JUST Sakai is the wife and husband team of JUlie and STan Saki.
Stan was born in Kyoto, Japan, and grew up in Hawaii. He began his comic book career by lettering Sergio Aragones' Groo the Wanderer.. He also worked with Stan Lee, lettering the Spider-Man Sunday newspaper strips for 25 years. Stan is most famous for his original creation, Usagi Yojimbo, an epic graphic novel series that began in 1984 and now spans more than 35 volumes. It starts Miyamoto Usagi, a samurai rabbit living in early seventeenth century Japan.
Usagi has been published in 16 languages and Stan has been honored with a number of awards including eight Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, two Harvey Awards including one for Best Cartoonist, the Japanese American National Museum's Cultural Ambassador Award, two National Cartoonists Society Silver Reubens, a Parents' Choice Award, the inaugural Joe Kubert Excellence in Storytelling Award, and an American Library Association Award. Because of his meticulous research into the history, culture, and folklore of Japan, Usagi Yojimbo is a favorite among educators as a curriculum tool. Usagi has been a part of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in their TV series, comic book crossovers, and toy lines. In 2020 Stan was inducted into the Eisner Awards Hall of Fame. An Usagi Yojimbo animated series, produced by Stan, Gaumont Studios, James Wan's Atomic Monster, and Dark Horse Entertainment, is in development for Netflix.
While raising a family, Julie taught art in private schools, community classes, and at the Monart School of Art in Temecula, California. Julie has also been a designer and creator in the craft industry for over 30 years with her own line of T-shirts, rubber stamps, and whimsical illustrations. Her Chibi-style work has been sold in museum gift shops, boutiques, and craft fairs throughout the United States.
JUST Sakai's first collaboration was for Peanuts: A Tribute to Charles M. Schulz, a 65th anniversary anthology published by Kaboom! in 2015.