Goro Miyazaki illustrated this one-page comic as part of Studio Ghibli's Layout Exhibition in 2008. Halycon Dreams, one of my favorite animation/film sites, shares this comic from the exhibit's program guide.
In 2008, of course, Goro-san was engaged Tales From Earthsea. Should we be surprised that his avatar in this comic is...a faceless man? Very much like his movie, this comic lacks personality; the artist is still very much a student, green behind the ears. It will take time for the faceless artist to emerge as an individual with a unique voice. Perhaps we are now beginning to see this with Poppy Hill.
Oh, and did you spot the cameos of Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata at the very end? For some reason, this reminds me of Ghibli's DVD documentary about the Ghibli Museum, which largely featured Takahata alongside Goro Miyazaki. Interesting, isn't it, that Poppy Hill could just as easily be one of Paku-san's movies.
Ah, well, I'm just speculating out loud. I'm putting way too much thought into what is a very nice comic by Goro Miyazaki. But he's still very much an enigma to our eyes; we're still trying to figure this guy out. Who is he? Why is he here? What does he have to say? And would any of this matter if his father didn't own the store? Goro himself is still in the process of solving these riddles. That's part of the fun in watching him.
Thanks again to Halcyon Dreams for getting all these terrific Ghibli books.