Even the most talented and prolific cartoonists can hit hard times.

Case in point: Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai is in need of some financial help after his wife, Sharon, who has suffered from a debilitating illness for quite a while now, had a long stay in the hospital. Sharon's back home now, but she needs 24-hour in-home care and several costly medications. The Cartoon Art Professional Society, a group of comics creators, has organized an effort to help.

Comic creators who wish to contribute original art to a benefit auction led by CAPS Vice President Tone Rodriguez should fill out this form and send it to the address listed or call 310-365-8457 (the number on the form is incorrect).

The organization was also accepting donations, which Sakai fans and supporters could contribute to directly. It isn't currently working, but we'll update once it is.

In its nearly 30 years of publication, Usagi Yojimbo has been a shining example of an independent comic created and published following a single creator's vision. Sakai's influence on decades of creators can't be overstated, and his commitment to Usagi Yojimbo and his other works, such as the soon-to-be-recollected The Adventures of Nilson Groundthumper and Hermy, is unique in any industry.