"The Art of Stan Sakai: Celebrating 25 Years of Usagi Yojimbo" will begin its run at the Cartoon Art Museum starting late February 2009.
The story of a samurai rabbit, taking place in the beginning of Edo period Feudal Japan (17th Century), Usagi Yojimbo weaves a tapestry of interrelated narratives that dart in and out of classic Japanese mythology.
Sometimes integrating legends of persons of god-like with those of lesser status, while other times regaling readers with the intricacies of common jealousy, Usagi Yojimbo is a long, beautifully structured social experience, whose anthropomorphic characters enhance the existence of these myths, legends, and tales from afar.
Figuring out how Usagi himself fits into these towering story arcs Japanese folklore is sometimes a puzzle in and of itself until the comic manages to wind its way through marvelous visuals of period-specific architecture, clothing, pottery, and much more. Reasons for the durability and staunch intrepidness of the character Usagi, and of the comic Usagi Yojimbo, can perhaps be mentioned in the same breath. First appearing in comics by Stan Sakai in 1984, Usagi Yojimbo is a frenetic historical narrative that delights in tugging at cleverly positioned folkloric subplots like marionette strings.
The Cartoon Art Museum recently wrapped up an impressive exhibit centered on Henry Selick's stop-motion feature presentation Coraline [recent A.I. news: "The Art of 'Coraline' Exhibit in San Francisco"]. Starting February 27th, 2009 according to previously published notes, and continuing through Independence Day weekend, the museum will feature 60 original artwork items from Stan Sakai regarding his ongoing comic Usagi Yojimbo. The exhibit will reportedly sport artwork that covers all twenty-five years of the samurai rabbit's existence, from early pencil sketches to completed story pages, cover artwork, and even watercolor paintings.
on The Cartoon Art Museum: The Cartoon Art Museum (www.CartoonArt.org) is the only museum in the western United States dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of cartoon art in all its forms. This institution houses 6,000 original pieces in its permanent collection.