Usagi Yojimbo: Thieves and Spies

July 26, 2016 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , , , , )

thievesUsagi Yojimbo: Thives and Spies by Stan Sakai

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Volume 30. Outside of Discworld, I can’t think of any other series that has this kind of longevity. I know this is the only series with that many volumes where I’ve actually read them all, though. You’d think that, this far into the series, the stories would grow tiresome or repetitious, but somehow Sakai keeps his characters and their adventures fresh.

Thieves and Spies is more a collection than a graphic novel, though a big chunk of the book is a single story where Usagi joins forces with a thief and a ninja to sort out a conspiracy. It’s a good mystery, with Sakai’s trademark plotting and pacing, and the artwork (as always) matches the story perfectly. The other stories are distinctive and engaging, as one would expect from Sakai, but I found myself wanting a little more history to the stories. Previous collections have been introspective history lessons with commentary by Sakai, and I missed that context.

The character of Usagi debuted in 1984, and now that I think about it, there is another series that’s lasted as long, without waning interest: Groo the Wanderer. That title started in 1982, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Sakai also has his hands in that series; he’s the letterer. I’m just glad that Sakai has returned to his own series, as my own interest in this title will always be high.

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