Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind: Watercolor Impressions - New Miyazaki Book

Terrific news to report, folks. I had to make sure to switch blogs (as I sometimes do - I've been posting heavily on Videogames of the Damned, if you're wondering where I've been) and share the surprise.

Today, Viz Media released the latest book in the Studio Ghibli Library series. Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind: Watercolor Impressions is 208 pages of sketches, rough ideas, and finished illustrations from Hayao Miyazaki's masterpiece. And nearly everything is in glorious watercolor.

This was a terrific surprise for me. The book was originally published in Japan in 1997 (?), and has been one of those Ghibli-themed books I told myself to grab. Unfortunately, other priorities always intruded, as life often does. Now we'll all be able to read Miyazaki's own thoughts in English, gaining insight into the evolution and development of Nausicaa the manga, and then the Nausicaa film which gave birth to Studio Ghibli.

Watercolor Impressions is magnificent. The book is in the same large size as all the "Art of..." books, and is similarly priced. The illustrations are wonderful, and I'm sure you'll spot many of them. You'll also see many snippets and fragments of ideas that Miyazaki held onto throughout the years; ideas that formed during earlier productions, like that Superman robot that appeared in the Farewell, Beloved Lupin episode. As the ideas for Nausicaa began during the production of Sherlock Hound at Telecom (Miyazaki worked on his comic project at home, keeping the two jobs seperate), you can see that steady stream of consciousness from Future Boy Conan (and stretching back, as always, to Horus, Prince of the Sun). Many ideas and motifs that weren't used for Nausicaa would surface years later for Castle in the Sky and Princess Mononoke.

There are so many comic works from Miyazaki that have never been shown here in the West, so it's always a joy to see a new collection of his artwork, especially from his signature graphic novel. It's the perfect companion piece to the film and comic. Foolish me. I was hoping to save up enough money to get Super Mario Galaxy next week. Those plans are now in tatters.

(Alright, it seems Blogger is being a pain at this computer, so I can't upload any photo of the book. I suspect this is an issue with Internet Explorer - my own computer uses Firefox, naturally.)

Update: Okay, I was wrong about the book's original date. I don't know, to be honest, but it appears to have been published after Mononoke was released. The book makes mention of the film, and photos of Miyazaki show him with the goatee. That would have been around '97 or so.

Update #2: Alright, alright! It's 1996. The book was first published in 1996. I bought this volume, of course, because I had to have it. That original date is buried in the fine print, where my aging eyes are increasingly stumped. I suspect glasses will be in my future. Also, as you can see, I've uploaded a photo of the Nausicaa Watercolor book.


Anonymous said...

What other comic works did Miyazaki produce, and are these other works before or after Nausicaa?

By the way--Studio AKA rocks.


Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

An excellent question, Adrienne! Miyazaki has penned many comics over the years, stretching back to the 1960's. I've written a little about some of them, and you can search through the archives to see them. I really should write more posts on Miyazaki's manga career. Like many of you, I'm only just discovering these and passing them along as quickly as I can.

Most recently, Miyazaki wrote a short comic as the introduction to "Blackham's Wimpy." I wrote a post about that as well.

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