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Stan Sakai Is Bringing A New Imprint to Dark Horse

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Usagi Yojimbo returns to Dark Horse with new iterations and expansions

Press Release:

MILWAUKIE, Ore., (September 7, 2022)—Dark Horse Comics is pleased to announce a new partnership with Stan Sakai’s Dogu Publishing. The Usagi Yojimbocomics universe and more will return to Dark Horse under the umbrella of a new imprint, Dogu. The announcement of this new partnership comes just ahead of the September 1 release of Season 2 of the hit Netflix animated series, Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles, based on the world of Usagi Yojimbo created by Sakai.

Dark Horse Comics has been a longtime home of the works of Stan Sakai, most recently publishing the continuing new editions of The Usagi Yojimbo Saga. Dogu Publishing is led by Creative Chairman Stan Sakai, CEO Jeremiah Blank, COO Julie Sakai, and Daniel Fujii, President/Publisher for Dogu Publishing.

“I’m very excited, honored and thankful to have my own publishing imprint with Dark Horse,” says Sakai. “As the sole creator and owner of Usagi Yojimbo, this is a significant milestone. I’ve known Mike Richardson for more than 30 years and he is one of the pioneers and champions of creator-owned IP. As the industry continues to change, I feel he brings a unique progressive perspective.

Julie (co-creator of Chibi Usagi, Owner/Creator of Chibi Time; COO of Usagi Studios Inc.) has been a god-send and wonderful partner in all regards. Chibi Usagi and the Attack of the Heebie Chibis was my favorite collaboration. One of my proudest moments was to see her at the podium as we accepted our Eisner Award for this book. She will be bringing more Chibi stories to Dogu Publishing which will be colored by Emi Fujii, Julie’s multi-talented daughter!

Daniel (Executive Producer, Samurai Rabbit; VP of Usagi Studios Inc.) has been with me for seven years now and he has brought a new energy to the Usagi brand. His drive, vision, and most importantly, genuine love of Usagi, has been most welcomed.  He saw the Netflix deal through and has many intriguing projects planned for the Usagi Universe.

Jeremiah (VP of Business Development, Stan Lee; VP of Business Development, Boxes; co-founder of Fanmio)brings the knowledge of the industry, along with his forward-thinking vision and business savvy. He is also a co-founder of the successful entertainment/tech platform, Fanmio, which hosts celebrity interactions and sells merchandise direct-to-consumer.  He has exciting plans for the imprint.

Having Julie, Daniel, Jeremiah, and Emi step into the business and creative support roles has been a welcomed addition to my brand. Being the sole creator of Usagi Yojimbo takes a tremendous amount of time and responsibility. I still write, hand-draw, and hand-letter each story. Because of this new synergy, I am able to continue to do what I love most: Create more Usagi Yojimbo stories. We feel that through this imprint with Dark Horse, an expanded Usagi Universe is becoming a reality.”

“It is with great excitement that we welcome back Stan Sakai and Usagi Yojimbo to the Dark Horse family,” said founder Mike Richardson. “Stan is one of comics’ legendary creators and we are extremely proud to announce the launch of Dogu Publishing. Stan and his team are preparing new adventures with Usagi Yojimbo, as well as bringing new and important voices to the comics community. Stan and I have been friends for a very long time and I am extremely pleased to renew our partnership at Dark Horse.”

The goals of the Dogu imprint include: to create a space for up-and-coming creators and artists to be featured, andto expand the Usagi Yojimbo universe through working with other artists and writers. The expanding Usagi universe is sure to bring about exciting tales to please both new and longtime Usagi readers alike.

Stan Sakai has won numerous awards for his work in comics, including most recently the Eisner Award for Best Publication for Early Readers for Chibi Usagi: Attack of the Heebie Chibis with Julie Sakai. Dark Horse and Doguplan to continue to publish Chibi UsagiSpace Usagi, the Color Classics, and more to be announced.

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