Click here for PART 1 and PART 2

A lot of you guessed that the man briefly seen at the end of part two looked like Hayao Miyazaki – well done! Having a Miyazaki-lookalike as the head of the Artist Resistance Team is a way of paying respect to one of my artistic heroes. I needed someone who was the biggest creative badass on the planet to lead A.R.T. and in my opinion, there’s no one who fits that description more than Miyazaki.
UPDATE: I’ve removed the ‘H. Miyazaki’ from the first panel. I should have used a fictional name to make it clear the character is meant to be a tribute. I still stand by my decision to give a nod to someone whose work I admire greatly. Appreciate all the feedback. – Gav

A lot of you probably don’t know who Hayao Miyazaki is. He is a Japanese animator and filmmaker, and co-founder of Studio Ghibli. Miyazaki displays more creativity in one scene of his films than most other filmmakers do in an entire movie and is the perfect example of someone who has brought a huge amount of joy into the world by making good art.

After a 50 year career in animation, Miyazaki has recently announced his retirement from filmmaking to return to his first love of drawing Manga comic books (Here’s a recent article and interview by Buzzfeed about Miyazaki’s retirement that’s worth a read).

I guarantee that if you watch Spirited Away, My Neighbour Totoro, Princess Mononoke or any other of Miyazaki’s films, any hate you’re feeling in your heart will slowly disappear and be replaced by fairies and unicorns.

– “It’s not the critic who counts” is a line from my favourite quote by Theodore Roosevelt. It’s one of the first Zen Pencils comics.
– Next time on Zen Pencils: the thrilling conclusion to the Artist-Troll war!