This was a real treat. I’ve never been all that hooked on Usagi, but I do find myself dipping into his books every now and then, and the fact that this was a colorised edition was a striking sight to see. The background punched alive with such a rich hue and scale that you could feel the feudal times come alive before your eyes. Not an easy thing to do with a period piece, and certainly an awesome sight considering that character is usually presented in black and white.
The book was laid out in a nice, short and to-the-point series of adventures. It traced the idea and life of a Ronin, masterless but still full of dignity and style, serene yet quick to act. This was a nice touch recognised by anyone who has seen a Kurosawa movie, or even’ The Man with No Name’ series of Dollar movies. The first story reflects the stature of a man such as Usagi and the second casts a more playful eye over the man himself. Its in the third and fourth however where you see him in the historical perspective; he lingers in his past while trying to stay close to his present, all the while keeping a watchful eye on the fast approaching future.
It was the fourth story, ‘The Artist’ that we see his skill and resolve being tested and met, all the while being measured by his contemporaries. It is a lovely comic to look at way before you start to read it. Get lost in a different time and place, spend time in an ancient culture.
The writer of this piece was: Stanley Stu-Brick