Salt Lake Comic Con – 2014
From Nausicaa of the Valley of The Wind Rises: Why We Love Hayao Miyazaki
Salt Lake Comic Con 2014 was great. My favorite panel on which I spoke was, “From Nausicaa of the Valley of The Wind Rises: Why We Love Hayao Miyazaki.”
A little back story to my reason for being on this panel…
When I was fifteen my friends and I randomly heard about this animated film from a great Japanese director. The film was playing only in “select theaters,” which meant we would have to leave our small town and travel to the big city.
(…a.k.a. Salt Lake City—it was huge in our heads, okay? 😉
For restless teenagers, going to see this film was more a reason to get out from under the authority of our parents than anything.
We arrived at the theater long after dark, finding our seats not long before the movie screen filled with a painted background of a misty forest and a deep voice began,
“In ancient times,
the land lay covered in forests,
where, from ages long past,
dwelt the spirits of the gods.
Back then, man and beast lived in harmony,
but as time went by, most of the great forests were destroyed.
Those that remained were guarded by gigantic beasts…
who owed their allegiance to the Great Forest Spirit,
…for those were the days of gods and demons.”
I don’t know at what point during the film I felt my life changing forever. All I know is that from the moment the film ended, I was forever obsessed with visual storytelling. (To be fair, there were three other pieces of art I saw that moved me into becoming a visual storyteller for a living, but, as far as I can remember, Hayao Miyazaki was the first one with whom I became obsessed.)
Trailer for Princess Mononoke
Fast forward seventeen years and I have great things in the works for next fall…(hint hint).
Miyazaki has been a constant source of inspiration throughout my life, and when the panel schedulers for Salt Lake Comic Con asked me about which panels I wanted to attend as a speaker, Miyazaki’s was one of the first I chose.
It was SUCH an honor to sit in that room speaking with other fans. The room was packed to the last row. There were a few attendees even dressed as Miyazaki characters.
Anyone could see that there were many people in the audience who knew at least as much as I do about Miyazaki films (and that is seriously saying something). And throughout the event I simply felt lucky and bewildered to be the one with the microphone, sharing my experiences, and hoping that what I was saying was somehow worth their time!
Great, great experience.
Oh, and by the way, Miyazaki’s first film, Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, is streaming right now free on Hulu. Check it out!
There are many rumors that when Steven Spielberg saw this film at its release at Cannes Film Festival way back in the 80’s, Spielberg called it, “…one of the greatest adventure films of all time.” And, apparently, he also said that the car chase scene (after the intro credits) is one of the best of its kind.
Give it 20 minutes or so, as the style is very, very old.
Still drawin’ away at the Provo Farmer’s Market on Saturdays. I’m getting the hang of things, and also continually finding new ways to improve. The price is $10 per face (quite affordable, considering what you’ll pay elsewhere). Do come and take a seat!
If you are interested and don’t want to come all the way to the market only to find that the line is too long, come in the morning. People usually don’t want to commit to anything until awhile after the market starts (the market opens at 10, but I’m usually free until 11). So, I often end up just sketching in my sketchbook for the first hour or so, and then all of a sudden I have a line that lasts for up to an hour and a half after the market is over. Come early, and you’ll be sure to get a seat.
Recent fun with a charming young chap by the name of Luke.