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Teenagers will easily succumb to Sakai’s clever brand of visual humor.” (Booklist)

Usagi represents a unique fusion of East and West, combining traditional samurai virtues with the flamboyance of Kurosawa’s heroes and the understated authority of a Hollywood frontier marshal.” (The Los Angeles Times)

Usaji Yojimbo is one of the most original, innovative and well-executed comic books anywhere to be found.” (Stan Lee, co-creator of Spider-Man, Iron Man, and the X-Men)

About the Author

Stan Sakai is a third-generation Japanese American and multiple Eisner-Award-winning cartoonist, creator of the popular and long-running Usagi Yojimbo comic book. (Usagi Yojimbo is a recurring "guest star" in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle universe.) Born in Japan, he grew up in Hawaii and lives in Pasadena, CA.
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Product Details

  • Series: Usagi Yojimbo
  • Hardcover: 1200 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books; Slp Spl edition (May 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160699154X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606991541
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 3.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #395,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Ratty on December 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The stories contained in this set get five stars easily. Stan Sakai's Ronin Rabbit has been thrilling readers for over 25 years now with masterful storytelling and terrific artwork. And these early adventures will delight fans of fiction set in feudal Japan, anthropomorphic animals, or just the art of comics in general.
With this in mind I have decided to limit the review below to the physical package of the book and its extras only.

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Let me start by saying this is an extremely handsome set. The slipcase features beautiful examples of Sakai's artwork, the cover to the magazine "Anything Goes" #6 on the right side and the cover of "The Dragon Below Conspiracy"/UY vol #4 (both covers are also reprinted within) on the left respectively. The slipcase is thick and sturdy as are the covers for both of the volumes it contains. The binding on the set is glued rather than sewn (I suppose that would have raised the price past the hundred mark?) I can't imagine this being a problem for a copy that is reasonably taken care of though. Anyone familiar with their "Complete Peanuts" reprint series knows that Fantagraphics does not skimp on the materials in their prestige/special edition books and this set is no exception.

All of the pages are glossy and the print is clear though the pages do run to the thin side (to keep the package compact I suppose) so sometimes you will see lines from the next page. I find this to be a bit distracting and it's probably the biggest flaw in the set.
It's almost a little jarring to go from seeing these comics in their original newsprint to being this clearly and slickly reproduced. But it is without doubt a welcome sight, and Sakai's work certainly deserves it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Evan R. Cassity on December 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful box set. Split into two thick oversized hardcovers, the first seven volumes of the Usagi Yojimbo story are collected here in a sturdy, gorgeous full-color slipcase. The complete Fantagraphics series (volume 1) of Usagi, including the TMNT crossovers, is included as well as Usagi's appearances in Albedo Anthropomorphics and Critters. Special, exclusive content includes introductions by Stan Sakai and Stan Lee, an interview with Stan Sakai, and a wonderful cover gallery.

Hardcore Usagi fans will have read these stories over and over. I welcomed the chance to relive them in this format, instead of pulling out my singles or TPBs. The art is as fresh as ever, printed perfectly on glossy paper and clear as can be. I will not spend time reviewing the story content, as this is a set designed specifically for fans and collectors, of which there are many.

I have read that Fantagraphics only plans on this first print run. If that is the case, and given the ferocity with which some Usagi fans collect the hardcover collections, I would expect this set to become scarce in the future. Get it while you can! If you had any worries about its quality, rest assured, it is worth every penny and manufactured to the highest standards.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Scott on December 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have just flipped through these books a couple of times and so far they're great books. Its two hard cover books with a hard cover slipcase containing the first seven volumes of Usagi Yojimbo by Fantagraphics also Origins of Usagi which is the earliest character sketches and never-used story pages, an extensive full-color Usagi cover gallery, both TMNT crossovers comics, an in-depth interview with Stan Sakai form 1995 and an introduction by Stan Lee. Like I said earlier I have only flipped through the books but binding seems really good and size and color are very well done. All the story's are in black and white and the cover gallery is in color. For the price its very worth it and now I can get rid of all my soft covers. I say if your a fan this is for you, you wont be disappointed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. Petersen on February 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had only read volume 1 prior to purchasing this special edition. I thoroughly enjoyed the first volume, but it was still quite a gamble to commit to such an expenditure. I was not disappointed. I have yet to finish the second book, finding myself cherishing each page. For someone just getting into Usagi, this is a great purchase.

I was a big Groo fan growing up, so I figured I had to check out Stan Sakai's comic. It was much better than I expected. He is a master storyteller and artist. Great purchase.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By romevi VINE VOICE on October 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I first began my experience with Usagi it was with the Turtles, as I'm sure it was for many Turtle fans growing up in the `80s and `90s. The rabbit bodyguard appeared suddenly in a Turtles cartoon, and left just the same.

Many years later I recalled that rabbit after spotting him on a cover of an issue at a local comic shop, and decided to read from the beginning.

My first review noted my letdown, but I was prompted with follow-ups that I should continue reading. That, indeed, the beginning was very choppy; Sakai was getting his grounding, and dipping lightly into the pools of his creativity.

Many of the first stories are silly and disparate in overall plot. This box set collects all of the issues pre-Dark Horse, so everything from Mirage and Fantagraphics.

Nevertheless, it begins his more serious journeys, whereas the Dark Horse era really sets Usagi in its own level of respect.

The box set is beautiful and worth every penny. The covers show the cover for the trade paperback of The Dragon Bellow Conspiracy (I'm working off my memory here, so forgive me if I mistitle the name), as well as one of the earlier comics. You get two hardcover books in the slipcase, and each volume is numbered one and two by spheres.

It's slightly larger than the trade paperbacks, which is great. These scans lose no distortion.

A remarkable set and the definitive version to own and read the comics before Sakai's transition to Dark Horse Comics.
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