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Comic Book Artists Stan Sakai And Kevin Eastman At IDW Comic Art Gallery Friday

Event celebrates reunion of ‘Usagi Yojimbo’ and ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’

A samurai rabbit and ninja turtles will be meeting up yet again after decades apart for a new IDW comic book coming out in July. To celebrate the reunion, IDW is bringing “Usagi Yojimbo” creator Stan Sakai and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT)” co-creator Kevin Eastman together tonight from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at its Comic Art Gallery in Liberty Station.

Two decades ago the sword-wielding samurai rabbit Miyamoto Usagi and the mutated, pizza-loving turtle brothers of TMNT crossed over into each other’s comic book universes for a few memorable encounters. The crossovers (which included Usagi appearing in the “TMNT” animated series and toy line) focused mostly of Usagi and Leonardo, who shared a similar ethos.

Photo caption: Iconic comic book characters the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Miyamoto Us...

Photo credit: IDW Publishing

Iconic comic book characters the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Miyamoto Usagi (from "Usagi Yojimbo") will be reuniting next month for a one shot comic from IDW Publishing.

The two sets of characters were created along somewhat parallel timelines. Eastman and co-creator Peter Laird came up with the first sketches of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turles in 1983. Sakai first created the character of Miyamoto Usagi in 1984 and then gave his samurai rabbit his own comic in 1987.

Marvel’s Stan Lee describes the comic book on the “Usagi Yojimbo” website as: "one of the most original, innovative, well-executed comic books anywhere to be found. Stan's style of artwork, his crisp incisive writing, and his thoroughly professional pacing, all done in a relaxed and absorbed manner, have provided comics with something so rarely seen in this field — a new literary and artistic approach to illustrated storytelling.”

The website also explains that the character is loosely inspired by the legendary "Sword Saint" Miyamoto Musashi, who famously fought and won more than 60 duels, the first of which was when he was only 13 years old.

The art of Sakai’s “Usagi Yojimbo” is being showcased at the Comic Art Gallery now through the end of the month. The Gallery has art spanning the last three decades plus pages from the upcoming "Usagi Yojimbo/TMNT" one shot from IDW Publishing.

The event tonight at the IDW San Diego Comic Art Gallery in Liberty Station is free and fans can bring up to five items for Sakai and Eastman to sign.

The Gallery also still has Eastman studio on display from when it first opened.


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