Today's Screenshots - Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind

I'm really getting tired of using a camera with such a tiny lens. It's impossible to get decent shots of closeup objects like books.

All of thse panels are from the third book of Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind, presented in order. This details the end and aftermath of the epic battle scene that spans 40 pages, and ends on the greatest emotional climax Miyazaki has ever conjured.

I remember the first time I read Nausicaa, I stayed up all night plowing through the old four-book set (since replaced by the proper seven-book set) without any sleep. I hopped on the bus and headed over to Al's Breakfast in Dinkytown, the greatest breakfast shack in the known multiverse. On the bus, I read through the 40-page setup to Miyazaki's greatest battle scene, and then to the battle itself.

By the time I get a seat at Al's (and this means standing in line for your turn for a while), I get to that ending. Kai just drops to the ground. And at that point, I just about lose it. I slam the book down, and shout out, "That's it! I'm not reading any more!" To this day, I still get upset when thinking or discussing it.

Perhaps now it has become the metaphor, the icon, for the traumas in my life.

In any case, it was at this point that I realized that I was reading the greatest graphic novel ever written. Art Spiegelman and Scott McCloud had finally met their match.

If you haven't read the Nausicaa books, then get your ass out of here, and don't come back until you do.


Anonymous said...

I read the old four book box-set a few years ago as well. And I too just ploughed through it (not all in one night, which would have had a nice organic quality to the experience) but certainly within maybe three days of off and on heavy doses of reading.

Nausicaa is one of the greatest works of graphic fiction I've ever read. It's difficult to parse them out when you get to the very very top of the list, of course. Maison Ikkoku, for example holds a great place for me on many personal levels, and there are so many out there that I'm just getting to -- like Eden -- that are so different that it's hard to compare them: like saying I like a great glass of Scotch better than a great glass of red wine.

But all that's so beside the point that I shouldn't even be mentioning it here.

Anyway, Nausicaa is spectacular. The art, the story, the message: all simply at the very top of their respective categories.

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