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Charity Shouldn’t Have To Be The Only Option For Comic Creators In Need Of Medical Care

Left: Comics veteran Stan Sakai and his wife Sharon, who requires long term care not fully covered by insurance; right: Bill Mantlo, another comics luminary who requires 24-hour care beyond the scope of his insurance
Left: Comics veteran Stan Sakai and his wife Sharon, who requires long term care not fully covered by insurance; right: Bill Mantlo, another comics luminary who requires 24-hour care beyond the scope of his insurance

If you weren’t aware of it before the past few weeks, even a passing interest in the recent Internet comics community likely informed you of the medical-expense-related plight a high-profile pair of comic book creators have been experiencing . First, there was Stan Sakai, the creator of Usagi Yojimbo, in dire straits because of an extended hospital stay for his wife, Sharon. Then there’s Bill Mantlo, the co-creator of Rocket Raccoon, who was severely injured in a skating accident 22 years ago and has required full-time care ever since. (He’s been under care for two decades, but Rocket's appearance in the forthcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie has brought him back into the public eye.)

Both of these men have had to turn to donations from fans and colleagues to help with their considerable expenses, and those people have made admirable efforts to help these creative artists whose work has brightened their lives. Generosity is a good thing. But it shouldn’t have to be this way.

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‘The Sakai Project’ To Celebrate 30 Years Of ‘Usagi Yojimbo’ In July

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The Sakai Project/Dark Horse Comics

A few months ago, news that Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai had come upon financial difficulties due to the ongoing illness of his wife, Sharon, led the Cartoon Art Professional Society to step up and help. Now, Dark Horse Comics is pitching in, too.

To celebrate 30 years of Usagi, the publisher has assembled a murderer's row of artists including Adam Hughes, Art Adams, Dave Gibbons, Geof Darrow, Walter Simonson, Mike Mignola and Tim Sale for a new oversized hardcover called The Sakai Project. All the proceed from the book, which comes out July 23, will go to the Sakais.

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Cartoon Art Professional Society Seeks Donations For Stan And Sharon Sakai

Stan Sakai
Photo: Anna Goellner

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.

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Stan Sakai’s ‘The Adventures of Nilson Groundthumper and Hermy’ Hardcover Coming In March [NYCC 2013]

The Adventures of Nilson Groundthumper and Hermy Harcover
Dark Horse Comics

Since 1984 artist Stan Sakai has worked to create a Ronin world starring arguably the most recognizable cartoon rabbit this side of Bugs Bunny with his epic Usagi Yojimbo and its assorted spinoffs. But before Usagi, Sakai was telling the tale of another warrior rabbit -- one that Usagi just so happened to spin out of himself. Following the character's return in the pages of Dark Horse Presents #30 this November, Dark Horse Comics will gives readers complete access to Sakai's The Adventures of Nilson Groundthumper and Hermy this March with a 104-page hardcover collecting all of the previously-published sword and sorcery style stories from their assorted releases in the late 1970s and early '80s.

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New (And Very Lovely) ‘Mouse Guard’ Anthology Arrives In Print Next Week With Stan Sakai, Ben Caldwell & More [Preview]

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On sale next week from Archaia is Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard #1 (V2), beginning an all-new anthology series that invites some of comics' most talented creators to tell stories set throughout the endlessly charming, frequently funny and always harrowing mediaval world of mice created by David Petersen. This first issue contains framing sequences by Petersen himself that introduce the mechanism by which new stories by Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo), Ben Caldwell (Wednesday Comics' "Wonder Woman") and Nick Tapalansky and Alex-Eckman Lawn (Awakening) will unfold: a storytelling contesthosted in old Madame June's mouse tavern. The prize for the best tale? A zeroed out bar tab.

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‘Mouse Guard’ Anthology Returns with Willingham, Canete, Geary, Sakai and More

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Good news from Archaia. The publisher of David Petersen's multi-award winning Mouse Guard has announced the second volume of Legends of the Guard, an anthology project that invites some of comics' most talented creators to tell stories set throughout Petersen's endlessly charming, frequently funny and always harrowing mediaval world of mice. Launching in May, the new Legends of the Guard includes contributions from such fan favorites as Eric Canete (TRON: Uprising, Rocketeer Adve

‘Rocketeer Adventures Vol. 2′ Collection is the Best Looking Anthology of the Holiday Season

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Released around this time last year, the first hardcover collection of Rocketeer Adventures anthology quickly shot to the top of my list of 2011's best looking comic books. Created by the late Dave Stevens, The Roc

Parting Shot: Usagi Yojimbo Confronts His Creator In A Cartoon by Stan Sakai

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In stores now is 47 Ronin #1, the first issue of a miniseries from Dark Horse. A retelling of one of the most famous tales in Japanese culture, the story is written by Dark Horse president Mike Richardson and illustrated by Stan Sakai, the Eisner award winning creator of Usagi Yojimbo. Sakai's work on

New ‘Usagi Yojimbo: Way Of The Ronin’ Gameplay Footage Revealed [Video]

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In honor of this past weekend's New York City Comic Con, mobile and PC game developer Happy Giant rolled out three new videos showing off gameplay from the Beta version of the upcoming Usagi Yojimbo: Way of the Ronin. The first video game bas

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’47 Ronin’ #1 Kicks Off A Comic Adaptation Of Historical Proportions [Preview]

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Dark Horse Comics has released a new batch of pages from Mike Richardson and Stan Sakai's 47 Ronin #1, the first installment of the team's comic book adaptation of the historical Japanese story that follows a group of former samurai as they carry out revenge against an Edo official responsible for the suicide of their lord and, in turn, commit seppuku themselves. Initially announced back in April, the comic is the first time DH President Richardson has col

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