Sunday, August 29, 2010
G-FAN Magazine # 92 "Vacation on Monster Island"
The summer issue of G-FAN is always neat, because for a couple years now it has arrived in the mail not too long after our return from G-FEST. The summer 2010 issue has been a good late-summer diversion from inevitable autumnal realities (think "school," for instance).
The effective, wordless cover is the work of director John Fasano, who, according to the acknowledgments section, could be tapped to direct the Legendary Pictures Godzilla 2012. If that comes true, G-FAN could potentially have the inside track on just about everything to do with the film.
On the G-FORCE "news and notes" page, the announcement appears that has many fans talking--G-TOUR 2 is in the works. Questions about this venture abound. One of the chief ones-- "Does a summer 2011 G-TOUR mean no stateside G-FEST?"--was answered Thursday with the announcement of G-FEST XVIII dates on Brett Homenick's blog. That was a relief!
A review of "Mega Monster Battle" follows, and the author comes across as crotchety and hopelessly behind the times. Can't he just relax and enjoy a good Ultraman flick? (FULL DISCLOSURE DEPT.: that author was me.)
J.D. Lees' "Dear G-friends" column offers the editor's thoughts on the forthcoming Legendary Godzilla, hoping that the producers will avoid the egregious errors of the Tristar debacle.
Brett Homenick comes through again with another quality interview, and the information he reveals about actor Dennis Falt is genuinely surprising. It turns out that Falt, who had a bit part in Godzilla 1985, has enjoyed an accomplished career on the Japanese stage and screen. The photo of him with the legendary Toshiro Mifune is really very cool.
Another Homenick contribution offers behind-the-scenes memories from the producer of "Ultraman: the Ultimate Hero," and many of the details underscore how un-glamorous the shooting of such programs can be.
Mike Bogue checks in with a well-reasoned opinion piece about the positive benefits of the "Americanization" of early Godzilla films. That is immediately followed by an article pointing out the differences between the French version and the Americanized version, not to mention the Japanese original. If that sounds a little arcane to you, that's fine--I found it fascinating.
A major feature of issue # 92 is a revised, reprinted retrospective of "GMK: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack." I'll admit, a part of me was thinking, "Uh oh...reprinted articles?" However, it is explained that the issue it first appeared in (#55) has been sold out for some time. No matter, really--I love GMK and the article does a fine job of weighing its "pros and cons."
The artistic centerpiece of this issue is "The Monsters of Ultraman," featuring the work of Frank Parr, Matt Frank, Jared Proust, and more. It is a great collection for Ultra-fans. Fortunately, we picked up one of Parr's color prints at G-FEST this year.
There is much more to like between the covers of G-FAN # 92, including insightful reviews of books by writer/director Ib Melchior and Allen Debus, a trio of articles by Justin Mullis, and a humorous contribution by Lyle Huckins. And that's still not everything worthy of your time and attention.
One of the things I appreciate most about G-FAN is that it delivers plenty of "I never knew that before" info without the know-it-all, pretentious quality that makes some genre writing insufferable. G-FAN keeps it fun, and because it does, I'll keep coming back.