With a heavy heart, I wanted to inform readers that Tanabata Usagi passed away on May 13th from Covid-19 complications.

Usagi was a fantastic artist who had contributed to Danger Zone One repeatedly since 2019. She drew our current chapter, Mad Machine, and worked on Chapter 14 (Building Blitz) while also having drawn numerous Danger Zone Onesies for the Volume 2 print edition. Her enthusiasm with every project was immeasurable and she brought that energy into each piece of art she created.

Usagi was so incredibly kind, creative, and skilled at her craft. She always went the extra mile and it was such a joy working with her on pages. She had a phenomenal sense of humor, which can be seen in so many of her own projects. Much of the humor and fanservice in the Building Blitz chapter came from her, which she enthusiastically expanded on from the original script. I was amazed at her incredible work on fight scenes, always endowing them with a sense of motion, “speed”, and unique visual impact. 

Equally impressive was the sheer amount of art Usagi was able to produce in such a short time frame. She truly adopted a business-like work ethic, and turned out pages so fast they rivaled most professional industry schedules. At one point, she was sending me 3-5 new Danger Zone One pages per week —  and that was on top of her own weekly comics that she made (Iguality and My Inflatable Girlfriend). That alone was a testament to how much she loved drawing. Usagi lived and breathed art. 

Around the time of her passing, we were working on a one-shot comic, unrelated to Danger Zone One. I had written it solely with her art style in mind, incorporating a heavy dose of comedy and her over-the-top brand of action. I was thrilled with her stunning work on it but, sadly, only the first dozen pages were completed before she passed.

It was an honor to work with Usagi and there are no words to describe how immensely she will be missed. Honestly, it’s still difficult to process that she’s gone. Usagi was truly one-of-a-kind, full of energy, and with an absolutely brilliant imagination.  

I have already received several private messages and emails expressing their condolences and asking if Usagi had completed the current Mad Machine chapter. The answer is yes, the chapter was finished. It will be bittersweet posting the remaining pages, to say the least. However, I’m so grateful that more of her work will be seen. Just from the many recent fan comments she’s received over the last few hours on her Facebook accounts and her Twitter, it is clear just how loved she was, is, and will continue to be. The magician may be gone, but her magic will remain.