Here is a big bit of news that seems to have slipped by a lot of people – Stan Sakai is bringing Usagi Yojimbo from Dark Horse Comics to IDW Publishing in June.
“I’m delighted to work with IDW Publishing on the new Usagi Yojimbo color series. IDW is a creative company that brings a lot of energy, enthusiasm, and excitement to the table. The IDW family includes many beloved characters, including (of course) the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so it is a natural fit,” says Stan Sakai. “Fans, please look forward to this coming June as we’ll be releasing IDW Usagi Yojimbo #1, action-packed and now fully colored.”
There are a couple of things to note about this announcement; first, the new IDW series will be all color, and second, IDW Publishing will also curate a full-colored graphic novel library of the complete 35 year run of Sakai’s series.
Written and illustrated by Stan Sakai for over thirty years and published in over fourteen countries, Usagi Yojimbo is set in a unique world based on 17th century Japan. Miyamoto Usagi, who once served as the personal bodyguard for a Japanese warlord, now traverses this unique world – a landscape populated by ghosts, dinosaurs, monsters, and warriors of all kinds – as a ronin. In his many exciting adventures, the swordsrabbit hones his skills, saves villages, and often finds himself navigating the delicate affairs of national/political significance.
Obviously, IDW Publishing is excited about this.
“We’re all ecstatic to have Stan Sakai and Usagi join the IDW family,” says IDW President & Publisher/Chief Creative Officer Chris Ryall. “Usagi Yojimbo has been one of the most consistently wonderful comic-book series for decades now, a bright spot in publishing matched only by the consummate skill and professionalism its creator Stan brings to everything he does. It’s a thrill to not only be able to publish new Usagi comics but also present them all in an all-new, vibrantly colored way.”
With the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Usagi Yojimbo both at IDW Publishing, one also has to wonder how long it will before the two team up in the comics once again.
This is definitely a big deal for IDW Publishing, and is yet another big hit for Dark Horse Comics, which has had its library of titles slowly taken away over the years.