the sakai project

One of my favorite comics growing up was USAGI YOJIMBO. Its creator Stan Sakai is humble, hardworking, and perhaps the kindest person I’ve met in this industry. His wife has been suffering serious health issues, so an art auction fundraiser has been organized to aid the family with medical expenses.

Here’s my tribute – crafted this snowbound weekend in Portland. The inspiration was 1) the unrequited romance of Usagi & Mariko from the earliest 1987 issues of the book, along with 2) the tradition of Ukiyo-e woodblock prints (specifically “Two ladies conversing in the snow” & “A village in the snow” by Hiroshige), and finally 3) the snow-dappled tree framed by my studio window as the neighbor kids sled down their front yard.

To learn more about the fundraiser and the other artists involved, please check out the Cartoon Art Professional Society’s Paypal.
The work will also be colored by the amazing Dave Stewart and see print in THE SAKAI PROJECT book to be published by Dark Horse and Bongo Comics (July 23rd release).




8 thoughts on “the sakai project

  1. Awesome tribute to a wonderful comic. And I love the way you so neatly describe the influences and inspirations for the piece. Just one question – what does the second portion of kanji say? The top portion is obviously Usagi Yojimbo, but I have no idea what the rest of it says….

  2. Hi Craig,
    Amazing artwork! I was gobsmacked when I saw this today and went straight to buy a few Usagi Yojimbo comics, and really looking forward to the Sakai Project when it comes out in the summer.

    Come to London soon!

    Amanda x

    Ps. I love this blog and read it alot on my very boring tube journeys into work!

  3. The “seal” says Usagi, and I think it´s the artist´s chinese zodiac sign as well, which would make this entry even more meaningful. In fact this piece is so magical -for so many reasons- I will consider 9 feb valentine´s day from now on.

  4. ” 3) the snow-dappled tree framed by my studio window as the neighbor kids sled down their front yard.”

    is that mAsterChief , from HALO,as a Kid?

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