Stan Sakai

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Stan Sakai
Stan Sakai, 2006.jpg
Born May 25, 1953
Profession or hobby Comic artist, Letterer, Writer

Stan Sakai (スタン 坂井), is a Japanese American artist who has been writing and drawing comics since 1984. Born in Kyoto, Japan, Sakai grew up in Hawaii and presently resides and works in Pasadena, California, USA.


Stan Sakai started his comic book career as a letterer, most notably for Sergio Aragonés and Mark Evanier's Groo the Wanderer, and as the artist and writer of The Adventures of Nilson Groundthumper and Hermy. These characters first appeared in Steve Gallacci's Albedo #1 in 1984, and were subsequently featured in issues of Critters, GrimJack, Amazing Heroes and Furrlough. Stan Sakai is a long standing member of CAPS.


Stan Sakai's art style is distinctive. Although his art style is influenced strongly by traditional Japanese Kemono, he also uses simple line designs like many funny animal cartoons, and his character's faces can go very wild during a 'take', he also includes many realistic traits; characters generally are anthropomorphic, and have at least a slight amount of biological plausibility.

However, one thing that Stan Sakai has never done is drawn a tail on any of his characters; he stated that "I don't know if any of my characters have tails. I know they should have tails, but giving them tails would make them somehow a bit too animalistic."[1][2]

Usagi Yojimbo[edit]

His most famous and critically acclaimed work is Usagi Yojimbo, although he has created or worked on many comics of interest to furries, including Albedo Anthropomorphics, Beauty of the Beasts, Cutey Bunny, Nilson Groundthumper and Hermy, Ninja High School, Space Usagi, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as well as many well-regarded non-furry comics as Groo The Wanderer, the Sunday strips for the serial Spider-Man, the comic book Shi, and occasional covers for Marvel and Disney comics.

An award-winning artist, his accolades include multiple Eisner and Haxtur awards, as well as Best Anthropomorphic Comic Book in the Ursa Major Awards five times running for 2001-2005, with a double award in 2004 for The Art of Usagi Yojimbo.



  • 2001 - Ursa Major Award for "Best Anthropomorphic Comic Book or Strip"
  • 2002 - Ursa Major Award for "Best Anthropomorphic Comic Book or Strip"
  • 2003 - Ursa Major Award for "Best Anthropomorphic Comic Book"
  • 2004 - Ursa Major Award for "Best Anthropomorphic Other Literary Work" (The Art of Usagi Yojimbo) and "Best Anthropomorphic Comic Book" (Usagi Yojimbo)
  • 2005 - Ursa Major Award for "Best Anthropomorphic Comic Book" (Usagi Yojimbo)


  • 1990 - Parents' Choice Award for "Skillful weaving of facts and legends into his work"
  • 1991 - Inkpot Award from Comic-Con International: San Diego for "Lifetime Achievement in the Field of Cartooning"
  • 1996 - Eisner Award for "Best Letterer" (Groo and Usagi Yojimbo)
  • 1996 - Eisner Award for "Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition" (Usagi Yojimbo)
  • 1999 - Eisner Award for "Best Serialized Story" (Usagi Yojimbo "Grasscutter")
  • 1999 - Haxtur Award for "Best Short Story (in Spainish)" (Usagi Yojimbo "Noodles" [Spanish Edition])
  • 2000 - Haxtur Award for "Best Script (in Spainish)" (Usagi Yojimbo's "Grasscutter" [Spanish Edition])
  • 2002 - National Cartoonists Society Division (Usagi yojimbo)
  • 2003 - La Plumilla de Plata (Silver Inkpen Award) in Mexico for his lifetime achievements and contributions to comic books.
  • 2007 - Harvey Award for "Best Letterer"
  • 2011 - Cultural Ambassador Award
  • 2012 - Eisner Award for "Best Lettering" (Usagi Yojimbo)

Stan Sakai and furry[edit]

Although not himself a furry, Stan Sakai has contributed art of furry interest for many furry comics and magazines. He was the guest of honor at Anthrocon 2004. Although he had been leery of attending furry conventions in the past,[citation needed] he and his family enjoyed themselves.[3][4]

Since that first visit, he has planned other visits to other furry conventions; not as a guest of honor, but a fellow convention attendee. Stan Sakai was also the guest of honor at Eurofurence 16 and MiDFur XII.

Convention attendance[edit]


Title Year released Year produced Company Genre Theme Job/Role Notes
Space Usagi n/a 1995 Mirage Studios, Fred Wolf Films Television series Animation, Science Fiction, Action Writer Pilot, never released
Adventures Into Digital Comics 2006  ? Futureal Studio Documentary Comics Art contributor n/a
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2005 - 2009  ? Mirage Studios, 4Kids Entertainment, Dong Woo Animation Television series Animation Writer n/a
Turtles Forever November 21, 2009  ? Mirage Studios, Paramount Home Entertainment Television movie Animation, Action, Adventure n/a Special thanks in credits


  1. Usagi Yojimbo website FAQ - Questions about Stan Sakai's Other Characters. Retrieved 2015 Febuary 11.
  2. Usagi Yojimbo vol 1 #24 (published by Fantagraphics Books) 2nd page of "Usagi Letters". Retrieved 2015 Febuary 11.
  3. Stan Sakai's Anthrocon 2004 report on LiveJournal (Retrieved ?)
  4. Pictures of Stan Sakai and fans at Anthrocon on (Retrieved February 14, 2013)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Furry Hall of Fame inductees
Goldfur Chakat and Uncle Kage (2008) · 2, The Ranting Gryphon and Paul Kidd (2009) · Stan Sakai, Big Blue Fox, Jenner and CynWolfe (2010) · Fred Patten (2011)  · Sofawolf Press and Steve Gallacci (2012) · Dark Natasha and Uncle Kage (2013) · Alector Fencer and EZwolf (2014)