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Monday, April 23, 2007

Usagi Yojimbo #27 [1991] (Random Comics Theatre)

Random Comics Theatre

Usagi Yojimbo #27 [1991]

This was one of the first issues of USAGI that I bought. The cover, of Usagi fighting an octopus, is still one of my favourites.

The lead story this issue is the 20-page "My Lord's Daughter", by Stan Sakai, of course. A bit of a departure from the standard Usagi story, this one has Usagi recounting an adventure where he fought hordes of demons, a shark and an octopus.

I love that little octopus variation of the usual Sakai death-skull thought balloon.

The escapades continue with a giant insect and then a demon in a quest to rescue a princess, after which we find out that this was all a story that Usagi was telling to entertain some kids. And he promises them another tale of his encounter with the "cheese-dip wanderer". Still waiting for that...

They had some extra pages this issue, so the back of the book has two pages of background on the story, including the original AMAZING HEROES swimsuit pin-up that inspired the story, a one-page plot outline including some character sketches (one not actually used in this story and the other greatly changed by the final story) and five pages of thumbnails, including an encounter with a kappa which didn't make the final story. A nice backstage look.

As usual for the Fantagraphics run of USAGI, there's a funny animal backup story in here, the 5-page "The Food of the Gods" featuring Mel White's Coyote. Pretty decent humorous fantasy story with a clever ending. The only other story by White I know is another Coyote story in CRITTERS #38.

And that's not all! There's also a 4-page letter column, with several pieces of great fan art, including a Usagi/Groo/TMNT sword fight.

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