Robot 6

Stan Sakai drew a comic in 1991 explaining how to make a comic

[Update: Thank you to Ryan Estrada for pointing out Stan Sakai’s Facebook comments about this post. By way of clarification, these pages were already posted in their entirety on the Tumblr account credited at the bottom of the post. I didn’t scan them myself, but it was still thoughtless not to contact Mr. Sakai and ask before sharing them here. I regret not doing that and apologize.]

The January 1991 issue of Amazing Heroes (Issue 187) included this cool eight-page comic by Stan Sakai on his process in producing Usagi Yojimbo. There was also an accompanying interview with gems like this: “I’m not really that into manga. It’s funny: whenever I go to conventions around the country I’m always put on a manga panel, I guess because I’m Japanese and Usagi’s about Japan. But I know almost nothing about manga. So I just say my two cents’ worth and keep quiet the rest of the panel.”

Twenty years later, it’s still an insightful (and delightful) read. Check out a couple of the pages below; Vingt Et Un has the rest.



These are great! Stan is the real deal. I am a sucker for stuff like this. Thanks for posting it!

This is also in the oversized Art of Usagi Yojimbo by Dark Horse. If you can track it down, it has a bunch of other cool stuff never collected before – 1st watercolor story (origin of Usagi’s scar), some great pinups by other artists, early sketches. It’s really an amazing collection for an amazing artist!

Yeah, this was fun but I’m suffering a massive amount of Usagi withdrawal. I know Stan’s supposed to be working on some new project but I needs my Usagi fix.

From Stan himself on Facebook….
Robot 6 posted my step-by-step look at how I create comics. I don’t know how to feel about them posting an entire “story”, but it’s been reprinted at least 3 times and the originals were displayed in my exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum last year so they were photographed many times, so if Robot 6 asked I probably would have no objection. However, it would have been nice to be asked.

I expanded this to 12 pages soon after it was originally printed. For all you trivia lovers out there–the drawings on the wall in the first panel were really drawn by Sergio Aragones, Henry Mayo, and Scott Shaw.

I still pretty much work this way. The newest Usagi Yojimbo Sketchbook (#9) has another look at my process, including a new 6-page story. They are available through Stuart Ng Books.

Really? I had assumed you needed permission to do this. That’s a pretty shitty thing to do, Robot 6.

This needs to come down and Robot 6 needs to apologize.

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