I had a lot of fun thinking up this sequence. In my mind, a bad ass illusionist should be able to do things like fool you into thinking you aren’t wet. The one thing I didn’t think he could easily disguise was a sense of falling, hence Hunter’s pseudo-running pose on the previous page, and Castigan telling him to watch his step.
I hate to bring it down right now, but I feel the need to keep say this: Sharon Sakai passed away today (as I write this).
Sharon Sakai is the wife of Stan Sakai, the cartoonist behind one of my favorite comics of all time, Usagi Yojimbo. (I’m pretty sure I have every trade released of the series thus far.) I only got to meet Sharon a few times, she worked Stan’s booth at San Diego Comic Con pretty frequently back in the day, and I bought more than a few of those trades from her. It was easy to tell that she was a pleasant and gracious lady, and that she was very supportive of her husband’s work.
Sharon had been living with a brain tumor for quite some time, and she slipped away in stages. Stan kept his followers in the loop throughout most of the grueling ordeal. There were repeated and frequent trips to the hospital, dozens of scares, and the slow loss of his wife. He cared for her painstakingly through the entire thing, he and his family.
I say this because I write heroic fiction. (Hunter isn’t the most heroic character I’ve ever created, but you get my point.) I revere the actions of heroes, and I often wonder if I could make the sacrifices that they do…and I’m referring to heroes in real life as well as in the comics. Stan is a hero in real life. Stan is Sharon’s hero.
Usagi Yojimbo is anything but #UNDISCOVEREDcomics, it’s one of the most successful creator-owned comics in the history of the medium. That said, this is the comic that I urge you to put your money into today. Find a way to buy Stan’s books…you can even find Usagi Yojimbo for your Kindle. I say this because even the most successful indie creators can find themselves behind the financial 8-ball when they’re dealing with the costs of treating an illness of this magnitude. Never has a creator been more deserving of your dollars, either…Stan is a great guy, and a gifted comics storyteller.
The Sakai family has our deepest condolences and all of our best wishes.