Stan Sakai is one of the living legends of comic books, and it's a legend that he built on top of a samurai rabbit. Sakai got his start in the industry as a letterer for Groo the Wanderer before creating Usagi Yojimbo in 1984. For over 30 years, Sakai has chronicled Usagi's adventures in an alternate version of Japan's history. Usagi has also been known to team up with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which may be where many fans first saw him.
SYFY WIRE recently had a chance to film Sakai as he drew a Usagi Yojimbo pinup as he explained some of his comic book background, going into detail about why he still prefers traditional artwork over digital. Even when it comes to lettering, Sakai likes to keep it old-school. Sakai also demonstrated the high level of forethought that he puts into his pieces by mixing up the background weather and coming up with his own versions of pets and wild animals in a world where anthropomorphic creatures walk the Earth.
Sakai also spoke about the samurai films that inspired him to create his own comics, while also touching upon the design and function of Usagi's costume. According to Sakai, he conducts extensive research to get the details right about Japanese history, including feudal Japanese architecture. "Good research only enhances a story," said Sakai. He also shared a story about a time when he made a mistake about a game played by Usagi, and how he was able to ultimately correct it.
For more intel and artistry from Sakai, you can watch the full video below!