Dark Horse announces a Richardson & Sakai partnership for 47 Ronin

Mike Richardson president of Dark Horse and Stan Sakai the decorated Eisner Award vet are partnering up for 47 Ronin to tell the legendary tale in a new twist. The tale plans to follow the Samurai of Daimyo, a feudal lord who took his own life in seppuku and set these Samurai to avenge his death.

It’s not a project that came on a whim though, Richardson has been at work trying to put together just the right team for this venture and it’s now official. Although it’s a nice twist to see that after all of his travels his ideal setup was already in his home at Dark Horse.

 “I’ve been fascinated with this story from the earliest days of Dark Horse, visiting the significant locations and doing research during my trips to Japan. For years I’ve been looking for just the right artist and it finally dawned on me that he was right here at Dark Horse,” said Mike Richardson. “Stan Sakai is a master storyteller who knows the material, and his artistic interpretation is perfect for the story. What’s more, my friend, legendary manga writer Kazuo Koike (Lone Wolf and Cub), has served as editorial consultant for the project.”

The project plans to go deep into the roots of the era with Stan Sakai even looking to mirror the stylized artwork from the woodblock prints that were so popular in the time, the use of it will be a huge compliment to the story told through the book. Sakai is confident in the project though as noted below.

 “I have known the 47 Ronin story about all my life, and I paid a pilgrimage to their gravesite when I was in Japan in 2009. This is a significant event in Japanese history, and when Mike asked me to illustrate the story I jumped at the chance. I’m known for the research I do, but I was amazed at the research and knowledge Mike already had. I’m having a blast with this,” said Stan Sakai.

The story and art are already in progress and Dark Horse is aiming to have the series kick off in November 2012. Given the enthusiasm there’s no doubt we’ll see more about this project as it comes along.