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2018-04-13

Hayao Miyazaki Comics: Puss in Boots (1969)

Hayao Miyazaki Comics: Puss in Boots (1969)

Hayao Miyazaki Comics: Puss in Boots (1969)

Hayao Miyazaki Comics: Puss in Boots (1969)

Hayao Miyazaki Comics: Puss in Boots (1969)

Hayao Miyazaki Comics: Puss in Boots (1969)

Hayao Miyazaki Comics: Puss in Boots (1969)

Hayao Miyazaki Comics: Puss in Boots (1969)

Hayao Miyazaki Comics: Puss in Boots (1969)

Hayao Miyazaki Comics: Puss in Boots (1969)

Hayao Miyazaki Comics: Puss in Boots (1969)

Hayao Miyazaki Comics: Puss in Boots (1969)

Hayao Miyazaki Comics: Puss in Boots (1969)

Hayao Miyazaki always wanted to become a manga comics artist, but somehow found himself working as an animator for Toei Doga instead. Fortunately, his boundless energy and work ethic gave him the opportunity to pursue his first love, with this 1969 newspaper comics adaptation of Toei's Puss in Boots movie.

This comics version of Puss in Boots closely follows the plot to the anime movie, skipping all the slower parts and song numbers and getting straight to the action. These panels are wonderfully drawn, full of action and great poses. The panels are very small, owing to the format, but Miyazaki works wonders on every page. It's quite remarkable to see how quickly he has progressed since 1963 when he joined Toei.

It's at this same time that Miyazaki also began his serialized adventure comic People of the Desert, and we see his growing skills at layout and scene design that would pay off spectacularly in the 1970s with Heidi, Marco and Anne, to say nothing of Future Boy Conan.

This is a great document from Miyazaki's early formative years as an artist. It shows that he was still mimicking the comics style of Osamu Tezuka. We also see that in the People of the Desert's early chapters. Over time, however, that drawing style quickly evolved and grew into the Miyazaki "look" that we all know so well from Studio Ghibli.

There are still people in the West who believe that Hayao Miyazaki's career began with Castle of Cagliostro or Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind. His career began here, in the 1960s, and it's here that you'll find the seeds that blossom in his later works. Fortunately, that perception is slowly changing as more of us become aware of that elusive (to Americans) pre-Ghibli period. If would help tremendously, of course, if more of those early works, and especially his comics, were made available on our shores. Who wouldn't pay to read the maestro's comic adaptations of Puss in Boots and Animal Treasure Island? I can't believe Viz Media still hasn't picked up People of the Desert, which feels like a perfect link between Horus, Prince of the Sun and Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind.

Oh, well. Progress is often slow. It will take time. You should spend a little time to admire these great Puss in Boots comics pages.

1 comment:

Gina Theou said...

I remember reading that when Miyazaki found out that Tezuka uses a dramatic situation, such as killing a character without any reason, just to make the scene more moving, that was when he parted ways with him. Miyazaki didn't like at all the fact that Tezuka's "hand of God" in his stories, deliberately trying to impress the audience. It's very interesting to read his opinion's on Tezuka's work, since he was at first powerly influenced by his work...

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