Miyazaki's graphic novels: patterns in design
This thesis examines patterns in the design choices of Hayao Miyazaki in Nausicay of the Valley of the Wind. It addresses a gap in the research about graphic novels by focusing on patterns that relate to comic art as a genre, patterns that recall various design principles, and patterns that reflect design strategies. The analysis recognizes that looking at these aesthetic choices involves discussion of the function of each design choice and the relationship of that function to content. Overall, patterns in the design often accounted for issues involving time, character, and change. In addition to analyzing the patterns in Miyazaki's design choices, this thesis also explores sample audience responses to Miyazaki's work. In doing so, the thesis reports the results of a survey given to Asian and American students regarding selected images from Nausicay, and what these images told readers about character and theme. The survey did not quiz participants on Miyazaki's design choices, but invited them to comment on what was the result of those choices, the graphic novel panels, themselves. The thesis then explores participant responses in terms of cultural differences between Asian and American readers as well as for shared interpretations. Finally, this thesis examines the significances of the findings and discusses possibilities for future research.