Sunday, September 2, 2012

Kindred Spirits

A lot of different Japanese films are on my mind right now. So on my recent visit to the worthwhile traveling exhibition about Winsor McCay called "Comics, Films, Dreams" (currently at the cartoonmuseum in Basel, Switzerland) I have involuntarily seen more parallels between McCay's and Miyazaki's designing styles than ever before.

Of course, Hayao Miyazaki has acknowledged the influence of Winsor McCay before and reportedly even had a hand in the development of the beautiful Little Nemo pitch that has been spooking around the web during the last few months.

There were particularly two newspaper pages in the exhibition I kept at the back of my mind. The first is a "Little Nemo" page from July 31, 1910 that shows some imaginary animals one of which in particular reminded me of the forest god in Mononoke Hime.


Miyazaki's forest god with the mandrill face can also stretch its neck like a giraffe. Unfortunately I don't have

The other one was a newspaper illustration (June 12, 1921) of an airship that could have been conceived by aircraft fan Miyazaki himself.
The caption reads: "Hundreds of thousands now living will cross the ocean and go around the world in such flying boats as Mr. McCay shows in this picture."

Picture taken out of Miyazaki's 2009 manga biography "Takinu Kaze" about aircraft designer Dr. Jiro Horikoshi which his next feature is rumored to be based on.

There is a comprehensive catalog available (well not really available any more since it has already gone out of print) that goes far beyond anything that has ever been published about McCay in German.


xopxe said...

The plane is clearly based on Caproni Ca.60.

Oswald Iten said...

Oh, thanks for the link! Interesting that Hearst/McCay are confident about the concept only three months after the Caproni Ca60 crashed on its first flight.

xopxe said...

Well, they DID add even more wings.
Just to be safe.