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Before the the first image even materializes on screen, hauntingly familiar piano notes put you in the perfect frame of mind for this stunning tribute to the films of animation legend Hayao Miyazaki.
This is no mere compilation of clips, however. Up-and-coming animator “Dono,” whose work has drawn the attention of Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich, recreated settings from Miyazaki’s films using the 3D-animation software Blender, and then incorporated key scenes into those CG environments using Gimp, Octane and Natron.
If your plans to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Studio Ghibli don’t include a tattoo sleeve inspired by some of Hayao Miyazaki’s most beloved films, well … then maybe you’re not a real fan.
The work of Andy Kurth of Electric Chair Tattoo in Clio, Michigan, this amazing sleeve features characters and scenes from Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle.
Political cartoons | Legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki said in a Japanese radio interview that it was a “mistake” for the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo to publish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. “For me, I think it’s a mistake to make caricatures of what different cultures worship,” he said when asked about the January attack on the magazine’s offices that left 12 dead. “It’s a good idea to stop doing that.” Miyazaki reportedly said cartoonists should use caricature to target their own country’s politicians. “”It just looks suspect to go after political leaders from other countries,” he explained. [Kotaku]
The Ghibli Museum is already a place of pilgrimage for devotees of legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, but one fan dreams of something more, something bigger: a Disneyland-style theme park devoted to Studio Ghibili’s works. Ghibli Land, if you will.
Japanese illustrator Takumi has drawn a map of this hypothetical theme park, whose design appears to be based on Tokyo Disneyland. However, here Howl’s Moving Castle stands (presumably only briefly) at the center, and Tarzan’s Treehouse is replaced with My Neighbor Totoro‘s. You’ll also notice Princess Mononoke‘s Irontown, the Spirited Away bathhouse and more, all encircled by the Cat Bus monorail.
Although we’ve known it’d likely be a long time before we saw Hayao Miyazaki’s samurai manga, the anime legend now concedes he’s become so busy since his retirement that, “I have my doubts as to whether I can finish it or not.”
Miyazaki, who’s being honored Saturday with a Governors Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, told Variety the manga “keeps getting pushed behind other projects. I can’t work on it as much as I’d like to.”
Designer Martin Hsu has partnered with Bigshot Toyworks to produced a limited-run figure based on anime director and manga artist Hayao Miyazaki. Proceeds from the sale of the 6-inch figure, called “Miya-san,” will be donated to Karakuwa-Maru, an organization dedicated to rebuilding Karakuwa in Kesennuma City, Japan, in the aftermath of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The figure costs $95 U.S.; preorders are being accepted through Jan. 31, with a projected ship date of April.
Miyazaki, the visionary director of such films as Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away, announced his retirement in September following the release of The Wind Rises. He’s slowly working on a samurai manga that will be serialized in the Japanese magazine Model Graphix.
In addition to guest appearances by Stan Lee and Harlan Ellison, Sunday’s episode of The Simpsons will also feature a tribute to anime legend Hayao Miyazaki, who announced his retirement from filmmaking in September, only to return his attention to manga.
The hallucinatory sequence, which you can watch below, features Homer and a salaryman stumbling through the streets after a night of drinking, and encounter a veritable parade of nods to Miyazaki’s classics, from Otto as Catbus to Patty and Selma flying on broomsticks to a moving Kwik-E-Mart.
In case you don’t recognize all of the references, Salon.com has put together a video that annotates most of them (also below).
The Simpsons airs Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox.
Manga | Hayao Miyazaki’s samurai manga will be serialized in the Japanese magazine Model Graphix, but progress is reportedly slow: Miyazaki, the director of classic animated films including My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away, has completed just three pages. [Anime News Network]
Creators | Veteran Archie artist Stan Goldberg, who most recently has been drawing Nancy Drew graphic novels for Papercutz, was in a serious car accident recently, along with his wife Pauline. Tom Spurgeon suggests you send them a car. [The Comics Reporter]
Conventions | Cleveland’s small-press comics convention Genghis Con is this weekend, with a guest list that includes Derf Backderf (My Friend Dahmer) and Mike Sangiacomo (Tales of the Starlight Drive-In). [The Plain Dealer]
As we noted last week, legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki may have left the world of anime, but he hasn’t retired entirely. Instead, Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki revealed he’s working on a samurai manga, set in the Sengoku (Warring States) period of Japanese history. And on Monday, Japan’s NHK broadcast a first look at Miyazaki’s progress.
Miyazaki actually drew his first manga, Puss in Boots, in 1969, but he is best known for his seven-volume Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, which Viz Media recently reprinted as a two-volume boxed set; the first part of the story was the basis for his film of the same name.
Suzuki previously said last week that Miyazaki regards drawing as his “stress relief”; the manga will run in a magazine and that Miyazaki is doing it for free. Here’s a look at the work in progress:
Creators | Anime legend Hayao Miyazaki, who announced his retirement just two months ago, is reportedly drawing a samurai manga set during the Warring States Period. Asked on the Japanese television show Sekai-ichi Uketai Jugyō over the weekend how the 72-year-old filmmaker will spend his retirement, Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki replied, “I think he will serialize a manga. From the beginning, he likes drawing about his favorite things. That’s his stress relief.” He also confirmed the manga’s setting before cutting off the line of questioning with, “He’ll get angry if I talk too much. Let’s stop talking about this.” Miyazaki has illustrated several manga over the past four decades, most notably the seven-volume Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. [Anime News Network]
Libraries | Mitch Stacy takes a look at the new Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum at Ohio State University, which is scheduled to open this weekend with a gala celebration. [ABC News]
Before you take to the skies in Hayao Miyazaki’s final voyage in The Wind Rises, Viz Media is inviting you to take a return trip to an old favorite in a way you’ve never seen before: the world of Totoro.
To commemorate the 25th anniversary of Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro, Viz is publishing two new books about the seminal animated film. Unlike some of Miyazaki’s other films, My Neighbor Totoro wasn’t preceded by a manga, but it’s getting the next-best thing with My Neighbor Tortoro: The Novel, an illustrated novel pairing Miyazaki’s watercolors with a child-friendly novelization by Japanese children’s book author Tsugiko Kubo.
Although some of Miyazaki’s watercolors of My Neighbor Totoro have been seen online and in various magazines, My Neighbor Totoro: The Novel will be the first time they’ve been officially released all in one bound volume. This hardcover will arrive Oct. 1, along with an updated edition of the popular My Neighbor Totoro Picture Book released a few years ago.
Happy Sunday and welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at all the comics and other stuff we’ve been reading lately. Today our special guest is Dave Dwonch, creative director at Action Lab Entertainment and the writer of such comics as Space-Time Condominium, the upcoming Ghost Town, Double-Jumpers and more.
To see what Dave and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading?, where the Robot 6 crew talks about the death of … oh, wait, we already did that. In fact, nobody brought up [REDACTED] in their write-up this week. But they did talk about a bunch of other comics.
Our guest this week is cartoonist and teacher Ben Towle, creator of Oyster War, Midnight Sun, Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean and much more. Check out his website for all kinds of fun art and pin-ups (Alien Legion!).
To see what Ben and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a splurge item.
If I had $15, I’d spend the first $3.99 on the first issue of 47 Ronin, a retelling of a Japanese legend written by Mike Richardson and illustrated by Stan Sakai. I saw a preview of this and it looks phenomenal. Next up is my favorite soap opera, Life With Archie #24 ($3.99), in which Moose contemplates running for the Senate and The Archies reunite. This comic is consistently well written and the stories really drag me in. I’ll slap down another $3.99 for Popeye #7, because I’m a Roger Langridge fan. And because I love a bargain, I’ll finish up with Freelancers #1, a new series from BOOM! Studios that looks kinda fun — and hey, there’s a variant cover by Felipe Smith, one of my favorite manga artists.
If I had $30, I’d revert to my childhood and pick up the Doctor Who Annual ($12.99) from Penguin. When I was a kid, the British comics annuals were the high point of the holidays, and I’m pretty sure I have a vintage Doctor Who one tucked away somewhere. It’s probably aimed at kids but that just means I can share it with my nephew and nieces.
The splurge item to get this week is the new box set of Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. This is Miyazaki’s longest manga by far, and the story continues after the movie ends. It’s going to be the same large format as Viz’s earlier box set, but the seven volumes are being bound as two this time. It’s $60, but I noticed Amazon is offering a steep discount, so I’ll add another splurge: Nickolai Dante: Sympathy for the Devil ($29.99), a story that ran in 2000AD. I saw artist Simon Fraser describe it at NYCC this way: “Nikolai Dante is a swashbuckling hero from the far, far future, the year 2666, where he is alternately working for and against the czar, and for his own family and against his family, and in the meantime trying to get as drunk and screw as many women as he possibly can.” Sold!
Following up from last week’s opening of their joint exhibitions at New York City’s John Levine Gallery, the contemporary art magazine Hi-Fructose has an image-rich, wholly enthusiastic review of the twin shows of Ashley Wood and Jeremy Geddes.
Another sometimes-comics artist, James Jean, is again producing work in unexpected formats (remember his delightful wooden wedding invitations?). Check out that work, and more by street artists Joe & Max, sculptor Tim Bruckner, Tim Maclean and more, below.