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Stan Sakai and Julie Sakai on Dogu Publishing, Usagi Yojimbo, and Beyond

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

We chat with the creative couple about their process and how their imprint at Dark Horse Comics is a family affair.

Stan Sakai Julie Sakai Dogu Publishing Usagi Yojimbo

In September, Usagi Yojimbo returns to Dark Horse Comics with the new mini-series Ice and Snow. However, that's just the warm-up. Stan Sakaiand Julie Sakai have massive plans for their Dogu Publishing imprint, and we're eager to break it all down with them.


Their creative partnership began on a short strip featured in Peanuts: A Tribute to Charles M. Schulz. We go back to their beginning and trace a path to where they are today, creatively and as a romantic couple. How did they know they would work well together? How do they navigate two unique perspectives to produce a singular work?


Dogu Publishing is a family affair, and that larger collaboration kicked off with Chibi Usagi's publication. Previously, we've dismissed this offshoot as cute and clever. However, upon re-examination this week, we discovered it's an essential entry in the Usagi Yojimbo story. And, yeah, it's brilliantly connected to the Usagi-Verse, which includes Space Usagi and a few other splinters you may still need to be aware of.

This episode is part of our more extensive San Diego Comic-Con International coverage, and since we're releasing on Sunday, we can reveal some new Usagi Yojimbo stories here. You should know, though, that at the 41:18 minute mark, we spoil a critical element from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Usagi Yojimbo: Wherewhen #4. We've dropped a warning within the audio, don't worry.


Usagi Yojimbo: Ice and Snow #1 hits shelves on September 9th. We did get a preview of that issue, expect a review on the site very soon. Make sure you have it in your pull box at your local comic book store. If you don't have a local comic book store, you can find the nearest one HERE.


Follow Stan Sakai on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Follow Dogu Publishing on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Most importantly, visit www.stansakai.com and get yourself some comics.


Also, listen to our previous Stan Sakai episode, discussing all things Samurai Rabbit.


As mentioned above, this episode is part of our San Diego Comic-Con International celebration. Listen to our Day One episode with Paul Cornell HERE. Listen to our Day Two episode with Adrian Tomine HERE. Listen to our Dary Three episode with Chris Condon and Jacob Phillips HERE. Next week, we'll return with some in-person interviews, including Jamie Lee Curtis, Karl Stevens, Todd McFarlane, Robert Kirkman, and more. You better get subscribed to Comic Book Couples Counseling.


And, if you haven't already, now's the time to join our Patreon, where superstar cartoonist Daniel Warren Johnson just recorded an epic chat with us about his favorite single-issue comic, The 'Nam #9. It's all part of our new Patreon podcast series, where we ask cool comic book creators to choose their favorite floppy comic.

Other Relevant Links:

FINAL ROUND OF PLUGS (PHEW):


Don't forget to grab your tickets for our July 30th Alamo Drafthouse Winchester screening of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, co-sponsored by Four Color Fantasies.


Don't forget! Watch the latest episode of The B&B Show, where Brad and Bryan Review the Hottest Cinematic Releases.


And, of course, follow Comic Book Couples Counseling on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter @CBCCPodcast, and you can follow hosts Brad Gullickson @MouthDork & Lisa Gullickson @sidewalksiren.


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Continue your conversation with CBCC by hopping over to our website where we have reviews, essays, and numerous interviews with comic book creators.


Podcast logo by Aaron Prescott @acoolhandfluke, podcast banner art by @Karen_XmenFan.

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